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Samsung SSD980 PRO 1TB Review

Rating: 9.0.

The SSD980 PRO is Samsung’s latest flagship high-performance NVMe drive and is the South Korean tech giant’s first entry into PCIe Gen4 SSD market. It uses a combination of a new in-house controller and 1** layer 3D V-NAND (it is over 100 layers but Samsung will not confirm the exact number).


The new drive uses Samsung’s newly-developed Elpis controller, details of which are extremely thin on the ground at the moment together but we do know it is built on an 8nm process and can simultaneously process 128 I/O queues, around 4 times the amount the previous generation Phoenix controller supported. To go with the new controller the drives use Samsung’s latest 6th generation 1xx layer TLC V-NAND.

At launch, there are three capacities; 250GB, 500GB and the 1TB model (the drive we are looking at here). Later in 2020, there should be a flagship 2TB drive arriving.

Official performance ratings for the SSD980 PRO are pretty impressive, to say the least. Sequential read/write figures for the range are; up to 6,400MB/s and 2,700MB/s respectively for the 250GB drive, up to 6,900MB/s reads and 5,000MB/s writes for the 500GB drive and up to 7,000MB/s read and 5,000MB/s writes for the 1TB drive.

Random 4K performance is listed on the spec sheet at two different queue depths and threads. At a QD of 1 with 1 thread, all three drives are rated at up to 22,000 IOPs for reads and up to 60,000 IOPS for writes. At a QD of 32 and using 16 threads the 250GB drive is rated as up to 500,000 IOPS for reads and 600,000 IOPS for writes, the 500GB drive up to 800,000 for reads and a staggering 1,000,000 IOPS for writes while the 1TB drive is rated as up to 1m IOPS for both read and writes.

The quoted TBW endurance figures for the range are 150TB for the 250GB drive, 300TB for the 500GB and 600TB for the 1TB model. Samsung backs the drive with a 5-year warranty.

Physical Specifications:
Usable Capacities: 1TB.
NAND Components: Samsung 1** layer 3bit MLC V-NAND
NAND Controller: Samsung Elpis.
Cache: 1GB LPDDR4.
Interface: PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c.
Form Factor: M.2 2280.
Dimensions: 80.15 x 22.15 x 2.38mm.

Firmware Version: 1B2QGXA7.

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