Pros

Mind-blowing real-world file transfer performance; unmatched endurance thanks to MLC NAND

Cons

Average performance in standard desktop activities; nearly triple the cost per GB of SATA SSDs

Star Rating

Installation and Test Setup

Box

To put the 970 Pro to the test, we used our newest benchmarking rig, equipped with the following core components:

  1. CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K
  2. Motherboard: Asus Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi
  3. Memory: Corsair 4x8GB Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3600
  4. Operating System: Windows 10 Flash Drive

We benchmarked it against two other drives: Samsung's pioneering first-gen 950 Pro 512GB, which we first tested in 2016, as well as the top-selling Crucial MX500 1TB drive, one of the very best offerings on the SATA market today.

To further help readers who are new to the PCIe interface or the M.2 form factor generally, we've put together an installation video that walks you through how we installed the 970 Pro in our test system.

Note that while Microsoft provides default NVMe drivers as part of the Windows 10 installation, Samsung recommends the use of its own NVMe driver for peak performace. The NVMe drivers are for the motherboard's storage controller, not the SSD itself, and are available on Samsung's website. You can see confirmation that Samsung's drivers are installed below:

Samsung Driver

With the setup process out of the way, we can get into our benchmarks. Note that while benchmark jockies will always test their SSDs empty, results generated this way are pretty meaningless, as they present a best-case scenario that simply can't exist in the real world where you're actually using your drive. Without data on them, SSDs don't serve much purpose, do they? We therefore filled each of our drives to approximately 50% of their capacity to run all of our tests.

Let's now move onto our benchmarks to see how the 970 Pro fares when faced with the challenges we set out for it!

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