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Samsung 970 EVO vs 980 Pro SSD: Which one should you choose?

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 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 same 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 to 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 of the users because it works on the 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 of the users including the 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.

Let’s see what Samsung has to say about both these SSDs. Let’s compare most of the important factors below.

SpecificationsSamsung 970 EVOSamsung 980 Pro
Capacity250GB – 2TB 250GB – 2TB
Interface/Form Factorx4 PCIe 3.0/NVMe/M.2 2280 x4 PCIe 4.0/NVMe/M.2 2280
Seq. Read SpeedUp 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 Consumption10.0 W Max7.2 W Average
Warranty Period5 Years 5 Years
Image
Official WebsiteSamsung 970 EvoSamsung 970 Pro

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.

I have tested both these SSDs on my Intel i5 8th Gen computer that has a 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 1TBSamsung 980 Pro 1TB
Sequential Read2,365 MB/s 5,578 MB/s
Sequential Write1,752 MB/s 5,347 MB.s
Random 4KB Read60.7 MB/s 78.2 MB/s
Random 4KB Write152.4 MB/s 186.5 MB/s
Deep Queue 4K Read1203.1 MB/s 1,759.2 MB/s
Deep Queue 4K Write975.6 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.

Using the same system, I tried opening several software and found that there is very less difference when it comes to the real-time usage of both these SSDs. Let’s see the results below.

OS/SoftwareSamsung 970 EvoSamsung 980 Pro
Windows 10 (Intel i5 8th Gen)Ready to use in 31 SecondsReady to use in 19 Seconds
Google ChromeWithin 4 SecondsWithin 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)
250GB150150
500GB300300
1TB600600
2TB 1,200 1,200

Results: Both Samsung 970 EVO and Samsung 980 Pro have the same TBW ratings. So, all the variants are capable of providing you 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.

You might not understand these things if you do not have any technical knowledge about the SSDs. But, I would try to explain these things after the comparison because they can surely change your final decision.

SpecificationsSamsung 970 EvoSamsung 980 Pro
NAND TypeSamsung’s TLC 3DSamsung’s TLC 3D
NAND Layers64128/136
Cache Type Low Power DDR4 SDRAM Low Power DDR4 SDRAM
ControllerSamsung PhoenixSamsung Elpis
Controller ConfigurationsPenta-Core, 8-ChannelsNot 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 same in both i.e. DDR4 SDRAM. The 970 Evo has 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. Same can happen here as well. Because Samsung 980 Pro is an overkill for the people who has 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 in not that huge.

If you look at the 1TB variants of both the SSDs, 980 Pro is around 15$ expensive than the 970 Evo. Whereas, the 2TB variant of Samsung 980 Pro is just ~5$ expensive than the 970 Evo.

I would suggest you to check live prices because they keep changing time to time.

Final Verdict

Since the price difference between the Samsung 980 Pro and Samsung 970 Evo is not that huge, I would suggest you going for 980 Pro for anyone. 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 4.0×4 NVMe slot available for free. They will be able to experience massive data read/write speed with its help.

Features wise, I can’t suggest any specific SSD between the both because they have almost similar feature when you connect them to a PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe slot. So, just make the decision as per your available budgets.

See other related comparisons:

Samsung 980 vs 980 Pro

Samsung 970 Pro vs 980 Pro

Samsung 970 EVO vs 970 Pro

Is Samsung 980 Pro SSD compatible with PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe slot?

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 an 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.

Can I use Samsung 970 Evo on a PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe port?

Yes, Samsung 970 Evo will work on PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe port. But, the bandwidth will be limited to 3500MB/s.

Is Samsung 980 Pro good for gaming?

Samsung 980 Pro is specially designed for hardcore purpose. If you are a gamer, overclocker, or anyone with a top-notch computer, Samsung 980 Pro can boost it way more.

How to move my existing data to my Samsung SSD?

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!