SSD cards are the simple solution to increasing your computer’s storage capacity which will speed up its overall performance. SSDs replace traditional mechanical hard disks and instead use flash-based memory, which is significantly faster. Older hard-disk storage technologies run slower, which often has a slowing effect on your entire computer.
SSDs are pretty much essential for gamers, as once your hard drive gets filled up with downloads and files, it’ll take longer to install and run games. On the other hand, even if you’re not a gamer, without an SSD you’ll notice a significant lag when using your computer for general tasks, which can be frustrating.
On the contrary, with an SSD that has fast reads and writes you’ll notice the performance of your computer will be significantly enhanced: downloads will be shorter, loading times quicker, and overall you’ll get a much faster response time, whether you’re browsing the web, doing office administration, or gaming.
Whereas once upon a time an SSD card would have been pretty expensive, getting a good quality SSD no longer means having to break the bank, with many manufacturers recognizing the market for a product that offers both performance and affordability.
The Intel 600P and Samsung EVO 970 are two similar SSDs that offer this combination. Both come in a range of capacities and have a sleek M.2 form factor. They’re also roughly around the same price point.
However, there are a few ways in which these SSDs differ, and today we’re going to be comparing them to see which one comes out on top. Keen to find out which one will give you the most bang for your buck? Keep reading.
The Intel 660P series has a thin, M.2 80mm form factor and comes in a range of capacities – from 512 GB to 2TB – so there’s a range of capacities to suit different storage needs.
For general web browsing or office work, a smaller capacity will do the job, whilst high-end gamers will want to opt for the 1 or 2 TB capacity. The 660P range is the first QLC-based client PCIe* SSD in the industry, and as expected from intel, it combines quality manufacturing with low-cost and high-capacity.
This SSD delivers capacity-optimized NVMe* performance in a small package that’s great for entry-level gamers and everyday browsers alike.
Samsung’s 970 EVO line delivers speed and reliability in a range of capacity options, from 250GB-2TB. This M.2 80mm SSD is accelerated with V-NAND and Intelligent TurboWrite technology which makes it a great choice for high-end gamers and 4K video or 3D design editors.
Samsung has designed the 970 EVO to be highly durable thanks to its nickel-coated controller and heat spreader for superior heat dissipation. The stand-out feature of this SSD is its excellent read and write speeds, which we’ll go into more detail on later in this article.
We’ve given you an overview of both the Intel 660 and 970 Evo, but let’s compare their specifications to see how they hold up alongside one another.
- Both offer capacities up to 2TB
- Both come in the M.2 form factor
- Both offer a 5-year limited warranty
- Both use PCIe* 3.0×4, NVMe*
- Both claim to offer affordability and performance combined
- The 970 Evo offers faster sequential reads and writes
- The 970 Evo also has a higher random read and write rating
- The Intel 660P comes in a lower minimum capacity (512 GB)
- The 970 Evo has a better endurance rating
Now that you’ve seen the specs and the similarities and differences between the Intel 660P and the 970 Evo, let’s have a look at the features of each of these SSDs in more detail, to get a better understanding of their performance and endurance ratings, and who they’re best suited for.
By “form factor” we mean the size and physical configuration of the device. Both the Intel 660P and 970 EVO come in an M.2 form, which is a slimmer alternative to the 1.8″, 2.5″, 3.5″, and 5.25″ traditional SSD forms.
Both of these SSDs connect via the PCle 3.0×4 interface, and the Intel 660P was in fact the first QLC-based client PCIe* SSD in the industry.
However, both of these SSDs combine high performance and capacity while minimizing module footprint. So, in terms of form factor and interface, these are pretty equal.
Both the Intel 660P and 970 EVO come in a variety of different capacities to suit a range of computing needs.
Both SSDs are available in a maximum capacity of 2 TB, however, the 660P offers a smaller minimum capacity at 512 GB, compared to the 970s 250 GB, this makes the Intel 660P that little bit more accessible for those who don’t require a massive amount of storage, and just want to speed their computer up or back up files and photos.
This is when the competition really starts to kick in! The 970 Evo offers a higher sequential reads and writes speed than the Intel 660P: processing sequential reads at a speed of 3,500MB/s, and sequential writes at 2,500MB/s compared to the Intel’s 1,800 MB/s.
Sequential read and write speed basically means how quickly the drive can read or write data. However, don’t be immediately discouraged by the Intel, as it still offers super quick loading times and responsiveness.
In terms of image performance though, the 970 Evo is well ahead of the Intel 660P and offers 32% faster write speeds than Samsung’s previous generation. The higher sequential write speed means that the Evo can handle large packets of data more effectively than the Intel, making it better for processing raw image capture and 4k UltraHD video.
