Both Samsung 980 and 970 Evo Plus are very popular SSDs offered by Samsung. The Samsung 980 comes in M.2 Form Factor and PCIe® Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe™ 1.4 interface. Whereas the 970 Evo Plus has PCIe® Gen 3.0 x 4, NVMe™ 1.3 interface, and M.2 Form Factor.
The 980 comes in the Budget NVMe category and the 970 Evo Plus in the Consumer NVMe category.
Samsung 980 is available in 250GB-1TB variants and the 970 Evo Plus in 250GB-2TB. The read/write speed is also somewhat similar in both.
The 970 Evo Plus promises a sequential read speed up to 3500/3000 MB/s and the 980 can reach up to 3500/3000 MB/s.
Even after having a lot of similarities, there are still numerous things to consider before you make your decision. One of them is that 980 doesn’t have a DRAM. With that said, let’s dive into the actual comparison and see which one should you go with.
1. Theoretical Specifications
First of all, let’s compare the basic specifications disclosed by the company regarding its products.
|Specification||SAMSUNG 980||SAMSUNG 970 Evo Plus|
|Theoretical Read Speed (Max.)||3,500 MB/s||3,500 MB/s|
|Theoretical Write Speed (Max.)||3,000 MB/s||3,300 MB/s|
|Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)||500,000 IOPS||600,000 IOPS|
|Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)||480,000 IOPS||550,000 IOPS|
|Form Factor/Interface||M.2 (2280)/PCIe® Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe™ 1.4||M.2 (2280)/PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4, NVMe 1.3|
|MTBF (Reliability)||1.5 Million Hours||1.5 Million Hours|
|Warranty||5 Years||5 Years|
|Encryption||AES 256-bit Encryption||AES 256-bit Encryption|
With this table, you can see that both SAMSUNG 980 and SAMSUNG 970 Evo Plus have almost similar features. Now, let’s compare the actual benchmark scores.
2. Benchmark Scores (Comparison)
The benchmarks were done under a specific environment on only 1TB variants of both the products. I have used a laptop with an i5 8th Gen processor and 8GB RAM. The results may vary depending on the specs of your system and the total SSD storage space filled.
|Parameter||SAMSUNG 980 |
|SAMSUNG 970 Evo Plus (1TB)(100% Empty)|
|Sequential Read Speed (Avg.)||1,798 MB/s||2,254 MB/s|
|Sequential Write Speed (Avg.)||1,978 MB/s||2,039 MB/s|
|Random 4K Read (Avg.)||78.3 MB/s||87.2 MB/s|
|Random 4K Write (Avg.)||167.7 MB/s||189.7 MB/s|
You can clearly see that the 970 Evo Plus is a winner if we talk about the practical applications under any circumstance. The 970 Evo Plus has a higher sequential read as well as write speed along with the random speeds. This might be happening because of 970’s faster DRAM buffer.
3. Industry Reputation
Both of these SSDs are highly recognized in the computer storage market. But, if we compare, the 970 Evo Plus has a better reputation because of its faster speed and great durability. While I am writing this article, the 980 has a 5-star rating on Amazon.com with around 1100 unique reviews. But, the 970 Evo Plus has more than 24,000 unique reviews with a 5+ rating. With this, you can say that the 970 Evo Plus is a better companion.
Another thing that contributes to the 970 Evo Plus’s huge recognition is the Phoenix controller. However, the 980 also has a perfectly configured Samsung Pablo controller.
4. TBW (Terabyte Written)
Terabyte written is a great parameter to see how long your SSD will last under any circumstances. Let’s compare both of them below.
|Samsung 980||TBW||Samsung 970 Evo Plus||TBW|
|250 GB||150||250 GB||150|
|500 GB||300||500 GB||300|
|1 TB||600||1 TB||600|
There is no difference between the TBW limits of both the SSDs. The 970 Evo Plus has a 2TB variant and that’s why it has given more TBW limit.
5. NAND, DRAM, Controller, etc
Both the SSDs are using the same Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC. But, the 970 Evo Plus has 96(92) layers of NAND whereas the 980 has 128 layers.
Again, the Samsung 980 is a DRAM-Less SSD but it uses the HMB (Host Memory Buffer) for caching purposes. But, the 970 Evo Plus has its own low-power DDR4 SDRAM for caching.
The configurations of 970 Evo Plus’s Phoenix controller are Penta-core, 8-ch, 8-CE/ch. Whereas, the 980 has the Pablo controller whose configurations are not disclosed.
6. Price (Comparison)
Let’s see how much difference is there between the both when we compare the prices. I am going to pick the prices from Amazon.com. However, the prices may vary at any time. I would suggest you checking live prices before making the decision.
SAMSUNG 980 (Price)
250 GB: 54.99$ 500 GB: 59.99$
1 TB: 119.99$
Samsung 970 Evo Plus (Price)
250 GB: 43.83$ 500 GB: 70.54$
1 TB: 165.19 2 TB: 285.0$
Samsung 980 is surely an affordable option to choose between these both. So, if price is your only consideration, you can simply go for the 980. Otherwise, read my honest opinion about this comparison.
Which one should you buy? My Recommendation!
If you are looking for a better speed, I would suggest buying the 970 Evo Plus for sure. However, the TBW, Warranty Period, NAND, and various other things are similar in both. So, going for the 980 would also not go into vain. However, you will see a big difference in the actual speed limits of both these products.
If you do not want very high data read/write speeds or you are building a normal work PC, 980 will give you great results for sure at a cheaper price tag. But, if you ask me to choose between these both, I would surely go for the 970 Evo Plus.
Thanks for reading!