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Samsung 970 EVO Plus vs SK Hynix Gold P31: The Best NVMe?

Samsung 970 Evo Plus is like a superhero in the field of NVMe SSDs. It is cheap yet pretty impressive in all terms. But, it has a lot of competitors in the market. With almost similar price tags, various companies offer their best-in-class SSD in this range. If you are a regular reader of SSD Sphere, you might be aware that I have compared numerous SSDs with Samsung 970 Evo Plus.

And today with the same idea in mind, I am going to consider SK Hynix Gold P31. I know SK Hynix Gold P31 is a great SSD. I have built numerous systems using it But, when it comes to the comparisons, I know you will have to make one decision and this is what I am going to help you with.

If we talk about the speeds of both, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is capable of reaching 3500 MB/s (read) and 3300 MB/s (write) speed. Impressively, the SK Hynix P31 can also reach up speeds of 3500 and 3200 MB/s. Now, the number looks almost similar and this is the reason why this comparison is totally worth it. However, it is not fine to make your decision with just the theoretical specs. So, I am going to do some benchmarks later in this article. So, keep reading.

By the way, both of them are DRAM-SSDs, which means they have Dynamic RAM as cache memory.

Now, let’s start our comparison without further delays.

Note: If you are here for the benchmarks, you can skip to Heading No. 2 and 3.

I know you would have done all the research regarding these SSDs before coming here. But, I always start with discussing theoretical specifications before anything else. This is why I am going the same here as well. We will compare the specs so that you do not have any confusion in mind.

SpecificationsSamsung 970 Evo PlusSK Hynix Gold P31
Storage Variants250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB500GB, 1TB, 2TB
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4 LanesPCIe 3.0 x4 Lanes
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
Sequential Read Speed3500 MB/s3500 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed3300 MB/s3200 MB/s
Random Read (IOPS)620K570K
Random Write Speed (IOPS)560K600K
TBW Up to 1,200 TBWUp to 1200 TBW
NAND Flash TypeTLC 3DTLC 3D
NVMe CategoryProsumer NVMe SSDConsumer NVMe SSD
Warranty5- Years Limited Warranty5- Years Guarantee
PriceCheck AmazonCheck Amazon

With this comparison, you can see that both the SSDs have almost similar features in terms of speed and reliability. But, we are going to see the real results when doing the benchmark comparisons below.

I have a test PC with an Intel i5 CPU and an 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM. I have tested the Samsung 970 EVO Plus (1TB) multiple times on the same computer. So, I know what kind of results it can offer. But, I am testing the SK Hynix Gold P31 for the first time.

For a genuine comparison, I have tested both the products one by one (yes, Samsung 970 Evo Plus again). The results are as follows.

ParameterSamsung 970 Evo Plus (1TB)SK Hynix Gold P31 (1TB)
Sequential Read Speed2875 MB/s2454 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed 2789 MB/s2174 MB/s
Random 4K Read Speed79.3 MB/s71.3 MB/s
Random 4K Write Speed153.7 MB/s162.3 MB/s

We can see a good difference between the speed limits. But, I am surprised that the SK Hynix Gold (1TB) was beating the 970 EVO Plus in all the random write speed tests. However, if you look at the results overall, the 970 EVO Plus is a clear winner.

Using the same test PC used earlier for the synthetic benchmarks, I ran some software and my Windows OS. Because these both are NVMe SSDs, I was expecting good results in terms of program booting. The results are in front of you below.

Software/OS/GameSamsung 970 Evo PlusSK Hynix Gold P31
Windows 10 Home~14 Seconds~15 Seconds
Adobe Premiere Pro24 Seconds25 Seconds
Adobe Photoshop CC16 Seconds14 Seconds
Blender (Animation Software)32 Seconds31 Seconds
Fortnite34 Seconds39 Seconds
GTA-V29 Seconds28 Seconds

This result is what you call a perfect tie match. Both of these SSDs are going impressive in terms of system and software booting. The SK Hynix Gold P31 beaten the 970 EVO Plus in some tests and in some others, the 970 beat up the Hynix.

There are numerous ways to check and confirm the total endurance of any SSD. But, most of the companies would highlight the total TBW (Terabytes Written) limits of their products. And, this is the most effective method to know how long your SSD is going to last. TBW simply highlights the amount of data your SSD can write on it during its lifetime. So, the higher the TBW, the longer will be the reliability of your SSD.

VariantSamsung 970 Evo PlusSK Hynix Gold P31
250 GB150 TBW
500 GB300 TBW500 TBW
1 TB600 TBW750 TBW
2 TB1,200 TBW1200 TBW

In terms of TBW, both of these SSDs are pretty impressive and offer a good endurance for sure. But, the winner is the SK Hynix Gold P31 for sure. Now, this can be a big point that may end up changing the side of this comparison. Still, let’s go further and cover some more things.

Understanding the Technical Specifications of any SSD is definitely a good thing to make a wise purchase. You should have a good idea about the purpose of a good NAND, Cache memory, and controller. Here, I am going to compare all these aspects and tell you which one is a perfect SSD for you.

Technical SpecificationSamsung 970 Evo PlusSK Hynix Gold P31
NAND Flash TypeSamsung’s TLC 3DHynix TLC 3D
NAND Flash Layers92/96128
ControllerSamsung PhoenixCepheus Controller
Controller ConfigurationsPenta-core, 8-ChannelsArm-based, 4-channel
CacheSamsung’s DDR4 DRAMHyperwrite Cache (Proprietary)

You can see that the SK Hynix Gold P31 has more layers of NAND that means it can store more data using the same size of NAND chip. But, the Samsung 970 Evo Plus’s 8 Channel Phoenix controller will always beat the 4-Channel Cepheus controller in SK Hynix. The DRAM cache in both is really great and almost similar in power and frequency.

The 1TB variant of both these SSDs is going to have almost the same price i.e. ~130-135US$. But, the 500 GB and 2TB variant of SK Hynix Gold P31 is expensive than the Samsung 970 Evo Plus. In the 2TB variant section, the total price difference can vary between 10 to 20 US$. So, overall, you can say that the Samsung 970 Evo Plus is cheaper than the SK Hynix Gold P31.

SK Hynix Gold P31 is definitely a good competitor to the Samsung 970 Evo Plus. But, its prices are a bit higher. But, the EVO Plus is great in all terms whether it is price or the features. Both sequential and random read/write speeds are better in 970 EVO Plus. So, I would definitely suggest you choosing the 970 Evo Plus.

After this comparison, I can’t deny the fact that the SK Hynix Gold P31 is a completely worthy NVMe SSD as well. So, honestly, you will see no issues while using the P31 at any point. So, if you want, you can go for this one as well.

Thanks for reading.