Samsung 980 500GB NVMe SSD Review. Samsung SSD 980
Samsung enters its first DRAMless NVMe and steals the show with the 980 500GB model. Join us as we take a close look right here.
The Bottom Line
Samsung once again reminds us why they are a leader in the storage industry, with the best DRAMless SSD on the market.
While everyone was rushing to test and write their reviews of the newest Samsung NVMe last month, I decided to hold back and give this drive some time to mature before going through it. It just so happened I had the Rocket Lake S launch on my plate at that time, so it all worked out, and now a little over a month has passed, Magician has been updated to support “Full Power” mode on 980 and 980 Pro, and we can finally dive right in.
As many of you will already know, the Samsung 980 is the companies first DRAMless NVMe and targets a segment of the market that would typically have an EVO product in the lineup. We currently do not know if Samsung will release a potential 980 EVO to fit between this DRAMless 980 and the 980 Pro Gen4.
A quick look over the drive specifications, the Samsung 980 uses a new “Pablo” 4-channel in-house controller paired with the companies own TLC V-NAND and a 64MB HMB from the Operating System.
The form factor is the typical m.2 2280 with performance reaching 3100 MB/s read and 2600 MB/s write, while random performance will see roughly 400K read IOPS and 470K write IOPS. Reliability offers a rating of 300TBW for the 500GB model over the five-year warranty period.
The MSRP of the 500GB Samsung 980 comes in at 69.99.
Packaging includes capacity top left, performance bottom right, along with Samsung branding.
We find model identification on the sticker to the left and warranty information towards the bottom on the backside.
Our first look at the drive, we have a 2280 form factor solution with model and capacity listed on the sticker.
On the back, we have Samsung branding and regulatory information on the right side.
Pulling the sticker from the drive, we look at the Pablo controller on the left and a single NAND module on the right, PMIC in between.
Sequential read starts off our testing at 3074 MB/s read, and 2261 MB/s write. 4KQ1 is a 38 MB/s read and 62 MB/s write.
Flipping the Full Power switch in Magician, we get a boost in random performance to 70 MB/s read and 233 MB/s write.
In PCMark testing, the Samsung 980 runs at the top of our charts with 337 MB/s bandwidth and a score of 2743. Enabling Full Power, we see that move to 348 MB/s Bandwidth and a score of 2851.
Looking at Price vs. Performance, the 980 runs at 98%, with its MSRP of 69.99. This makes it a top-five drive that beats out the likes of the ADATA SX8200 and the Sabrent Rocket NVMe.
The Samsung 980 is a surprisingly excellent NVMe solution that adds a value segment to the 980 lineups. This drive fits in, by performance, between the 970 EVO and 970 EVO Plus, and pricing reflects this with the 500GB class 970 Evo Plus running around 79.99 and this current 980 at 69.99. I think Samsung could potentially drop this price further and really wipe the floor with the current DRAMless market but still in the midst of the pandemic; we don’t know if the supply is there.
Drive performance was near the top of PCMark testing, only beaten by the proud Plextor M9P, otherwise not much for competition in our 500GB class charts, especially if you take the time to install Magician 6.3 to enable Full Power mode. With CDM, we saw nearly double 4KQ1 performance from stock to enabling Full Power while sequential performance was around 3000 MB/s read and 2300 MB/s write.
As I touched on above, pricing is fair for the 500GB class Samsung 980. At 69.99, MSRP is about 10 over the average price we see for DRAMless solutions. That said, this drive does offer features to offset the cost that includes “Full Power” mode and a five-year warranty.
TweakTown Internal Storage Test System
- CPU: Intel Core i9 11900K
- Motherboard: ASRock Z590 Taichi
- GPU: Asus TUF RTX 3080 10GB
- RAM: Team Xtreem 2x8G DDR4 4500(buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: MSI CoreLiquid K360
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB(buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X(buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10(buy from Amazon)
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD Review
Today we are taking a look at the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe SSD. Much like our previous review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB drive, this review is being done because when we looked at the Samsung 980 Pro in the past we tested the 500GB version of the drive, and since then 1TB drive has become the standard capacity for our SSD testing. In the Sabrent drive’s case, we did not want to give an advantage to the Rocket 4 Plus by including the 2TB drive in our benchmark graphs, while in Samsung’s case the problem is the opposite; I hardly ever include the 980 Pro 500GB in my graphs because it was operating at a disadvantage. Today we correct that and get an apples-to-apples look at the 980 Pro compared to the rest of our benchmark pool.
