Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2 Terabyte M.2 NVMe SSD
Evolving a bit of EVO
Recently Samsung has released their Plus series of the 970 EVO, let's call this series the supercharged edition of the M.2. 970 EVO drives which on their end were blazingly fast as well already. The one thing missing however is a bigger volume size as everything halted at 1 TB models, and wel yeah that has changed as we just received a nice 2TB unit for review.
Basically, the 960 Pro and 970 EVO series did already have a 2TB model, Samsung waited a bit longer to release a 970 EVO Plus version. The previous models have been based on Samsung 96-layer TLC written NAND paired with a Phoenix controller. The M.2 EVO Plus units will be the popular ones for the enthusiast desktop end-users. Armed with the latest 96-layer (3-bit per cell) NAND flash memory, DRAM caching the new 970 Plus series are based on the latest iteration of the Samsung Phoenix controller, which have been introduced in there OEM PM981 already. Phoenix is a Samsung Polaris Gen 2 controller now delivering up-to 3,500 MB/s sequential read speeds on even the smaller 500 GB and 1 TB versions, with up-to 3,500/3,300 MB/writes for the EVO series. For a little more shock and awe, Random 4KB numbers run up to 500,000 IOPS read and 480,000 IOPS write, which is pretty crazy.
Samsung now has the 970 EVO Plus models available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB volume sizes. Performance wise you'll get a smile on your face. The precise performance values differ slightly per model/volume size though, we'll discuss and show you that on the next page. The 970 Plus series is available in an M.2 (NGFF-2280) form factor (8cm). These units obviously will require PCI-Express 3.0 with x4 lanes as the SSDs are using the latest iteration of the NVMe protocol. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus still offers plenty of endurance, depending on volume size 600 Terabytes written (TBW) for the 1 TB capacity, and double that to 1200 TBW for the 2TB. The EVO Plus series will receive a five-year warranty (or the TBW value - whichever one comes first). These new M.2 units use the NVMe protocol and that means storage technology at hyper-fast speeds while remaining competitive in pricing. The model we test today is capable of passing that 3.5 GB/s marker for reads and close to 3300 MB/second.
The Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD is Samsung’s last generation consumer-ready Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) M.2 form factor SSD with vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology (96 layers/256Gb & stacked). Storage technology keeps advancing at the fast pace it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply excellent as you can reach say 450 MB/s to 500 MB/sec on SATA3 which is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that, over the past year, NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well.
Samsung’s entire 970 M.2 product line is powered by the company’s Phoenix controller. All models follow a smaller M.2 2280 form factor so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine (or just use a PCI-Express daughter card but make sure you have x4 Gen 3.0 lanes available for it). IOPS numbers are in that 500~600K for read and writes marker (depends on volume size). At just one-tenth the weight of a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, the M.2 SSDs are ideal for users looking to upgrade their desktop or ultra-thin PCs with high-capacity, high-performance storage. Usability and compatibility then - remember, you do need a modern motherboard with capable NVMe supported M.2 (PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 lanes connected) interface though, please do check out your motherboard manufacturer for that. Yeah, have a peek, and then let's head onwards into this review.