Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD Review: More Layers Brings More Performance

Conclusion

We're quite impressed with Samsung's 970 EVO Plus. Like the WD Black SN750 we recently reviewed, Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus carries over the same controller as its predecessor. But instead of “refreshing” it with the same flash, Samsung decided it was time to switch things up a bit with its new 9x-layer flash. Just as the flash is stacked to new heights, it seems performance is hitting new heights, too. The resulting Samsung 970 EVO Plus is exactly what its name says: a big Plus.

As the first widely-available retail SSD to hit the market with Samsung's latest 9x-layer flash, Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus gives us our second taste of what is to come this year. It delivers the performance of the 970 EVO, plus some more. The EVO Plus consistently proved that it has some of the strongest write performance on the market and can handle tough workloads. It even beat out Samsung’s own 970 PRO in a few tests, which is quite the feat considering the PRO slots in as Samsung's workhorse for workstation-class applications.

But the 970 EVO Plus doesn’t go unrivaled. Competing drives armed with Phison’s latest E12 controller and Silicon Motion’s new SM2262EN controller put up a good fight, closing the gaps Samsung once strived so hard to gain. And those drives don't have the latest 96-layer flash at their disposal, at least not yet.

The ADATA SX8200 Pro scored slightly higher in both PCMark 8 and SYSmark than the EVO Plus, largely due to its more impressive QD1 performance. Samsung has traditionally touted its superior low-QD random performance as a key differentiator for its devices, so the loss is notable.

MyDigitalSSD’s BPX Pro also proves to be a worthy adversary for those not looking to break the bank. It outscored the 500GB EVO Plus in PCMark 8, and both capacities kept fairly close to the EVO Plus throughout the rest of the testing. It has other things going for it, too. The BPX Pro is significantly cheaper than the EVO Plus and comes with almost triple the endurance rating.

But Samsung has something that these other SSDs don’t – a very strong track record of reliability. While this won't matter to some, to others, it means the difference between a purchase and a pass. Samsung has created an almost cult-like following over the years because of its reliability and performance. For many, paying a few dollars more over a competing product goes a long way to ease the mind.

Overall, Samsung’s new 970 EVO Plus offers you plenty of performance, endurance, and security. It comes backed with a five-year warranty, too. Samsung Magician and the data migration software are also a big plus. If you are ready to take on a new NVMe SSD for your PC, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a great buy.

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23 comments
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  • Talwyn Wize
    I do wish you'd compared it to the 960, though, so we could see the improvement in comparison to its previous generation.
  • kiniku
    And the 970 Pro.
  • seanwebster
    2354409 said:
    I do wish you'd compared it to the 960, though, so we could see the improvement in comparison to its previous generation.


    229774 said:
    And the 970 Pro.


    Unfortunately, I do not have access to either. I did get to borrow a 1TB 970 PRO temporarily for testing, so that is included, but not the 512GB model.
  • TCA_ChinChin
    I've heard from some other sources that it's faster than the 970 pro (in some cases?).
  • Onus
    So, Samsung too has switched to the lower-endurance TLC...
  • seanwebster
    1912839 said:
    I've heard from some other sources that it's faster than the 970 pro (in some cases?).

    Check out the 1TB charts on the third page of the review. In the 50GB copy and 6GB read tests, SYSmark, and game load test it out performs it.

    47340 said:
    So, Samsung too has switched to the lower-endurance TLC...

    As end products both the 970 EVO and EVO Plus feature the same exact endurance rating. They have been using TLC in the EVO line up for years now.
  • mac_angel
    I'm curious if they've made it compatible with PCIe gen 4 with a firmware upgrade. Little odd to be coming out with a PCIe gen3 product when the gen 4 was ratified last summer.
  • mdd1963
    sticking with my 960 EVO for the life of the rig, as it is only 2 years old and counting...
  • ArmadaCas
    Does anyone know if this SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS (1TB) will run in an ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming with an i7 6700k..? The documentation for the mobo mentions M.2, but not NVME, so I'm kinda lost.
  • J Lock
    Nothing about temps. Crazy!
  • seanwebster
    169108 said:
    I'm curious if they've made it compatible with PCIe gen 4 with a firmware upgrade. Little odd to be coming out with a PCIe gen3 product when the gen 4 was ratified last summer.


