Samsung 970 EVO Review (500GB) | Client SSD

The New M.2 NVMe Worth/Efficiency Champ

Almost two years in the past, Samsung launched their Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO to main fanfare. These two juggernaut introductions along with their enterprise cousins additional established Samsung’s place because the undisputed chief in M.2 form-factor NVMe SSDs. On the time, the business had been dealing with an enormous scarcity of NAND which slowed down product introductions throughout the board, however as NAND provide has lastly begun stabilizing, corporations at the moment are lastly introducing some new merchandise to as soon as once more reignite demand.

Lately, Samsung launched the Samsung 970 EVO and the Samsung 970 PRO which can substitute the getting older Samsung 960 EVO and 960 PRO. Just like earlier generations, the EVO shall be based mostly on TLC NAND whereas the PRO shall be based mostly on MLC NAND nevertheless, with this era of drives, Samsung is focusing their consideration on the EVO drives, which they’ve possible realized would be the hottest for this era. Taking a fast take a look at the specs, we will see why.

Samsung 970 Collection Specs

Mannequin970 EVO970 PRO
ControllerSamsung Phoenix
NANDSamsung 64-layer 256Gb TLC 3D V-NANDSamsung 64-layer 512Gb TLC 3D V-NANDSamsung 64-layer 256Gb MLC 3D V-NAND
Sequential Reads3400 MB/s3500 MB/s
Sequential Writes1500 MB/s2300 MB/s2500 MB/s2,300 MB/s2,700 MB/s
4K Random Learn (QD32)200,000370,000500,000370,000500,000
4K Random Write (QD32)350,000450,000480,000500,000
InterfacePCIe Gen three x4, NVMe 1.three
Type IssueM.2 2280
EncryptionAES 256-bit, TCGG/Opal, IEEE1667
Guarantee5 Years Restricted

Wanting on the specs, we will see that the Samsung 970 EVO is getting the most important variation of capacities starting from 250GB to 2TB. It’s additionally getting an enormous efficiency bump as properly and a minimum of in rated efficiency, there’s little or no distinction when in comparison with the 970 PRO. So far as the interior elements, the 970 EVO is powered by Samsung’s 2nd era 3D TLC V-NAND together with the brand new Samsung Phoenix controller which we’ll get into in a bit.

With a purpose to attain these ranges of efficiency, Samsung has stored and in addition improved the Clever TurboWrite function we first noticed launched with the Samsung 960 EVO two years again. For many who want a refresher, Clever TurboWrite is Samsung’s method of enhancing TLC NAND write efficiency by dynamically re-purposing as much as a specific amount of NAND onboard to quicker SLC mode for caching functions solely. For instance, the 2TB Samsung 970 EVO is able to re-purposing as much as 78GB.

Samsung 970 EVO Clever TurboWrite

Default MeasurementFour GBFour GB6 GB6 GB
Dynamic Measurement9 GB18 GB36 GB72 GB
Complete Measurement13 TB22 GB42 GB78 GB
TurboWrite Efficiency1,500 MB/s2,300 MB/s2,500 MB/s2,500 MB/s
Native TLC Efficiency300 MB/s600 MB/s1,200 MB/s1,250 MB/s

Whereas there are not any variations when it comes to the dimensions of the TuboWrite cache from the 960 EVO, Samsung has managed to squeeze out further efficiency on the 970 EVO possible because of the quicker controller or a extra environment friendly algorithm.

Guarantee on the Samsung 970 EVO is rated at as much as 5 years with endurance now starting from 150TB to 1,200TB. This places the endurance score of the Samsung 970 EVO 2TB as the identical because the 970 PRO 1TB. For almost all of shopper workloads, this could outlast the helpful lifetime of the drive.


A Nearer Look

For our evaluate in the present day we’ve the Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD.

Included within the packaging is the Samsung 970 EVO 500GB together with some documentation.

Right here’s a take a look at the Samsung 970 EVO 500GB. The drives consists of two NAND packages, a DRAM package deal, and the brand new Phoenix controller.

