Sales of the Samsung 970 PRO and 970 EVO M.2 NVMe SSDs are due to begin tomorrow (May 7), and it appears that Samsung may be making a last-minute adjustment to their suggested retail prices. An attentive reader has pointed out that two different sections of Samsung's web site are showing product listings for the 970 series. The Samsung Business site is showing the prices as originally announced last month, but the consumer-oriented Samsung site is showing substantially lower prices indicating a 25% cut to the 970 PRO prices and 5-13% cuts to the 970 EVO prices. Neither set of product listings currently gives the option to buy directly from Samsung, and only the business section listings have links to other online retailers. Those linked product listings on CDW, SHI and Zones have prices above either set of MSRPs and do not show immediate availability.

Samsung 970 Product Listings
Drive Samsung US Samsung Business US
970 PRO 512GB MZ-V7P512BW
$249.99 (49¢/GB)
MZ-V7P512E
$329.99 (64¢/GB)
970 PRO 1TB MZ-V7P1T0BW
$499.99 (49¢/GB)
MZ-V7P1T0E
$629.99 (62¢/GB)
     
970 EVO 250GB MZ-V7E250BW
$109.99 (44¢/GB)
MZ-V7E250E
$119.99 (48¢/GB)
970 EVO 500GB MZ-V7E500BW
$199.99 (40¢/GB)
MZ-V7E500E
$229.99 (46¢/GB)
970 EVO 1TB MZ-V7E1T0BW
$399.99 (40¢/GB)
MZ-V7E1T0E
$449.99 (45¢/GB)
970 EVO 2TB MZ-V7E2T0BW
$799.99 (40¢/GB)
MZ-V7E2T0E
$849.99 (42¢/GB)

The product ID numbers for the business and consumer listings differ slightly, with the business section listings showing IDs ending in "E" while the consumer section shows IDs ending in "BW". These may reflect a difference in packaging, but the drive itself is the same. We have asked Samsung for clarification about the pricing and product IDs, but have not yet received a response. The answer to the question of pricing should become apparent tomorrow when major online retailers start selling the 970 PRO and 970 EVO.

NVMe SSD Price Comparison
  240-256GB 400-512GB 960-1024GB 2TB
Samsung 970 PRO
(shipping May 7)
  $249.99 (49¢/GB) $499.99 (49¢/GB)  
Samsung 970 EVO
(shipping May 7)
$109.99 (44¢/GB) $199.99 (40¢/GB) $399.99 (40¢/GB) $799.99 (40¢/GB)
Samsung 960 PRO   $319.25 (62¢/GB) $604.65 (59¢/GB) $1249.95 (61¢/GB)
Samsung 960 EVO $117.99 (47¢/GB) $219.55 (44¢/GB) $432.35 (43¢/GB)  
WD Black 3D NAND $119.99 (48¢/GB) $234.24 (47¢/GB) $449.99 (45¢/GB)  
Intel SSD 760p $116.25 (45¢/GB) $215.45 (42¢/GB) $399.99 (39¢/GB) $1730.01 (84¢/GB)
Plextor M9Pe $119.99 (47¢/GB) $209.19 (41¢/GB)    
HP EX920 $109.99 (43¢/GB) $199.99 (39¢/GB) $349.99 (34¢/GB)  
MyDigitalSSD SBX $84.99 (33¢/GB) $157.99 (31¢/GB) $309.99 (30¢/GB)  
Crucial MX500 (SATA) $69.99 (28¢/GB) $114.99 (23¢/GB) $236.06 (24¢/GB) $472.16 (24¢/GB)

If the lower prices for the Samsung 970 PRO and 970 EVO prevail, then Samsung will be putting a lot of pressure on other high-end NVMe SSDs. Some of the competitors like the new generation WD Black and the Plextor M9Pe are having trouble staying in stock, and the Intel 760p is still above the prices it launched at early this year. All of them would be undercut by the 970 EVO at the new MSRPs, leaving the HP EX920 as the fastest drive that is still cheaper than Samsung.

With an even bigger price cut, the Samsung 970 PRO will only be 25% more expensive than the 970 EVO, rather than carrying a 40% premium. It's still a step up that is unnecessary for most users, but it's nice to see the fastest flash-based SSD under 50¢/GB.

Update: B&H has all of the 970s in stock except the 512GB 970 PRO. Prices are listed at the higher MSRPs, but with "Instant Savings" that bring the final prices down to the lower MSRP values. Amazon has the 1TB 970 EVO in stock at the original higher MSRP.

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  • iwod - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    Is there a reason why SATA drives are cheaper. The BOM cost shouldn't be that much of a difference. Controller prices are only slightly cheaper. Reply
  • Cliff34 - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    The only reason I can think of is a marketing one. They wanted to market nvm as a luxury item.. As such Mark it up. Reply
  • DeepLake - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    How do you know controller prices? Reply
  • Samus - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    It was actually leaked awhile back what phison, silicon motion, and other “kit” controllers cost for ADATA. They are between $12-$17 in 1000 unit quantities.

    Other vendors may pay more or less, but I would imagine the metric is similar.

    Indilinx charged OCZ $13 for the SF2281 up until their purchase by OCZ, as shown in the FTC filing for Indilinx acquisition as it was no longer considered a trade secret. During the 2014 Toshiba buyout, as disclosed in their bankruptcy documents, OCZ reported TSMC charged $10 per chip in 10,000 unit quantities to manufacture the barefoot 3 on the 65nm node through 2012-2013. The ARM licensing fee was 91 cents USD per chip. Had OCZ sold that chip which cost $7 to produce to third parties the market rate of common SSD controllers, you do the math to calculate an estimated profit margin. It’s pretty small.

    Samsung has it even better because they do everything in-house. They don’t really pay anybody for anything, simply just shuffle money around different divisions.
    Reply
  • Chaitanya - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    More mature technology in terms of protocols and controllers so much cheaper to produce compared to NVME drives. Reply
  • peevee - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 - link

    Makes NO sense. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    A lot of technology costs are front-loaded, you need to pay for all that R&D somehow. Reply
  • HStewart - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    I would think a lot of this is because of completion like the Western Digital new Black series especially with it good reviews. I had Dell Rewards from XPS 15 2in1 purchase, so I got the green one basically free - it should be ok - it only in USBC enclosure. If not taken account of GPU and extra cores - the XPS 15 2in1 is better than the new XPS 15 - I curious why the new XPS 15 does not have two Thunderbolt 3's Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, May 07, 2018 - link

    There is bit more room in the 2.5" SATA form factor so there is the *option* of using more but less dense NAND packages to reach a given capacity. However, there has been a push to use fewer packages and channels to cut costs even in the SATA space.

    There is one more factor why M.2 may use higher density (and thus more expensive) NAND is that M.2 cards typically are single sided where as 2.5" SATA can easily be double sided.
    Reply
  • peevee - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 - link

    We are talking about m.2 PCIe vs m.2 SATA. 2.5" has nothing to do with it. Reply

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