980 pro review: Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Redefining Gen4 Performance

Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Redefining Gen4 Performance

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Powered by a new 8nm NVMe SSD controller and the company’s V6 V-NAND.

Editor’s Choice

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Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Samsung’s 2TB 980 Pro delivers some of the fastest performance we have seen from a Gen4 SSD. Although costly, Samsung’s 980 Pro is a solid pick for those looking for one of the best SSDs you can get your hands on.

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    Responsive PCIe Gen4 performance

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    Sustained write speeds

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    Hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption

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    Aesthetically pleasing

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    Software package

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    5-year warranty

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Update 2/17/2021: We have updated this article with new testing for the 2TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD on page 4.

Original Review published 9/22/2020:

Samsung’s 980 Pro is set to redefine the company’s product line up, and perhaps the entire high-performance market, with a combination of the speedy PCIe 4.0 interface paired with a new controller and flash, all of which delivers brutal performance in many types of applications. That isn’t too surprising given the drive’s rated speed of up to 7/5 GBps of sequential read/write throughput and 1 million IOPs.

For the first time, the company’s flagship Pro series SSD doesn’t come with 2-bit MLC flash. Instead, the 980 Pro uses Samsung’s latest 3-bit TLC flash to reduce costs, essentially making it the high-end evolution of the more economical 970 Evo Plus series. But, with a very robust PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe controller under the hood, the 980 Pro still ensures efficient and responsive performance along with AES 256-bit security for both gamers and prosumers alike.

Aside from its slower sustained write speed than the previous-gen 970 Pro, Samsung’s 980 Pro is the fastest flash-based SSD we’ve laid our hands on. The 980 Pro proves that even while Samsung no longer uses 2-bit MLC flash in the design, its newest 1xx-layer layer V6 V-NAND 3-bit TLC scales to new heights and brings impressive performance to the table. 

Samsung’s 980 Pro is the SSD to get if you’re building a high-end gaming or work machine with bleeding-edge performance in mind. The 980 Pro also doesn’t cost too much more than Phison E16-based SSDs, like Seagate’s FireCuda 520 or Sabrent’s Rocket NVMe 4.0, making it surprisingly competitive against other prosumer-class drives at checkout, too.

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Product 980 PRO 250GB 980 PRO 500GB 980 PRO 1TB 980 PRO 2TB
Pricing  $89.99  $149.99  $229.99  $429.99
Capacity (User / Raw) 250GB / 256GB 500GB / 512GB 1000GB / 1024GB 2000GB / 2048GB
Form Factor M.2 2280 M.2 2280 M.2 2280 M.2 2280
Interface / Protocol PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c PCIe 4. 0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c
Controller Samsung Elpis Samsung Elpis Samsung Elpis Samsung Elpis
Memory Samsung 1xxL V-NAND TLC Samsung 1xxL V-NAND TLC Samsung 1xxL V-NAND TLC Samsung 1xxL V-NAND TLC
Sequential Read 6,400 MBps 6,900 MBps 7,000 MBps 7,000 MBps
Sequential Write 2,700 MBps 5,000 MBps 5,000 MBps 5,100 MBps
Random Read — QD1 22,000 IOPS 22,000 IOPS 22,000 IOPS 22,000 IOPS
Random Write — QD1 60,000 IOPS 60,000 IOPS 60,000 IOPS 60,000 IOPS
Peak Random Read 500,000 IOPS 800,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS
Peak Random Write 600,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS
Security AES 256-bit FDE; TCG Opal V2. 0; IEEE1667 AES 256-bit FDE; TCG Opal V2.0; IEEE1667 AES 256-bit FDE; TCG Opal V2.0; IEEE1667 AES 256-bit FDE; TCG Opal V2.0; IEEE1667
Endurance (TBW) 150 TB 300 TB 600 TB 1200 TB
Warranty 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years
Part Number MZ-V8P250BW MZ-V8P500BW MZ-V8P1T0BW MZ-V8P2T0BW

Samsung’s 980 Pro is available in capacities spanning from 250GB up to 1TB, but unlike the last-gen 970 Pro, the 980 Pro will bring back the 2TB capacity point. Unfortunately, Samsung will not release the 2TB model until late 2020. As expected of Samsung’s flagship SSD, each capacity commands a premium over competing drives. Prices range from $90 for the 250GB capacity up to $230 for the 1TB model, with the latter having the best price-per-GB.