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe SSD
The Samsung 980 Pro 1TB comes in a single-sided M.2 2280 (80mm) form factor. Our model of the 980 Pro does not come bundled with a heatsink, but the drive is also available with a heatsink included. We will see how badly that heatsink is needed when we get around to thermal testing.
The Samsung 980 Pro bundles Samsung’s TLC NAND, their in-house Elpis controller, and a DRAM cache. Physically the 1TB drive appears to be nearly identical to the 500GB variant.
As a single-sided drive, the back has a product information label, and nothing else.
Samsung 980 Pro SSD Specs
The Samsung 980 Pro line of SSDs is available in sizes between 250GB and 2TB.
I am going to quote myself from my previous review since the complaint still stands:
One bone I would like to pick with Samsung is that they refer to their NAND as “3bit MLC”. While the M in MLC does stand for “multi” and thus is not strictly defined to refer to only 2 bits per cell, all pre-existing industry norms would expect 3 bits per cell NAND to be referred to as TLC. Since the previous “Pro” line, SSDs from Samsung contained proper MLC (2-bit per cell), and the decision to move to TLC was met with some grumbling from the enthusiast community, I feel that the “3bit MLC” descriptor is at best confusing, and perhaps more likely misleading.
With that out of the way, today we are looking at the 1TB model, which is rated at 7000 MB/s sequential read and 5000 MB/s sequential write. The rated read speeds target the Samsung 980 Pro at the high end of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but the write speeds are a bit more modest compared to drives like the Rocket 4 Plus and SK hynix Platinum P41. With that said 5000 MB/s is nothing to scoff at, and I certainly have high expectations for performance.
The warranty is the industry standard 5 years which is good, while the endurance is a more pedestrian 600TBW. While I consider 600TBW to be exactly on the line of acceptable for 1TB drive, several other model drives like the P41 and FireCuda 530 can exceed that rating, sometimes by a large amount. 600TBW is enough for almost everyone, but more endurance would always be good.
CrystalDiskInfo can give us some basic information about the SSD and confirms we are operating at PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds using NVMe 1.3.
Test System Configuration
We are using the following configuration for this test:
- Motherboard: Asus PRIME X570-P
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12C/24T)
- RAM: 2x 16GB DDR4-3200 UDIMMs
Our testing uses the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB as the boot drive for the system, installed in the M.2_1 slot on the motherboard. The drive is filled to 85% capacity with data and then some is deleted, leaving around 60% used space on the volume.
Next, we are going to get into our performance testing.
Will has worked in both big enterprise and small business IT since 2001. As a perpetual dabbler, he is always open to new solutions for old problems. That said, his personal IT motto has to be “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” so sometimes the old ways are best
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13 Комментарии и мнения владельцев
3bit MLC is TLC. Samsung is trying to mask that they greatly reduced the endurance compared to 970 pro. with that change there’s less reason to buy 980 pro compared to 980 evo plus
altmind: there is nothing like “980 evo plus”. Only “980pro”, or “980”. They might have the same cells (TBW is the same), but I guess there must be different controller (maybe more channels?), as 980pro has about twice higher iops and r/w…
I’ve noticed the white gloves in many of these SSD reviews. Are the gloves to prevent scraping biometric fingerprint data from a close-up photo? Do the gloves have antistatic properties? Are the gloves intended to prevent the electrical contacts on the SSD from getting dirty? Thanks for all the work. I’ve found these reviewers useful when making purchasing decisions.
Eric, The white gloves have a much more mundane explanation: my fingers always seem to be cut up or injured from one thing or another, so gloved white fingers look better than a bloody mess. When I bought my open-frame test bench it came with some white gloves, presumably because part of it is lexan and to prevent fingerprints, and at some point I was racking my brain on something different to use for a drive picture and decided just put on the gloves and hold the dang thing. That’s all
As a relatively new reader I am wondering why all the FOCUS in these SSD reviews is on sequential read and write results? My understanding is that random read and access time is crucial to how fast a drive will perform and feel in daily use, so it would be nice to see those numbers compared in a graph. The instances where you’d be writing to the drive at 7GBps in every day use would be small, while you will always be doing random reads and writes for booting, opening apps, saving documents, etc.
