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Samsung’s new 980 Pro SSDs will blow the best PCIe 4.0 drives out of the water

Samsung NVME SSD

Samsung has unveiled its latest plans for SSD world domination – the 980 Pro SSD. The storage wing of the silicon giant has been strangely quiet over the past year, almost entirely ceding the burgeoning PCIe 4.0 market to the competition and the Phison memory controller. But things are set to change with the 980 Pro SSD looking to blow any of the current PCIe 4.0 drives out of the water.

The new Pro-series of SSDs will feature the 6th generation of V-NAND from Samsung’s memory side, with the number of layers increasing from 64-layers to 128-layers. There’s obviously a new Samsung memory controller in play too, offering the PCIe 4.0 compatibility, but the company has yet to divulge the details about the successor to the Phoenix controller.

But it’s all about the headline speeds when it comes to PCIe SSDs, and the sequential read/write numbers being quoted by Samsung at CES 2020 are pretty extraordinary. While the likes of the Corsair MP600 and Seagare Firecuda 520 look good, the 980 Pro SSD will fly past them sporting 6,500MB/s read and 5,000MB/s write speeds.

Compare that with the existing PCIe fare and they suddenly look a lot more pedestrian. PCWatch has all the details so far. Part of the difference is that for its Pro drives Samsung generally sticks to the more expensive 2-bit MLC memory, while Seagate and Corsair are using the cheaper 3-bit TLC NAND. And yes, that means that the 980 Pro SSD will likely cost a lot more than either of those.

Samsung 980 Pro SSD Samsung 970 Pro SSD Corsair MP600 Seagate Firecuda 520
Sequential read speed 6,500MB/s 3,500MB/s 4,950MB/s 5,000MB/s
Sequential write speed 5,000MB/s 2,700MB/s 4,250MB/s 4,000MB/s

But where there are Samsung Pro SSDs there will surely be Samsung EVO drives too. Those are traditionally the more affordable SSDs of Samsung’s new generations, and often not too far off the pace of their bigger siblings either. Samsung hasn’t shown off anything of the EVO drives yet, but they won’t be far behind.

It’s not just all about the new PCIe interface, however. So far that’s only available in the current X570 platform from AMD, and doesn’t look like it’s getting dropped into Intel’s Comet Lake chipset either, but the new Samsung drives will perform better in the PCIe 3.0 interface than the 970 SSDs. They will also operate with lower power draw too, which should help keep temps down in the last-gen socket.

The new SSDs will come in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities, but Samsung hasn’t yet divulged pricing or a release schedule.

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