News Yes, Samsung Is Swapping SSD Parts Too

Apr 1, 2020
So the $145 Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB, in the article


Vs my $300 Samsung 960 Pro 1TB

$300 well spent...
Although the new version's SLC cache is 173% bigger, it offers 47% lower sustained write performance.
I suspect this is a dynamic cache that shrinks as the drive is filled though? The cache size and performance described here might be accurate when the drive is mostly empty, but how do they compare when the drive is mostly full? I doubt most people are going to get a 1TB SSD just to leave most of that capacity unused, so knowing the performance when the drives are at least three-quarters full would probably be more meaningful, especially if the available cache shrinks considerably under that more realistic usage scenario.

Also, I wouldn't exactly say the component swap was "done right". They might have updated the 12-character part number and spec sheet, but how many people are going to read those? Many retailers probably won't even list that information, just selling the new part in place of the old one. The best way to do this would be to change the actual model number, like call it the 975 Evo Plus or something, so that people are not referencing reviews for an entirely different product when making their purchasing decisions.


I've asked in here many times...
"Has anyone ever, in normal consumer use, had an SSD die from too many write cycles?"

So far, not a one.

"Has anyone exceeded the warranty TBW on their drive?"

Again, crickets.

600TBW vs 1200TBW is irrelevant if you only get to 100TBW in a decade (5 years past the warranty age out number)
  • Like
Reactions: TJ Hooker


Mar 12, 2015
All 7 of my SSDs combined (some of them going back to 2014 in 24/7 use) don't come up to 1/3 of the warranty TBW of the C drive, a 500GB 860 EVO.

oh yeah. its incredibly difficult for an average user to hit TBW limits. Ill have to run the smart on it, but I recently got my 80gb intel x25-m returned to me that I had put into a pc I had built for my grandma (after 6 years as my primary drive.) That drive is 12 years old and I believe the intel app said it had something like 98% life remaining lol
Apr 1, 2020
At least your 960 PRO will outlast the 970 Evo Plus because of MLC (with two bits, not three!)

In 3 years it's had 8TB written to it, it's my dedicated games drive and games really don't write except for updates. In 4 years my 960 Pro 512GB has had 44TB written, as it's my OS drive...At 400TBW for the 512gb and 800TBW for the 1TB, NVMe will be replaced by a new interface standard, or the drive will die, before I get near those.
Many of these drives will be capable of exceeding their TBW rating by a fairly wide margin too. That's just what the manufacturer guarantees, not necessarily a hard limit, much like how a drive is likely to last much longer than its 5 year warranty.

Some manufacturers do lock them down though. I know Intel was one to do that, putting a drive into read-only mode when it hit its TBW limit, though I don't know if they still do that on their consumer drives.
At least they did their best to make it a good variant and changed part numbers. Rather than nerfing it with crap parts. Then try to hide behind the ole official specs are the same routine.

Still, they changed the memory, controller and cache. Why even bother sticking with the same name? People like new stuff. Just call it a 980 Evo and enable the PCIe 4.0 the controller can handle. Placing it between the 980 and 980 Pro. Discontinuing the 970 Evo Plus or simply making limited releases whenever parts are available.
Aug 28, 2021
"The new version is labeled with the MZVL21T0HBLU part number and the old version sports the MZVLB1T0HBLR part number." meanwhile chart below this shows these part numbers in reverse. So which is it?


Aug 13, 2011
I think there's a mistake in the original article.
Samsung 970 Evo Plus Revisions
SSDControllerNANDLPDDR4Part Number
Samsung 970 Evo Plus (New)Phoenix (S4LR020)K9DUGY8J5B-DCK0K4F8E3D4HF-BGCHMZVLB1T0HBLR
Samsung 970 Evo Plus (Old)Elpis (S4LV003)K9DUGY8J5B-CCK0K4F8E3D4HF-BGCHMZVL21T0HBLU
On a hardware level, the original 970 Evo Plus employs Samsung's Phoenix controller (S4LR020) and 92-layer 3D TLC NAND flash with the K9DUGY8J5B-DCK0 identifier. The new 970 Evo Plus, on the other hand, utilizes the Elpis controller (S4LV003).

The table mentions the Phoenix controller belonging to all new Samsung 970 Evo Plus, but the following paragraph and other mentions in the article mention the Elpis controller belonging to the new Samsung 970 Evo Plus. I'm not sure which one is right, but the text of the article and the table contradict each other.
Dec 5, 2021
I just purchased a new 1TB 970 EVO plus from Amazon. It has a manufacture date of October 2021. It has the old hardware. And as such it's using the same firmware that my three 500GB 970 EVO plus drives use.

I also got an Amazon Warehouse 1TB 970 EVo Plus for a lower price. That has a manufacture date of July 2021. That also has the old hardware.

Crystal DIsk Mark shows that both drives have the write speeds of the original specs.

So did they stop making the drives with the new controller and larger SLC cache? Or are they making both versions? I fugure if all the 970 EVO Plus drives were being made with the new specs that my drive manufactured in October 2021 would have the new specs. Not the old specs. I'm not complaining. I did not want to get a drive with the new specs anyway. Since the way I am using these two 1 TB 970 EVO Plus drives has me wrting several hundred gigabytes of data at a time.
Last edited: