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Samsung 980 Pro vs 970 Pro: Which One should you buy?

Nowadays, you can find many brands that deal with NVMe SSDs. Samsung is one of the most notable brands among them. Millions of buyers across the world prefer Samsung SSDs to upgrade their systems, due to their reliability and durability. Here, in this article, I have reviewed Samsung 970 Pro and Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs, so that you can make a perfect choice to upgrade your PC/Laptop.  

Quick summary: After comparing both the Samsung NVMe SSDs, it’s clear that Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSD is way faster as compared to Samsung 970 Pro. The obvious reason is its PCIe 4.0 x4 lanes. However, Samsung 970 Pro has much better endurance compared to Samsung 980 Pro.

Both Samsung 980 Pro and 970 Pro are Samsung’s top-end SSDs. They are made to deliver performance. So, when it comes to choosing any of these, you should have a fair idea about their differences as well. So, let’s get started.

Samsung NVMe SSDs are mainly designed for tech enthusiasts, hardcore gamers, and professionals whose workloads are intensive on PC/Laptops and workstations. Which one would be the best pick? You can identify the best pick by exploring the given information of both “Samsung 970 Pro vs Samsung 980 Pro” NVMe SSDs.

Before starting, let’s see what are the specifications that the company is claiming with both the products. Let’s compare them and then go ahead.

SpecificationsSamsung 970 ProSamsung 980 Pro
Capacity512GB – 1TB250GB-2TB
Interface/Form Factorx4 PCIe 3.0/NVMe/M.2 2280x4 PCIe 4.0/NVMe/M.2 2280
Seq. Read SpeedUp to 3500 MB/sUp to 7000 MB/s
Seq. Write SpeedUp to 2700 MB/sUp to 5000 MB/s
Random Read 4K, QD32 (IOPS)

512GB: 
Up to 370K
1TB: 
Up to 500K

250GB: Up to 500K
500GB: 
Up to 800K
1TB: 
Up to 1000K
2TB: 
Up to 1000K
Random Write 4K, QD32 (IOPS)

512GB, 1TB: Up to 500K


250GB: Up to 600K
500GB: 
Up to 1,000K
1TB: 
Up to 1,000K
2TB: 
Up to 1,000K
Power Consumption8.5 W Maximum7.2 W Maximum
Warranty Period5 Years5 Years
Image
Official WebsiteSamsung 970 ProSamsung 980 Pro

Note: The maximum sequential read/write speed offered by 980 Pro can be achieved only on an M.2 PCIe 4.0×4 slot. If you use this SSD on a PCIe 3.0×4 M.2 slot, the speed will be bottlenecked as per the PCIe 3.0×4 specifications.

Check Availability of Samsung 970 Pro

Check Availability of Samsung 980 Pro

These benchmarks are done under a specific environment on an Intel i5 8th Gen processor with 8GB of 3200MHz RAM. The SSDs are tested with 100% empty space. The results may vary depending on your PC’s specs and the overall space filled with data.

VariantSeq. Read SpeedSeq. Write Speed4K Read4K Write
512 GB2379 MB/s1906 MB/s55 MB/s146 MB/s
1 TB2282 MB/s2000 MB/s51.8 MB/s150 MB/s
VariantSeq. Read SpeedSeq. Write Speed4K Read4K Write
250 GB2513 MB/s2033 MB/s71.2 MB/s166 MB/s
500 GB2610 MB/s2588 MB/s71.4 MB/s168 MB/s
1 TB2661 MB/s2900 MB/s74 MB/s174 MB/s
2 TB2638 MB/s2912 MB/s71.1 MB/s169 MB/s

Note: Again, the tests are done on a PCIe 3.0×4 M.2 slot. This is the reason why both of the SSDs are offering almost similar results. However, the 980 Pro was still faster as compared to the 970 Pro.

I tried testing booting up several software and games along with my Windows 10 Home OS. The results are as show below. The tests are again done

OS/SoftwareSamsung 970 ProSamsung 980 Pro
Windows 10 (Intel i5 8th Gen)Ready to use in 24 SecondsReady to use in 19 Seconds
Google ChromeWithin 4 SecondsWithin 3 Seconds
Adobe Photoshop~18 Seconds~15 Seconds
Fortnite~39 Seconds~29 Seconds
Tomb Raider~23 Seconds~19 Seconds

Again, the 980 is winning this test. But, you can see that the performance of 970 Pro is still way better than most of the popular NVMe SSDs in the market.

