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Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD Review - The 96-Layer Refresh

By: Chris Ramseyer | SSDs in Storage | Posted: Jan 30, 2019 7:25 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Samsung

1TB Class Performance Testing


Product Comparison




Samsung's 2019 release officially makes this a party of next-generation NVMe SSDs. The EVO Plus joins the ADATA SX8200 Pro, HP EX950, MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro, and Western Digital Black SN750 as companies usher in 2019 with new products.


Sequential Read Performance






The 1TB 970 EVO Plus delivers sequential read performance more like the 970 Pro than the previous generation EVO. Many of the "next-gen" NVMe products reach the 3,500 MB/s possible with PCIe 3.0 x4, but nearly all consumer workloads use low queue depths, so the peak performance at high queue depths is virtually irrelevant.



Sequential Write Performance






The sequential write test using burst data shows the 970 EVO Plus without equal. Until now, we just assumed 3,000 MB/s sequential write performance was the upper limit of PCIe 3.0 x4 after overhead, but that's not the case.


Sustained Sequential Write Performance




In this test, we write 128KB block data to the drives in a single stream across the entire user area. The TurboWrite of both 970 EVO SSDs write at the same speed as the 970 Pro. The dynamic sized buffer falls off quickly, and this is where we see a 300 MB/s difference between EVO and EVO Plus.


Users can write to nearly 50% of the overall capacity before seeing any signs of inconsistency from thermal throttling.


Random Read Performance






We expected the EVO Plus to close the gap on the drives using the SMI SM2262EN controller, but that didn't happen. We saw a small gain over the previous generation 1TB EVO SSD, but the drive never reached 970 Pro levels or the massive 18,000 IOPS in our test. To be clear, our test uses bursts of data, so our numbers are slightly lower than every company's random read performance claims, but they are down for all drives.


We will have to see how the lower than expected random performance impacts application workloads on the next page read.


Random Write Performance





The 970 EVO Plus didn't see an increase in random write performance either with a single worker in our test software. The new flash and Samsung's controller optimizations do increase performance through better efficiency, but you need more applications running off more than a single CPU core to get the full benefit.


70% Read Sequential Performance






The efficiency increase comes through in the sequential mixed workload test. Here, the EVO Plus breaks new ground for QD2 70% reads and leaves the other drives well behind. The BPX Pro closes the gap at QD4, and the WD Black SN750 joins the group at QD8.


70% Read Random Performance






The 970 EVO Plus' random performance shines though in the mixed workload test. I'm hesitant to call the performance lackluster because most companies about love to score nearly 33,000 IOPS at QD2 in this test. The problem is the nearly 45,000 IOPS coming from the new drives with the SM2262EN controller and Micron 64L TLC flash.

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