Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSD review: PCIe 4.0 for the win

The Samsung 980 Professional is right here to take again the crown—after which some. Whilst its predecessor, the 970 Professional, received and in the end misplaced its SSD efficiency identify to warmer pageant, this newest technology buries all of them.

In fact, to witness the greatness, you’ll want a pc with the PCIe software interface, which lately approach late-generation AMD Ryzen. With PCIe, the 980 Professional continues to be very good, however simply on a par with the highest pageant.

This evaluate is a part of our ongoing roundup of the most productive SSDs. Cross there for info on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.

Design and specifications

The 980 Professional sports activities the similar 2280 (22 mm large, 80 mm lengthy) shape issue as all mainstream NVMe SSDs, and it arrives naked—no warmth spreader incorporated. 

The controller is a Samsung in-house Elpis design. The NAND is Samsung’s TLC V-NAND, which the corporate refers to as Three-bit MLC. Samsung knowledgeable me that there are “1xx” layers within the NAND. What the heck that suggests, I will be able to’t inform you, however with 40 p.c extra capability it most likely approach there are round 128 layers.

The DDR4 DRAM cache varies by way of capability. You get 512MB of cache at the 256GB pressure ($90 when it turns into to be had) and 512GB pressure ($150 on AmazonTake away non-product hyperlink), and 1GB of cache at the 1TB style we examined ($230 on Amazon). The yet-to-be-priced 2TB style could have 2GB of cache.

The ones sticky label costs position the Samsung 980 Professional within the higher tier of NVMe SSDs by way of value consistent with gigabyte. In brief, it’s pricey. The drives elevate a five-year restricted guaranty. The prohibit is 150TBW consistent with 256GB of capability ranking. TBW stands for TeraBytes Written over the lifetime of the pressure.

That ranking is slightly low for a premium-priced pressure. Nonetheless, it represents 41GB written consistent with day over 10 years—much more information than the common person will write (reads don’t depend). A big a part of the common sense in the back of tying warranties to TBW scores is to deter endeavor use of inexpensive shopper SSDs.

samsung980 pro front black Samsung

Samsung’s 980 Professional blows away each NVMe SSD we’ve examined when used together with PCIe With PCIe, it’s nonetheless top-notch, however now not just about as spectacular. Particularly given the fee and rather low TBW ranking. 


The 980 Professional greater than lived as much as Samsung’s claims of 7GBps studying and 5GBps writing by the use of PCIe four, a minimum of with CrystalDiskMark 6, which we use for comparability with a big frame of earlier trying out. Actual-life transfers can’t contact any of the factitious effects, as Home windows has turn into a moderately huge bottleneck in efficiency, however the 980 Professional nonetheless aced them.

Once more, PCIe four lately approach late-gen AMD Ryzen. Rumors counsel Intel would possibly beef up PCIe four with its upcoming 11th-gen Rocket Lake CPUs, however not anything’s showed.

Generally, we don’t put up display grabs of assessments, however this one is price a gander. The numbers became in by way of the Samsung 980 Professional are spectacular certainly. Observe that the numbers are from a 1TB model of the 980 Professional. Samsung additionally despatched a 256GB style, which posted roughly the similar numbers.

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Generally we don’t display CDM effects as display grabs, however that is so spectacular we needed to, despite the fact that they don’t rather grasp up underneath actual global OS use.

I’ve in comparison the 980 Professional to the opposite PCIe four NVMe SSD we’ve examined—the Phison 16-based Seagate FireCuda 520. Whilst the 980 Professional wiped clean its clock when it comes to sustained throughput, the FireCuda 520 in truth bested the 980 Professional in different random 4K assessments which don’t seem to be proven. No longer by way of so much, however sufficient to say it.

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The 980 Professional is a ways quicker than the Phison-based Seagate FireCuda 520 on this take a look at, and our 48GB switch assessments—with PCIe four. The 980 Professional could also be rapid with PCIe Three, however now not sufficient to warrant the top rate value.

The true-world 48GB switch effects beneath also are very spectacular, and make the 980 Professional the primary PCIe four pressure we’ve examined to showcase an actual global merit in sustained transfers. Right here the FireCuda 520 used to be no fit.

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For those who’re fortunate sufficient to have a Ryzen and PCIe four, you’ll love the 980 Professional which shaved greater than a minute off of the former quickest combination 48GB switch time.

K, now for a fast dose of fact. For those who throw sufficient information on the 980 Professional, write speeds will drop from 2.25GBps to round 1.75MBps. We spotted this at the 450GB reproduction proven beneath.  

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This delicate drop from 2.25GBps to one.75GBps befell on the 30%/135GB mark.

For those who occur to catch the pressure whilst it’s doing housework, or there’s now not sufficient NAND left (if the pressure is nearing complete) to assign some as secondary cache, write speeds can drop as little as 350MBps.

I noticed this as soon as whilst trying out the 256GB style. It transpired after a number of 48GB transfers, adopted nearly instantly by way of a TRIM operation, after which some other 48GB unmarried document reproduction. It by no means took place underneath commonplace use.

Sustained write dips don’t seem to be a sensible fear 99.nine p.c of the time with the bigger capacities, or 99 p.c of the time with decrease capacities. But it surely illustrates simply how essential cache and caching algorithms are to efficiency in nowadays’s NVMe SSDs. 

The PCIe Three assessments applied Home windows 10 64-bit working on a Core i7-5820Okay/Asus X99 Deluxe gadget with 4 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM2142 USB Three.1 card. It additionally accommodates a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt Three card, and Softperfect Ramdisk Three.four.6 for the 48GB learn and write assessments.

The PCIe four trying out used to be accomplished on an MSI MEG X570 motherboard socketing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Eight-core CPU and the use of the similar Kingston DDR and instrument. 

A no brainer in the event you’re PCIe four, now not such a lot with PCIe Three

The Samsung 980 Professional is a smart NVMe SSD—the quickest we’ve ever examined the use of the PCIe bus. For those who’re fortunate or sensible sufficient to possess a late-gen Ryzen gadget, it’s the only you wish to have. 

With PCIe, you’re not likely to note the variation between the 980 Professional and drives costing part as a lot, of which there at the moment are rather a couple of. Throw within the low TBW ranking, and it’s now not the most productive deal, particularly for 4K or 8K modifying workload, which is able to contain a large number of information. However, you’ll be future-proofed for PCIe four whilst you replace your PC. It’s your name on that one.

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