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Samsung 980 PRO quietly launched, read speeds up to 7GB/s

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Without an official announcement to the media, Samsung quietly made the new line of 980 PRO SSD storage devices ifo available on their site.

 

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Samsung has uncovered the Samsung 980 Pro on a product page on its website. There will be 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB versions. Listed are some blazing performances, sequential read and write speeds are listed at 7000 MB/s and 5000 MB/s, respectively. Samsung is pitching 4KB random read speeds of up to one million IOPS in the best circumstances with the 1TB model, up to 60,000 IOPS in the most adverse cases with 4K random writes. The product uses a new controller called Elpis (no I did not write that wrong). In Greek mythology, Elpis is the personification and spirit of hope (usually seen as an extension to suffering by the Greeks, not as a god). 

 

The NAND storage store methodology for the 980 Pro is TLC based (so three bits per cell written), and not MLC opposed to the older versions. That also means that the endurance of this drive has become less or more limited compared to the last generation 970 Pro series. It's now 600 terabytes written for the 1 TB model (TBW), that was 1200 TBW for the 970 Pro, and even less than the 960 Pro which was listed at 800 TBW. With a warranty of 5 years or the respective TBW value depleted you should see this puppy last a while though.

 

So, essentially the new 980 PRO is 970 EVO with turbo-charged PCIe 4.0 controller.

 

Sources

https://www.guru3d.com/news_story/samsung_980_pro_pcie_gen_4_m_2_ssd_has_been_launchedrated_at_7000_mbsec_reads.html

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2 hours ago, DuckDodgers said:

The NAND storage store methodology for the 980 Pro is TLC based

I do not like this. It should be called the 980 Evo instead. I know TLC has come a long way, but I still prefer MLC (or if I can get my paws on it, SLC).

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3 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

I do not like this. It should be called the 980 Evo instead. I know TLC has come a long way, but I still prefer MLC (or if I can my paws on it, SLC).

Reading that part made me feel like this is an announcement of the 980 Pro-ish.

 

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7GB/s read and 5GB/s write. Trust Samsung to make a proper PCI-E 4.0 SSD.

 

The endurance isn't as good as my AORUS 2TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD (3600TBW) but it'll barely matter with my workload lol.

 

The speeeeeed tho.

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21 minutes ago, DuckDodgers said:

There will be 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB versions.

For what Samsung "Pro" drives normally cost I don't see much reason for a 250GB model. If you just want a cheap 250GB OS drive there's probably much cheaper alternatives. 

Quite disappointed it only goes up to 1TB models as well. Would have liked to see some higher capacity models.

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24 minutes ago, DuckDodgers said:

Samsung quietly made the new line of 980 PRO SSD storage devices info available on their site

Do you have a link for the product page? I cant find it on their website.

Any word on pricing?

I am far from an expert in this so please correct me if I’m wrong.

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Pro-model TLC without a 2TB option? Wtf is wrong with you, Samsung? 

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20 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

I do not like this. It should be called the 980 Evo instead. I know TLC has come a long way, but I still prefer MLC (or if I can my paws on it, SLC).

If you need lots of writes, look into optane. Same story goes for IO.  

 

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13951/the-samsung-983-zet-znand-ssd-review/6

 

WORM-like use cases don't really need writes though. 

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26 minutes ago, TempestCatto said:

I do not like this. It should be called the 980 Evo instead. I know TLC has come a long way, but I still prefer MLC (or if I can my paws on it, SLC).

The PRO lineup typically stuffs more overprovisioning space versus the EVO anyways to help with their total-bytes-written manufacturer guarantees.

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I'm now thinking just what a Samsung Pro drive should be? They've been higher performance than the already good equivalent Evo version, so if that remains the case, is that a problem? I think the move of TCL into higher range SSDs is going to come regardless if anyone likes it or not. As long as there is a good controller and sufficient hybrid or other dedicated cache, does it matter?

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Storage newbie here, how would this compare to Sony’s Custom SSD?

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Personally I’d much rather have the peace of mind of double the write life. But I suppose if you’re at a point where you’re actually using that speed it will be justified to replace a drive more often 

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That’s a weird name for an exceptionally fast storage controller. I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the whole console situation.   There used to be ram that speed once upon a time.  Makes me glad I’ve decided to hold off till we know more about the upcoming gear to buy anything. 

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1 hour ago, DildorTheDecent said:

7GB/s read and 5GB/s write. Trust Samsung to make a proper PCI-E 4.0 SSD.