The company rates the 980 Pro to hit peak sequential speeds of up to 7/5 GBps read/write and upwards of 1 million random read/write IOPS. These performance figures aren’t consistent across the capacity of the device like they were on the 970 Pro, however, so the larger drives are faster than their slower counterparts.

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980 Pro — Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0
Capacity Default Intelligent Total TurboWrite After TurboWrite
250GB 4GB 45GB 49GB 2,700 MBps 500 MBps
500GB 4GB 90GB 94GB 5,000 MBps 1,000 MBps
1TB 6GB 108GB 114GB 5,000 MBps 2,000 MBps

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970 EVO Plus — Intelligent TurboWrite 1. 0
Capacity Default Intelligent Total TurboWrite After TurboWrite
250GB 4GB 9GB 13GB 2,300 MBps 400 MBps
500GB 4GB 18GB 22GB 3,200 MBps 900 MBps
1TB 6GB 36GB 42GB 3,300 MBps 1,700 MBps
2TB 6GB 36GB 42GB 3,300 MBps 1,700 MBps

Samsung’s 980 Pro features Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 to enable fast burst performance, but as we see with all SLC caching mechanisms, Samsung’s direct-to-TLC write speed is much slower after the cache fills. Samsung’s Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 improves upon the 97O EVO Plus’s implementation so that the end-user can write faster for longer, though. 

Turbo Write (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Not only is the sustained after-TurboWrite performance higher across the board, but Samsung significantly increased the capacity of the TurboWrite cache. Samsung left the same static 4GB/6GB default cache values, but tweaked the dynamic cache by expanding its capacity to be up to five times larger. 

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Total Bytes Written and Warranty Ratings
Product 250GB 500GB 1TB 2TB
980 Pro 150 TB 300 TB 600 TB 1,200 TB
970 Pro 300 TB 600 TB 1,200 TB N/A
Warranty 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years 5-Years

Even with the new TurboWrite 2. 0 implementation, Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) ECC, and 9% over-provisioning, Samsung still pulled back on the 980 Pro’s endurance ratings due to the TLC flash, matching the 970 EVO Plus within the same five-year warranty period.

This is a bit of disappointment, not only for us, but also for the potential buyers who have already expressed some grief on forums. This change is a calculated move by Samsung, though. According to Samsung’s statistics on over 661,000 NVMe SSDs, the company says 99% of users write up to 156 TB of data within five years, and 99.7% write less than 600 TB.   

Furthermore, unlike most SSDs on the market, Samsung’s 980 Pro supports AES 256-bit hardware-accelerated encryption that is TCG Opal V2.0 and IEEE1667-compliant for protection of data at rest. It supports secure erase via the Format NVM command and crypto erase capability, as well as S.M.A.R.T. data reporting and Trim. 

Software and Accessories 

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From drive monitoring to benchmarking and security configurations, Samsung Magician leads the market in both SSD Toolbox design and capability. The company also supports NVMe SSDs with a custom driver tuned by the company. And for those who need to migrate their existing data over to their new Samsung SSD, the company provides its Samsung Data Migration Software to clone it over easily. 

A Closer Look 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Overall, Samsung’s 980 Pro looks to be an overhauled and scaled up 970 EVO Plus. The 980 Pro comes in an M.2 2280 form factor and features a quality black PCB and components. The SKU numbers on the top sticker take away from the aesthetic appeal of the 980 Pro, though. The company could have easily placed these markings on the backside along with the compliance information. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

With the 980 Pro’s small footprint yet massive performance, the device is bound to generate some heat. To help keep it cool, the company continues to use a copper heat spreader on the backside of the device to help absorb the thermal load when heavy workloads hit. Additionally, the controller features a nickel coating that Samsung says imProves cooling by roughly 7%.

