Samsung 970 EVO 1TB NVMe SSD Review

Posted 25 June 2018 14:28 CET by Jeremy Reynolds

Conclusions

The Samsung 970 EVO is a positive step forward for Samsung and it is clearly very fast, having set new records in most of our standard tests.

However, Samsung’s competitors are closing in with their new products and the sort of clear lead that Samsung enjoyed in the 960 EVO/PRO era is no longer apparent.  In the coming weeks I will be publishing reviews for two more of these competitors – the Corsair MP300, and the Toshiba OCZ RC100. Leaving Intel’s Optane based solutions to the side for the moment, we are beginning to see the same lack of differentiation between NVMe solutions that we have seen with SATA solutions for some time.

So, I thought it would be worthwhile to draw out some key factors to form a summarised view that perhaps enables readers to see the wood for the trees as we go forward.

NVMe drives Comparison Summary

The summary includes the following factors:

  • The best price for the drive that I tested, as found on amazon.co.uk at the time of publishing (Samsung 970 EVO 1TB – £309, Adata SX8200 480GB – £123.20) converted to a price per GB.
  • Endurance – the amount of data that can be written to the drive within a 5 year period and for the drive to remain in warranty, stated as the number of GB that can be written per GB of the drive’s user capacity. So, for example, the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB is warranted for 600TB of writes and the GBs that can be written per GB of user capacity is 600,000 / 1,000 = 600GB.
  • The Sequential Writes and Reads and Random 4K Writes and Reads results from our OakGate FOB Tests
  • The PCmark8 ‘Real World’ Storage Benchmark score
  • The Anvil Synthetic Benchmark score

The best result for each factor is highlighted in green.  Other drives will be added to the NVMe Comparison Summary as we move forward.

Some observations on the Comparison Summary to date –

The Samsung 970 EVO is winning in most of the performance benchmarks, but the SX8200 hits back hard with sensational low queue depth random results, which makes the SX8200 an excellent system drive.

It’s interesting to note that the difference in the PCMark8 Storage benchmark results is marginal and this suggests to me that the user experience to be gained from each drive would be very similar – or to put it another way I very much doubt that a user could tell the difference.

The Samsung 970 EVO has good endurance for a consumer drive (To my knowledge, and curiously, Adata hasn’t stated an endurance level for the SX8200).

There’s not much in the pricing but it is clear that Samsung has lost any clear price advantage that they may have enjoyed in the past.

So, which drive would I choose?  First thing to declare is that I would be very happy with either.  Forced to make a choice, I would choose the SX8200 as a system/boot drive.  Probably the best thing to do would be to select the capacity that you want and then go with the best price per GB you can find.

It’ll be interesting to see where things get to as we review and add more drives to the comparison in the near future.

I found the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB listed on Amazon for GBP £309.00.

I am pleased to award the Samsung 970 EVO our highest rating of Outstanding.