The Evo also offers a Random Read (4KB, QD32) up to 500,000 IOPS, meaning it can handle more operations per second. Again, in terms of random read and write speed Intel still performs well, offering up to 220,000 IOPS.
However, we have to say that, overall the 970 Evo is miles ahead in terms of speed and performance, making it ideal for gamers and video editors alike.
The 970 Evo will transform your high-end gaming experience and is able to streamline graphic-intensive workflows thanks to its Phoenix controller and Intelligent TurboWrite technology. On the other hand, for everyday use, the Intel 660P is more than competent.
Both of these SSDs are pretty durable and are covered by 5-year limited warranties which is music to any SSD buyer’s ears. Intel’s QLC Technology is built on a unique architecture that claims to provide “performance, high capacities, quality, and reliability.”
Due to the lower write speed, its endurance could be better, but the Intel 660P is still a great SSD for those looking for something that can take on mundane, daily tasks like general web browsing or admin work. So for most people, the durability of the Intel 660P will more than suffice.
However, Samsung has gone the extra mile in ensuring maximum durability and reliability in the 970 Evo: their advanced nickel-coated controller and heat spreader dissipates heat, while the Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and maintains optimal operating temperatures to minimize performance drops.
It’s also worth considering the capacity, as this determines to some extent the endurance of the drive, as lower capacities will wear out faster. This is where it’s important to consider what you’ll be using the SSD for.
Very few people will be writing a significant amount of gigabytes of data onto their drive daily, but if you are in that minority, it’s definitely worth opting for the 2TB version of either model.
It’s worth noticing that the 2TB version of the SSD 970 EVO is rated at 1,200TBW, which matches the rated reliability of the 1TB SSD 970 Pro – an enhanced version of the 970 EVO. So for graphics-heavy operations, high-end gaming, or video editing, the 2 TB 970 EVO is definitely a wiser choice.
The great thing about both of these products is that they’re both designed to combine performance and affordability, so whether you go for Intel or Samsung, you’re pretty much guaranteed an SSD that will deliver.
The 1TB version of both the Intel 660P and 970 EVO cost about the same, although the Intel is ever so slightly cheaper, and also offers the advantage of coming in a smaller minimum capacity than the 970, meaning those looking for a low capacity SSD for everyday use can get theirs at an even cheaper price.
Another good thing about the Intel 660P is it’s frequently on offer, so you may be able to grab it for an even lower price than usual.
In terms of availability, all of the Intel 660P SSD drives are currently available on Amazon at a competitive price.
For overall value for money, and considering the small differences in price, we think the 970 Evo steals the spotlight in this case, offering fast read and write speeds, excellent durability and reliability, and great performance for operating graphic-heavy operations and 4K video.
So, what’s the final verdict?
The Intel 660P and 970 Evo are two high-quality SSDs that are manufactured by two renowned technological giants: Intel and Samsung. However, while these both perform well, there are a few distinct differences that make these SSDs best tailored towards slightly different uses.
Let’s start with the similarities: both of these come in the M.2 form for fast, convenient connection via the PCle 3.0×4 interface, and both combine high performance and capacity while minimizing module footprint.
The 660p and 970 Evo are also alike in the sense that they offer a maximum capacity of 2TB, although the 660p comes with a smaller minimum capacity, which is ideal for those who don’t need the overkill of a larger drive.
In terms of performance and durability, this is where the two start to differ. Don’t get us wrong, both of these devices are great, and either way, you’re covered by Intel and Samsung’s 5-year warranty.
The 970 Evo however stands out due to its faster sequential and random read and write speeds, which make it far more capable of handling big packages of data – particularly applications or games using graphics and 4K video.
The Intel isn’t too far behind, and your average everyday user will find the 660P is more than sufficient at boosting their computer’s response time, however, it’s designed more for entry-level gamers or office use, rather than high-end gaming, and this is where you’re likely to see the main difference in its performance compared to the 970 Evo.
This also links in with durability. The Intel 660P performs well, but not quite as well as the 970 Evo, which is primed for heavier usage and has rated reliability of 1,200TBW. We also like the fact that the Dynamic Thermal Guard automatically monitors and maintains the device’s optimal operating temperatures to minimize performance drops and maximize efficiency.
In terms of cost, there wasn’t too much of a difference, and we’d argue that both of these products offer a significant bang for your buck.
We have to admit though, in this instance, the 970 Evo seems like the wisest choice, as for a few dollars extra you get faster reads and writes, which could make all the difference, particularly if you’re a gamer.