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The drive also supports Active State Power Management (ASPM), Autonomous Power State Transition (APST), and the L1.2 ultra-low power mode to regulate overall power consumption, as well as further refinements to dynamic thermal guard (DTG) technology that allows you to write for longer without the device slowing down. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The new SSD controller, dubbed Elpis, measures 16.5 x 16.5mm and features a DRAM-based multi-core Arm architecture built on Samsung’s 8nm manufacturing process node. While the previous-gen Phoenix leveraged five Arm Cortex R5 cores, Samsung hasn’t specified what type of cores, or how many, power this new controller. Samsung also doesn’t specify the channel count, although it’s probably an eight-channel design.

Samsung did mention some other interesting points on the controller’s IO processing capability, however. The company states that the new PCIe 4. 0 x4 NVMe 1.3c controller can natively process up to 128 concurrent I/O queues, which is up from 32 queues on the previous PCIe 3.0 controller, leading to a more responsive latency profile.

The 980 Pro leverages DRAM for caching its FTL metadata, and for this task, the company outfitted the SSD with LPDDR4. These DRAM ICs interface at up to 1866 MHz and need as little as 1.1V to operate. The 250GB and 500GB models come with 512MB of DRAM while the 1TB and 2TB receive 1GB and 2GB, respectively.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Over the years, Samsung has led the way in NAND design, and the company’s V-NAND was the first vertical-channel 3D charge trap flash brought into volume production. Samsung’s 1xx-layer V6 V-NAND TLC is the company’s most refined flash yet — it scales the layer count up to new heights and consumes 15% less power than the V5 flash. 

Although it hasn’t confirmed, Samsung’s V6 V-NAND reportedly features up to 136 layers, up 40% from the 970 EVO Plus’s 92-layer count. Unlike competing types of 3D flash, Samsung didn’t need to use a multi-stack design to achieve such a high layer count. Instead, the company uses its unique channel hole etching technology to enhance scalability within a single stack. By sticking with a single stack design, the company says it can maintain high-quality production and achieve good yields without the risk of stack channel hole misalignments. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

There are just two NAND packages onboard the 980 Pro’s PCB, which applies to all capacities. The 250GB to 1TB 980 Pros come with 256Gb dies while the 2TB model, when available, will feature 512Gb dies. This means that both the 1TB and 2TB models feature 32 dies in total for optimal interleaving and peak performance characteristics. To boost performance, Samsung’s V-NAND features two planes per die (independent regions of die access) for further interleaving.

Competitors like SK hynix and Micron now feature four-plane designs, which doubles parallelism, but this adds to overall periphery circuity, which in turn takes up precious die space. 2) 5 8.1 6.3 6

By placing the additional periphery, page buffer, and other select circuitry under the cell array rather than its border, companies can increase bit density per wafer. Lacking this design component, Samsung’s V6 V-NAND suffers in regards to bit density. Samsung’s next-generation V7 V-NAND will most likely implement both multi-stack and Cell Over Periphery (COP) concepts for improvement.

The current design splits each of the two 16kB plane cell arrays into two 8kB sub-planes with even/odd sensing for even faster performance capability with the limited space budget. This, in conjunction with some other modifications like an enhanced bit line precharge scheme, couple-capacitance-minimizing technique, progressive Vth window scheme, and random pre-pulse sensing scheme, enables Samsung’s V6 V-NAND TLC to respond 10% faster to both read and program requests over the last generation of flash. The new flash operates down to 45/450 microseconds (820/82 MBps) read/write, respectively.

Although the company didn’t specify the exact speed that the flash interfaces with the controller at, Samsung specified the flash operates at Toggle DDR 4.0 speeds, which ranges from 800 MTps up to 1,400 MTps, at a 1.2V supply voltage. This most likely matches the speed of SK hynix’s 128-Layer TLC, which is 1,200 MTps.

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Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.

1TB Performance Results — Samsung 980 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD Review: Redefining Gen4 Performance

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Powered by a new 8nm NVMe SSD controller and the company’s V6 V-NAND.

Editor’s Choice

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Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Samsung 980 Pro (1TB)

RATING: 4.5 (Editor’s Choice) 

VERDICT:  Are you looking for the best? Look no further. With the fastest performance we have seen from a NAND SSD yet, Samsung’s 980 Pro 1TB makes other NVMe SSDs look slow. 