 

The endurance isn't as good as my AORUS 2TB PCI-E 4.0 SSD (3600TBW) but it'll barely matter with my workload lol.

 

The speeeeeed tho.

TBW ratings are rather meaningless unless you do absurd sequential writes every day. My Samsung 850 Pro 2TB is rated at 300 TBW. I know torture tests where people rather easily pushed them past 1PBW without any errors. Yeah, 1 Petabyte of writes. I used to have this write anxiety in the beginning, but now I just don't care and just use it however I use it. I'm currently at almost 32TB written and roughly 35.000 operational hours. Life percentage dropped to 97%. It just doesn't matter anymore at this point with exception of very specific stupid high intensity write scenarios. Which are just not gonna be happening on home systems even of most demanding users.

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I don't think this should be called a pro drive. given its small capacities, lack of high write endurance

8 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

TBW ratings are rather meaningless unless you do absurd sequential writes every day.

some people do with Samsung pro drives. they are a popular recording drive which means you can be writing a full drive 1-2x a day for most days

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18 minutes ago, RejZoR said:

 

I know. I'm just trying to find excuses to not buy one of these. I just want to go fast. I really don't do much that would require a write endurance into the PB range though (or even the high TB range). I'm just happy that at least something is using whatever bandwidth PCI-E 4.0 x4 is capable of.

 

I've an old 840 EVO 120GB that's rated for 72TBW and it's done just a touch over 25TBW. I think there's people who have taken them up to the 100TBW mark with "no problems"

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1 hour ago, gloop said:

Storage newbie here, how would this compare to Sony’s Custom SSD?

This is a SSD. The Sony storage solution is a subsystem using a SSD. They're not directly comparable, and just comparing the SSD part doesn't tell the whole story.

 

14 minutes ago, GDRRiley said:

I don't think this should be called a pro drive. given its small capacities, lack of high write endurance

some people do with Samsung pro drives. they are a popular recording drive which means you can be writing a full drive 1-2x a day for most days

This comes down to my earlier question, what makes a Samsung SSD a "Pro" one. There are many use cases. High write quantities I'd consider a specific niche in itself.

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1 minute ago, porina said:

This comes down to my earlier question, what makes a Samsung SSD a "Pro" one. There are many use cases. High write quantities I'd consider a specific niche in itself.

I'm going to disagree. I'd expect a Samsung pro drive given its cost to be at the upper limits of the interface while being able to have massive amounts of data written to it in decent but not the largest capacities. 500, 1tb, 2tb

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8 minutes ago, DildorTheDecent said:

I know. I'm just trying to find excuses to not buy one of these. I just want to go fast. I really don't do much that would require a write endurance into the PB range though (or even the high TB range). I'm just happy that at least something is using whatever bandwidth PCI-E 4.0 x4 is capable of.

 

I've an old 840 EVO 120GB that's rated for 72TBW and it's done just a touch over 25TBW. I think there's people who have taken them up to the 100TBW mark with "no problems"

To make your life easier, while PCIe sticks that you slot directly into motherboard are sexier, I honestly can't find a single other reason to justify buying a PCIe SSD over SATA SSD that I have now. And as LTT showcased, in a blind test you can hardly notice the difference unless again you have these highly specific workloads that require stupid sequential speeds.

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2 hours ago, TempestCatto said:

I do not like this. It should be called the 980 Evo instead. I know TLC has come a long way, but I still prefer MLC (or if I can get my paws on it, SLC).

I hope this doesn't mean that the Evo will use QLC and the QLC drives will be replaced by PLC NAND.

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10 minutes ago, GDRRiley said:

I'm going to disagree. I'd expect a Samsung pro drive given its cost to be at the upper limits of the interface while being able to have massive amounts of data written to it in decent but not the largest capacities. 500, 1tb, 2tb

Using the numbers at guru3d, the TLC drives work out around 0.33 DWPD, and the older gen 0.66 DWPD assuming same warranty period. Still somewhat short of your "can be writing a full drive 1-2x a day for most days" if you want to remain within rated endurance during warranty.

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2 hours ago, gloop said:

Storage newbie here, how would this compare to Sony’s Custom SSD?

Not comparable.

 

Any comparison between the two would be like trying to compare a car vs a motorcycle because "both have engines and can go a certain speed".

 

 

1 hour ago, porina said:

what makes a Samsung SSD a "Pro" one.

I'd say the consistency of performance is a good one. Samsung's Pro drives are WAAAAY faster than other drives when it comes to things like worse case latency during heavy IO workloads. 

