Samsung’s 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 SSD

Samsung has unveiled its next high-performance NVMe 2280-sized M.2 drive, the 980 Pro. So far, it comes in three capacities shipping this month: 250GB for $89.99, 500GB for $149.99, and 1TB for $229.99. A 2TB model will arrive later this year, but Samsung didn’t share a price.

The standout feature of this drive is its compatibility with M.2 slots over the PCIe 4.0 interface. If you have a compatible motherboard, Samsung says the 980 Pro can go on a tear with sequential read / write speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and 5,000MB/s, respectively. It claims that this is two times faster performance than PCIe 3.0 SSDs and nearly 13 times faster than the more affordable but slower SATA SSDs.

Random read and write speeds check in at up to 1,000K IOPS, which according to Samsung, makes it up to twice as fast as PCIe 3.0 SSDs and up to 12.7 times faster than SATA SSDs.

Attached to a M.2 slot with PCIe 3.0, Samsung says the 980 Pro can reach sequential read speeds of 3,500MB/s and up to 3,450MB/s write speeds for the 1TB model. Each step down in capacity has the same read speed claims but with slightly slower write speeds: 3,400MB/s for the 500GB model and 2,700MB/s for the 250GB version. According to a post on How-to Geek, the write speed differences might be due to fewer NAND channels present in a smaller drive, resulting in slower write performance. The inverse is supposedly true of larger drives to allow better performance.

It’s encouraging that, even installed onto a motherboard that’s not on the bleeding edge, the new 980 Pro is faster at writing files than the 970 Pro, which was capable of sequential read / write speeds of 3,500MB/s and 2,700MB/s (these are the claims for the 970 Plus with 1TB; the 512GB model reads at 2,300MB/s). What’s better is that Samsung’s 980 Pro is more affordable and comes in more storage sizes.

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