Samsung 970 EVO 1TB
The return of the king.
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?
RIGHT IN THE SWEET SPOT
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...
THIS THING IS FAST
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 BEST MAINSTREAM SSD AROUND
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