+ Unrivaled PCIe Gen4 performance

+ AES 256-bit encryption

+ Black PCB

+ Software package

+ 5-year warranty 


Average endurance ratings


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Comparison Products

With top specs, it was only fitting to pit Samsung’s 980 Pro up against the best SSDs on the market. We included an SSD based on Phison’s E16 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe controller, the Team Group Cardea Ceramic C440, to see which architecture proves best. We also threw in Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus, which comes with the company’s V5 92-Layer V-NAND TLC, and the 970 Pro with V4 V-NAND 64-Layer MLC.

Additionally, we included WD’s Blue SN550 as an entry-level comparison, as well as the high-end WD Black SN750 and Crucial P5. Of course, we couldn’t forget about Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro, one of the all-around best values, nor SK hynix’s Gold P31, a top pick to consider for efficient computing. For good measure, we threw in Intel’s Optane SSD 905P to define the upper limits of pricey performance.

Game Scene Loading — Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV Stormbringer is a free real-world game benchmark that easily and accurately compares game load times without the inaccuracy of using a stopwatch.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

When it comes to game load performance, the differences aren’t that dramatic between the fastest SSDs.Optane proves it’s still the fastest choice, but the Samsung 980 Pro also loads game files very quickly. The 980 Pro nearly ties the 970 Pro and Adata XPG SX8200 Pro and beats the 970 EVO Plus by 0.2 seconds, proving it’s a very capable SSD.

Transfer Rates – DiskBench

We use the DiskBench storage benchmarking tool to test file transfer performance with our own custom blocks of data. Our 50GB data set includes 31,227 files of various types, like pictures, PDFs, and videos. Our 100GB includes 22,579 files with 50GB of them being large movies. We copy the data sets to new folders and then follow-up with a reading test of a newly written 6.5GB zip file and 15GB movie file.

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With ample TurboWrite cache space, the 980 Pro’s new hardware and firmware is quite potent for those who move large files around often. Samsung’s 980 Pro delivers chart-topping file copy and read performance that leaves not only the 970 EVO Plus and 970 Pro in the dust; it’s also significantly faster than Team Group’s Cardea Ceramic C440.

Trace Testing – PCMark 10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 is a trace-based benchmark that uses a wide-ranging set of real-world traces from popular applications and common tasks to measure the performance of storage devices. The quick benchmark is more relatable to those who use their PCs for leisure or basic office work, while the full benchmark relates more to power users.

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Samsung’s 980 Pro achieves impressive PCMark 10 scores in both the Quick and Full benchmarks, taking the lead over the Team Group Cardea Ceramic C440 as well as all the other high-end NAND-based NVMe SSDs on the market. Only Intel’s Optane SSD 905P is faster, thanks to its Optane media that provides an ultra-low latency Profile.

Like PCMark 10, SPECworkstation 3 is a trace-based benchmark, but it is designed to push the system harder by measuring workstation performance in Professional applications.

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Once again, Samsung’s 980 Pro easily tackled the workloads thrown in its way. The drive lands in second place, easily outperforming the company’s last-gen NVMe SSDs and taking a big lead over the Team Group Cardea Ceramic C440. It completed the workloads in just over 20 minutes, trailing Intel’s Optane SSD 905P by roughly two minutes.

Synthetic Testing — ATTO / iometer

iometer is an advanced and highly configurable storage benchmarking tool while ATTO is a simple and free application that SSD vendors commonly use to assign sequential performance specifications to their Products. Both of these tools give us insight into how the device handles different file sizes.

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We tested Samsung’s 980 Pro at a QD (queue depth) of 1, representing most day-to-day file access at various block sizes. The 980 Pro overshadowed the Phison E16 based Team Group Cardea C440 and all other competitors. The 980 Pro’s peak sequential performance measured 7,138/5,272 MBps read/write, easily exceeding the 7/5 GBps rating.

When it comes to random performance, Intel’s Optane SSD 905P makes it clear that it won’t be beaten at low QDs. But Samsung’s 980 Pro has taken big strides forward. The drive delivers roughly 22,000 IOPS, responding within 0.46 ms (on average) to 4K random requests at QD1, Proving even more responsive than either Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro or the SK hynix Gold P31.

In terms of raw IOPS capability, Team Group’s Cardea Ceramic C440 has the upper hand and overtakes the 980 Pro by a few thousand IOPS at high QDs.

