Note: All our previous testing has been on an Intel test bed. Because of the move to PCIe 4.0, we have upgraded to Ryzen. Devices tested under Ryzen in time for this review are identified in the charts.

Mixed Random Performance

Our test of mixed random reads and writes covers mixes varying from pure reads to pure writes at 10% increments. Each mix is tested for up to 1 minute or 32GB of data transferred. The test is conducted with a queue depth of 4, and is limited to a 64GB span of the drive. In between each mix, the drive is given idle time of up to one minute so that the overall duty cycle is 50%.

Mixed 4kB Random Read/Write

Since our mixed random IO test uses a moderate queue depth of 4, the PCIe Gen4 drives don't get much chance to flex their muscle. The overall scores are still generally bound by NAND flash latency, which doesn't vary too widely between current generation drives. There's also a small performance boost when running this test on our newer, faster Ryzen testbed. The Samsung 980 PRO is clearly an improvement over its predecessors, but is merely tied for first place among flash-based drives with the SK hynix Gold P31.

Sustained 4kB Mixed Random Read/Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

Both capacities of the 980 PRO turn in good efficiency scores for the mixed random IO test, substantially improving on Samsung's previously mediocre standing. The 1TB 980 PRO's efficiency is second only to the SK hynix Gold P31. The 980 PROs are a bit more efficient running at PCIe Gen3 speeds than on the Gen4 platform, despite the ~10% performance boost on the faster system.

There are no real surprises in the performance profiles of the 980 PROs. Both capacities show the same general behavior as earlier Samsung drives, albeit with small improvements to performance and power consumption across the board.

Mixed Sequential Performance

Our test of mixed sequential reads and writes differs from the mixed random I/O test by performing 128kB sequential accesses rather than 4kB accesses at random locations, and the sequential test is conducted at queue depth 1. The range of mixes tested is the same, and the timing and limits on data transfers are also the same as above.

Mixed 128kB Sequential Read/Write

The Samsung 980 PROs take the top spots for our mixed sequential IO test, with even the 250GB 980 PRO edging out the 1TB Seagate FireCuda 520. Even when limited to PCIe Gen3, the 980s are a clear step up in performance from eariler high-end drives. The improvement for the 250GB model is the most impressive, since the 250GB 970 EVO Plus is significantly slower than most of the 1TB drives.

Sustained 128kB Mixed Sequential Read/Write (Power Efficiency)
Power Efficiency in MB/s/W Average Power in W

The 980 PROs turn in more good power efficiency numbers that place them clearly ahead of everything other than the SK hynix Gold P31. And this time, the P31's efficiency lead relatively small at no more than about 25%.

The 980 PROs show a drastically different performance profile compared to earlier Samsung drives. The 970s tend to bottom out during the write-heavy half of the test and recover some performance toward the end. Now with the 980 PRO, performance in the write-heavy half doesn't drop precipitously, so we see a steady decline that most closely resembles how the Intel Optane SSD handles this test

Sequential IO Performance Power Management


View All Comments

  • Nyceis - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

    Wonder when the 2TB will be available.... Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - link

    We hope you won’t notice it’s an EVO. Reply
  • jtester - Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - link

    I am no expert on comparing SSDs, but why are people saying the testing shows that the 970 pro is better to have than the 980 pro? MOST of the charts show the 980 pro well above the 970 pro and even the 970 evo and 970 evo plus above the 970 pro.

    So what am i missing? And although the 970 pro is MLC, a 2tb evo plus would have the same 1200 for writes/endurance, albeit due to twice the space (but the more space is also a plus).

    I actually have a 970 pro ordered because I got a deal where after discounts, even after tax, I am spending only $240. But I made the purchase just based on what people have said before about MLC and the evos needing an SLC cache, etc... But once I looked closer, I realized all of these specs where the evos (970 and 980) seem to be faster and the caches are big for most people.

    hopefully, someone can explain where I know whether to cancel the order and get another evo plus or 980 pro instead... I have asked all over the place online and nobody gives me straight answers.
  • entrigant - Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - link

    So the new Pro is an EVO. Wonderful. This is most disappointing. :( Guess I should stock up on 970 Pro's while I still can. Reply
  • ph1nn - Friday, November 27, 2020 - link

    So basically the 980 Pro is a complete disaster considering the couple year old SX8200 Pro is beating it almost across the board and is half the price. Anandtech is disappointing here they should have been far more critical about this ssd. Reply
  • Krakadoom - Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - link

    I'm getting terrible IOPS numbers on this drive (980 pro 1 tb). Well not terrible, but noticeably worse than my 970 EVO 1 tb (not even the plus model). On the 980 pro: IOPS read at 374.511 and write at 334.228. On the 970 evo: IOPS read at 422.363 and write at 342.529.

    That's both surprising and disappointing. Would not have bought it had I known this, it's advertised as up to 1.000.000 IOPS both read and write. I'm on PCI-E gen 3, so I might as well have spent less on another 970 evo then and gotten better performance.

    Don't see anything from Samsung or anyone else about this issue, apart from there not being a Samsung driver for the 980 pro yet, so it still runs on the standard Microsoft driver, where all my other drives use the Samsung driver. Maybe that's why, but that should have been ready at launch of a flagship product.
  • chickenballs - Sunday, February 21, 2021 - link

    for most ppl the ADATA 8200pro is more than enough and costs half as much Reply

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