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

Speeds up to 3.5 GB/s .

Editor's Choice

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, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 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.

MORE: Best SSDs

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

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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.
    Reply
  • kiniku
    And the 970 Pro.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    21702521 said:
    I do wish you'd compared it to the 960, though, so we could see the improvement in comparison to its previous generation.

    21702550 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.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    I've heard from some other sources that it's faster than the 970 pro (in some cases?).
    Reply
  • Onus
    So, Samsung too has switched to the lower-endurance TLC...
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    21702700 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.

    21702858 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    sticking with my 960 EVO for the life of the rig, as it is only 2 years old and counting...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • J Lock
    Nothing about temps. Crazy!
    Reply