The Samsung 970 EVO additionally consists of the warmth dissipating drive label which we first noticed launched with the Samsung 960 collection SSDs. The drive label helps distribute warmth evenly throughout the drive and finally dissipate it.

The brand new controller on the Samsung 970 EVO is the Samsung Phoenix controller which is a 5-core ARM controller. Whereas little element has been offered as to what every of the cores do, it’s protected to say that this can be a very highly effective controller because it’s not solely employed right here, however in lots of Samsung’s prime finish enterprise SSDs as properly. For improved warmth dissipation, the controller package deal is now coated with nickel.

NAND onboard is Samsung’s 256Gb Samsung 64-layer TLC 3D V-NAND. Samsung is ready to cram eight dies per package deal right here making a complete of 512GiB.


Testing Setup

Particular because of CyberPowerPC, Kingston, OCZ Know-how and HSPC for sponsoring our check bench!


Samsung Magician Utility

Right here’s a take a look at Samsung Magician. Because the utility hasn’t been up to date for the 970 collection fairly but, just a few particulars concerning the drive can be found. Together with the Samsung 970 EVO, Samsung will even be delivery a NVMe driver which can permit the drive to realize its most efficiency.



ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.46

ATTO Disk Benchmark is likely one of the business’s oldest and hottest benchmarks for testing disk learn/write speeds. This benchmarks permits learn and write testing utilizing predefined block sizes and provides us a good suggestion of learn/write speeds with totally different sized information. Most SSD producers want utilizing this benchmark when promoting SSDs because it exams utilizing compressible knowledge, which tends to yield greatest efficiency.

Efficiency Evaluation

Right here’s a take a look at ATTO Disk Benchmark. Right here, the drive is definitely capable of obtain ~3GB/s sequential reads and ~2.4GB/s sequential writes. Efficiency right here is stellar regardless of the very fact we’re taking a look at a drive with TLC NAND.


Crystal Disk Mark x64

Crystal Disk Mark is one other widespread benchmark which permits us to measure each sequential learn/write speeds in addition to random learn/write speeds. With this benchmark, checks might be run utilizing each random fill (incompressible knowledge) and zero fill (compressible knowledge). Realistically in typical pc utilization situations, knowledge being transferred will include a mix of each incompressible and compressible knowledge.

Efficiency Evaluation

Once more, wonderful efficiency in Crystal Disk Mark and no distinction in efficiency was famous between uncompressed and compressed knowledge. The drive was capable of obtain a most learn efficiency of ~three.2GB/s and most write efficiency of ~2.4GB/s.


PC Mark 7 Storage Benchmark

The PC Mark 7 storage benchmark is a hint based mostly benchmark that evaluates the SSD underneath many various actual world environments comparable to gaming, multimedia modifying, and so forth. PC Mark 7 makes use of a comparatively mild workload, which represents a typical mainstream shopper storage sub-system workload.

As of June 2015, we’ve additionally modified our comparability charts to make use of the PC Mark 7 Uncooked Secondary Storage Rating. The uncooked rating extra successfully highlights efficiency variations between drives because it reductions idle time between checks.

Efficiency Evaluation

In PC Mark 7, the Samsung 970 EVO 500GB got here in with a uncooked rating of 12,650, which is simply behind the MLC NAND based mostly Samsung 950 PRO and Samsung 960 PRO.


PC Mark eight Expanded Storage Benchmark

With the introduction of PC Mark eight, Futuremark added the choice for an Expanded Storage Benchmark which is actually designed to deliver any storage system its absolute limits. The new PC Mark eight Expanded Storage Benchmark takes round 24 hours to run and for our functions, we’ll be utilizing the consistency check which measures efficiency consistency, degradation tendency, and restoration velocity of a storage system.

Consistency Check

Full particulars on the consistency check might be discovered within the PC Mark eight Technical Information right here. For the extra simplified model, the check is principally a close to 24 hour, 5 part benchmark – three of which we’ll be reporting on in our outcomes under.

