We have actually seen M.2 solid state drives for a while now, but up until recently none of them have hit retailers. This is probably because motherboards that support M.2 were only just launched with the advent of Intel’s 9-series chipset. One of the first to hit retailers is the Samsung XP941. The first generation of M.2 is based on PCI-Express 2.0 x2 with a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 1000 MB/s read and write.
This drive is a bit different than other M.2 drives as it follows the specifications for PCI-Express 2.0 x4 interface. When it is actually installed on a M.2 slot with x4 wiring the drive will offer sequential read and write speeds of 1170 MB/s and 930 MB/s respectively. It also will offer 4K random read and write performance of 122,000 IOPS and 72,000 IOPS respectively. The only motherboard that currently offers an x4 interface is the Z97 Extreme6 by ASRock. Although you can use PCI-Express 2.0 x4 cards.
The 512 GB version of the drive is selling for 9,800 JPY including local taxes which is US $780.
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