Great reviews, Will, thank you! Interesting are the “post cache” writes, maybe you are able to plot those from the beginning of a test upto the point where the cache is full and the speeds do not change anymore, to determine cache size? Also – how fast would the cache empty, e.g. you write 10 GB and wait 5 sec, then dump another few GB into the SSD.
JJ, The ‘FOCUS’ as you put it is on sequential numbers because they are the statistic most commonly cited by manufacturers as a performance metric; the front of the box on the SSD will say “7000 MB/s” on it, not quote a 4K random read number. I provide some FOCUS here because I like to ensure manufacturers ‘do what they say’ and actually hold up their end of the bargain. In addition, random performance is harder to directly quantify because there are a bunch more factors that play in that are workload specific. With that said, 3 of my tests (Anvil, ASSSD, and SPEC) are all heavily influenced by non-sequential performance, so I don’t feel like I ignore that aspect of the performance. Jay, There are benchmark utilities that can track write speed across an entire disk like that, but the method I use to perform this test does not have that capability. I use multiple instances of a utility for creating randomized data – not a benchmark utility – and then just measure disk performance ‘from the side’ by looking at task manager. I will eventually run into performance problems with this method; my ability to generate random data is CPU limited and tops out at around 5 GB/s, so when SSDs can sustain write speeds at 5 GB/s or greater I’ll have to change methodologies or get a faster CPU. As for how fast the cache will empty, that depends on a bunch of factors. If the drive is at a reasonable percentage of use – like 60-80% full – and TRIM has been run somewhat recently (Windows runs it weekly by default) then if you write out 10 GB of data it should get ‘unspooled’ from the cache relatively quickly. This behavior is somewhat unofficially tested as part of my benchmarks – after filling the drive and then reducing to the testing capacity (between 60% and 70% full) I very rapidly run all the benchmarks back-to-back, not allowing the drive time to idle. Some drives with poor cache handling do not respond well to this and it shows up in their results.
Will, Appreciate your thoughtful testing procedures. As I deal with upgrades frequently for older systems I run into RAM maxed out and SSDs needed for swapping/paging, where any Cache helps.
I would certainly go for the SK Hynix P41 over this Samsung 980 Pro, as of which you can’t call the endurance pro. Samsung is preferring price/volume over quality/endurance.
Works great on Windows 7 with a Microsoft hot fix then the nvme driver installed I get over 6, 000 mb read and writes Dell 5570 i7
Users should update firmware Samsung recommends users to upgrade to the current version 5B2QGXA7. The firmware update is possible via Samsung’s Magician SSD tool (download at the end of the message). The user data is actually retained, but a backup is always recommended before a firmware update, just in case. According to the investigations by Puget Systems, 980 Pro with the firmware versions 4B2QGXA7 and the said 5B2QGXA7 should not be affected. It’s too late for those affected However, if the SSD has already failed, which is usually reflected in the fact that the 980 Pro (test) is suddenly in read-only mode, this solution comes too late. The firmware update can prevent the problem from occurring, but cannot reverse it if a drive has already failed.
I had one of these. It was great at first but then it wouldn’t boot correctly. Read another article about issues with dependability
Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 NVMe On The PS5 Review – It’s Faster Than The PS5 SSD
When it comes to speedy and worthy SSD, Samsung is known in the market as one of the best, if not already the best. They make high-speed, reliably built, and played a huge part with their RD in making sure the of SSD are within the affordable range.
The Samsung SSD 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe is the latest range of SSD from the South Korean tech giant and personally, the best thing about this SSD other than its obvious build quality and speed is it’s compatible with Sony’s Playstation 5 (PS5) console.
The PS5 itself comes with an incredible high-end built-in SSD that gives players an amazing gaming experience with its lightning speed and short loading time that became the console’s signature. But there is one huge problem with the PS5’s storage ecosystem and that is the built-in SSD only comes in at 825GB with roughly only 668GB being usable due to system files taking up a chunk. But fortunately, the console comes ready with an M.2 SSD slot for storage expansions and this is where we’ll put the 980 Pro to the test.
