FAQs

Here you’ll find frequently asked questions and solutions for your computing life upgraded with Samsung V-NAND SSD.

COMPATIBILITY

  • How do I know Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs are compatible with my PC?

    Please check whether your system satisfies the minimum system requirements specified below:
    Category Minimum Requirements
    Main-board
    (System)
    Intel Haswell Refresh or later client chipset based mainboard with an unallocated M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 lane connector
    Processor 64-bit processor (recommended) single, dual or higher number of processors can be used
    Memory More than 2 GB DRAM
    Connector M.2 (‘M’ Key) or third party adapter (AIC) for use with PCIe connector
    Form-Factor Space for a single sided M.2 2280 (SSD with dimensions 22 mm x 80 mm), or use third party adapter (AIC) to connect to PCIe connector
    Power 25 W compatible PCIe slot

    Please check whether your operating system is supported and note that some OS need installation of the proprietary Samsung NVMe driver:
    OS Notes
    Windows 7 32/64 bit Samsung NVMe driver required
    Windows 8 32/64 bit Samsung NVMe driver required
    Windows 8.1 32/64 bit Samsung NVMe driver recommended*
    Windows 10 32/64 bit Samsung NVMe driver recommended*

    * The Samsung NVMe driver ensures maximum compatibility between host and Samsung NVMe PCIe M.2 SSDs, and optimizes system performance.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs work with any M.2 slot?

    There are different types of M.2 slots. A “B-Key” enables SATA or PCIe NVMe SSDs using up to 2 PCIe lanes, while an “M-Key” enables NVMe SSDs with the use of up to 4 PCIe lanes.

    Performance of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs leveraging PCIe x4 lanes is roughly twice as high as with PCIe x2 lanes, so the vast majority of mainboards today support ”M-Key” slots with 4 lanes. This is the solution supported by Samsung NVMe SSDs, and works in the majority of M.2 slots.

    Please check the type of M.2 (M or B Key) slots available on your mainboard by reading the user manual or contacting your system vendor.
  • Will Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs work on Z97 Mainboards?

    Yes. Samsung NVMe SSDs will work on Haswell Refresh or newer chipsets that follow the standard mainboard requirements defined by Intel (note that some mainboards customized for certain PC makers might not offer the required M.2 slot). Should you have any doubt, please contact your mainboard or PC vendor for more information.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs work with AMD Ryzen?

    Yes. Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs will work with standard Ryzen chipsets.
  • Are there any issues with running Windows 7 on a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs are compatible with Windows 7, but for optimal performance and ease of use we recommend Win 8.1 or newer.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs work under Linux?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs are compatible with Linux. Please note, however, that Samsung NVMe SSDs are optimized for use under Windows operating systems.
  • Which Generation PCIe does Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD use?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs use PCIe Gen 3.0. For more information please refer to Samsung NVMe SSD datasheets available at www.samsungssd.com

INSTALLATION

  • How should a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD be installed on a PC?

    Installation of Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs is essentially plug-and-play. Simply insert the NVMe SSD in an M.2 PCIe slot, tighten the SSD in place with the screw and spacer provided by your mainboard manufacturer, and boot up your system from an external source before proceeding with a fresh install of your operating system. Windows has an in-box driver that ensures your Samsung NVMe SSD is operational from the start, but we recommend installing the Samsung NVMe Driver specifically designed for Samsung NVMe SSDs, to ensure optimal performance and to maximize compatibility with your system.

    For more information, please refer to: www.samsungssd.com
  • Are Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs delivered with a screw?

    Samsung NMVe M.2 SSDs are not delivered with a screw. This is because mainboard manufacturers typically provide the specific screws and spacers that fit the proprietary needs of each mainboard.
  • Can I move data from an HDD or SATA SSD to a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD?

    Yes. It is possible to clone a SATA HDD or SATA SSD to an NVMe SSD. Samsung, however, recommends performing a “clean install” of the OS and later transferring the desired non-executable files.

    Because the registry information needed for NVMe SSDs is different from those of SATA HDDs or SSDs, a clean install helps to avoid unnecessary compatibility and performance issues that may arise from simply cloning a storage device.
  • Can I plug a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD in a traditional PCIe slot?

    Yes. Many add-in-card adapters exist, but for optimal performance and compatibility Samsung recommends using an original M.2 slot for your Samsung NVMe SSD.

OPERATION

PERFORMANCE

  • What is the difference between a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD and a regular SSD?

    NVMe SSDs leverage a new type of interface and protocol – Non-Volatile Memory Express – to break through the bottleneck limitations of SATA based systems. Concretely, this means that whereas SATA SSDs’ maximal performance does not exceed 550MB/s, NVMe SSDs can achieve transfer speeds of about 3,500MB/s when connected via PCIe Gen.3 x4 lanes.
  • Why does my Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD not achieve its performance specs in benchmark tests?

