Youtuber discovers adjustments to Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD

A Chinese youtuber discovered that Samsung recently delivered a modified version of the 970 EVO Plus SSD. The new version has slower sustained performance, but when copying large files, the performance is reported to be less.

According to the Chinese YouTuber, the modified version of Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus SSD has a new memory controller that Tom’s Hardware suspects is the Elpis controller that is also used in the EVO 980 Pro. The modified 970 EVO Plus also features a much larger slc cache: 115GB instead of the original 42GB. However, when that cache fills up, write speeds drop significantly.

The ‘old’ version of the 970 EVO Plus SSD had write speeds of 1750MB/s. If the slc cache contained 40GB of data, the write speed then dropped to 1500MB/s. The new, modified version has a write speed of 2500MB/s until the 115GB slc cache is full. Then the write speed is reduced to 800MB/s. This version of the 970 EVO Plus SSD therefore has a slower sustained performance, although some performance of the models is comparable. The modified version of the 970 EVO Plus was even slightly faster after copying a 154GB video file.

In a comparison test, the YouTuber also noted that the modified version of the 970 EVO Plus SSD became warmer than the original version. However, according to Tom’s Hardware, nothing is known about the conditions in which these tests were performed.

Original version (left) and modified version of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Earlier this month, it was announced that Western Digital and Crucial had modified the hardware of their SSDs without any form of communication. Western Digital had replaced the nand memory of the WD Blue SN550 NVMe SSD, causing write speeds to drop from 849MB/s to 390MB/s when the slc cache filled up. The company promises to introduce new model numbers from now on if it adjusts an internal SSD.

Crucial was also in the news at the beginning of this month. Tom’s Hardware noted that the company equipped its P2 SSDs with qlc-nand instead of tlc chips without changing the model name. According to tests, the performance of the qlc variants is significantly less than that of the tlc variants.

Samsung adapted the specification list and the packaging for this modified version. However, the company did not communicate explicitly about the adjustment. Reportedly, the company is making the adjustments to the SSDs, because it is struggling with chip shortages.

Update, 5:40 PM: pn numbers listed on Tom’s Hardware removed.