Sam­sung 970 EVO 1TB

The re­turn of the king.

PCPOWERPLAY - - Pcpp Hardware & Tech Special - Price $ 569 www.sam­

The Sam­sung EVO se­ries of drives, whether the SATA or NVMe ver­sions, has al­ways been com­pet­i­tive by ev­ery measure - whether it be value, per­for­mance, re­li­a­bil­ity, or even the num­ber of units sold. As the Evo drives have such a strong legacy, any­thing less than hit­ting it out of the park would be a dis­ap­point­ment. Can the 970 Evo fill the shoes of its il­lus­tri­ous pre­de­ces­sors?


The Sam­sung 970 Evo is a typ­i­cal NVMe M.2 2280 drive that makes use of a PCIe 3.0 x4 in­ter­face. The drive con­tains Sam­sung’s 64-Layer 3-bit MLC V-NAND (or Triple Level Cell). Sam­sung doesn’t en­joy the NAND tech­nol­ogy ad­van­tage it’s had in the past, at least with the cur­rent con­sumer level drives as most other com­peti­tors are also em­ploy­ing 64-Layer TLC. That doesn’t mean it’s lacking any­thing though. The 1TB 970 Evo is rated for 600 ter­abytes writ­ten, half that of the 970 Pro, though this is still a healthy num­ber and per­fectly suited to a con­sumer level drive that will likely never see the same kinds of work­loads the 970 Pro is suited for. How­ever, the war­ranty pe­riod is five years, the same as the 970 Pro which is great to see.

The 970 Evo uses the same five core ARM Phoenix con­troller found in the 970 Pro. This con­troller was first seen in Sam­sung’s top of the line en­ter­prise SSDs, so to find it in­side a con­sumer level SSD gives you a hint about what sort of qual­ity we’re look­ing at.

The 970 Evo has sup­port for ev­ery­thing we ex­pect from a per­for­mance SSD. TRIM, garbage col­lec­tion, S.M.A.R.T., and AES 256 bit en­cryp­tion are all there. Sam­sung in­cludes a nickel-plated heat spreader to help keep the tem­per­a­tures down and, as is the case with the 970 Pro, the con­troller has a higher ther­mal tol­er­ance than the one pow­er­ing the 960 Evo. This means less chance of throt­tling and higher sus­tained read/ write and I/O per­for­mance.

We al­ways have to give Sam­sung’s class-lead­ing Ma­gi­cian soft­ware a plug. There’s a data mi­gra­tion tool to get you started, with ad­di­tional handy tools in­clude firmware up­dat­ing, bench­mark and se­cure erase ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and sup­port for S.M.A.R.T in­for­ma­tion read­ing.

The 1TB 970 Evo is rated for 600 ter­abytes writ­ten, half that of the 970 Pro, though this is still a healthy num­ber...


Where the 970 Evo re­ally sets it­self apart is its fan­tas­tic per­for­mance. In some cases, it’s only frac­tion­ally be­hind the 970 Pro, mak­ing it kind of moot un­less you’re look­ing to use it for heavy work­loads. The Evo does ex­cep­tion­ally well with se­quen­tial trans­fers and I/O op­er­a­tions and it’s no slouch in any other area ei­ther.


The only neg­a­tive, if you can call it that, is that it won’t re­ally seem any faster than a 960 Evo, so if you have one of those, the up­grade is not re­ally worth it. But if you’re com­ing from asome­thing older, the 970 Evo 1TB will re­ward you with blaz­ing fast per­for­mance at a de­cent price - we’ve got our­selves a sure win­ner. CHRIS SZEWCZYK

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