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Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD Review

If you have a friend who knows a thing or two about computers, then you might have heard the notion that “upgrading to an SSD will change your life.” A little dramatic, but we stand by what we preach. Compared to the mechanical HDD most of you probably have in your laptop or PC, yes, even a SATA SSD will be life-changing.

But we’re not here to talk about SATA, are we? We’re checking out some absolute next level stuff. This is NVMe, baby.

Today, we’re checking out the Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD. Launched just last April, this is one of the fastest, if not the fastest SSD in the world right now.

Test Setup

The machine used to test the drive for this review is the video editing PC we use at our studio. It has a Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 3 motherboard, Intel i7-7740X, and 16GB of G.Skill Trident Z Memory.

The board supports NVMe, though we didn’t use the 970 Pro as the boot drive.

Performance and Benchmarks

The most straightforward way to test the speed of a drive is to transfer a bunch of files and see how long it takes. In this instance, we transferred a whopping 160GB folder to the 970 Pro. It’s worth noting that we used TeraCopy instead of the Windows File Explorer, but the difference in performance is negligible.

Given that the origin drive of the files was a mechanical HDD, the result is not blazing fast, but nonetheless still good at 165MB/s, or roughly 10GB in one minute.

Next up is CrystalDiskMark, another simple but standard drive benchmark. Here, we see amazing numbers that are actually up to the manufacturer’s claims.

Samsung claims that the 970 Pro has a maximum sequential read speed of 3,500MB/s and a maximum sequential write speed of 2,700MB/s, and this is exactly what we are getting in CrystalDiskMark.

On the subject of the minimum average read speeds though, let’s check out HD Tune Pro. We are getting roughly 1,200MB/s, which still, is very fast.

The raw numbers we have here will make any hardware enthusiast blush, but seeing more real-world performance is what most users would be concerned with. For this, here are our results in Blackmagicdesign’s Disk Speed Test and Adobe Premiere Pro export test.

This particular test proves that the 970 Pro, particularly the 1TB variant, makes a great media drive for video editing rigs. It will be able to handle pretty much any video codec you throw at it, including Cinema DNG Raw and 10-bit in all their high-bitrate glory.

As for a video export with Premiere, this will still largely depend on how powerful your CPU and GPU are and how much RAM you have, but make no mistake, a fast drive to export to makes a sizeable difference.

In this example, we did not even use GPU acceleration for the export, yet out 5-minute test project exported in 5 minutes and 44 seconds, which is very close to the golden project time to export time ratio of 1:1.

We chose not to test using the 970 Pro as a boot drive, or with games, as the only thing that would improve here is boot/loading time. The improvement you can get using a SATA SSD over a mechanical HDD will already be as good as it gets. Using an NVMe drive for your OS and games will only result in diminishing returns.

Conclusion

The Samsung 970 Pro is a great SSD that definitely deserves its mantle as the current fastest in the world. It is so much so that most people probably don’t even need it.

If, however, you’re in the business of content creation, especially video editing, then it definitely should be on your wishlist, especially the 1TB one.

The Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD is available at Amazon for USD 495.99. See listing here.

Samsung 970 Pro 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD specs:
Form Factor: M.2 (2280)
Interface: PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Storage Memory: Samsung V-NAND 2-bit MLC
Sequential Read: Up to 3,500 MB/s
Sequantial Write: 1,024 GB: Up to 2,700 MB/s
Controller: Samsung Phoenix Controller
Encryption Support: AES 256-bit Encryption (Class 0), TCG/Opal, IEEE1667 (Encrypted drive)
Dimensions: 80.15 X 22.15 X 2.38 (mm)
Weight: 8.0g


Joey graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking from the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde last March 2017. A filmmaker by heart, he has since put aside cinema to focus on his other passion, technology. PCs, mechanical keyboards, audio, cameras, and gaming are among his biggest tech interests.

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3 Responses

  1. deuts says:

    Holy cow! Pwedeng pwede yan sa Mi Notebook Pro ko! Akin na lng yan! :D

  2. Rick says:

    Pwede po kaya to sa mac book pro mid 2012 as part of uograde from HDD to SDD. Not sure if the mid2012can support nvme interface. Pls reply. Thanks.

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