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Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB SSD

W1zzard

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The Samsung 980 Pro achieves transfer rates of up to 7 GB/s thanks to support for the PCI-Express 4.0 interface. Unlike its predecessor, Samsung's new SSD uses TLC flash instead of MLC, which affects speeds during intense bursts of write activity. Is the switch from MLC to TLC worth it?

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"I feel like Samsung wasted an opportunity here to make a big splash by releasing a PCIe Gen 4 drive with MLC flash"
You're not alone W1zzard. The whole point of the Pro's was endurance (ie, for someone who does 4k video editing all day every day it'll last twice as long). With this drive now being just a mis-labelled 970 EVO complete with endurance halved (1200TBW 970 PRO reduced to 600TBW 980 PRO / 970 EVO for 1TB capacity), what's the point?...
 
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Appreciate the review and thoughts. The 980 Pro is a good product, no sense calling it trash as some have. I think "wasted an opportunity" are the right words. It just isn't a necessary must have boost from the 970 Pro thanks to mainstream nand. Nice latency numbers.
 
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So the EVO line will become QVO next?
 
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Hi,
Not sure how it ended up with editors choice ?
 
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Booooooorrrrinnnggg.

Come back when they start producing higher capacities at a more acceptable price. Anyone forking out north of £400 for 2TB is a nutter.

Looks like we'll be using a small SSD as a boot drive and spinning rust for many more years to come.

First company that breaks the trend gets my money, Samsung can do one.
 
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Wizz, on the first ball, 1tb sn850 or 980 pro if the same price?
 
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Got a 500Gb one of these on eBay for £90 the other day for my new build. traded in my 2 x 1Tb 860 QVO and the sale of those almost paid for the 980 pro and the 1Tb SN550 i bought!
 
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Indeed, a missed opportunity! More of a side grade to the predecessor. :(

On the other hand, with graphics card prices above $1000 becoming the norm, spending $100 extra on the SSD is a path I could recommended to ensure maximized system performance.
Maybe beating a dead horse here, but can we please not start to trivialize this trend?
 
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The review ending scores are just a joke. Such a nitpicking.

First of all it's said it's "Expensive", than as another disadvantage is said to be, that 970 Pro used MLC. Let me summarize: When you look back at the 970 Pro and it's price you will see was 2x more expensive just because that MLC NAND.
Second I can't say 980 Pro is expensive for what it offers. It's pretty much one (if) not the best consumer SSD on the market right now. Also the main disadvantage of TLC to MLC is the endurance. 5 years (warranty) are enough imo. I don't see many of the people which bought such SSD to keep it more than 5 years since in next 2 to 3 years there will be better.

So you wished MLC, but also it's expensive in it's current state with TLC? huh
 
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This should be 980 EVO, not PRO. That is the summarization.

Also ...TLC flash instead of MLC, which affects speeds during intense bursts of write activity.
 
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You're not alone W1zzard. The whole point of the Pro's was endurance (ie, for someone who does 4k video editing all day every day it'll last twice as long). With this drive now being just a mis-labelled 970 EVO complete with endurance halved (1200TBW 970 PRO reduced to 600TBW 980 PRO / 970 EVO for 1TB capacity), what's the point?...
Samsung is probably testing waters, if it sells well, subsequent pro line will be TLC while introducing MLC pro^2 line with 30% price hike because we commoners do not deserve such good performance. If it doesn't sell, 990 pro will pack MLC to get the users back.
Just a wild guess, don't take my words seriously.
 
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This should be 980 EVO, not PRO. That is the summarization.

Also ...TLC flash instead of MLC, which affects speeds during intense bursts of write activity.
980 Pro wouldn't be 240 EUR if was MLC. Also EVO now is QLC. The TLC from 3 years ago it's not the same. There are improvements.
 
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All the improvements in the world wont turn TLC into MLC, and dont justify the pro pricetag.
It's still the best on market right now from Samsung you liking or not. MLC is getting rarer. Most if not all high-end SSD from what I saw are using TLC. Probably few rare occasions here and there.

p.p. I clicked first 10 reviews excluding the 980 Pro from here. All TLC.
 
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Appreciate the review and thoughts. The 980 Pro is a good product, no sense calling it trash as some have. I think "wasted an opportunity" are the right words. It just isn't a necessary must have boost from the 970 Pro thanks to mainstream nand. Nice latency numbers.
Agreed. I went from an 850 Pro to this drive and most of the criticisms are just. It's a bit too expensive and I was disappointed that they made the switch from MLC to TLC. A wasted opportunity is exactly what this was.

In regards to the heatsink, I would assume the thought process was that it's going to be used in systems that already have heatsinks/shields on the board, so it would be less of an issue. That doesn't necessarily excuse it, but the lack of a heatsink actually made it more attractive to me since I could maintain a clean look on my board without any fuss.
 
