Samsung 970 Evo SSD Review – Maxing out PCI express bandwidth is Jarred Walton’s crowning glory.
- Size: 1TB
- Int.: M.2
- Bus: NVMe 1.3 PCIe 3.0 x4
- Logic: Phoenix • Type: 64-layer 3D TLC
- Cache: 42GB
- Seq.: 3.400/ 2.500MB/S (r/w)
- IOPS: 500K/450K (r/w)
- Power: 6W/30mW (active/idle)
- Life: 600TB
- Warranty: Five years
Samsung is one of the biggest players in the SSD market, thanks to its vertical integration. Unlike many competitors. Samsung makes its own NAND, controller, firmware and drives. This gives it advantages in both pricing and performance, and Samsung has been at or near the top of the NVMe stack since it launched the 950 Pro in late 2015.
The 960 Pro and Evo improved on the formula, with the Pro delivering higher performance while the Evo focused on delivering good but slightly lower performance at a lower price. Eighteen months later, the Samsung 970 Pro and Evo repeat the story. They’re the revised and improved version of the 960 lineup.
Faster, more intense
The 970 Evo has a few noteworthy changes. First, the new and ‘enhanced’ Phoenix controller has five cores, just like the preceding Polaris controller, one of which is dedicated to communication between the host system and the controller. It’s clocked higher, although Samsung doesn’t specify the exact clock speed. Maximum capacity and endurance have both improved substantially, with a 2TB model now available: Endurance scales directly with capacity, at a rate of 150TB written per 250GB. This is a 50 per cent improvement compared to the 960 Evo line.
The changes to the controller and V-NAND affect maximum read/write performance based on capacity. IOPS are up. sequential throughput is up. the warranty is now five years and the launch prices are all down.
These are all clear steps forward, but the performance levels are so fast that most users are unlikely to notice a massive change. In practice, most of the benefits of an NVMe SSD over a standard SATA SSD are only visible when you’re doing heavy file manipulation. For professional use, tasks like software development and compiling large projects, or running
The 970 EVO exhibits improved performance over its predecessor.
multiple VMs on a workstation, can also show the advantages of NVMe drives.
The 970 Evo rates near the top of our tests with only Intel’s Optane 900P distancing itself from the other NVMe drives. Among the M.2 drives we’ve tested, the 970 Evo 1TB takes first place, and the 500GB model is fourth, with the 512GB 960 Pro and 950 Pro sitting in between. Compared to the 960 Evo 500GB. the 970 Evo 500GB beats it by 17 per cent in our performance test.
The difficulty with NVMe drives is that price per GB is often the deciding factor when shopping for SSDs. and SATA drives continue to hold a clear advantage. Our favourite SATA SSD right now is the 1TB Crucial MX500. which costs 20p per GB: the Samsung 970 Evo 1TB costs 38p – that’s 90 per cent more expensive.
Something else to point out is that we’re dangerously close to saturating the PCIe bus with x4 Gen3 connections, particularly for sequential transfers. The Samsung 970 Pro only boasts slightly better maximum throughput, likely because the x4 link doesn’t let it shine. Bring on PCIe Gen4.
|FEATURES||9/10||EASE OF USE||9/10|
While not putting a foot wrong as such, the Samsung 970 doesn’t do enough to fend off the growing competition.
» Rating 8/10
HOW COMPETITOR SSDs STACK UP
|Benchmarks||970 Evo 1TB||WD Black 1TB||960 Evo 1TB||Intel 760p 512GB|
|Seq. read MB/s||3.562||3.484||3.394||3.056|
|Seq. write MB/s||2.511||2.853||1.949||1.606|
|Ran. read MB/s||390 IOPS||362 IOPS||391 IOPS||384 IOPS|
|Ran. write MB/s||354 IOPS||271 IOPS||338 IOPS||322 IOPS|
|10GB copy (sec)||7.40||7.47||11.68||8.76|
|10GB trans (sec)||12.64||12.74||25.2||23.9|
While not putting a foot wrong as such, the Samsung 970 doesn't do enough to fend off the growing competition.
Samsung (MZ-V7E1T0BW 970 EVO SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe Interface Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology, Black/Red
1 used from £109.00
- INNOVATIVE V NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V NAND Technology, the 970 EVO SSDs NVMe interface (PCIe M.2 2280) offers enhanced bandwidth, low latency, and power efficiency ideal for tech enthusiasts, high end gamers, and 4K & 3D content designers
- BREAKTHROUGH READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively; Random Read (4KB, QD32): Up to 500,000 IOPS Random Read
- PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION AND DATA SECURITY: Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software, the ideal SSD management solution for performance optimization and data security with automatic firmware updates
- SUPERIOR HEAT DISSIPATION: Samsungs Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and maintains optimal operating temperatures to minimize performance drops. Secure Encryption
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.