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Watch out for Samsung and Western Digital: SSDs change characteristics without warning – Frandroid


SSD manufacturers change some components without warning on their products. Problem: It can reduce performance.

There are several sizes of M.2 SSDs

The shortage affects all types of components, even SSDs. To keep stock, it seems that some brands have agreed to make concessions on the quality of their products, without warning consumers.

A change of controller

To define the performance of an SSD, we focus on two components: the flash memory chips (NAND) which will store the data, and the SSD controller responsible for managing everything. These are the two important parts of an SSD. A YouTube channel in Asia spotted by the Computerbase website noticed that Samsung had modified the controller and the NAND memory of its Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB, without indicating it in the specifications.

Controller brand changes from Phoenix to Elpis

Controller brand changes from Phoenix to Elpis

The practice is not unprecedented in the tech sector. It often happens that there are several types of models for a product, through its different revisions, without the manufacturer necessarily warning of changes. This can be done due to constraints on the supply chain, or if the manufacturer needs multiple suppliers. Sony has for example launched a new model of PlayStation 5 without announcing it with some changes.

The problem is, these changes can impact product performance.

Good for Samsung, less for Western Digital

Thus, according to the tests, the new model of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus which has been discovered offers generally equivalent performance. According to the tests, it is sometimes faster than the previous one on certain spots, and sometimes slower.

The new model is on the right

The new model is on the right

On the other hand, for other products, the distinction is unfortunately clearer. Thus, the new model of Western Digital WD Blue SN550 offers significantly reduced cache-free write performance. Where the classic model reached 849MB / s, the new version drops to 390MB / s. This at the same time invalidates the tests in the press. The problem is that Western Digital does not give the keys to the consumer to find out which model they are buying. Impossible to know if we will fall on the first or the second version.

Following this case, Western Digital indicated that the firm would change the product reference in the future if it had to change the components of a product with performance different from those advertised.

It is understandable that manufacturers make these kinds of concessions to ensure stocks, but there is a real need to improve transparency with consumers.


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