Reviews |Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink SSD

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink SSD Review

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink
Review

Price when reviewed

£139

$70
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Our Verdict

I looked at the non-heat sink version of the Samsung 980 Pro over a year ago and was impressed with the speed and reliability. Now the drive has been released with the addition of a heatsink to help keep things cool when put underload.

In use, the drive works in the same way as the non-heatsink version. However, the additional physical height of the drive means that it wouldn’t fit in the compact form factor of the Intel Ghost Canyon or my stack of external Nvme drives, so compatibility with slim form factor devices is something to watch out for before investing.

Inserted into an ASUS Creator motherboard, the drive’s potential was realised and used as a working drive for DaVinci Resolve. It provided unparalleled speed.

As with the non-heatsink version, this drive provides the performance you need when editing high-resolution video; the addition of the heatsink just helps keep things cool and running smoothly.

For

  • Unbeatable speed
  • Future proof tech
  • Keeps cool under load

Against

  • Very expensive for capacity
  • Some compatibility issues with Mac OS

What is the Samsung 980 PRO SSD?

The Samsung 980 PRO Heatsink SSD is essentially the Samsung 980 PRO SSD with the addition of a heatsink. This addition helps draw heat away from the solid-state storage whenever the drive is put under load, for example, when editing video and the drive is constantly being accessed.

Under normal use, the addition of the heatsink will make little difference to the drive’s performance, but when the drive is constantly in use, reading and writing files the drive will heat up. As temperature of the drive inclreases the drives’ performance will start to be affected. Transfer speeds will slow or become variable; fast one minute, slow the next. The idea of the heatsink is to help keep the drive at a constant temperature so the drive can perform consistently.

The heatsink is simply a piece of metal stuck to the top of the drive, it’s the same as you would see stuck onto a computer CPU or GPU. Alongside fans and other cooling solutions, it’s a very effective way of boosting performance.

As the Samsung 980 PRO SSD can reach transfer speeds of 7,000MB/s, the drive can get incredibly hot.

To make the most of this new technology and the drive speed, however, you need a system equipped with a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 Nvme slot.

Specification

  • Form Factor: M.2: Form Factor: M.2
  • Capacity: 1TB, 2TB: Capacity: 1TB, 2TB
  • Sequential Read Speed: 7,000MB/s: Sequential Read Speed: 7,000MB/s
  • Sequential Write Speed: 5,000MB/s: Sequential Write Speed: 5,100MB/s

Performance

When I tested the non-heatsink version of the drive, I found it difficult to find a machine that could push the abilities. In this test, I had the same issue, this time the compact fitting of the Intel Ghost Canyon meant that I had to leave some of the machines dismantled. Rather than running the machine in that half dismantled state, I opted to use someone else’s machine based around the ASUS Creator motherboard.

Using DaVinci Resolve and footage shot on the Blackmagic 4K MFT, the drive handled the dataflow with ease. Transfer speeds in this real-world situation were excellent, with little to no slow-down during the editing process.

The reduction of heat generated in the slot by the addition of the heatsink seemed to do the job, although there was a feeling that we weren’t pushing the drive hard enough. As it stands this test was done with the drive-in isolation, and really a side-by-side of the two drives would be ideal – something that I will look at in the future.

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink

Final thoughts

Again the Samsung 980 Pro, with a heatsink, is an outstanding drive. It packs in speed and reliability that few other Nvme drives can do; however, this is one for the Pros.

Few machines can take full advantage of this drive’s speed, and through the test, I found compatibility issues with Mac OS. At the same time, there are motherboards such as those in the ASUS Creator range that will take advantage of the speed – and enable you to rip through 6 and 8K video footage as if it were SD.

With the Canon EOS R5 C and Sony FX6, and more high-resolution cameras to follow soon, we are all going to have to pay more attention to the speed of our storage if we’re thinking of editing the video they produce.

Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink

So the Samsung 980 Pro Heatsink is an ultra-fast working drive solution with a tonne of potential. It’s fast, and if your machine is fast enough and you need that additional speed for your edits and workflow, then this is a great solution. However, you’ll probably find that a lesser Samsung Nvme will not only be much cheaper but it will still provide you with all the power and speed you need.

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