    "As with previous specifications of PCIe, PCIe 4.0 will be fully backward-compatible, so devices designed for earlier specifications will still operate correctly with the new technology."

    -> https://www.microsemi.com/product-directory/storage/5439-pci-express-4-0-pcie-gen4

    2004062 said:
    Does anyone know if this SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS (1TB) will run in an ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming with an i7 6700k..? The documentation for the mobo mentions M.2, but not NVME, so I'm kinda lost.

    Yes, it will. The M.2 slot runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 interface speeds and has a new UEFI with NVMe support, so it is compatible.
  • Rob_54
    2004062 said:
    Does anyone know if this SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS (1TB) will run in an ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming with an i7 6700k..? The documentation for the mobo mentions M.2, but not NVME, so I'm kinda lost.


    A quick google say your mobo is PCIe 3.0 x4 so yes, it will work properly with a NVMe M.2 SSD.
  • epobirs
    169108 said:
    I'm curious if they've made it compatible with PCIe gen 4 with a firmware upgrade. Little odd to be coming out with a PCIe gen3 product when the gen 4 was ratified last summer.


    What would be the point? It's going to be a good while before PCIe 4.0 is a significant market for consumer products. Samsung will likely be on to another product generation by that time. They'll probably want a good spread of engineering samples from motherboard makers to test with before launching PCIe 4.0 products.

    There's also the practice of minimizing the number of new technologies implemented in a single product to avoid problems. I recall a GPU maker who got badly bitten when they tried to combine a new architecture launch with a process node shrink. It went badly and gave their rival the market lead for a year or so. The rival had chosen to do their new architecture on the node they already knew well, even though it meant a BIG chip. It turned out to be the better choice.
  • TzunnyNIB
    Hello,
    just purchased this today and it's a failure, it should be faster not slower than norma 970 evo version... o_O
    Any sugestions?
    That's M.2 version...

    [MEDIA=imgur]lxdRhW0[/MEDIA]
    View: https://i.imgur.com/lxdRhW0.jpg
  • TJ Hooker
    Quote:
    Hello, just purchased this today and it's a failure, it should be faster not slower than norma 970 evo version... o_O Any sugestions? That's M.2 version...

    Should probably just start your own thread for this, but...
    What motherboard and CPU do you have?
  • TJ Hooker
    Which M.2 slot is the SSD in?
  • TzunnyNIB
    Quote:
    Which M.2 slot is the SSD in?

    Both are occupied, both ssd's are M.2.
    EVO Plus is in the bottom slot, while the EVO basic is in the slot under the CPU
  • TJ Hooker
    Bottom slot is only PCIe x2 rather than x4.
  • TzunnyNIB
    Sorry, but i'm a bit of noob. That means: any ssd i put there (if i swap them is useless i guess) will have half of the listed speeds from specifications?
    So the ssd is ok but the mobo slot doesn't allow him it to run full mode?!

    Is there a mobo for Ryzen 7 which to have 2 * M.2 slots that to run in full mode?

    And thank you very much for the help sir!
  • TJ Hooker
    Pretty much.

    I don't know of any Ryzen mobo that has two M.2 slots that are both 3.0 x4 off the top of my head. You'd probably have to get an M.2 add in card adapter so you could put the SSD in a PCIe slot. But your graphic card would drop down to x8 from x16 in that case.
  • TzunnyNIB
    Reducing gpu from x16 to x8 afffects performance or what actually affects?
  • TJ Hooker
    For gaming the impact of dropping down to x8 is small to non existent in most cases.