Samsung Magician

Samsung has its SSD software called Samsung Magician.  This provides information, a benchmark, and functionality for the SSD.  We are using the latest version at the time of writing, 6.3.0.

The first area you come to is drive information which lists the SSDs in your system plus benchmark results if you have run the built-in benchmark.  If you haven’t click Benchmark All for it to benchmark your drives.  Then you can see how they all compare.  It also shows the drive health and temperature.  For drive health, it shows the actual GB or TB written to the drive so you can compare that with its quoted and rated TBW spec.  If you click the comparison button you can get a quick way to compare the performance of your drives in one simple view.

Under Drive Details, you receive a more in-depth view of hardware configuration.  This shows the serial number, interface version, firmware, and NVMe driver being used.  This is all-important information for diagnosing performance issues.  You can also click the S.M.A.R.T. button to see S.M.A.R.T. information if you are having problems.  We did a firmware check, and our drive is using the latest version of the firmware.

The Performance Benchmark area is specifically for running the benchmark, it allows you to view results but also export them.  It keeps a history of results.  It shows you sequential read and write, and random read and write.

The Diagnostic Scan will scan your drive for errors or abnormalities.  There is a quick run option and a long full-scan option.

There is an Over Provision tab, and the Samsung 970 EVO Plus does support custom overprovision, which is a great thing to see.  You can customize the size, by default it has 46GB overprovisioned. 

There is a Performance Optimization tab that shows features of the SSD support for improving performance.  This drive supports TRIM, but not Rapid Mode or Full Power Mode.

Secure Erase is supported on this SSD, but you will need to set up a bootable USB drive first.

PSID Revert is not supported on this SSD.  However, it does support Encryption, you will just need to enable it.

Installation

Installation went smoothly after we inserted the drive.  Samsung does have a specific NVMe driver on its website that provides the best performance, optimizations, and security and bug fixes.  It is recommended that you install this Samsung NVMe driver.  We installed the latest version, version 3.3.  In CrystalDiskInfo you can see that the firmware shown is 2B2QEXM7 and the Interface is NVM Express on PCIe 3.0 x4 with the 1.3 protocol.  The drive supports S.M.A.R.T., TRIM, and VolatileWriteCache.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 500GB CrsystalDiskInfo

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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3 Comments

  1. Not a bad little drive, and they have come down significantly in price.

    Right now I am struggling when it comes to what drive to use for an SSD cache drive on a server, where constant heavy writes are a factor.

    WAY back I would have had to pay big bucks for a tiny SLC drive for something like this. Can’t find those anymore.

    More recently Samsung’s Pro drives were MLC and had some pretty serious write endurance.

    The latest gen Pro drives (980 Pro) now appear to be TLC, and it has me a little concerned.

    That said, these things are so cheap now, so maybe I’ll just get a couple of 500GB or 1TB Inland Premium drives for $59.99 or $119.99 respectively, and just beat the crap out of them until they are worn out and replace them.

  2. The 860 Pro drives are MLC, and MLC is def the way to go for write endurance, they may be SATA, but if you are after that endurance prices are cheaper now on them. You are right, Samsung has gone a little backwards with the 980 Pro, being TLC, Pro to me always meant MLC on Samsung, not happy with that trend.
  3. The 860 Pro drives are MLC, and MLC is def the way to go for write endurance, they may be SATA, but if you are after that endurance prices are cheaper now on them. You are right, Samsung has gone a little backwards with the 980 Pro, being TLC, Pro to me always meant MLC on Samsung, not happy with that trend.

    Yeah, I am torn.

    The truth is, that with each generation of controller, NAND quality and whatever magic makes the controllers work (write amplification, wear balancing, DRAM cache’s etc.) improves. There is a reason you essentially can’t buy an SLC drive anymore. They just aren’t necessary. MLC got better to the point where it could fill that role.

    The question is, have we gotten to the point where TLC is really ready to supplant MLC in high write applications?

    My old 512GB Samsun 850 Pro SATA drives I have been using as write cache for years are MLC and are rated at 150TBW each. At 69,000 power on hours, and 317110382829 LBA’s (~147.6 TB) written they are both listed at a wear leveling count of 30%, so they are starting to get close. (well, I mean, if 70% wear came in 69000 hours, that means I have ~30,000 hours or 3.5 years left, but I don’t want to push it TOO far)

    The aforementioned Inland Premium drives are Phison E12 TLC drives. The 512GB model (to keep it as close to an "apples to apples" comparison as possible) is rated at over 5x the write endurance, at 780TBW.

    If these numbers are accurate, and measured the same way Samsung did on my old 850 Pro’s, maybe MLC really is no longer needed? I mean those old MLC 850 Pro’s are going to give me a projected final lifespan of 11.25 years in my high write environment. If the Inland Premiums truly get 5.2x longer life, that should give me 58.5 years. I don’t know if I’ll be around in 2080 (probably not unless we see some amazing medical progress!), but I suspect my current server build will be long obsolete…

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