Samsung 980 PRO Specs Revealed
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A few days ago, a product page featuring the highly anticipated Samsung 980 PRO-series SSDs was accidentally published on Samsung’s website. As far as this NVMe SSD’s specs go, the 980 PRO seems intent on making its current high-end competitors obsolete.
The new PRO series marks Samsung’s transition to the PCI Express 4.0 interface, which has been available for quite some time now on the latest AMD platforms. So far, all competing PCIe Gen4 drives use the same Phison E16 controller, resulting in largely identical performance of up to about 5,000 MB/s (sequential read). It looks like the 980 PRO will greatly improve on peak transfer rates in, with a claimed 7,000 MB/s (sequential read) for the 1 TB model.
Samsung 980 PRO Specifications (Preliminary)
According to the leaked webpage, storage capacities are limited to 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB – at least at launch.
|Samsung 980 Pro|
|Capacity||1 TB||500 GB||250 GB|
|Max. Sequential Read||7,000 MB/s||6.900 MB/s||6,400 MB/s|
|Max. Sequential Write||5,000 MB/s||5,000 MB/s||2,700 MB/s|
|4K Random Read||1,000,000 IOPS||800,000 IOPS||500,000 IOPS|
|4K Random Write||1,000,000 IOPS||1,000,000 IOPS||600,000 IOPS|
|Avg. Active Power||6.2 W||5.9 W||5.0 W|
The greatly improved performance figures are made possible by the PCI Express (PCIe) 4.0 interface, which already seems to be more or less saturated (when overhead is considered) by the 980 PRO and its custom Elpis controller. At 7,000 MB/s sequential read speeds and 5,000 MB/s sequential write speeds, the new Samsung drive easily surpasses today’s Phison E16 Gen4 SSDs.
This only applies to the 1 TB version of the Samsung 980 PRO. As usual, the smaller 500 GB and 250 GB capacities will run at more modest speeds due to the reduced amount of parallelism.
What’s also interesting here is Samsung’s use of the PRO designation. To date, all Samsung PRO-series SSDs such as the 970 PRO have used MLC memory, which normally means two bits per cell NAND. However, the memory type is listed as “3-bit MLC”, meaning that these drives actually use the cheaper and less durable TLC memory type – like the 970 EVO (Plus).
Design & Heat Management
In terms of design and heat management, Samsung has equipped the devices with a nickel-plated heat spreader over the SSD controller. A thin copper film is also applied to the front and back of the PCB. The units also use Samsung’s “Dynamic Thermal Guard” technology to manage heat generation.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung views the transition to PCIe 4.0 as the biggest news with this generation of SSDs. The 250 GB model is said to be able to reach 500 MB/s transfer speed under IOmeter with TurboWrite activated. For the 500 GB variant, this increases to 1,100 MB/s, and for the largest 1 TB model, the speed should be able to reach up to 2,000 MB/s.
Unfortunately, the short-lived product page didn’t reveal any specific launch date or pricing information for the Samsung 980 PRO series. It is probably a safe bet that it will be a bit more expensive than the current Phison E16-based PCIe Gen4 SSDs, which currently sell for around $200 for 1 TB.