How does the Samsung 970 Pro SSD compare to Sandisk Extreme Pro in terms of speed, performance, and price?
When it comes to the SSD market, we have seen Samsung, Intel and SanDisk bring plenty of products over the past few years. All three have competed to dominate the consumer SSD segment, and Samsung’s NVMe Pro series saw a competitor in the form of the SanDisk Extreme SSD series.
We will take a look at the two SSDs in our Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD review.
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – A SHORT PREVIEW
SanDisk Extreme Pro M.2:
Samsung’s NVMe Pro series continues to dominate the consumer SSD segment, but the SanDisk Extreme SSD series is a direct competitor. While Samsung offers premium performance, SanDisk Extreme SSD series comes with a much better price offer. The leading 970 Pro is indeed slightly better than the Sandisk Extreme Pro NVMe, but at a higher price tag (at launch).
The Sandisk Extreme Pro NVMe is aimed at “creative” users, as all SanDisk products, but lately, the category has grown considering SSDs are used by a much wider audience. Lastly, we must note that the Sandisk Extreme Pro NVMe is the exact same drive as the WD Black NVMe (since WD owns SanDisk) – the only difference is the name and the labels.
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – Pros and Cons
Let’s head to a more in-depth look at each drive and see the pros, cons, technical specifications, benchmark test results, and finally reach a verdict.
SanDisk Extreme Pro
What makes the SanDisk Extreme Pro so good is that it offers great sequential performance when you work with large files, but it fails to deliver that same performance when it comes to random workloads.
+ Pros: great sequential performance (creatives-oriented), high overall performance, high quality
– Cons: firmware could use some tuning, no disk encryption
Samsung 970 Pro
When you say Pro, you know you get premium build, features and performance, and for a Samsung 970 Pro, you also get to pay the premium price. Professionals will surely like this SSD since it works great when you thrown heavy sequential write workloads at it. The only category it will lose is when it comes to the price-to-performance ratio, where the Sandisk Extreme Pro gets the lead.
+ Pros: a leader in performance, MLC flash, full disk encryption, great software package, durable
– Cons: Expensive (when launched in 2018)
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Looking at the SSD from SanDisk, we see two capacities – 1TB and 500GB. We will talk about the 500GB version. The Extreme Pro reaches up to 3,400/2,800 MB/s of sequential read/write throughput, according to the official specs from SanDisk.
- Capacity: 500GB
- Interface / Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
- Controller: SanDisk Custom 8-Channel 3-Core
- DRAM: 512MB DDR3
- Sequential Read: 3,400 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 2,500 MB/s
- Endurance & Warranty: 300 TBW / 5 years
Samsung also has the 970 Pro in 512GB and 1TB capacities. The 970 Pro reaches up to 3,500MB/s of sequential read throughput and at 2,300 MB/s (for the 512GB) sequential write throughput. We will choose the 512 GB version, which has 370,000 IOPS of random read performance.
- Capacity: 500GB
- Interface / Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
- Controller: Samsung Phoenix
- DRAM: 512MB LPDDR4
- Sequential Read: 3,500 MB/s
- Sequential Write: 2,300 MB/s
- Endurance & Warranty: 600 TBW / 5 years
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – PRICING
It is important that we first talk about endurance and warranty.
The 500GB model from SanDisk comes with a five-year warranty, covering up to 300TB of data writes. For this model, users would have to pay $229.99 from WD’s shop.
Meanwhile, Samsung offered its 512GB Samsung 970 Pro at $329.99 on their website at launch. There’s also a five-year warranty, covering up to 600 TB of write endurance.
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – Benchmark Test results
SanDisk Extreme Pro – UserBenchmark
- Average Sequential Read Speed: 1770 MB/s
- Average Sequential Write Speed: 1905 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Read Speed: 44.6 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Write Speed: 147 MB/s
- Average Sequential Mixed IO Speed: 1545 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Mixed IO Speed: 66.2 MB/s
- Average Sustained Write Speed: 843 MB/s
- Peak Sequential Read Speed: 1942 MB/s
- Peak Sequential Write Speed: 2235 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme Pro – CrystalDiskMark 6
- Random Write 4KIB (Q 1, T 1): 290 MB/s
- Random Read 4KIB (Q 1, T 1): 39 MB/s
- Random Write 4KIB (Q 8, T 8): 1381 MB/s
- Random Read 4KIB (Q 8, T 8): 1484 MB/s
Through these tests, we see the SanDisk Extreme Pro delivering consistent performance, with good results at heavy workloads, but being weaker when it comes to random performance.
Samsung 970 Pro – UserBenchmark
- Average Sequential Read Speed: 2443 MB/s
- Average Sequential Write Speed: 1990 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Read Speed: 54.3 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Write Speed: 151 MB/s
- Average Sequential Mixed IO Speed: 1286 MB/s
- Average 4K Random Mixed IO Speed: 74.7 MB/s
- Average Sustained Write Speed: 1797 MB/s
- Peak Sequential Read Speed: 2825 MB/s
- Peak Sequential Write Speed: 2215 MB/s
Samsung 970 Pro – CrystalDiskMark 6
- Random Write 4KIB (Q 1, T 1): 250 MB/s
- Random Read 4KIB (Q 1, T 1): 55 MB/s
- Random Write 4KIB (Q 8, T 8): 1525 MB/s
- Random Read 4KIB (Q 8, T 8): 1800 MB/s
As you can see, Samsung 970 Pro does not have a native TLC write speed. However, the new controller and flash combination increased random read performance. The new 970 Pro is only slightly faster at reading random data than the SanDisk Extreme Pro.
NOTE: We used CrystalDiskMark 6 in our tests above to measure sustained speed with large files and small file performance at various queues (Q) and threads (T).
Sandisk Extreme Pro VS Samsung 970 Pro SSD – VERDICT
Compared to the 970 Pro, the Sandisk Extreme Pro did well in all tests, but still lagged a bit behind. We saw a great performance with good results at heavy workloads in the Sandisk Extreme Pro, but when it came to random performance, the 970 Pro was still at the top.
The Samsung 970 Pro was at the top in almost all tests. It also is a champion when it comes to endurance. The only category where it wasn’t able to convince users was in terms of price per performance ratio at the time when it sold at $329.99 (launch price tag), compared to the launch price tag of the SanDisk Extreme Pro – $229.99.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro has now the same price on the WD website and reaches $190 on retailers like Amazon. Meanwhile, the Samsung 970 Pro is now $169.99 on Samsung’s website and has almost the same price tag at various retailers.
We also see a huge price gap at the 1TB versions, where the 1TB SanDisk Extreme Pro is $449.99, while the 1TB Samsung 970 Pro is only $349.99, according to the prices on the brands’ official websites.
If the price would have gotten lower for the SanDisk Extreme Pro as it did for the Samsung 970 Pro, we would have chosen the SanDisk Extreme Pro for the balance in price/performance ratio.
Strangely enough, SanDisk hasn’t changed its prices as Samsung did and this makes the Samsung 970 Pro the best SSD in our review. Surpassing the competition not only in performance but also in endurance and all of that at a lower price, the Samsung 970 Pro is a clear winner.