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Samsung 980 PRO SSD Review

Samsung 980 PRO SSD Review
Review

Price when reviewed

£149

$117
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Our Verdict

The cost of this new Samsung drive will make you think twice about the purchase, and it’s not just the price that you have to consider. The Samsung 980 Pro SSD is a next-generation storage device, and that’s next generation after the next generation stuff I’ve recently been looking at.
It’s fast and does exactly what it should; offer unbeatable speed for video editing and any other high demand job you wish to throw at it. The only issue is, you’ll need a computer and hardware that can keep up. If you’re shooting 4K and starting to deal with 6 and 8K, then this drive is well worth considering, for all others take a look at something a slower and cheaper for now.

For

  • Unbeatable speed
  • Future proof tech

Against

  • Very expensive
  • Requires latest hardware for max speed

What is the Samsung 980 PRO SSD?

The Samsung 980 PRO SSD utilizes Nvme solid state storage and the latest PCie 4 interface. What this means is that this storage memory has up’d the game when it comes to absolute speed.

However, while the storage has the potential to accelerate the speed and reliability of your computer or external storage, there is an issue. You need a next-generation machine or external storage to keep up.

Samsung 980 PRO SSD Review

At present this storage is as fast as they come and unless you’re running the latest PC OS, you won’t be able to utilize the full potential of what’s on offer.

Specification

  • Form Factor: M.2
  • Capacity: 250, 500, 1TB
  • Sequential Read Speed: 7,000MB/s
  • Sequential Write Speed: 5,000MB/s

Performance

As with other M.2 form factor storage the Samsung 980 PRO SSD slots and bolts straight into any compatible computer or external drive, once in place a quick reformat, and you’re set to go.

I placed the 980 Pro into the Nestor NA611TB3 and connected to a MacBook Pro 2018 and set about editing 4K video in Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve.

Samsung 980 PRO SSD Review

In all applications, there was no let up in the speed, with the storage connected through Thunderbolt 3 to ensure maximum speed. The 980 Pro kept up with the edits at every stage of the process.

As ever the storage heat did rise but was kept well in check by the netstor box, and in use, the Samsung 980 PRO SSD move than lived up to the ultra fast label continuing incredibly fast speeds even under extended load.

During the test, I used the Blackmagic Speed Test to check on the transfer speeds of the storage. However, while I could see that the performance of the 980 Pro was far better and faster than anything I had used in the past, something with the software was not allowing it to register the actual speeds.

This may be due to the netstor utilizing a PCIe 3 rather than PCIe 4 interface, but the 980 is fully backwards compatible, and the speeds certainly showed that all was working well.

My feeling is this speed issue is due to the interface into the Mac rather than the netstor or Samsung 980 PRO SSD.

For this reason, I won’t report the transfer speeds until I can get a more accurate PCIe interface, but suffice to say even with this issue the Samsung 980 PRO SSD is faster than any other Nvme drive I have tested.

Verdict

On the surface, the Samsung 980 Pro SSD looks like any other Nvme SSD, essentially a long stick that embodies this lastest form of computer storage. However, while the Nvme SSD’s I’ve looked at over the last few months have been fast, the Samsung 980 Pro is in another league.

The core reason is the switch to PCIe 4, a faster way for data to be transferred from one bit of hardware to another. That upgrade in technology sees a huge leap in speed.

Samsung 980 PRO SSD Review

The quoted read speeds of 7,000MB/s and write speeds of 5,000MB/s we’re not quite matched in the test. But, despite having a high spec’d MacBook Pro the Samsung 980 Pro is for another league of the machine.

Despite the limits of the MacBook Pro i9 speed, the Samsung 980 Pro SSD still gave an outstanding performance with read and write speeds that accelerated past anything else I’ve tested.

While the performance is as yet unmatched, it is expensive and does require the latest technology to make the most of that speed.

If you’re editing HD or standard 4K video, then this Nvme may be overkill, but as you start to progress to RAW 4K with effects in edits, 6 and 8K video this type of speed will become increasingly essential.

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