Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 250 GB Detailed Review

Samsung has refreshed their EVO lineup of SSDs with the introduction of the new Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD. Although multiple OEMs have been showcasing 96-layer 3D NAND memory (WD, Toshiba and SK Hynix) for almost a year, Samsung will be the first to market a product with a new chip. Shipping on Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB SKU. 2 TB SKU will arrive in April this year. We are reviewing 250 GB SKU today so that the write speed will be less than the high capacity SKUs However, here’s how it works.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD Specification

Specifications of all currently available SKUs can be found below. Details regarding the 2 TB SKU coming in April will be available much closer to the launch. The 96-layer NAND we see on the Samsung 970 EVO Plus was announced last October. The Samsung Phoenix controller is the same as the one we saw with the Samsung 970 EVO. However, the firmware has been modified to make the most of the new NAND chips.































Samsung 970 EVO Plus Specification

Power

250 GB

500 GB

1 TB

The whole face

PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3

Form factor

M.2 (2280) Single direction

Regulator

Samsung Phoenix Controller

LPDDR4 DRAM

512 MB

512 MB

1 GB

Flush

Samsung 96-layer 3D TLC

SLC cache min

4 GB

4 GB

6 GB

SLC Cache Max

13 GB

22 GB

42 GB

Sequential reading

3500 MB / s

3500 MB / s

3500 MB / s

Write sequentially

2300 MB / s

3200 MB / s

3300 MB / s

Write sequentially

400 MB / s

900 MB / s

1700 MB / s

4KB Random Read

QD1

17k IOPS

19k IOPS

19k IOPS

Enter 4KB randomly

QD1

60k IOPS

60k IOPS

60k IOPS

4KB Random Read

QD32

250k IOPS

480k IOPS

600k IOPS

Enter 4KB randomly

QD32

550k IOPS

550k IOPS

550k IOPS

Power

Read on

5.0 watts

5.5 watts

5.5 watts

Write

4.2 watts

5.8 watts

6.0 watts

Inactive

30 MW

30 MW

30 MW

L1.2 is inactive

5 MW

5 MW

5 MW

Paired

AES 256, TCG Opal 2.0, IEEE 1667

Warranty

5 years

5 years

5 years

MTBF

1.5 million hours

Write tolerance

150 TB

300 TB

600 TB

SLC cache

0.3 DWPD

0.3 DWPD

0.3 DWPD

Price (MSRP) (INR)

6479

9359

17999

Price per GB (INR)

25.92

18.72

18.00

This means that we will be in PCIe 3.0 for 970 EVO Plus. This is not to say that this SSD will exceed the bandwidth provided by the PCIe 3.0 standard, so going to PCIe 4.0 is unnecessary. If not, there are other benefits such as latency improvement that will help performance. Samsung’s enterprise portfolio, however, will see a shift from PCIe 3.0 to PCIe 4.0.

One might ask why we don’t see a 96-level NAND in the form of a PRO series SSD? Well, the Samsung PRO series typically uses a more durable MLC nand and so far, they’re working on a second-generation Z-NAND that’s more likely to end up in the PRO series. We have no information on when it will be launched. TLC based SSDs offer 3500 MB / s read speeds, we are really interested to see what the next gen PRO SSDs will offer.

Performance

Samsung has provided 250 GB SKU which is the lowest SKU and which is the most sought after in the market. Unfortunately, all other brands offer top-end SKUs which are usually 960GB or 1TB by our standards. This puts the new Samsung 970 EVO Plus at a disadvantage to our standards. We believe that the 1TB SKU of 970 EVO Plus will perform much better for all SSDs.

Our test rig has been upgraded to keep up with the times and new Windows releases. This means that not all of our legacy scores are comparable, especially since CPU performance has increased significantly. Here’s what we’re running at the moment.

Processor – Intel Core i9 9900K
CPU Cooler – Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
Motherboard – ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X HERO
RAM – 2x 8 GB G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3200 MHz
SSD – Corsair MP510
PSU – Corsair HX1050

We start by running a mixed workload that encounters an SSD on a daily basis. We can see that the old Samsung 970 EVO ended up with much better performance under the mixed work pressure of randomized read and write run.

Random performance

Here we can see that Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB is equal to other drives in the market at the moment. Barsty has similar statistics across workload controllers. There is always generational improvement. The reading speed here is close to the 50 MB / s mark where the write speed is comparable to the old 970 EVO 1TB.

In small rows of durable 4K workloads, the performance of the 970 Evo Plus is twice as fast as previous workloads. However, the older 970 EVO 1 TB is better with higher write speeds.

Sequential performance

This is where the 250GB SKU’s capacity constraint comes into play. We can see that 970 EVO Plus has the highest read speed in the competition but almost half of the writing performance. The only other drive to share in its company is 760p from Intel. Barsty workloads are somewhat forgiving and don’t get the perfect maximum you are able to drive. That’s where the next graph comes into the picture.

The reading speed on the Samsung 970 EVO Plus clearly puts it ahead of the competition. Writing speed is disabled again but it is not the worst. Looking at the 970 EVO 1TB and Corsair MP510, we can only assume that the write speed in 1 TB SKU will be more than 2000 MB / s.

Energy consumption

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus consumes a lot of power while still active, as is the case with most high performance drives. Fission-based SSDs tend to be more conservative, but performance also declines. New fiction based SSDs are changing to make it better. In terms of idle power consumption, the 970 EVO Plus matches its predecessor, the 970 EVO.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus judgment

Significant differences in capacity make it difficult for us to collect the benefits brought to the 96-layer 3D NAND table as it is not comparable to Apple-to-Apple. All of our benchmarks are performed with 1TB or 2TB SSD while the unit shipped by Samsung was a 250GB SKU which puts it at a disadvantage. Despite the obvious hurdles, the 970 EVO Plus matches its predecessor by certain standards, especially when reading speed is a concern. As for the speed of writing, we can’t say for sure. At Rs.25 / GB the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a good SSD that sits in the mid-range segment.

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