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If 980 Pro is too expensive ( i do think so) for you i suggest you check out PM9A1. It's the OEM version of 980 Pro and has Gen 3 prices essentially. Yes you do lose 2 out of the 5 year warranty the 980 offers but 3 years is still ok for massive price reduction. PM9A1 also includes a 256GB model. Currently availability of 256, 512, 1024 is ok with 2TB being scarce. It's quoted performance numbers (and user tests) are on par with 980 Pro. It uses the same controller and likely the same flash.

W1zzard did not mention it in the review but i assume the LPDDR4 cache is 2666Mhz like most others?
 

W1zzard

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W1zzard did not mention it in the review but i assume the LPDDR4 cache is 2666Mhz like most others?
I couldn't find any info on the BGCH config for the K4F8E3D4HF chips. All I know it's LPDDR4
 
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I couldn't find any info on the BGCH config for the K4F8E3D4HF chips. All I know it's LPDDR4
"Compared to previous controllers, Elpis can process 128 queues at the same time (Phoenix had 8, UBX only 8)."

Smells like an error here :) Should be 32 for the Phoenix.
 

W1zzard

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"Compared to previous controllers, Elpis can process 128 queues at the same time (Phoenix had 8, UBX only 8)."

Smells like an error here :) Should be 32 for the Phoenix.
How did I miss that one .. t.t .. Fixed, thanks
 
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Ok so i received my 512GB PM9A1 yesterday. That's the OEM version of 980 Pro. This is not meant to be a review in the comments. Rather pointing out some differences between it and its retail sibling.

First things that are the same:
Both use a black PCB. So no need to worry about "green OEM" color if you fear the green toxic.
Both seem to use the same controller and ram including the configuartion (two chips, controller and cache).
Both are PCIe 4.0 enabled and deliver roughly the same speed. Since i dont have a 500GB version of 980 Pro at hand i cant verify that tho. Based on tests i have done with the PM9A1 and what others have done it behaves the same.
Also it's good to see that Samsung has not cheaped out on temperature controllers. PM9A1 also supports both the flash and controller temperature reading. Both AIDA64 and HWInfo64 properly detect and display it.

Now whats different?
Well obviously you wont get any fancy retail packaging. Not even one of those impossibly microscopic M.2 screws that everyone just loves. Just the drive itself. As barebone as it gets.
Also in Windows and other software it will not show up as Samsung PM9A1 512GB. Instead the full label is SAMSUNG MZVL2512HCJQ-00B00
Quite the mouthful. So if you have OCD about drive names i suggest you avoid it like the plague (a bad pun).

Another major difference is the label. Whereas the 980 Pro uses copper sticker for lack of a better term the PM9A1 uses a regular sticker. Thankfully it's easy to peel it off and it does not leave any residue on the drive itself. But it is recommended you use your own cooling solution if you decide to get the PM9A1.
Another thing is that obviously Samsung Magician does not support this OEM version. Hence no firmware upgrades unless Samsung will provide the ISO on ther website. Currently PM9A1 is not listed there. Tho you can still see the temperature, SMART data and run the built in benchmark. Also the Data Migration software does not support it. So you have to use a 3rd party solution for cloning. I used bootable Clonezilla (used Rufus to place it on a USB stick).

Also warranty should be 1-3 years depending where you buy it from and what country you are in. In USA i believe it's 1 years. In the EU its should be 2 years (mandated by law) and in some places it might be 3 years because that's what geizhals.de (EU price comparison site) lists.

My temperature results are very similar to what W1zzard got in his review. Also to simulate a worst case scenario i stressed both the GPU (2080 Ti ~250W load) and CPU (R7 3800X ~115W) at the same time with AIDA64 stress test. The test ran about ~10 minutes.

I used CrystalDiskMark with the following custom settings to make the drive as hot as possible:
CTRL+Q > Profile: Demo > SEQ > Block Size:8MiB > Queues:1 > Threads: 1
Measure time:60s > Interval Time:0s
Profile > Demo > Write [+Mix]
Test Count:9 > Test Size:16MiB

With the label removed and no heatsink or direct airflow i got:
Flash: 68c
Controller: 77c

With motherboard provided M.2 heatsink mounted (X570 Aorus Master) and no direct airflow i got:
Flash: 64c (4c drop)
Controller: 65c (12c drop)

So while the flash dropped only a little im very happy with the controller drop.
At the end here i will list the part numbers. I took some pictures but i hope i read those numbers correctly. The first is PM9A1. The number in the brackets is from this review.

CONTROLLER:
S4LV003 [S4LV003]
NNH6VTY6 [NNHG4QYA]
2047 [2042]

FLASH:
SEC 101 [SEC 052]
K9DMGY8 [K9DUGY8]
J5CCCK0 [J5CDCK0]
PFV1149VE/PFV8329TE [PFVB009UE]

CACHE:
SEC 101 [SEC 043]
K4F4E3S [K4F8E3D]
4HFBGCH [4HFB6CH]
EUX0648N [EUU20890]

Since English is not my native language i apologize for any spelling errors.
 

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Well, you have got the job.
 
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