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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  • Nyceis - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

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

    We hope you won’t notice it’s an EVO.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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