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By gum(stick): Samsung speeds up 970 EVO Plus drive

Cut-price unit takes WD's heatsink-toting SSD to the cleaners too

Samsung has updated its 970 EVO SSD gumstick SSD to boast numbers that beat Western Digital's fancy heatsink-sporting SN750.

The Plus version of the 970 EVO has the same capacity levels as the original: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. It has a higher 3D NAND layer count than the 970 EVO's 64, but Samsung wouldn't provide the actual figure, saying only that it was between 90 and 99.


Samsung 970 EVO Plus

As before, the cells are TLC (3bits/cell) and employ a write cache region using SLC (1bit/cell) technology.

  Random Read IOPS Random Write IOPS Sequential Read Sequential Write
970 EVO 500,000 480,000 3.5GB/sec 2.5GB/sec
970 EVO Plus 620,000 560,000 3.5GB/sec 3.3GB/sec
SN750 515,000 500,000 3.47GB/sec 3.0GB/sec

These are "up to" numbers and we've included Western Digital's SN750 for comparison.

The 970 EVO Plus is 24 per cent faster than the 970 EVO at random reads, 16.7 per cent quicker at random writes, and has had a 32 per cent increase in its sequential write speed.

The 970 EVO Plus is also faster than Western Digital's latest M.2 drive, the SN750, beating it on all four measures.

The speed improvement comes in part from decreasing the read and write latency in each die to around 50µs and 500µs respectively. This is a 30 per cent improvement.

The EVO Plus can endure up to 1,200TB written and has a five-year warranty. All models are available now except the 2TB variant, which should arrive in April. It needs 512Gbit chips to stay single-sided while the others use 256Gbit chips.

Unlike WD's SN750, Samsung has not fitted a heatsink for the 970 EVO Plus but has improved its thermal dissipation, meaning it can write 86 per cent more data than the 970 EVO before it gets throttled back to stay within temperature limits.

The 970 EVO Plus supports encryption so you can repel data snoops.

The new drive is less expensive than its predecessor, with an MSRP of $89.99 for the 256GB variant, compared to the 970 EVO's $119.99 for the same capacity at launch in April 2018. Thank you, supply-and-demand gods. ®

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