Samsung Unveils Its Fastest SSDs Yet, 970 Pro And 970 Evo Available Soon

Speed reading and speed writing.

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Solid-state drives have become a standard when it comes to high-performance computing and gaming PCs, and these fast drives have taken a leap with the NVMe interface available at the consumer level. One of the leaders in ultra-fast storage, Samsung, is pushing the speed of its SSDs even further with the introduction of the 970 Evo and 970 Pro M.2 NVMe SSDs, which will be available on May 7.

Samsung's 970 family of SSDs succeeds the 960 family with a sizable boost in write speeds. The previous 960 Pro has a maximum sequential write speed of 2,100 MB/s while the new 970 Pro can reach up to 2,700 MB/s. Both Pro models have a maximum sequential read speed of 3,500 MB/s. Samsung's slightly more affordable Evo line gets an improvement on both ends, however. The 960 Evo achieves up to 3,200 MB/s max read speed and 1,900 MB/s max write speed, but the 970 Evo bumps read speed to 3,500 MB/s and write speed to 2,500 MB/s. This essentially closes the gap between the Evo and Pro models.

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2TB Samsung 970 Evo (top), 1TB Samsung 970 Pro (bottom).
2TB Samsung 970 Evo (top), 1TB Samsung 970 Pro (bottom).

For context, Samsung's high-end but more affordable SATA III SSD, the 860 Pro, can achieve up to 560 MB/s read speed and 530 MB/s write speed. This is still plenty fast for booting up programs and minimizing load times in games, but the newer NVMe interface allows drives like the upcoming 970 Pro and 970 Evo to operate about six times faster than the standard SATA III SSD. It comes at a fairly hefty cost, though. The 970 Evo drives are available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB, but cost between $120 to $850. The 970 Pro comes in two capacities: 512GB and 1TB. But the cost-per-gigabyte is even higher with the drives priced at $330 and $630, respectively.

The following chart outlines the storage capacity and price of all the Samsung 970 SSD models that will be available on May 7:

SSD ModelPrice
250GB 970 Evo$120 / £100
500GB 970 Evo$230 / £194
1TB 970 Evo$450 / £375
2TB 970 Evo$850 / £710
512GB 970 Pro$330 / £275
1TB 970 Pro$630 / £526

The 960 Evo and 960 Pro aren't slouches by any means, but if you're looking for the fastest storage drives possible, then the 970 Evo and 970 Pro will soon be the top option. It's also worth noting that most motherboards only have one M.2 port; upgrading from one M.2 drive to another means you'll be losing the capacity of your previous drive if your motherboard has this limitation.

For more on PC hardware, check out our Intel Core i7-8700K CPU review, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti review, or AMD RX Vega 64 review. If you're out of the loop as to why video cards cost still cost so much, catch up on how cryptocurrency mining is driving GPU prices extremely high.

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