Note: Our SSD testbed is currently producing suspiciously slow scores for The Destroyer, so those results have been omitted pending further investigation.

Note2: We are currently in the process of testing these benchmarks in PCIe 4.0 mode. Results will be added as they finish.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

Our Heavy storage benchmark is proportionally more write-heavy than The Destroyer, but much shorter overall. The total writes in the Heavy test aren't enough to fill the drive, so performance never drops down to steady state. This test is far more representative of a power user's day to day usage, and is heavily influenced by the drive's peak performance. The Heavy workload test details can be found here. This test is run twice, once on a freshly erased drive and once after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The 250GB Samsung 980 PRO is a clear improvement across the board relative to the 970 EVO Plus. It still has some fairly high latency scores, especially for the full drive test run, but that's to be expected for this capacity class. The 1TB model seems to have sacrificed a bit of its full drive performance for in favor of a slight increase in empty-drive performance—the enlarged SLC caches are probably a contributing factor here.

Both drives show a significant reduction in energy usage compared to the older generation of Samsung M.2 NVMe drives, but there's still a ways to go before Samsung catches up to the most efficient 8-channel drives.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

Our Light storage test has relatively more sequential accesses and lower queue depths than The Destroyer or the Heavy test, and it's by far the shortest test overall. It's based largely on applications that aren't highly dependent on storage performance, so this is a test more of application launch times and file load times. This test can be seen as the sum of all the little delays in daily usage, but with the idle times trimmed to 25ms it takes less than half an hour to run. Details of the Light test can be found here. As with the ATSB Heavy test, this test is run with the drive both freshly erased and empty, and after filling the drive with sequential writes.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The Samsung 980 PRO does not bring any significant improvements to performance on the Light test. Peak performance from most high-end NVMe drives is essentially the same, and the only meaningful differences are on the full-drive test runs. Aside from a relatively high 99th percentile write latency from the 250GB 980 PRO, neither capacity has any trouble with the full-drive test run.

Samsung has made significant improvements to energy efficiency with the 980 PRO. Samsung's previous generation of M.2 NVMe drives were among the most power-hungry in this segment, with their performance potential largely wasted on such a light workload. The 980 PRO cuts energy usage by a third compared to the 970 generation drives, bringing them more into competition with other high-end M.2 drives. But as with the Heavy test, there's still a lot of room for improvement as illustrated by drives like the WD Black SN750.

Cache Size Effects Random IO Performance
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  • AmericanLocomotive - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    Except when you compare it to the 970 Evo Plus or 970 Pro, it's not really any better at all.
  • MFinn3333 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - link

    "In 4K write activity, the Samsung 980 Pro was ahead by a mile with a peak performance of 383,099 IOPS and a latency of 329.1ms. The next best drive only reached 144K IOPS and almost 900ms in latency."

    "The Samsung SSD 980 Pro is the best-performing consumer drive we’ve tested to date, it more than doubled the numbers of its competitors in some areas. "

    Right, it's so not better at all...
  • AmericanLocomotive - Thursday, September 24, 2020 - link

    Yeah, compared to the chosen drives in that review. Cherry picked drives to make the 980pro look better. Compare it to the 970 Pro numbers in this review:

    It's hardly better at all.
  • MFinn3333 - Friday, September 25, 2020 - link

    The Sabrent Rocket Gen3 drive was included in the review.
  • Notmyusualid - Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - link

  • techxx - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    Why in the world would anyone buy this over the SN750 at $110?
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    Samsung seems to be hoping it can rely on the Pro branding to get people to buy TLC without knowing it. The article mentions that other companies have dropped MLC so Samsung may be betting on two things:

    1. It will be possible to coast for a bit on the Pro name, before enough people catch on. So, a bit of extra money can be made via the legacy of MLC.

    2. By the time consumers catch on they won't be so mad because of the power of the "everyone else is doing it" fallacy.
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, September 25, 2020 - link

    They will, if they want to pay their due idiot taxes to Samsung.

    Which is quite a big crowd judging from QVO sales numbers, and that's a much more offensively bad product than the 980 Pro.
  • James5mith - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    "...the 980 PRO is an improvement ... over the 970 EVO Plus, but is not as fast as the MLC-based 970 PRO."

    I think that (edited) comment sums up the entire launch of this product.
  • Quantumz0d - Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - link

    Sabrent Rock 4 Plus is going to be my next drive. No more MLC = No more Samsung tax and not worth buying this at all, those have even higher TBW and more SLC caching than this garbage overpriced product with false PRO tag.

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