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

If we talk about the Samsung NVMe SSDs, both 980 Pro and 970 EVO Plus are well-recognized products. But, we are here to know the differences so that you can make your final decision perfectly. Samsung 980 Pro is a PCIe 4.0 whereas the 970 EVO Plus works on the PCIe 3.0 interface. This means the 980 Pro can reach very high speeds when you connect it to a PCIe 4.0 motherboard.

The maximum theoretical read/write speed of 980 Pro is 7000/5000 MB/s. On the other hand, the 970 EVO Plus can reach a maximum speed of up to 3500/3000 MB/s.

So, is there any point in comparing them both?


Samsung 980 Pro (1TB) variant is an expensive product as compared to the 970 EVO Plus (1TB). And, you can take all its benefits only if you have a PCIe Gen 4.0 motherboard. In other words, the 980 Pro is a Prosumer SSD whereas, you can consider the 970 EVO Plus a consumer NVMe.

980 Pro is suitable only for a set of users with a PCIe 4.0-supported motherboard.

I am not denying the fact that 980 Pro can’t work on PCIe 3.0 as well. But, it is simply overkill because you are taking half of its benefits by installing it on a PCIe 3.0 slot. So, if you are here to make a decision between both (and you have a PCIe 3.0 system), just go for the 970 EVO Plus right away.

So, in this article, I am here again with a complete comparison of these two industry leaders. So, let’s get started.

You might have researched these theoretical specifications already. But, it is good to compare them face to face. This comparison is actually for the 1TB variant of these SSDs but I would like to compare the overall specifications first of all to make a clear ground.

SpecificationsSamsung 970 Evo PlusSamsung 980 Pro
Storage Variants250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x4 LanesPCIe 4.0 x4 Lanes
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
Sequential Read Speed3500 MB/s7000 MB/s
Sequential Write Speed3300 MB/s5000 MB/s
Random Read (4K, QD32)620K1000K
Random Write Speed (4K, QD32)560K1000K
TBWUp to 1,200 TBWUp to 1,200 TBW
NVMe CategoryProsumer NVMe SSDProsumer NVMe SSD
Warranty5- Years Limited Warranty5- Years Guarantee
PriceCheck AmazonCheck Amazon

You can clearly see that the read/write speeds (both sequential and random) are better in Samsung 980 Pro. This is happening because 980 Pro is working with PCIe 4.0. But, it is also compatible with the PCIe 3.0 motherboards where the speed will be bottlenecked at the highest PCIe 3.0 speed supported by the motherboard.

But, overall, we can say that the Samsung 980 Pro is better in terms of speed and specifications.

I have tested both of these SSDs multiple times. And, I know there is no way the 970 EVO Plus can beat the 980 Pro in real-time performance. But, the competition is tough when you connect both of them to PCIe 3.0 ports.

I have tested these SSDs on my test bench with Intel i5 12600K on the Z690 motherboard. The RAM kit is DDR5 4800 MHz 8×2 GB. The primary storage is Silicon Power UD90 Gen 4.

Sequential read/write scores comparison Samsung 980 pro vs samsung 970 evo plus
Sequential read/write scores comparison Samsung 980 pro vs samsung 970 evo plus
AS SSD Benchmark Scores Comparison
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark (Samsung 980 Pro vs Samsung 970 EVO Plus)
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark (Samsung 980 Pro vs Samsung 970 EVO Plus)
DiskBench 50GB Copy File Speed Samsung 980 Pro vs Samsung 970 EVO Plus (Bar graph)

Note: These test results are not constant or the same everywhere. They are surely going to vary on your computer because of the overall specifications. Also, the OS, RAM, and total space occupied by the SSD can also have impacts on the speed.

This test is also done on my test PC. The motherboard again is PCIe 3.0. So, you can expect some better results from 980 Pro on your PCIe 4.0 motherboard. The processor again is the Intel i5 9400F. Again, you can see slightly different booting times depending on your computer’s specifications. I tried booting these programs and Windows OS multiple times and then took the average to give you the most accurate readings.

Software/OS/GameSamsung 970 Evo Plus (1TB)Samsung 980 Pro (1TB)
Windows 10 Home~13 Seconds~11 Seconds
Adobe Premiere Pro23 Seconds24 Seconds
Adobe Photoshop CC14 Seconds12 Seconds
Blender (Animation Software)29 Seconds26 Seconds
Fortnite31 Seconds28 Seconds
GTA-V24 Seconds22 Seconds

Samsung is one of the SSD brands that never downcast you, especially in terms of reliability. Most of the SSDs come with good TBW ratings and both of these are again providing you with the best benefits possible. 5-Years Limited Warranty is a good feature first of all. But, let’s see the actual TBW ratings and compare them.

VariantSamsung 970 Evo PlusSamsung 980 Pro
250 GB150 TBW150 TBW
500 GB300 TBW300 TBW
1 TB600 TBW600 TBW
2 TB1,200 TBW1,200 TBW

Both of these SSDs also have the same MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rating of 1.5 Million Hours.

Let’s see what are the technical specifications and the main features these SSDs have to offer.

Technical SpecificationSamsung 970 Evo PlusSamsung 980 Pro
NAND Flash TypeSamsung 3-bit MLC V-NANDSamsung 3-bit MLC V-NAND
NAND Flash Layers92/96128/136
ControllerSamsung PhoenixSamsung Elpis Controller
Controller ConfigurationsPenta-core, 8-ChannelsNot Specified
Heatsink OptionNot AvailableAvailable
EncryptionAES 256-bit Encryption (Class 0)AES 256-bit Encryption (Class 0)

The NAND has been improved in both i.e. they are now using the 3-bit MLC instead of the TLC. All other features are just impressive, especially Samsung’s own RAM cache.

As we discussed earlier, the Samsung 980 Pro uses the latest PCIe 4.0 protocol and this makes it expensive. The speed is better with the 980 Pro as we see above. So, with all these great features along with this unmatched read/write speed, the 980 Pro completely justifies its price.

But, the 970 EVO Plus is a suitable pick for both professionals and average users at an easy price. The prices keep changing regularly. Also, your geographical location will have an impact on the price of these SSDs. But, they are always available in both online and offline markets.

As I say in all my comparisons using the Samsung 980 Pro, it is an amazing SSD that every tech enthusiast should test and use. But, I would not suggest the 980 Pro if you are not using a computer with a PCIe 4.0 motherboard. Price is surely the next thing to consider.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus suits every type of user (gamers, editors, programmers, etc), and it has a comparatively affordable price tag. So, anybody can get great benefits from it.

Again, if you want to reach up to 7GB/s data read speed, 980 Pro is the one that can do that for you. But, on the other hand, 970 EVO Plus is a suitable choice for any user even with a limited budget.

Thanks for reading.

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1 year ago

Great simple but detailed comparison. Congrats

1 year ago

At my local shop (Lithuania) the
970 EVO Plus 1TB is 152eur, and the
980 Pro 1TB is 158eur.
With price difference like that might as well get the 980, so when I upgrade away from Z370 platform I get bigger gains.

1 year ago
Reply to  Anshul Rana

What speed would one get at PCIe 3.0 with the 980Pro? Compared with the 970?

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1 year ago
Reply to  xTheEc0

What speeds you get with 980 PRO 1TB on your Z370 mobo (cuz I have the same) ?