Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD Card Review

Manufacturer: Samsung Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD Card Review

We recently looked at Samsung’s first PCI Express 4.0 SSD with our 980 PRO review, and today we have more high performance solid-state storage from Samsung – in a very different form factor.

Arriving in the form of standard-size SD cards (their lineup before today included only microSD cards), these are the PRO Plus marketed ‘for professionals’ and EVO Plus marketed ‘for creators’.

We received the 128 GB capacity of each version, and both of these new options carry the highest SD Association SD Speed Class ratings (U3, Class 10) for minimum sequential write speed.

Both the PRO Plus and EVO Plus fall under the 4K UHD Video Speed Class with a V30 rating, and Samsung is advertising up to 90 MB/s writes from the PRO Plus, and up to 100 MB/s read speeds from both cards.

Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD Card Review - Storage  8
Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD Card Review - Storage  9
Product Specifications

Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus Product Specifications

  • Density: 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, 32GB
  • Interface: UHS-I (Compatible with HS interface)
  • Form Factor: SDXC (32GB SDHC)
  • Speed Class:
    • PRO Plus: All capacities U3, Class 10
    • EVO Plus: 256/128GB U3, Class 10; 64/32GB U1, Class 10
  • Reliability: Waterproof / Temperature-proof / X-ray proof / Magnet-proof / Shockproof / Drop-proof / Wearproof
  • Warranty: Ten-Year Limited Warranty
Pricing

PRO Plus

  • 256GB: $49.99
  • 128GB: $25.99
  • 64GB: $16.99 (available November 8th)
  • 32GB: $9.99 (available November 8th)

EVO Plus

  • 256GB: $39.99
  • 128GB: $19.99
  • 64GB: $12.99
  • 32GB: $6.99
Manufacturer Description

“Samsung SD Card is the right memory card that enables quick transfer of a large number of files with its high performance. Advanced NAND technology is applied to achieve impressive speed and capacity improvements, most notable in the PRO Plus/ EVO Plus 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB, which now
reach maximum UHS-I read speeds of 100 MB/s. PRO Plus and EVO Plus provide outstanding durability and reliability to allow users to capture precious moments anywhere, anytime.”

Performance Testing

Running a couple of common benchmarks to see what these SD cards are capable of, I made use of the Intel NUC 9 Extreme system we reviewed back in April, which integrates an SDXC slot supporting up to UHS-II interface cards. We only need UHS-I here, which supports up to 104 MB/s (an overview of the bus standards can be found here).

CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0 x64

First we have the results from CrystalDiskMark, run with default settings:

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Left: Samsung PRO Plus; Right: Samsung EVO Plus

As you can see from the CrystalDiskMark results, the sequential read speeds we recorded with the PRO and EVO versions were identical at 97.11 MB/s at queue depth 8, and 95.85 MB/s at QD1. The separation here is obviously write speeds, which are 83.45 MB/s QD8 for the PRO Plus, 66.69 MB/s QD8 with the EVO Plus.

ATTO Disk Benchmark 4.01.0f1

Next we look at results from the ATTO Disk Benchmark, run at the default settings (QD4):

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Left: Samsung PRO Plus; Right: Samsung EVO Plus

With ATTO the read speeds topped out at an identical 93.61 MB/s with the PRO and EVO versions, with write speeds reaching 82.05 MB/s with the PRO Plus and 65.27 MB/s with the EVO Plus.

SanDisk Extreme Comparison

For a point of reference I also tested a SanDisk Extreme 128GB card on hand, which offers the same Speed Class ratings (U3, Class 10, V30) as these Samsung cards. I paid around $40 for this card in early 2019, and its replacement (which claims to 150 MB/s reads) is currently selling for the same price.

Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus SD Card Review - Storage  12

The 128GB PRO Plus and EVO Plus finished on top with the 97.11 MB/s read speeds seen in the CDM results earlier, and that number was enough to edge out the SanDisk Extreme’s 95.84 MB/s result. I will note that my version of the Extreme is only rated for 90 MB/s, so it overachieves impressively here.

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There is a small victory for the SanDisk Extreme 128GB in the write tests, topping out at 84.30 MB/s – about 1 MB/s faster than the 83.45 MB/s result from the PRO Plus 128GB.

I added my SanDisk Extreme 128GB card to the mix here since I use these cards in various capacities due to their excellent performance, and while my 128GB Extreme did offer slightly higher read speeds, I find this version to have been replaced by a model that advertises up to 150 MB/s reads, but lower 70 MB/s writes.

Pricing and Conclusion

An important part of the equation when comparing these new Samsung cards to options like the SanDisk Extreme we tested is, naturally, price. The PRO Plus carries a list price of $25.99 for the 128GB version we tested, with the 128GB EVO Plus at $19.99 for the same capacity.

The EVO Plus offers the same sequential read speeds, with about 20% lower sequential write speeds compared to the PRO Plus. This is reflected in the price, with the 128GB version of the EVO Plus carrying a list price of $19.99, which is 23% lower than the PRO Plus.

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  • Samsung PRO Plus SD Cards
    • 256GB: $49.99
    • 128GB: $25.99
    • 64GB: $16.99 (available November 8th)
    • 32GB: $9.99 (available November 8th)
  • Samsung EVO Plus SD Cards
    • 256GB: $39.99
    • 128GB: $19.99
    • 64GB: $12.99
    • 32GB: $6.99

Overall, I find the value proposition from Samsung to be excellent with both the PRO and EVO Plus, considering the $25.99 / $19.99 list pricing for the 128GB models we tested, and with the highest density models providing 256GB of fast SDXC storage for list pricing of $49.99 / $39.99 for PRO/EVO.

Bottom line: Samsung has jumped back in to the full-size SD market with competitive high-end cards that offer a nice mix of performance and price.

Review Disclosures

This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.

How Product Was Obtained

The memory cards are on loan from Samsung for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The memory cards remain the property of Samsung but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Samsung provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Samsung for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Samsung has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases made through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

5 Comments

  1. willmore

    Did they have an Application rating as well? I can’t tell from the photos if they’er A1 rated. From the performance, I’d guess they didn’t make the A1 performance level.

    Reply
    • Sebastian Peak

      Well, considering these are full-size SD cards and not microSD, I doubt they have any A rating – considering that would be the Application Performance Class for Running Smartphone Apps. Though I did own a smartphone c2015 that took full-size SD cards (Motorola MPx200).

      Reply
      • willmore

        There are devices other that phones which use memory cards–various consoles and such.

        Reply
        • Sebastian Peak

          Obviously. But you referenced A1 performance, which is a smartphone performance class rating.

          Reply
  2. razor512

    Seems like those evo cards may have moved to QLC flash given the performance disparity. The pro plus card may be TLC NAND, as compared to older cards, its write speeds is rather slow for the capacity until it saturates a UHS 1 bus.

    Reply

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