Sustained Write Performance and Cache Recovery

Official write specifications are only part of the performance picture. Most SSDs implement a write cache, which is a fast area of (usually) pseudo-SLC Programmed flash that absorbs incoming data. Sustained write speeds can suffer tremendously once the workload spills outside of the cache and into the «native» TLC or QLC flash. We use iometer to hammer the SSD with sequential writes for 15 minutes to measure both the size of the write cache and performance after the cache is saturated. We also monitor cache recovery via multiple idle rounds.

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Samsung’s 1TB 980 Pro wrote at a rate of 5.2 GBps for roughly 120GB before the TurboWrite SLC cache filled. Once it began writing directly to the TLC flash, average performance measured 1.8GBps until full. After we filled the cache completely, performance increased to an average of 2.2 GBps.

Overall, this gives the 980 Pro very strong initial write performance for most applications, but it has slower direct-to-TLC write performance than the 970 Pro’s steady 2.7 GBps of performance. As a result, the 980 Pro trails its predecessor when hammered with writes over long periods.

After half an hour of idle time, Samsung’s 980 Pro only recovered 6GB of the TurboWrite cache. So, instead of immediately recovering, it may take a few hours of idle time to refresh fully.

Power Consumption and Temperature

We use the Quarch HD Programmable Power Module to gain a deeper understanding of power characteristics. Idle power consumption is an important aspect to consider, especially if you’re looking for a laptop upgrade. Some SSDs can consume watts of power at idle while better-suited ones sip just milliwatts. Average workload power consumption and max consumption are two other aspects of power consumption, but performance-per-watt is more important. A drive might consume more power during any given workload, but accomplishing a task faster allows the drive to drop into an idle state faster, which ultimately saves power.

We also monitor the temperature of the drive via the S.M.A.R.T. data and an IR thermometer to see when (or if) thermal throttling kicks in and how it impacts performance. Bear in mind that results will vary based on the workload and ambient air temperature.

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Samsung’s 980 Pro comes in second place on our 50GB file copy efficiency chart, so it not only proves to be a very fast SSD, but it is also very efficient under load. The 980 Pro managed its average and max power consumption very well during the copy operation. Idle power consumption plummeted immediately after the drive completed the operation, just as it should. Improving upon the previous Phoenix controller, the new Gen4 Elpis controller enables the 980 Pro to consume just 32mW at idle, down from 72mW, on our desktop test bench.

With no airflow in a 24 degrees Celsius room, the SSD controller measured 50 degrees Celsius at idle with ASPM disabled, and the NAND measured a cool 40 degrees Celsius. We threw a few hundred gigabytes of data onto the SSD, and temperatures rose to 85 degrees Celsius on the controller’s surface after 350GB of writes. Meanwhile, the NAND and DRAM both peaked at 81 degrees Celsius.

In most cases, like when you’re gaming or browsing the web, you won’t have to worry about thermal throttling. But if you hammer the device with many or large read and write requests often, we advise using the motherboard’s heatsink or directing some airflow towards the SSD.


MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs

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Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.

Samsung 980 PRO 1TB drive review

Samsung recently expanded its solid state drive portfolio with the first consumer SSD line to support PCI Express 4.0. The Samsung 980 PRO series opens another milestone. There are already solutions on the market that use the potential of the new standard tire, but with the entry of the largest Korean manufacturer into the game, this segment will finally become competitive. Let’s see what the company has to offer for enthusiastic enthusiasts who need a really fast SSD.

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  • 1 Samsung 980 PRO line
  • 2 Samsung 980 PRO 1TB (MZ-V8P1T0BW)
  • 3 Performance
  • 90 013 4 Heating

  • 5 Price

Samsung 980 PRO line

First information about the preparation of the line 980 PRO began to seep into the network a long time ago. SSDs were announced back at CES 2020 in January of this year. However, the manufacturer was in no hurry to launch sales of its first consumer models with PCI-E 4.0 interface. Let’s assume that a Korean company was looking forward to the development of an ecosystem of affordable platforms with accelerated data transfer, allowing them to use the potential of high-performance drives. Along the way, engineers continued to optimize the performance of the SSD, because the final specifications turned out to be even slightly better than those originally announced, although there were some surprises too.