    Benchmark test results may differ depending upon the system environment, host software and hardware configuration. Please see the data sheet for more information on the test conditions used by Samsung.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs have RAPID Mode support?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs do not support RAPID Mode.
  • Do I need a heat sink for optimal performance of the Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs rarely require a heat sink, yet maintain optimal performance thanks to Samsung’s advanced design and manufacturing capabilities coupled with an integrated, heat dissipating thermal label. In rare instances of extreme workloads (transfer of several hundreds of GB), performance may be throttled through Samsung’s dynamic thermal throttling algorithm to protect the SSDs integrity.

    Please be aware, however, that an external heat source such as a high-powered graphics card, or CPU placed in close proximity to a Samsung NVMe SSD, can adversely affect airflow around a Samsung NVMe SSD which may lead to performance degradation. Therefore, please ensure there is appropriate airflow around your Samsung NVMe SSD.

SPECIFICATION

  • What is the physical size of a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD? Will it fit my PC?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs use the M.2 (2280) form factor. M.2 is an industry standard, and M.2 SSDs typically measure 22mm in width. Various standardized lengths range between 30mm and 110mm, with the 80mm solution used by Samsung being the most common. This means that Samsung NVMe SSDs are 22mm wide and 80mm long, and should physically fit in the majority of M.2 slots on mainboards.

    It is also important to note that Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs are “single sided” meaning that all components are mounted on just one side of the PCB, ensuring a relatively “flat” profile that fits in virtually all M.2 slots.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs have hardware encryption?

    Samsung NVMe SSDs provide internal hardware encryption of all data stored on the SSD, including the operating system. Data is decrypted through a pre-boot authentication process.
    Because all user data is encrypted, private information is protected against loss or theft.
    Encryption is done by hardware, which provides a safer environment without sacrificing performance.

    The encryption methods provided by each Samsung NVMe SSD are: AES (Advanced Encryption Standard, Class0 SED) TCG/OPAL, and eDrive

    Please note that you cannot use more than one encryption method simultaneously.
  • Do Samsung NVMe M.2 SSDs support TCG Opal?

    TCG Opal is supported by Samsung NVMe SSDs (960EVO / PRO and newer). It is an authentication method that employs the protocol specified by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) meaning that you will need to install TCG software supplied by a TCG OPAL software development company.

    User authentication is done by pre-boot authentication provided by the software. For more detailed information and instructions, please contact a TCG software company. In addition, TCG/opal can only be enabled / disabled by using special security software.
  • What is the difference between the 960PRO and 960EVO?

    The EVO series is designed for demanding mainstream users, while the PRO series is destined for users with very high workload requirements for their SSD, and the need for high capacities.
  • What is an AIC?

    AIC stands for Add-in-Card and it is essentially an adapter that allows connection of a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD to a standard PCIe x16 slot, instead of an M.2 interface.
  • What is NVMe?

    NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a new storage protocol designed to leverage the full performance potential of SSDs and the underlying NAND Flash technology, by eliminating the performance bottleneck imposed by the previous storage protocol – SATA – which had been optimized for far slower hard disk drives.

    Utilizing this new protocol, NVMe SSDs currently outperform SATA based SSDs by a factor of 6-7, with significant upward potential in the future.
  • What is PCIe?

    PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is a well-established and versatile interface. Because of its prevalence (used for Graphic Cards etc.) and high data throughput capability PCIe was adopted by the storage industry to replace the much older and constrained SATA interface for the next generation of SSDs.

    Adoption of PCIe, combined with other factors, enable NVMe SSDs to outperform SATA based SSDs by a factor of 6-7, with significant upward potential in the future thanks to the scalability of PCIe.
  • What is M.2?

    M.2 is a form-factor describing the physical dimensions and connector used for M.2 SSDs. It was primarily designed to incorporate the new PCIe interface and NVMe protocol in SSDs, and to reduce the overall footprint of storage media from the former HDD based 2.5 inch standard dimension.
  • Will a Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD function in a PCIe x1 slot?

    A Samsung NVMe SSD is not compatible with a PCIe x1 slot.
  • What is an “M-Key”? What is a “B-Key”?

    “M” and “B” are different connector types for M.2 slots. A “B-Key” enables SATA or PCIe NVMe SSDs using up to 2 PCIe lanes, and an “M-Key” enables using up to 4 PCIe lanes.

    Please note that Samsung NVMe SSDs use the “M-Key” (to leverage PCIe x4 for maximum performance) and cannot be plugged into an M.2 slot with a “B-Key”.
white bar