  • Part 1 is a precondition part designed to “dirty” the drive with random knowledge. The whole drive is crammed twice to the capability of the drive.
  • Part 2 is a degrade part the place the drive is hammered with tons of random knowledge adopted by a efficiency check run. That is finished eight occasions.
  • Part three is the regular state part the place the drive is as soon as once more hammered with tons of random knowledge adopted by a efficiency check run. That is achieved 5 occasions.
  • Part Four is the restoration part the place the drive is given 5 minutes to relaxation adopted by a efficiency check run. That is finished 5 occasions.
  • Part 5 is the clear up part the place the drive is just safe erased.

Efficiency Evaluation

In PC Mark eight’s Expanded Storage Benchmark, the Samsung 970 EVO was very shocking because it was capable of carry out just like the MLC NAND based mostly Samsung 960 PRO in heavy workloads whereas on the similar time, carry out extraordinarily nicely in mild workloads because of its dynamic SLC caching system.


FIO (Versatile I/O Tester)

FIO, which stands for Versatile I/O Tester, is principally what its identify says – a versatile I/O tester / I/O workload generator. Whereas all of the benchmarking instruments we’ve used beforehand are implausible, straightforward to make use of benchmarking instruments that present a superb snapshot of SSD efficiency, they do lack a variety of versatility, particularly for extra complicated and in-depth operations reminiscent of customized queue depths, block sizes, check run occasions, and so forth. Whereas the testing that follows might not pertain to typical shopper utilization, they do assist give us a way more in-depth take a look at every particular person product’s strengths and weaknesses once they’re pushed to the bounds.

FIO – FOB (Recent Out of the Field) Testing

When SSDs are model new and Recent Out of the Field, they’re usually capable of carry out at or outperform their marketed speeds, however in contrast to conventional arduous drives, efficiency on SSDs start to degrade over time as they turn into increasingly used. It’s because whereas SSDs are new, all bits on the SSD are empty, to allow them to immediately be programmed with knowledge. Nevertheless, as soon as knowledge will get programmed in, even when it’s deleted within the filesystem the precise knowledge will nonetheless keep programmed on the NAND itself until some kind of rubbish assortment routine is available in to wipe the info. Sadly, in an effort to write new knowledge onto “dirty” NAND, the NAND first must undergo an erase cycle to erase the previous knowledge earlier than a program cycle can occur to program new knowledge, which as chances are you’ll think about takes extra time than only a easy program cycle. As this solely occurs when writing new knowledge onto the SSD, you’ll usually see much less efficiency degradation on reads and extra efficiency degradation on writes.

For our FOB testing, we run a safe erase on the SSD then run every check sans any preconditioning. It will present us with the very best degree of efficiency the SSD is able to and is probably going by no means to be seen ever once more as soon as the SSD goes right into a used state.

Our testing will embrace 4K learn testing, 4K write testing, and 4K 70/30 learn/write combine testing at queue depths of 1,2,Four,eight,16,32,64,128,256. The rationale we’ve additionally included 4K 70/30 learn/write combine testing is just because most actual world workloads will all the time fall someplace between zero% write and 100% write quite than one or the opposite. Since shopper utilization is far more learn heavy, we’ll be utilizing the 70/30 learn/write combine.

For basic shopper utilization, efficiency will fall someplace between queue depths of 1-Four whereas servers and different enterprise purposes will simply see queue depths of 32 or larger.

Efficiency Evaluation

Recent out of the field efficiency was extraordinarily good as anticipated. Within the combined workload testing, we will see that Samsung has executed some optimization on the 970 EVO for workloads beneath QD4.


FIO – Regular State Testing

After extended use of an SSD, it’ll attain “steady state” the place efficiency ranges off to a minimal degree. The FOB state is the “best case scenario” for SSD efficiency whereas “steady state” goes to be your worst.  Right here, we ran the very same set of benchmarks we simply accomplished within the FOB state; besides this time round, we’ll be preconditioning the drive by filling 100% of the drive’s LBAs with two sequential passes of 128okay knowledge adopted by hammering the drive for six hours with 4K random knowledge previous to precise testing.

Efficiency Evaluation

Just like what we noticed from the earlier era Samsung 960 EVO, the Samsung 970 EVO’s regular state efficiency was extraordinarily good though in our testing it was barely slower than the bigger capability earlier era drives.