The 980 Pro is available in two types – one with a heatsink, and the other without. The sample we received for review is the one without a heatsink. Naturally, this makes it unsuitable to be used on the PS5 but thankfully, suitable third party heatsinks are easily obtainable. For this review, we used the PNY XLR8 heatsink that’s specifically designed to be used on the PS5.
Installing both the SSD and the heatsink was straightforward, all I had to do was remove one of the PS5 cover plates, unscrew the existing protection plate and have the space ready to receive the PCIe 4.0 SSD.
It probably took me less than 10 minutes from detaching the cover to sliding the SSD into its rightful position and having the screw-fastened again. Since the PNY heatsink was designed for the PS5 in the first place, fitting it onto the SSD was as simple as ‘plug and play’.
So, here comes the important question – is the Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe faster than the PS5’s built-in SSD?
On paper, the 980 Pro has a read speed from 6,400MB/s to 7,000MB/s and a write speed from 2,700 MB/s to 5,100MB/s, depending on which model you get. In comparison, the native SSD that comes with the PS5 has a read speed of 5,500MB/s, so on paper, even the lowest range in the 980 Pro family is already faster with a 6,400MB/s read speed.
The 980 Pro comes in 4 models – From 250GB to 2TB (we are testing on the 250GB type) and other than their storage sizes, here’s how their read/write speed differs for each model.
|Specs||250GB (MB/s)||500GB (MB/s)||1TB (MB/s)||2TB (MB/s)|
|Price||RM 400||RM 600||RM 1100||RM 2000|
are estimated based on our research on market rates on shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee.
After firing it up for the first time upon installing the new 980 Pro, the PS5 proceeded to format the SSD, preparing it for the console’s use. I transferred some games from the original SSD to the 980 Pro to see if I could immediately feel the differences and though some games felt like they loaded faster, others felt more or less the same.
I did a series of tests comparing the loading speed of eleven games, from the moment I fired them up to the point they reached the main menu, and I skipped through any skippable opening scenes. Here’s a table showing the result of my test.
Samsung 980 Pro
So far, the games that benefited the most are Genshin Impact which went from 42.46 seconds on the original PS5 SSD to 35.40 seconds on the 980 Pro, and Gran Turismo 7 which went from 40.49 seconds to 23.62 seconds, almost half the time.
As for the other games, the differences are not huge but most of them still loaded faster on the 980 Pro. Horizon Forbidden West, Sony’s first-party title still loaded faster, albeit only a little, on the original PS5 SSD but GT7 and Astro’s Playroom were quicker on the 980 Pro.
Far Changing Tides recorded the smallest margin of difference with only a 0.20-second difference in favour of the 980 Pro, followed by No Man’s Sky which recorded a 0.25 seconds difference and The Last Remnant Remastered PlayStation 4 edition which recorded a 0.54-second difference.
The Samsung SSD 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe is a great option if you are a PS5 owner looking for a good and reliable SSD to expand the storage on your console. It has an affordable price tag even if you wish to double your PS5 storage with 980 Pro 1TB. Speed-wise, it is without a doubt that the 980 Pro SSD is faster than the PS5 SSD here based on our tests. Even though some games recorded negligible differences, there are still instances where the differences actually resulted in time-saving. What’s even more impressive is the fact that we’ve tested the lowest-ranged sample of the 980 Pro that has the slowest read/write speed, and even so, it still proved itself the better SSD.
Samsung 980 Pro SSD with heatsink review: The best PS5 SSD yet
Few purchases will feel as worthwhile as the Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink for avid PS5 gamers. With faster-than-stock speeds and a great price, choosing Samsung as your next PS5 SSD upgrade is a no-brainer.
- Faster than the PS5 internal storage
- Reliable performance
- Easy to setup and use
- 1TB model is more affordable than the competition
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Samsung is known for having some of the absolute best SSDs on the market. It’s been a known quantity for years, with the company pushing 3D NAND tech and other groundbreaking research that has helped SSDs plummet in price and skyrocket in performance. The Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink is the company’s latest high-end SSD that’s built not only for fast speeds but also to keep those speeds consistently fast.
Samsung sent me one to test out specifically for the PS5, where having a heatsink is important to keep the drive cool and performing well even under heavy pressure. When the PS5 launched, it surprised many people because of the blazing speed of the SSD inside. Turns out, Samsung built something even faster than Sony did.
