Are you confused between Samsung 970 Evo and 980 Pro SSDs? Well, the confusion is obvious because these both are Samsung’s top-notch SSDs with impressive results. But, if you pay close attention to the specifications, you will see that there is a very big difference between the performance of both.
Samsung 980 Pro uses four lanes of PCIe Gen4.0. This enables it to offer up to 7 GB/s data transfer speed. However, the 970 EVO uses the PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes and is capable of delivering up to 3500 MB/s highest data transfer speed.
The 980 Pro is a top-tier SSD from Samsung that fits perfectly the needs of professional users. So, if you are a gamer or someone who wants the maximum of your thousand-dollar computer setup, you should go for 980 Pro. The only condition to get the most out of your 980 is to have an available PCIe 4.0 M.0 NVMe slot.
But, the 970 Evo is suitable for most users because it works on PCIe 3.0. It is a more general SSD option for everyone with any needs. Now, I would say that its performance is more than enough for most users including gamers. But, still, the read-write speed is comparatively low because of its PCIe 3.0 interface use.
So, if you are thinking to choose the best SSD for yourself, I have provided all the information you would need in this article below. So, let’s get started.
Note: I am talking about Samsung 970 EVO not 970 EVO Plus.
Related Comparison: Samsung 980 Pro vs Samsung 970 EVO Plus (1TB)
1. Theoretical Specifications (Comparison)
Let’s see what Samsung has to say about both these SSDs. Let’s compare most of the important factors below.
|Specifications||Samsung 970 EVO||Samsung 980 Pro|
|Capacity||250GB – 2TB||250GB – 2TB|
|Interface/Form Factor||x4 PCIe 3.0/NVMe/M.2 2280||x4 PCIe 4.0/NVMe/M.2 2280|
|Seq. Read Speed||Up to 3500 MB/s||Up to 7000 MB/s|
|Seq. Write Speed||Up to 2500 MB/s||Up to 5000 MB/s|
|Random Read 4K,QD32 (IOPS)|
250GB: Up to 200K
500GB: Up to 370K
1TB, 2TB: Up to 500K
250GB: Up to 500K
500GB: Up to 800K
1TB: Up to 1000K
2TB: Up to 1000K
|Random Write 4K,QD32 (IOPS)|| |
250GB: Up to 200K
500GB: Up to 370K
1TB, 2TB: Up to 500K
250GB: Up to 600K
500GB: Up to 1,000K
1TB: Up to 1,000K
2TB: Up to 1,000K
|Power Consumption||10.0 W Max||7.2 W Average|
|Warranty Period||5 Years||5 Years|
|Price||Check Amazon||Check Amazon|
Result: You can clearly see that the Samsung 980 Pro is the winner in most of the terms. However, these sequential and random speeds of 980 Pro can only be achieved on an M.2 PCIe 4.0×4 port. If you install it on a PCIe 3.0, it may offer somewhat similar performance just like the Samsung 970 Evo.
2. Synthetic Benchmark Scores (Comparison)
I have tested both these SSDs on my Intel i5 11th Gen computer that has 3200MHz 8GB RAM. The SSDs were 100% empty during the test. Your results may vary depending on your system specifications, storage variant, total space filled, and the data to be moved. I used CrystalDiskMark for this test. Let’s see the results.
|Parameter (Avg.)||Samsung 970 Evo 1TB||Samsung 980 Pro 1TB|
|Sequential Read||2,365 MB/s||5,578 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||1,752 MB/s||5,347 MB.s|
|Random 4KB Read||60.7 MB/s||78.2 MB/s|
|Random 4KB Write||152.4 MB/s||186.5 MB/s|
|Deep Queue 4K Read||1203.1 MB/s||1,759.2 MB/s|
|Deep Queue 4K Write||975.6 MB/s||1,479.0 MB/s|
Results: Again, Samsung 980 Pro is winning the competition with almost double the numbers as compared to the 970 Evo. This is again happening because of its amazing technology and the support of PCIe 4.0. But, 970 Evo is still competing hard but the results are in front of you.
