Samsung SSD 980 Pro has been on the market for some time and is known to a wide range of users. Despite this, the model is still relevant, and for various reasons beyond our control, we did not review it – so now we are correcting it.
Samsung SSD 980 Pro line
The Samsung SSD 980 Pro series includes four models with a capacity of 250 and 500 GB and 1 and 2 TB. SSDs are offered in the classic M.2 2280 form factor and are designed for connection via the PCI-E 4.0 x4 interface using the NVMe 1.3c protocol.
|250 GB||500 GB||1000 GB||2000 GB|
|Flash memory||Samsung 128-layer TLC 3D V-NAND|
|Interface||PCIe 4 x4, NVMe 1.3c|
|DRAM-buffer||512 MB DDR4||1 GB DDR4||2 GB DDR4|
|Read speed||6400 MB/s||6900 MB/s||7000 MB/s|
|Write speed||2700 MB/s||5000 MB/s||5100 MB/s|
|Accidental reading (4К)||500 000 IOPS||800 000 IOPS||1 000 000 IOPS|
|Accidental writing (4К)||600 000 IOPS||1 000 000 IOPS|
|Guaranteed writing volume (TBW)||150 TB||300 TB||600 TB||1200 TB|
|Energy consumption (average/maximum)||5.0/7.0 W||5.9/7.4 W||6.2/8.9 W||6.1/7.2 W|
|Manufacturer’s warranty||5 years|
The Samsung SSD 980 Pro is based on the Samsung Elpis controller, which is new at the time of its release. It’s manufactured on an 8nm process and has been designed specifically for use in PCIe 4 SSDs to double the peak performance compared to PCIe 3 models. Yes, it supports 128 concurrent request queues (compared to 32 in the Phoenix controller that the company used in the 970 series of drives), and performance during a single-threaded load increased to 22,000 IOPS (versus 15,000 in Phoenix). At the same time, the power consumption of the 980 Pro remained almost at the same level.
In addition to the new controller, the Samsung SSD 980 Pro is also equipped with 128-layer Samsung flash memory with a three-bit cell structure. It offers more capacity at a lower cost compared to the two-bit MLC memory used by the company in previous Pro-series models.
The drives support SLC caching technology, with a fixed buffer area of 4 or 6 GB, while the buffer capacity is dynamically adjusted, depending on the available amount of free space – for the 1 TB model, the size of the dynamic SLC cache can reach 108 GB. This fact should eliminate the main disadvantage of TLC memory – lower performance. As for the guaranteed recording capacity, it is 600 TB for the 1 TB model.
Samsung SSD 980 Pro (MZ-V8P1T0BW)
For tests, we used a model with a capacity of 1 TB. Samsung SSD 980 Pro comes in the company’s typical black box, inside which you can find the drive itself — in the center of a relatively large white blister for its size.
PCBs with a black mask are used for SSDs. The 1TB model has a single-sided layout: the controller, DRAM buffer chip and two flash memory chips are located on the front side and covered by a protective paper sticker. On the back, you can see a branded sticker with basic information about the drive and an inner layer of copper foil that helps dissipate the heat generated by the drive.
For performance testing, we used a test system based on MSI MAG Z690 TOMAHAWK WIFI DDR4 motherboard and Intel Core i5-12600K processor.
First, we tested sequential read/write speeds in the AIDA64 benchmark application.
The Samsung SSD 980 Pro can provide just under 4800MB/c on average in the linear read stage. These are good indicators, taking into account the fact that this operation uses a minimal query queue and a degree of parallelism. The write graph shows a relatively constant speed without the large dips that are characteristic of situations where the SLC buffer is exhausted.
In the CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 test application on our platform, the Samsung SSD 980 Pro shows a maximum read speed of 6700 MB/s, and a write speed of almost 5000 MB/s (at a theoretical PCI Express 4.0 x4 interface bandwidth of 7900 MB/s).
We also note the simply excellent performance of the drive when working with 4K units: performance in multi-threaded mode with a large request queue slightly exceeds the claimed 1,000,000 IOPS for both reading and writing operations. The utility registers excellent indicators even in the case of single sequential requests (Q1T1): reading – up to 22,700 IOPS, writing – up to 71,100 IOPS. We should also note that the performance in the latter case is about 35% higher than the previous model in the Pro series, the Samsung 970 PRO.
In AS SSD, the drive shows generally similar results, except that sequential read and write speeds are significantly lower — 4800 and 3400 MB/s, respectively.
Performance on small blocks noticeably falls short of 1 million IOPS when reading, but almost reaches this value in write operations. With single requests, we have 21,000/64,000 IOPS, which is also very similar to the result in CrystalDiskMark. The final result is very decent – about 9,500 points.
A score of over 23,000 in Anvil’s Storage Utilities is also very high.
Read/write speeds, both linear and when working with small blocks, are almost identical to those demonstrated by the Samsung SSD 980 Pro in the previous benchmark.
The ATTO utility shows that transfers reach 6 GB/c (read) and exceed 4.5 GB/s (write) after the data block transfer size exceeds 256 KB.
In comprehensive tests of the drive from the PCMark 10 package, the Samsung SSD 980 Pro shows decent results. In all scenarios, we have very high bandwidth and low response time. We can note that the SSD is well optimized for typical consumer tasks.
Not so long ago, the developer 3DMark updated its benchmark, adding to it the ability to evaluate the drive. The 3DMark Storage Benchmark subtest generates a load specific to the gaming platform. In particular, it emulates the loading scenarios of Battlefield V, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Overwatch records gameplay video using OBS in Overwatch, and repeats loading tracks with the installation and saving of The Outer Worlds gameplay. The Samsung SSD 980 Pro in it scored almost 3200 final points and showed an average throughput of around 540 MB/s and an access time of 56 µs.
High-speed PCI-E 4.0 drives with powerful controllers processing large data streams tend to heat up noticeably, so evaluating their temperature regime is a mandatory test stage.
At rest, the temperature of the Samsung SSD 980 Pro on an open stand remained at 37C at 22C indoors. Under heavy load, the temperature of the SSD without additional cooling rose to 81C, while the installation of an aluminum radiator, which was equipped with the test motherboard, cooled the drive under load to about 60C.