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In a Nutshell
The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is an extremely fast SSD, which might be interesting to high-end users. However, its overheating issues are somewhat concerning, so this SSD won’t be feasible for use in notebooks.
- Extremely high performance
- Supports hardware encryption
- Good software support
- Overheating problems
- Relatively high price
Samsung’s SSDs are probably the first storage solution choice for many high-end users who are looking for highest quality PC components. Even Samsung’s SSD models based on slower TLC memory are optimized for this kind of performance. The fastest Samsung’s SSD is built upon old, and expensive, yet very fast MLC, while the EVO series of SSDs utilizes flash memory TLC. Compared to the older model without the “Plus” in its name, the new 970 EVO Plus utilizes 92-layer TLC memory, which brings 28-layers more compared to its predecessor. Besides the increase of overall data density per chip vs the 970 EVO, the new 970 EVO Plus also works on lower voltage, and it brings support for Toggle 4.0 interface, which increases transfer of data to speeds of up to 1.4GBps. New SSD is available in variants with storage capacity of 250 and 500GB, as well as 1 and 2TB. All models, except for the largest, utilize 256Gb NAND flash chips, while the 2TB models utilizes 512Gb NAND flash chip.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB Specifications
|Interface||PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3|
|Memory Components||V-NAND 3-bit MLC|
|Max Sequential Read||Up to 3500 MBps|
|Max Sequential Write||Up to 3300 MBps|
Performance increase compared to the older model is pretty significant, with sequential reading experiencing the largest jump. Writing speed to the SLC cache is increased from 2.500 to 3.300 MB/s, while writing directly to the TLC is increased from 1.200 to 1.700 MB/s. Capacity of the TLC cache for the 1TB model is at least 6GB large, however, if the SSD isn’t filled with too much data, it while use 42GB for it. According to Samsung, the 970 EVO Plus has an endurance of 600 TBW, which is approximately 0.3 TB per day. The Phoenix controller hasn’t been changed compared to the older model, and it still supports data encryption according to the AES 256, TCG Opal 2.0, and IEEE 1667 standards. Since SSD still uses older controller, the drive communicates with the rest of the PC via PCIe x4 3.0 interface.
Comparison: 970 EVO vs 970 EVO Plus
|970 EVO 1TB||970 EVO Plus 1TB|
|Sequential read||3.400 MB/s||3.500 MB/s|
|Sequential write||2.500 MB/s||3.300 MB/s|
|Random read (4KB, QD32)||500.000 IOPS||600.000 IOPS|
|Random write (4KB, QD32)||450.000 IOPS||550.000 IOPS|
|Random read (4KB, QD1)||15.000 IOPS||19.000 IOPS|
|Random write (4KB, QD1)||50.000 IOPS||60.000 IOPS|
Although the 970 EVO Plus might prove to be a little bit slower SSD compared to 970 PRO, or Kingston’s KC2000, it is still an extremely fast SSD that completely obliterates its competition. Unfortunately, this SSD isn’t perfect, as it has one major caveat – overheating. The 970 EVO Plus has two temperature sensors – one which measures the working temperature of memory, and one which tracks temperatures of the controller. Various system tools for tracking PC component temperatures detect this sensor as “Drive 2”, while the primary temperature sensor is included in SMART readings. Under constant full load, memory temperatures can reach 82°C, while the controller can hit unbelievable 98 degrees Celsius, which will cause the activation of thermal throttling mechanism, and thus decrease of SSD’s performance.
During constant writing procedures, writing speeds will fall to 1.700 MB/s, which is in accordance to Samsung’s official specifications. After 2 minutes of writing, the controller will start overheating, which will cause writing speeds to drop to 1.000 MB/s. After 6 minutes of writing, the SSD’s overall performance will drop for about 50%, which will cause writing speeds to drop down to 600 MB/s. Keep in mind, however, that no application will cause such performance stress in real life situations, however, these observations point out to the 970 EVO Plus’ overheating problem, which many SSDs don’t have. Under normal load, this SSD works as expected, and its performance levels are phenomenal. Due to its overheating problem, this SSD won’t be very suitable for use in notebooks, and even in desktops it might require an additional cooling solution.