During Anandtech's The destroyer" test, the 970 Pro performs about 3 times as well as the 970 Evo in terms of latency. The 970 Pro basically crushes everything else except stuff like Optane. But that is a completely unrealistic scenario in everyday use and won't matter for 99% of people.

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1 hour ago, Froody129 said:

Personally I’d much rather have the peace of mind of double the write life. But I suppose if you’re at a point where you’re actually using that speed it will be justified to replace a drive more often 

SLC/MLC/TLC/QLC isn't doubling, it's exponential.

1000/100/10/1 write ratio.

 

So 1 bit per cell, gets 1 million write endurance, MLC gets 100,000, TLC gets 10,000, and QLC gets 1000. Also the performance flies off a cliff with TLC and QLC

 

https://venturebeat.com/2019/12/06/tlc-vs-qlc-nand-pick-the-best-memory-technology-for-your-application/

 

nand-flash-tech.jpg?resize=1024,570&stri

 

From a logical point of view, 8-bits-per-cell will likely be where it stops, if only because that's the most efficient way to store whole bytes. However the performance does not scale this way.

best-fit-ssds.jpg?resize=1024,546&strip=

 

SLC and MLC not even on the diagram. I don't think any manufacturer will be making SLC or MLC for consumers in the future either, just data center drives on full size PCIe cards. QLC might offer cheap storage, but it's cheap in the context of what you might use in a digital camera, where you only use the cards a few times. A QLC boot drive will probably not be the best use case on a small drive.

 

So the reason we keep seeing these capacities , 250GB, 500GB and 1TB and not smaller ones is because TLC is not a good fit for smaller drives, but may be just fine as long as the drive is large enough and the consumer doesn't live out of the last 20% of the drive. If you can keep a SSD less than half full at all time, it will last a very long time. Heck, the "defragment" tool on Windows serves an entirely different purpose for a SSD, in which to cycle the wear leveling (which it does once a month.) That itself might cause more wear to the drive, but also might make the ultimate lifespan of the drive longer by making the wear leveling more even rather than constrained to a small portion of the drive capacity where you keep erasing and writing files to. (eg Internet cache, temp files, etc)

 

And as we've seen, QLC kinda sucks.

heavy-latency.png

 

Anyway. My opinion on Samsung is a bit all over the place, I don't doubt they make good drives, but I seriously question the drive performance will be maintained over the life of the drive, and experience suggests the drives get slower the more they are filled (see above graph) and it's always a tradeoff between drive latency and peak read/write performance.

For example, this drive is a PCIe 3D TLC drive:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/16012/the-sk-hynix-gold-p31-ssd-review

 

The 1TB model has twice the TLC performance of the 500GB drive. I reasonably suspect the same is true of all manufacturer's using the same scheme. So the reason we likely don't see 2TB drives in M2 form factors is probably because they can't physically fit more chips on the 2280's used for laptops. I've also not seen any engineering laptop come with a 2TB NVMe drive yet either.

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1 hour ago, RejZoR said:

To make your life easier, while PCIe sticks that you slot directly into motherboard are sexier, I honestly can't find a single other reason to justify buying a PCIe SSD over SATA SSD that I have now. And as LTT showcased, in a blind test you can hardly notice the difference unless again you have these highly specific workloads that require stupid sequential speeds.

It's a diminishing returns thing unless the game is actually designed to load straight from the disk, as assets are normally compressed in some shape on disk, games still need to store things in RAM to use them. If they have unencrypted/uncompressed assets on a SSD, they can just directly read it from the SSD, assuming the filesystem is up to it.

 

Like yes there absolutely is a noticeable difference between a SATA drive at 500MB/sec and a NVMe drive at 1800MB/sec, but the difference between a NVME drive at 1800 and 7800 likely won't be noticed without a use case that demands that bandwidth. So video editing is more of that kind of use case.

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Interesting but unfortunate it's only available up to 1TB. If it was 2TB then it might be interesting

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OTHER : Dell Latitude (i7-6600U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD) || HP All-in-One (Unspecified Haswell i7, 8GB DDR3, Crucial MX500 500GB ||

MOBILE : Galaxy S9 (64GB + 64GB uSD) || Galaxy S7 (32GB) || FitBit Blaze || iPad 7th Generation ||

CONSOLE : Nintendo Switch (Pro Controller x3, Joy-Con Grip x1, PowerA Enhanced Controller x1) ||

POLITICAL ALIGNMENT: Social Democratic || Centre-Left ||

 

 

 

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