Now, considering the TBW (Terabytes Written) of both Samsung NVMe SSDs, it’s pretty clear that Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSDs have a better lifespan compared to the Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs.

VariantTBW
512 GB600
1 TB1200
VariantTBW
250 GB150
500 GB300
1 TB600
2 TB1200

980 Pro is definitely an advanced and well-refined SSD. It targets high-end gamers and other professionals. So, you will surely have to pay more to buy it. You will always find that the 980 Pro is expensive as compared to the 970 Pro because it works with an advanced interface and has higher data read/write speed.

Being a PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD, the SAMSUNG 980 Pro is available at very cheaper prices. The 1TB variant of 980 Pro is around 70$ cheaper than the same version of the 970 Pro. So, price-wise, if your system supports the PCIe 4.0 protocol, you should definitely pick up the SAMSUNG 980 Pro.

The form factor (interface) for Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSDs is PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 and the protocol is NVMe 1.3

The form factor (interface) for Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs is PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 and the protocol is NVMe 1.3c

Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSDs includes Samsung Phoenix Controller Whereas, Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs includes Samsung Elpis Controller

Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSDs are based on Samsung V-NAND 2bit MLC (NAND) Whereas, the Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs are based on Samsung V-NAND 3bit MLC

Samsung 970 Pro 512GB variant includes 512MB LPDDR4 and 1TB variant includes 1GB LPDDR4 DRAM Cache Memory.

Samsung 980 Pro 250GB & 500GB variants includes 512MB LPDDR4 Whereas, 1TB includes 1GB LPDDR4 and 2TB variants includes 2GB LPDDR4 DRAM Cache Memory.

One of the common factors between Samsung 970 Pro and Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs is the 5 Years warranty period. 

Samsung Magician Software is mainly meant for Samsung SSD users. Users can download the software for free to have routine health check-ups of the SSDs, check new firmware updates, perform secure erase, fix minor bugs, gain drive details, S.M.A.R.T Diagnostic, and much more.

Download: Samsung Magician Software

As discussed earlier, if you’re intending to have impressive Read/Write speed to enjoy performing random tasks on your PC/Laptop, I would suggest investing in Samsung 980 Pro NVMe SSDs. It’s faster (2x) compared to Samsung 970 Pro but if you need to have a better lifespan of the Solid-State Drive then Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSDs would be a good choice. Insist you to go through the whole article to make a reliable purchase.

Again, if your motherboard doesn’t have support for a PCIe 4.0 SSD, don’t buy the 980 Pro. In that case, 970 Pro should be your choice because it’s a PCIe 3.0 based SSD. Read this brief M.2 SSD Buying Guide here for more.

However, the Samsung 980 is definitely a suitable choice for people who are looking for a perfect PCIe 4.0 SSD. But, for most average users, the 970 would offer more than the basic requirements. So, the final selection would depend on your budget and the type of motherboard.

But, if you want to experience the highest performance of NVMe technology and you have enough budget along with a PCIe 4.0×4 port on the motherboard, just go for Samsung 980 Pro.


ImageModelFeatures and SpecsPrice
Samsung 870 EvoCapacity: 250GB – 4TB
Interface: SATA
Speed: 550/510 MB/s
Endurance: 2,400 TBW
Check Price
Crucial MX500Capacity: 250GB – 4TB
Interface: SATA
Speed: 560/530 MB/s
Endurance: Up to 700 TBW
Check Price
Samsung 970 Evo PlusCapacity: 250GB – 2TB
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3500/2500 MB/s
Endurance: 1200 TBW
Check Price!
Crucial P5Capacity: 250GB – 2TB
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 3400/3000 MB/s
Endurance: 1200 TBW
Check Price!
Kingston A2000Capacity: 250GB – 1TB
Interface: PCIe 3.0
Speed: 2200/2000 MB/s
Endurance: 600 TBW
Check Price!
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