FIO 4K Random Write Consistency Testing

One other one of many advantages of testing with FIO is the pliability of operating consistency checks, which is among the most necessary metrics when contemplating SSDs going ahead. Wanting on the outcomes of our benchmarks comparable to ATTO Disk Benchmark and Crystal Disk Benchmark, we will see that virtually each prime tier SSD is able to saturating SATA 6Gb/s within the FOB state. Nevertheless, what actually differentiates these SSDs is their means to carry a sure degree of efficiency even after prolonged durations of use.

For our consistency testing, we used a reasonably normal technique, which incorporates each filling up 75% of capability in addition to 100% capability twice with sequential 128okay knowledge adopted by the precise check itself, which is just operating 4K random writes at a queue depth of 32. By recording the IOPS each second for two,000 seconds, we’re capable of get an excellent take a look at what sort of efficiency may be anticipated when the drive is comparatively new, when it’s heading in the direction of regular state, and when it’s truly in regular state.

Efficiency Evaluation

Just like the Samsung 960 EVO, the Samsung 970 EVO maintains robust efficiency consistency all through.


FIO 4K Random Write Latency Testing

One other metric that’s turning into more and more necessary in SSDs is its means to maintain latency low regardless of being subjected to a heavy workload. Even when a SSD have been able to extremely excessive and extremely constant IOPS efficiency, if latency have been excessive, customers would nonetheless really feel that the drive is sluggish. Ideally, SATA SSDs ought to all the time be able to latencies beneath 50ms, even throughout heavy workloads.

For latency testing, we’ll be utilizing the very same testing parameters as IOPS consistency testing, besides as an alternative of recording IOPS each second, we’ll be recording latency.

Efficiency Evaluation

Latency could be very constant as nicely with most latency beneath 2ms even through the heaviest write masses.



When Samsung launched 3D TLC NAND a number of years again, it was clear that it will grow to be the last word mass market NAND product for the buyer market. Whereas TLC NAND had fairly a little bit of challenges within the 2D planar NAND area when it comes to efficiency and endurance, 3D TLC NAND is freed from many of those points which has resulted within the success of the Samsung’s EVO lineup of SSDs. With the Samsung 970 EVO, Samsung additional solidifies 3D TLC NAND’s significance by bringing much more efficiency and endurance on the similar pricepoint.

Talking of efficiency, the Samsung 970 EVO is definitely one of many quickest SSDs we’ve examined up to now. In our testing, we have been capable of obtain the rated three.2GB/s sequential reads and a couple of.6GB/s sequential writes in lighter workloads extra consultant of these present in typical shopper purposes. Whereas in extraordinarily heavy use circumstances, the Samsung 970 PRO will doubtless be a greater match, the Samsung 970 EVO would be the beneficial drive for many shopper use instances.

The Samsung 970 EVO is priced at $119.99 ($zero.48/GB) for the 250GB capability, $229.99 ($zero.46/GB) for the 500GB capability, $449.99 ($zero.45/GB) for the 1TB capability and $849.99 ($zero.42/GB) for the 2TB capability. These costs are nonetheless across the similar ballpark as what the Samsung 960 EVO launched for a number of years in the past and nonetheless considerably greater than the mid ~$zero.30/GB price-point discovered on comparable capability SATA drives. Hopefully because the NAND market continues to stabilize all year long, we’ll see costs drop to the excessive ~$zero.30/GB vary, but when it doesn’t, these are nonetheless very aggressive pricepoints for a prime of the road drive. So far as availability, Samsung is rolling out each the Samsung 970 EVO and 970 PRO on Might seventh so it’s not fairly right here but, however it’s not that distant both.

Finally, the Samsung 970 EVO represents yet one more iteration of fantastic Samsung SSDs and can doubtless be probably the most profitable M.2 NVMe shopper SSD for the corporate. These trying to improve to the newest and biggest in storage know-how, however are additionally trying to maximize bang for the buck will discover the Samsung 970 EVO the right drive to suit the invoice. Extremely beneficial!



Pattern offered by: Samsung

Availability: Might 7, 2018

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