It's easy to recommend a Samsung solid-state drive (SSD) to someone who's building a new PC or just wants to upgrade the drive in an existing one.
Samsung's reputation for making SSDs is well founded and well respected. When reviewing a new laptop, hearing there's a Samsung drive inside is music to the ears. Indeed, in my own rig, I only run Samsung SSDs, and that's unlikely to change any time soon.
The top of the consumer lineup is the 970 range, split into the EVO and the Pro models. Both are fast, but naturally, the Pro is the king. The latest arrival is the 970 EVO Plus. It sits between the two, and my first question was: "Why does this exist?" Turns out, there's a pretty easy answer to that, and once again, Samsung has delivered a barnstorming SSD.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus
From $90 (opens in new tab)Bottom line: The SSD to buy right now.
- Insane write speeds and general performance.
- Solid endurance.
- Five-year warranty.
- No 2TB option until April.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus specifications
|Capacity||250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|Interface||PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3|
|Sequential read||Up to 3,500 MB/s|
|Sequential write||Up to 3,300 MB/s|
|Random read||Up to 620,000 IOPS|
|Random write||Up to 560,000 IOPS|
|NAND||5th generation Samsung V NAND|
|Controller||Samsung Phoenix Controller|
|Endurance||150 TBW (250GB)|
300 TBW (500GB)
600 TBW (1TB)
Where the 970 EVO Plus fits into Samsung's lineup
As I said, the first question was to why this exists. The 970 EVO and 970 PRO are different enough, but in the case of many PC users, not so different as to make the more expensive SSD the recommendation. Indeed, the Samsung 970 EVO is one of our favorite SSDs for desktops and laptops. The Plus, then, you would expect to be a mild upgrade from the EVO?
Not quite. As it happens, the 970 EVO Plus is a match for the 970 Pro in sheer performance, and in some cases, beats it handsomely. It's all about the write speed.
The 970 EVO has a top sequential write speed of 2,500 MB/s, while the 970 PRO maxes out at 2,700 MB/s. The 970 EVO Plus tops out at a whopping 3,300 MB/s. The same can be said of random write performance, where the EVO Plus again sits above the PRO and the EVO.
The 970 EVO Plus is based on Samsung's latest 96-layer V NAND memory, and with prices starting at just $89.99 for the 256GB storage capacity, this is an extremely enticing SSD.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus performance
Many of the features of the 970 EVO Plus are on par with Samsung's other NVMe SSDs, including the five-year warranty and the endurance of the drive. Where this little black stick differs is in its performance, in particular, if you're chasing the fastest write speeds possible, this is the one for you.
First, I checked the numbers in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark tool and compared our 500GB 970 EVO Plus with the 970 Pro.
It's also, as expected, significantly faster than the 970 EVO which we've previously seen hitting 3,519 MB/s and 2408 MB/s sequential read and write respectively. The 970 EVO Plus is also handily better for random read and write performance.
The results are similarly pleasing in the ATTO Disk Benchmark.
Samsung has mentioned folks who work with 4K video and 3D modeling as the kind of PC user this SSD is geared towards, and based on its performance I have to agree. If you work with large files, the write speeds on offer here are pretty mindblowing.
The 970 EVO Plus is compatible with the Samsung Magician app, though some of the features, notably RAPID Mode, isn't available (you don't need it on this drive!).
It's a nice little tool that I do recommend downloading, as it's a quick way to ensure your drive has the latest firmware, as well as being able to automatically ensure its performance is optimized and run a benchmark to see just how speedy it really is. It's especially handy if you're running multiple Samsung drives.
The bottom line
Once upon a time, an SSD with the performance like that of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus would have required a significant investment. Prices are no longer astronomical, and when you can get this drive at a starting price of $90, it's impossible to ignore. The only fault, if you can even call it that, is that the 2TB version won't be on sale until April.
As we've come to expect from Samsung's SSDs you're getting insane levels of performance, and it no longer requires emptying your wallet to get a piece of the action. Back the performance up with a five-year warranty and proven reliability and you're left with a no-brainer. If you want a fast SSD, get this one.
The Samsung 970 EVO will be on sale beginning January 22 with prices starting at $89.99.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Do I need a special motherboard for this? I own a 6 yr old Asus desktop PC and it can be a bit slow when booting up. I think it's because of the hard drive? Once programs load they run fast. I have a GTX 970 in it and it has an i7.
It probably doesn't have the slot for this style drive. You would have to check the motherboard to see what is supported. A 2.5" SATA SSD would certainly work though. They are much cheaper and will give you a huge performance boost.
Thanks for the info!
Nice. I already have a 970 and 960 Pro but my board has a slot for a third drive...
OMG Beast mode 🤣
Crap... I just bought a 500GB 970 to replace my 256. Should have waited a bit.
Trouble is with tech, if you wait for the 'next thing' you'll never buy anything!
These drives are pushing the limit of PCIe x4, wonder how long it will be until we see x8 NVMe slots with drives to go in them. A Threadripper CPU can handle lots of PCIe lanes, by taking out an x8 GPU slot AMD could in theory put 2 x8 NVMe slots in a future board #wishfulthinking
Ready for AMD to finally release the 3700X so AIB's like ASUS can crank out a motherboard alongside w/ it just to give me a reason buy one
I had a 500GB SSD for my main drive on my main gaming desktop, and was running out of space too often. I'd recommend going for a 1tb. I got the 1tb 970 Pro on a good deal a while back, and I'd say that read speeds are a lot more important than write speeds for most uses.
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