To this point, with every iteration of the EVO series, Samsung has been able to maintain a clear performance advantage over the competition. However, this time it's not so clear-cut as we are accustomed to seeing. As we see it, Western Digital's newest NVMe offerings are a serious threat to Samsung's performance domination on the TLC front.
The reason why Samsung always held a clear performance advantage over their competitors was due in main part to Samsung's superior V-NAND flash. Samsung's TLC flash is possibly still the best, but we aren't so sure about that anymore. Toshiba and Intel/Micron's 64-layer TLC flash is really good. So good that Samsung's clear lead has almost, if not completely evaporated.
Last month Western Digital actually snatched the TLC performance crown from Samsung with their second generation WD Black and Extreme Pro. In-fact it may go back even further than that because it could be argued that Plextor did it with their M9Pe series powered by 64-layer BiCS 3 TLC flash. Then there is SMI coming on strong with their SM2262 controller paired with IMFT 64-layer TLC flash.
This is actually what we have wanted to see for a long time. True competition that will turn into a battle for the lowest price. Samsung is aware of this as evidenced by their lower than normal MSRP pricing for the 970 EVO. It is priced identically to WD's newest offerings at each similar capacity point, and that's not something we've seen before.
So, is Samsung's 970 EVO the best performing TLC SSD on the market? In our opinion, the answer is yes. Here's why. First off, the 1TB 970 EVO set many lab records which cannot be ignored. The 970 EVO and Western Digital's latest and greatest perform very close to one another when running moderate workloads, and synthetic benchmarks. So, we need to analyze heavy consumer workloads for our answer.
When we analyze heavy consumer/workstation type workloads, the 970 EVO is clearly superior to any other consumer-based TLC on the market. It delivered almost 50% better performance than the WD offerings when running our 70/30 workload testing. That is huge. It delivers superior performance to all other consumer TLC SSDs when running in a steady-state. Additionally, it is the most responsive TLC SSD we've tested to date per SYSmark 2014 SE.
These reasons are why we are handing back the consumer TLC performance crown to Samsung. However, like we stated previously, Samsung's clear TLC performance lead over the competition is gone. We had to break it down further than ever before to feel comfortable in stating that the 970 EVO is the best performing TLC-based SSD available at this time. But who knows, that could change with a simple firmware update from WD or SMI.
Because TweakTown tests SSDs with the drive running as our system (OS) disk, we are in a relatively unique position to comment on what matters most - actual user experience. The user experience delivered via the 970 EVO is outstanding. Everything about the way your system performs when running a 970 EVO as your system disk is Tier-1. This is why Samsung's 1TB 970 EVO is TweakTown recommended.
- Overall Performance
- High Endurance
- Included Software
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: The 1TB 970 EVO is the best performing consumer TLC SSD we've tested.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Drive Specifications, Pricing & Availability]
- Page 2 [Drive Details]
- Page 3 [Test System & Drive Properties]
- Page 4 [Synthetic Benchmarks - ATTO & Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 5 [Synthetic Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark & AS SSD]
- Page 6 [Benches (OS) - Vantage, PCMark 7, PCMark 8 & SYSmark 2014 SE]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks (Secondary) - IOPS, Response & Transfer Rate]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks (Secondary Volume) - PCMark 8 Extended]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks 70/30 Mixed Workload & Sustained Seq. Write]
- Page 10 [Maxed-Out Performance (MOP)]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]