First of all, we are talking about the manufacturer’s decision to use 3D V-NAND chips with a 3-bit cell structure (TLC) in the new PRO line. Previously, Samsung’s top consumer SSDs were equipped with 2-bit MLC chips, but it seems that devices for the mainstream market, which requires more and more affordable and capacious devices, will be transferred to chips with increased storage density.

In particular, the Samsung 980 PRO uses sixth generation 128-layer 3D-NAND TLC chips with increased write speed. The drives are also equipped with the new 8-channel Samsung Elpis controller, which is manufactured according to 8nm, the most advanced process technology that has already been debugged on Samsung production lines. LPDDR4 DRAM buffer with a capacity of 512-1024 MB is provided for caching allocation tables.

250 GB 500 GB 1 TB
Model MZ-V8P250BW MZ-V8P500BW MZ-V8P1T0BW
Controller Samsung Elpis (8 nm)
Flash memory 128-layer 3D V-NAND MLC (3-bit, TLC)
Interface PCI-E 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c
Sequential reading 6400 MB/s 6900 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Sequential write 2700 MB/s 5000 MB/s 5000 MB/s
Write speed without SLC caching 500 MB/s 1000 MB/s 2000 MB/s
Static SLC cache size 4 GB 4 GB 6 GB
Dynamic SLC cache size (max. ) 49 GB 94 GB 114 GB
Random Read (4K Max) up to 500,000 IOPS up to 800,000 IOPS up to 1,000,000 IOPS
Random Read (4K, QD1) up to 22,000 IOPS
Random Recording (4K Max) up to 600,000 IOPS up to 1,000,000 IOPS up to 1,000,000 IOPS
Random (4K, QD1) up to 60,000 IOPS
Guaranteed Recording Capacity (TBW) 150 TB 300 TB 600 TB
Technology support TRIM, S.M.A.R.T., Garbage Collection, DevSlp
Encryption AES-256, TCG/Opal, IEEE1667
Manufacturer warranty period 5 years

At launch, the Samsung 980 PRO series includes 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB models. Soon the line will also be supplemented with a 2 TB drive. Key technical characteristics are given in the table. Note the impressive linear read/write speeds. For the older model, transfers are announced at the level of 7000/5000 MB / s, respectively. Peak performance while working with 4K blocks also looks very impressive — up to 1,000,000 IOPS on read and write operations. Claimed values ​​are nearly double those of the Samsung 9 line of devices70PRO. At the same time, the speed of work has been increased not only in multi-threaded mode with large queues, but also when working with single 4K blocks. In particular, with QD1, read performance can reach 22,000 IOPS, writes — up to 60,000 IOPS, regardless of the size of the drive.

However, it is worth recalling here that the new SSDs use chips with TLC cells instead of MLC, and therefore additional SLC caching is required to support high write performance.

Samsung 980 PRO uses Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 proprietary advanced dynamic caching technology. Improvements are primarily associated with an increase in the dynamic part of the buffer. The static volume remained at the level of 4-6 GB, but the variable capacity of the SLC cache increased up to 108 GB. That is, the total buffer, for example, in the older 1 TB model is an impressive 114 GB. Within this volume, data is written at speeds up to 5 GB / s, while the speed of writing directly to flash memory chips is about 2 GB / s.

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Samsung 980 PRO models are M.2 2280 form factor, PCI Express 4.0 x4 ready, backwards compatible with PCI-E 3.0, and support NVMe 1.3c protocol. The drives support AES-256 hardware encryption, meeting the TCG/Opal IEEE1667 specifications.

The use of chips with a 3-bit cell structure affected the guaranteed volumes of data recording. Now they are more in line with the performance of TLC SSD models. For a 1TB device, the claimed TBW is 600TB. Identical parameters have, for example, the drive line 970EVO. The actual resource of flash chips is much higher, especially in the case of chips from Samsung, but suppose that the manufacturer wants to more clearly distinguish between consumer devices and enterprise SSDs.

The indicated resource of the Samsung 980 PRO in practice will be quite sufficient for most users of desktop or mobile systems, although additional «calming» terabytes were not superfluous for top-class devices. At the same time, the manufacturer’s warranty period remained unchanged — 5 years.

Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB (MZ-V8P1T0BW)

We tested a model of the new 1 TB line — MZ-V8P1T0BW. The drive comes in a fairly large cardboard box.

