Samsung 980 Pro 1TB

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD Review

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB

Today we take a look at the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe SSD. Like our previous review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB drive, this review is done because when we looked at the Samsung 980 Pro in the past, we found the 500GB version of the drive and since then a 1TB drive has become the standard capacity for our SSD testing. In the case of the Sabrent drive, we didn’t want to give the Rocket 4 Plus an advantage by including the 2TB drive in our benchmark charts, while in the case of Samsung the problem is the opposite; I almost never include the 980 Pro 500GB in my charts because it worked at a disadvantage. Today we correct that and get an apple-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 with a heatsink, but the drive is also available with a heatsink. We’ll see how much that heatsink is needed when we get to thermal testing.

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Front
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Front

The Samsung 980 Pro bundles Samsung’s TLC NAND, their internal Elpis controller, and a DRAM cache. Physically, the 1TB drive looks almost identical to the 500GB variant.

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Back
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Back

As a single-sided disc, the back has a product information label and nothing else.

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Specifications

The Samsung 980 Pro series of SSDs is available in sizes between 250 GB and 2 TB.

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Specifications
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Specifications

I’m going to quote myself from my previous review as the complaint still stands:

One bot I’d like to pick with Samsung is that they refer to their NAND as “3bit MLC”. While the M in MLC stands for “multi” and thus is not strictly defined to refer to only 2 bits per cell, all pre-existing industry standards would expect NAND to refer to 3 bits per cell as TLC. Since the previous “Pro” line, SSDs from Samsung have contained proper MLC (2-bits per cell), and the decision to move to TLC was met with some grumbling from the enthusiastic community, I have a feeling that the “3bit MLC ” descriptor at best confusing, and perhaps more misleading.

With that out of the way, today we’re looking at the 1TB model, which has a sequential read speed of 7000 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 5000 MB/s. Rated read speeds are aimed at the Samsung 980 Pro at the higher end of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but write speeds are slightly more modest compared to drives like the Rocket 4 Plus and SK hynix Platinum P41† That said, 5000 MB/s is nothing to scoff at, and I certainly have high hopes for performance.

The warranty is the industry standard 5 years, which is good, while the endurance is a more pedestrian 600TBW. While I believe 600TBW is just acceptable for a 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 stamina would always be good.

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB CrystalDiskInfo
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB CrystalDiskInfo

CrystalDiskInfo can give us some basic information about the SSD and confirms that we are running at PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds with NVMe 1.3.

Testing System Configuration

We use the following configuration for this test:

  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME X570-P
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12C/24T)
  • RAM: 2x 16GB DDR4-3200 UDIMMs

Our tests use the Samsung 980 Pro 1TB as the system boot drive, installed in the M.2_1 slot on the motherboard. The disk is filled with data to 85% of its capacity, and then a portion is removed, leaving approximately 60% of used space on the volume.

Then we get into our performance tests.

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