Samsung taught the 970 EVO Plus enough new tricks to keep it on stage but not enough to steal the spotlight. Today we lit the 1TB model, and it panicked like a kindergarten student at the first school recital.
Of the five new 1TB NVMe SSDs we tested over the last couple of months the 970 EVO shows the highest performance on paper. In some workloads, the drive takes a few performance wins but those come in far fewer than year's past when the EVO series was the dominant consumer SSD. Some of the other companies have caught up, overtaken, and now sprinted away in key performance categories
Not every disappointment is purely performance related. Every SSD we compared to the 970 EVO against ships with a 5-year warranty. The 970 EVO Plus ties for the lowest endurance in the 1TB class with 600 TBW. When it comes to pricing, you will pay more for this drive than the SX8200 Pro, HP EX950, and MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro. Paying more to get less is the opposite of a good value.
None of this means we dislike the 970 EVO Plus. The 1TB drive we tested is the first with 3-bit per cell flash we would use in a workstation for heavy workloads. In a heavy write environment, this drive is your best compromise between general and professional application performance. Most of the other drives deliver an exceptional user experience under light workloads thanks to heavy reliance on the cache but prove to be underwhelming when pushed hard.
The issue with this strategy is that Samsung already has the best flash-based workstation/prosumer SSD shipping today in the 970 Pro. Through additional tuning the company may be able to get the EVO Plus series back to the top of consumer performance but for that to happen the series will need to pick up the random read performance a bit more. If I'm paying a premium price for an NVMe SSD in 2019, then I want the premium performance to match.
Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST
The Bottom Line: Samsung's proven reliability keeps the EVO Plus intresting but we feel the company could have done more to improve the user experience.
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