Black Friday, love or hate this celebration of materialism, can be an opportunity to snag a deal for those looking to upgrade their Unraid server. With the current chip shortage leading to scarce and overpriced electronics, the discount on these Samsung SSDs does make them somewhat affordable. If you aren’t yet using a cache drive, equipping your system with one will make a massive difference to write speeds. Especially if you spin down your hard disk after being idle for a certain amount of time.
Samsung has a long history of producing high-quality solid-state drives, and the discounted models are no exception. Despite being part of the EVO, line, the 970 EVO Plus has sequential read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/sec and sequential write speeds of up to 3,300 MB/sec. If you can’t tell from the images, it has an M.2 form factor and uses a NVMe (PCIe Gen 3.0 x4) interface.
The 500 GB option has an endurance of 300 TBW (terabytes written), meaning it can be filled and emptied 600 times. The 2 TB model, which is US$300 off, is rated for 1,200 TBW. These drives are also excellent options for upping the storage capacity of a notebook or gaming PC.
The 870 EVO solid-state drive comes in a 2.5″ form factor and connects using the SATA interface. Your Unraid server’s case should have enough space to house at least a couple of these. As SATA drives, these do have slower sequential read and write speeds than their NVMe brethren at 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s respectively. What the drives do share is their endurance: the 870 EVO with a capacity of 500 GB is good for 300 TBW.
Considering that your write speeds to an Unraid cache drive is most likely bottlenecked by a gigabit networking interface, there is no advantage to using an NVMe drive over a SATA drive. Your maximum write-speed will be around 110 MB/s with either option.