Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD Review


We have reviewed the updated, upgraded and better, Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 500GB SSD. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus upgrades Samsung’s 970 EVO 64-layer 3D NAND to the new Samsung 9*-layer 3D NAND, more layers, and a higher density. In addition, the firmware has been improved, and the actual interface bus speed between the controller and NAND has also been increased. While the SSD remains a PCIe Gen3 PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD, it now has what many PCIe Gen4 SSDs have, higher density NAND flash.

The sequential read speed is rated at 3500MB/s on all capacities, but the write speed does vary. The 250GB model has a write speed of 2300MB/s, the 500GB model has a write speed of 3200MB/s, and the 1TB and 2TB models have a write speed maximum of 3300MB/s. This being the EVO model, this is a TLC 3D NAND-based SSD. There is not a PRO version of the “Plus” unfortunately.


In the application storage testing, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB was on top of the graph in every test. It was the fastest in PCMark 10 and the fastest in PassMark PerformanceTest. It was as fast as 8% over the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB SSD. In the throughput testing, we found its read and write performance, especially in sequential to exceed every SSD on the graphs. Write performance was exceptionally greater than the Samsung 970 EVO at times, sequential write was 7% faster, but random write was 21% faster.

In the disk copy benchmarks the Samsung 970 EVO Plus was slightly faster in program data, but faster in mixed file size data. When it came to large file size copy though, the Samsung 970 EVO 1TB had the advantage. With game load times we found the Samsung 970 EVO Plus was the fastest SSD and was 9% faster than the Samsung 970 EVO. With workstation applications, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus was vastly superior to the Teamgroup MP34 and ADATA XPG SX8100, and 5% better than the Samsung 970 EVO.

Our overall performance conclusion is that sequential performance was improved the most with the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. However, more importantly, and specifically, the write performance was improved the most, not the read. Even random write performance was improved, which matters a lot. The advantage wasn’t so much on the read performance, but rather the write performance with this drive on both sequential and random. The results are real and tangible. We also did see improved game loading time.


The Samsung 970 EVO Plus does seem to run cooler than the Samsung 970 EVO. However, this will depend on the capacity you get. One advantage the Samsung 970 EVO Plus has is that it is single-sided, even at 1TB and 2TB models. This makes cooling it easier, and it also makes it better suited to laptop installations.

We do recommend you use your motherboard’s M.2 heatsink spreader, but that simple heatsink should be all you need to keep it well cooled and from throttling. Even under heavy stress ours only hit 50c with that motherboard heatsink installed. Without it, we could see it hitting the upper 60’s at the least, and that’s cutting it close. The 970 EVO got up to 63c with the heatsink, which shows how hot the older version got. The 970 EVO Plus is an improvement at least.

Samsung Magician Software

What is there to say, Samsung’s Magician Software is pretty much one of the best SSD software programs for SSD features we’ve come across. The UI is beautifully built, and the interface is intuitive. We also commend it for having a benchmark built-in that you can also compare results with, keep a history of, and export the results. That’s a robust utility.

In addition, it has a disk scanning ability to check for disk problems, which is very useful to see if your SSD’s endurance is doing well. It also reports the Terrabytes or Megabytes Written to the drive so you can see the health and how close it is to your TBW. It has a specific overprovisioning selection to help prolong the endurance of your SSD, as well as optimization features, Secure Erase and Encryption. And of course, you can upgrade the firmware. This software is feature-rich, and that’s what we want from an SSD application.

Final Points

In 2021, if you are looking for a fast, reliable, and well-made SSD, choosing a PCIe Gen3 SSD is still a viable option. It’s still a viable option when SSDs like the Samsung 970 EVO Plus exist. Now that this SSD has been out for a couple of years, prices have fallen from their original launch prices. This makes obtaining a high-quality, fast PCIe Gen3 SSD more affordable now and a great option instead of shelling out a ton more for a PCIe Gen4 SSD.

You can save some cash and still get really good performance in 2021 from your SSD. The 500GB model we reviewed today is only $94.99 on Samsung’s webpage now, which is down from the launch price of $129.99 when it was launched. If that isn’t enough capacity for you, the 1TB version is only $149.99 now, and the 2TB model is $329.99. The 1TB model is at a real sweet spot, and you get the fastest write speeds on it. Any way you look at it, these are still great options in 2021 and the “Plus” really is a plus.


Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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