Inside the device is fixed in a large plastic damper that protects the SSD from mechanical damage during transportation. A quick paper guide is included with the drive.

As we mentioned, the Samsung 980 PRO complies with the M. 2 2280 standard with a standard PCB length of 80mm. For the PCB, a spectacular black mask with a matte finish is used — the manufacturer’s usual solution. Regardless of the size of the SSD, drives use a single-sided layout. All active elements are located on the front panel, allowing the drive to be used both in desktop systems, where there are often no size restrictions, or in the thinnest ultraports with limited height landing sites for SSDs.

Although a protective sticker covers a large part of the top panel, the layout is visible through the sticker. The main controller, two flash memory chips and a DRAM buffer chip are located here.

As you can see, the controller is equipped with a thin nickel-plated plate to improve heat dissipation. Any opportunity to reduce the heat of the main computer is appropriate here, especially considering the high performance of the solution with PCI Express 4.0 support.

A sticker with a copper base is attached to the back of the drive, which also improves the temperature regime of the SSD. A similar solution has already been used by the manufacturer, and obviously proves its effectiveness.

The ability to balance and dissipate heat generated is an important task for high-speed SSDs, the temperature of which rises noticeably under load. Therefore, any solutions are good here, and especially those that do not affect the dimensions of the device.

To configure and monitor the key parameters of the drive, the manufacturer offers to use the proprietary Samsung Magician application. A visual utility allows you to track the temperature, the total amount of recorded data, view the S.M.A.R.T. and perform basic device diagnostics. Here you can also select a spare area to regulate cell wear, clear the drive, or activate the encryption function.

In addition, Samsung Magician allows you to perform a quick SSD performance test. According to the results of the first measurements, the linear read / write speeds of the drive turn out to be even slightly higher than the declared ones — 7109/5185 MB / s. Excellent transfers. Performance with random access is indicated at the level of 330,000-350,000 IOPS, however, in this case, the test conditions are not indicated, therefore, for a more detailed study of the capabilities of the SSD, we will use specialized applications.

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To unleash the potential of the PCI Express 4.0 drive, we used the AMD desktop test platform with a GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER motherboard (AMD X570) and a Ryzen 7 3700X processor.

The Crystal Disk Mark utility is registering high drive line transfers. Let them slightly fall short of the declared indicators, but very close to those. We have 6700 MB / s when reading and 4950 MB / s when writing data. A powerful controller that supports the high-speed PCI Express 4. 0 bus allows you to achieve such values.

Along the way, we note good results with single 4K blocks: 86 MB / s for reading and 214 MB / s for writing — this is noticeably higher than typical M.2 PCI-E models.

Representing the results obtained as the number of I / O operations, we have 855,000 IOPS when reading and up to 786,000 IOPS when writing data. Of course, such indicators are achieved in multi-threaded mode with a large queue of requests. The results are impressive, but for typical desktop/laptop use, they are not very revealing. At the same time, it is worth noting the received 21,000/51,400 IOPS when working with 4K blocks in Q1T1 mode.

The AS SSD Benchmark utility generally registers more modest speed indicators, while the application generates a 64-thread load, and in this case the drive already provides about 822,000 IOPS.

The final score of 22,400 is the highest we’ve ever seen in Anvil’s Storage Utilities test. Linear transfers are lower here, and the depth of the QD16 request queue does not allow the SSD to swing to its maximum. Nevertheless, the overall integral indicator is a record one. Along the way, we note good performance with random access to 4K blocks.

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PCMark 8’s integrated drive performance test provides a general idea of ​​SSD performance in typical consumer environments. The final throughput of 617 MB/s is a very good indicator, but in general, this is the level of high-quality PCI-E 3.0 models.

Evaluating the results of the constituent disciplines, we note the excellent performance during the loading of games. Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB often has an advantage over the previously reviewed drive based on the Phison E16 controller, which also has optimizations for working with PCI-E 4.0.

However, in some application situations, the performance gain may not be significant, because given the nature of the workload, increasing line rates or multithreading performance does not provide significant benefits.