3. Software/OS loading Time Difference
Using the same system, I tried opening several software and found that there is very little difference when it comes to the real-time usage of both these SSDs. Let’s see the results below.
|OS/Software||Samsung 970 Evo||Samsung 980 Pro|
|Windows 10 (Intel i5 8th Gen)||Ready to use in 31 Seconds||Ready to use in 14 Seconds|
|Google Chrome||Within 4 Seconds||Within 3 Seconds|
|Adobe After Effects||~32 Seconds||~29 Seconds|
|Fortnite||~34 Seconds||~21 Seconds|
|Tomb Raider||~25 Seconds||~17 Seconds|
Results: Samsung 980 Pro is surely giving faster response times here as well. But, the difference is not that higher. Both these SSDs are capable of providing impressive benefits when it comes to game loading, system booting, video rendering, and file movements.
Samsung is very clear when it comes to showing its endurance ratings to the users. We are going to compare the TBW (Terabytes Written) of both the SSDs. TBW is the total amount of data you can write on your SSD during its lifetime.
|Version (Capacity)||Samsung 970 Evo (TBW)||Samsung 980 Pro (TBW)|
Results: Both Samsung 970 EVO and Samsung 980 Pro have the same TBW ratings. So, all the variants are capable of providing you with the same level of data read/write endurance. If we talk about the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), both of these have the same 1.5 Million hour ratings.
5. NAND, Controller, DRAM, etc
You might not understand these things if you do not have any technical knowledge about SSDs. But, I would try to explain these things after the comparison because they can surely change your final decision.
|Specifications||Samsung 970 Evo||Samsung 980 Pro|
|NAND Type||Samsung’s TLC 3D||Samsung’s TLC 3D|
|Cache Type||Low Power DDR4 SDRAM||Low Power DDR4 SDRAM|
|Controller||Samsung Phoenix||Samsung Elpis|
|Controller Configurations||Penta-Core, 8-Channels||Not Specified|
Result: NAND Flash is the main storage of your SSD and both of them have the same TLC NAND. However, 980 Pro comes with more layers of NAND which is a pro. The DRAM Cache buffer is the same in both i.e. DDR4 SDRAM. The 970 Evo has the Phoenix controller whereas the 980 Pro has a much more advanced Elpis controller. So, the 980 Pro is winning this battle again.
This is where most of the users tend to change their minds. The same can happen here as well. Because Samsung 980 Pro is overkill for the people who have PCIe 3.0 motherboard. So, they will never go for it. But, the 970 Evo is a good option for any kind of motherboard with enough data read and write speed. However, the price difference is not that huge.
I would suggest you check live prices because they keep changing from time to time.
Since the price difference between the Samsung 980 Pro and Samsung 970 Evo is not that huge, the Samsung 980 is a good option for everybody. However, if you are good with the PCIe 3.0 NVMe speeds, 970 EVO also has everything available for you.
980 Pro is surely a good pick for hardcore users who have an M.2 PCIe NVMe slot available on their PCIe 4.0 motherboards. Also, you should have a PCIe 4.0 CPU in order to use 980 Pro at its full potential. They will be able to experience massive data read/write speed with this SSD.
Features-wise, the Samsung 980 Pro is definitely the best option. But, again, this speed is useful only for those who have a good CPU, RAM, and a PCIe 4.0 motherboard. Otherwise, the Samsung 980 Pro is always an overkill for the average user. So, just go for it if you think your system can make its best use.
See other related comparisons:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Samsung 980 Pro is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0. But, if you are planning to use it only on a PCIe 3.0 slot, it is going to be overkill. If your computer or laptop just supports PCIe 3.0 NVMe, it is good to buy a cheaper PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD instead of 980 Pro.
Yes, Samsung 970 Evo will work on PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe port. But, the bandwidth will be limited to 3500MB/s.
Samsung 980 Pro is specially designed for hardcore purposes. If you are a gamer, overclocker, or anyone with a top-notch computer, Samsung 980 Pro can boost it way more.
You can use Samsung’s Free Magician Software for data movement along with other tasks like firmware update, S.M.A.R.T., T.R.I.M., etc.
Thanks for reading!