I'm about to pull the trigger on a dell xps 13. Can anyone tell me if I order the 8gb model with the i5 6200u FHD screen which comes with a 256gb SSD, can someone tell me what model of SSD this is? Is it a Samsung SM951 (uk model)? I understand it is PCIE based, but does the controller run in AHCI or NVME? I am thinking of putting a 950 pro in there (I understand these drives are nearly identical in terms of performance but I'd like to be able to use the Samsung magician software and turn on rapid mode and overprovisioning. has anyone used the samsung magician software with a 950 pro drive? is there any difference in real world performance between an ahci drive and a nvme drive under normal usage?
I've seen Samsung xx1 drives and Lite-on drives in these systems -- you won't know until you receive the system. There are people who've reported running the 950 Pro in this model. Yes - the NVMe drives do outperform AHCI or standard PCIe drives, but even standard SATA drives are impressive performers.
is there any difference between nvme/ahci in terms of responsiveness/boot time between the two? I've heard in terms of real world usage, unless you are doing multi-threaded workloads you won't see a difference between the two. is this true?
All else equal, NVMe will be faster. That said, it's priced out of proportion at the moment; there's no harm in using AHCI now and upgrading later when the production of the faster flash chips needed to build faster drives increases and prices drop. It will happen - it always does.
Between native NVMe and PCI and this system, smaller than you thing.
Native NVMe require a 4-lane PCI express interface this system doesn't have -- so the system will hamstring NVMe anyway (but even with that, it WILL be faster). Enough to justify the cost difference now - no.