No matter which game you play, the Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink will reduce load times and make loading screens even less common than they already are. Plus, at 1TB or 2TB of storage, even the largest games will fit comfortably inside without affecting your built-in system storage. It’s the best SSD for PS5 we’ve seen yet, and it retails for a lower price than our previous favorite, the WD Black SN850.
Price and availability
The Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink retails for 250 MSRP for 1TB capacity, while the 2TB model is an eye-watering 450. But, thankfully, seeing it retail at MSRP is quite uncommon. The price more regularly hovers around the 170 mark for the 1TB model and 300 for the 2TB model.
In fact, since its launch in late November 2021, the regular price has dropped at retailers and hasn’t gone up at all, according to resources like Camel Camel Camel. At 170, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the next-best SSD you can get for your PS5, and it includes a heatsink.
Samsung is only selling the 980 Pro with heatsink in 1TB and 2TB capacity models, so folks hoping for a less expensive 512GB model are out of luck. Unlike other SSDs, this one looks to be readily available for purchase at all major retailers.
Installing an SSD in a PS5 is a pretty simple task, and transferring your games from the internal storage to the SSD only takes a few button presses and a minute or two.
Samsung 980 Pro SSD with heatsink: What’s great
From the initial installation, you’ll marvel at how unbelievably fast this drive is. After getting the drive installed and booting my PS5 back up, I was able to transfer the entirety of my PS5 game library from the internal storage to the Samsung 980 Pro in just a few minutes. I didn’t even have time to make a cup of tea before it was done.
In total, I transferred seven games from the PS5’s internal storage to the Samsung 980 Pro and used those to help test the speed and reliability of the drive. The PS5 games are split evenly between disc and digital versions.
In order to get the proper performance your PS5 needs, you have to spend a bit more money than you might have initially thought. While a standard 1TB m.2 SSD will cost around 80, getting one that’s both super-fast and has a heatsink are vital for a good experience on the PS5. Because of this, even the least expensive SSDs for PS5 will cost double what a standard one without a heatsink would.
That being said, Samsung’s are still lower than the competition’s for the 1TB model. The real cost comes when considering the 2TB model, which is almost double the price of the 1TB model. In many cases, doubling the amount of RAM or storage on a PC or other digital device typically translates to something like a 50% price increase since you’re getting more value for buying in bulk.
While it’s not actually double the price — that would make the 2TB model 340 — 300 is a heck of a lot of money to spend just to get more console storage. It’s not an unreasonable price but it’s not an impulse buy, either. If nothing, it would be nice to see Samsung offer a 512GB option for folks who want a storage expansion for closer to 100.
Samsung 980 Pro SSD with heatsink: Competition
The WD Black SN850 is the closest competitor you’ll find. Both drives perform nearly identically and, in real gaming scenarios, no one would notice any difference at all. The 1TB WD Black SN850 model is only a little more expensive than the Samsung 980 Pro — that’s roughly 185 for WD’s drive — but the 2TB model is substantially more at around 370. Simply put, unless you really just have a thing for WD drives, there’s no reason to choose it over the Samsung 980 Pro.
At this price, the only more financially sensible option would be to buy an SSD heatsink and drop it on a more ordinary m.2 SSD. That can be one you already have lying around or a cheaper SSD that meets Sony’s speed requirements. By any measure, though, you’re not going to get better value for your money (or better speed) than buying the Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink.
Samsung 980 Pro SSD with heatsink: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if.
- You need more storage for your PS5.
- You want the fastest and best value SSD.
- You don’t want to worry about less-reliable SSDs.
You shouldn’t buy this if.
- You already have an SSD you can retrofit
- You don’t play a whole lot of PS5 games
- You don’t have the budget.
If you’re looking for an SSD upgrade for your PS5, the Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink is a no-brainer. It doesn’t come in smaller capacities than 1TB, but that’s probably not an issue for anyone who plays a lot of PS5 games. After all, the average big-name PS5 game hovers around the 50GB mark, meaning you can install roughly 13 games on the PS5’s internal storage before you’ll need more.
Samsung has provided a perfect way to not only double your storage for a relatively affordable price, but to do so without losing the PS5 speed that gamers have come to love. This drive runs cool, loads everything in seconds, and never slows down even during long gaming sessions. It’s as good as you can get.