Two weeks ago, Samsung launched its new 970 EVO and 970 Pro SSDs. The new drives use 64-layer 3D NAND, offer MLC (970 Pro) and TLC (970 EVO) NAND, and are expected to outperform the 2016 960 EVO and 960 Pro SSDs. The launch prices, however, were a bit steep on the 970 Pro. Now that the drives are on-sale, we can see that they’re coming in well below expected price. We were expecting the 970 Pro at $330 for 512GB and $630 for 1TB, while the 970 EVO (See on Amazon) was $230 for 500GB and $450 for 1TB.
However, the actual drives are coming in well below these price points, PCWorld reports. Over at Newegg, the 970 Pro 512GB is $250 and the 1TB drive is $500. The 970 EVO’s cuts are smaller, at $200 for 500GB (-$30) and $400 for the 1TB (-$50). In both cases, however, the cuts are over 10 percent. The 970 Pro’s cuts are over 20 percent in both cases.
The cuts are important because they put the 970 family back on the cutting edge, as far as its price/performance ratio relative to other hardware. Reviews had shown that the 970 EVO had roughly equivalent performance to the Western Digital Black 3D, with the latter holding a small edge in overall performance. With these changes, the 970 EVO is now undercutting WD, giving it a small price/performance advantage.
It’s worth noting that the performance gains when shifting from a conventional SSD to an NVMe SSD like the 970 Pro or 970 EVO won’t be nearly as large as the gains from upgrading from an original HDD. If you’ve never used an SSD before — and by this point, it’s generally assumed that most enthusiasts run them — the gains from NVMe and the use of PCI Express are such a tremendous kick that an SSD is easily the best upgrade you can buy to improve the speed of a general purpose system.
While the benefit of upgrades is obviously tied to the needs of the individual applications one uses, SSDs are somewhat unique in that they improve virtually every compute task or process that relies on local storage access — which is nearly everything, at one point or another. Obviously M.2 drives can’t be natively dropped into older systems, but there are PCIe cards that can convert an M.2 card to drop into a PCIe slot, like the below:
If you’ve still got a spinning drive and haven’t upgraded yet, these latest rounds of drives are a solid opportunity to do so. While SSDs still lack the price/GB ratio that would let them match hard drives, they’re more than large enough to hold a set of current games (older titles or games with non-demanding storage needs can still be run off a larger HDD), your OS, and miscellaneous other files.