SM951 – my experience

After quite a bit of research, i have finally purchased a new system – along with a SM951 – 256GB version.

I wrote an article a while back about some of the difficulties of getting appropriate performance out of M2 drives –

I ended up getting a MSI X99A SLI Plus motherboard which has m.2 x4 (a requirement) and the nice-ity of usb 3.1.

Long story short – the install of the SM951 was a breeze, slot it in, secure it using the “holding” screw – all done.

Interesting – the device does not show up in the BIOS – however, when installing the OS (8.1u1 in my case) the drive showed up without any issues. Even now with the system booting from the device – the BIOS still shows the slot as empty.

So… is it quick?… for benchmarks – check out sites like – yes its bloody quick on paper…

In “real world” usage – my OS now boots in 2 seconds instead of 8 (or so) – nice… but does it really increase productivity?… meh.

Playing games – meh. Loading times of the previous SSD were already fast – this is faster, but again, its a bit of a “meh” difference.

Virtual machines – now this is where it makes a big difference… using multiple VM’s is now just lightning fast. Boot 5 VM’s at once, they are all up in couple of seconds and disk intensive operations that previously took noticeably large amounts of time complete ludicrously quickly.

To sum up – an ultra-fast PCIE drive like this is definitely nice to have no matter what you do – but bang for buck, if your an “everyday” user or gamer, a SATA3 SSD probably delivers better value for money at this point in time. If you are doing lots of disk intensive work, such as virtual machines, SAS/sql/data import & analysis type work – then its a bit of a no-brainer. You will save enough time to warrant the purchase of this drive in one day.

By the way – this drive was purchased from –