In the «accumulative» test disciplines from the PCMark 10 package, the reviewed model also shows very good results with high throughput and SSD responsiveness. Samsung 980 PRO is great as a system drive or a high-speed partition for installing large resource-intensive games.


Temperature is an important issue for all high-speed drives, which has become even more relevant with the transition to PCI Express 4.0. Many models on the market that support the new data bus standard are equipped with heatsinks. The Samsung 980 PRO does without an additional cooler, so it was interesting to evaluate how this SSD has heat.

At rest, the temperature was kept at 38C, after an intensive 10-minute data recording session, the drive warmed up to 72C on an open test bench.

For high-speed SSDs, these are quite acceptable indicators, we are not talking about overheating followed by throttling. The technical tricks with a nickel plate and copper foil distribution sticker apparently work. The use of the 8-nanometer process technology for the manufacture of the Samsung Elpis controller certainly affects here. As a result, the drive will be appropriate as part of mobile systems. Now, first of all, we are talking about a platform based on Intel Tiger Lake chips, which received support for PCI-E 4.0. However, soon here the range of solutions will be expanded.


Samsung 980 PRO drives are already available in Ukraine. The current recommended price for the 250 GB model is UAH 2699. (~$95), the 500 GB version is priced at UAH 4399. (~$155), and a 1TB modification is offered for UAH 6999. (~$246).

As you can see, even the starting prices of the new products are somewhat lower than those of the Samsung 970 PRO series models, but the new PRO models are more expensive than the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.

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ITC.UA score

High performance; linear transfers up to 7000/5000 MB/s; speed of work with 4K blocks; powerful Samsung Elpis controller; SLC buffer of increased volume; moderate heating of the drive even without an additional heatsink; one-sided layout; 5 year warranty

Price; declared write resource typical for flash memory models with 3-bit cells (3-bit MLC or TLC)


Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB is a powerful drive with a very powerful controller, PCI Express 4.0 support and technological tricks that allow you to do without additional cooling. The SSD is capable of providing record-breaking 7000/5000 MB/s read/write transfers, as well as up to 1,000,000 IOPS in multi-threaded mode. The transfer of SSDs to flash chips with 3-bit cells has reduced the total cost of drives. Although we fully admit that a number of enthusiasts would prefer the opportunity to get the ultimate no-compromise product on the MLC without additional discounts. As presented Samsung 980 PRO are among the fastest drives in their class, but the competition here is going to be serious.


Review and tests Samsung 980 PRO 2TB (MZ-V8P2T0BW). More speed but less reliability

Solid state drives from Samsung are deservedly popular and they are among the leaders in this segment. The Samsung 980 PRO tested today supports the already common type of PCIe 4.0 interface with declared exchange speeds of 7000 MB / s for reading and 5000 MB / s for writing.

We will study it using the example of a version with a volume of 2 TB.


Packed in a cardboard box with a picture of the drive and data on its technical characteristics. Inside it is fixed on a plastic substrate. The kit includes a recommendation for downloading software and data on technical characteristics.


Made in the traditional style for the drives of this manufacturer. This is a black printed circuit board and a sticker with data on it in the same color.

There is a sticker on the back as well. For subsequent operation, it will be optimal to remove these stickers, increasing the efficiency of heat transfer to the radiator.

The Samsung 980 PRO is powered by the Samsung Elpis controller. It uses a 512 MB LPDDR4 buffer, PCIe 4.0 interface.

For him, this figure is 1200 Terabytes. Compared to previous generations, this is a significant step backwards. Although in the case of the older version, the user will develop this volume for more than 10 years, in the younger version 256 GB, the resource is 150 Terabytes.

This is primarily due to the transition to 3D TLC V-NAND instead of MLC.


From the official website for Samsung 980 PRO, you can download the Magican management utility. Its main window displays data on temperature, available volume, run time and estimated speed.

A tab with a summary of the serial number and firmware version.

Built-in tool for assessing the level of performance.

Status check with quick and full scan.

Choice of operating mode: full performance, standard, energy saving and user mode.

Samsung 980 PRO 2TB

AS SSD Benchmark:

HD Tune Pro:

900 03






The Samsung 980 PRO 2TB is a solid state drive with high data processing speeds, but after beautiful results in benchmarks, it switched to the PRO series from MLC to TLC, reducing reliability and reducing the service life.