Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD Review

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Specs
Samsung 980 Pro 1TB Specs

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.

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

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.

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