Samsung 970 Evo Plus Vs 980 Pro: Which One Is Right For You?

(Last Updated On: August 30, 2023)

Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by tech pappy

Choosing an SSD today isn’t a simple task because of the wide variety of manufacturers and models on the market. There are so many models within our price range that we’ll nearly have to “research” them to figure out one is ideal for us. To assist you, we’ve put together a comparison of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus vs. Samsung 980 PRO, two of the most popular SSDs on the market from Samsung.

Despite being two of the most popular SSDs on the market, there is no doubt that they are both good options, but the PCIe 3.0 vs. PCIe 4.0 differences can be rather significant. Although the price gap between the two is enormous, selecting between the two may not be as simple as you may assume.

You have to decide between PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0.

If you have a PCIe 4.0 motherboard, you should go for the Samsung 980 PRO, whereas if you don’t, you should go for the 970 EVO Plus.

However, based on real-world benchmarks and experiments with both interfaces, it’s difficult to make a decision. It’s true that PCIe 4.0 is better and can give significantly higher performance, but this difference won’t be seen in real-world applications.

It doesn’t matter how fast your SSD is if you can’t use it for more than a few seconds compared to an SSD with half the theoretical performance.

In other words, if your motherboard only supports PCIe 3.0 and not PCIe 4.0, buying a PCIe 4.0 SSD is a waste of money because you’ll be paying twice as much for nothing (it will work, yes). Because of this, it may make more sense to go the other way around. You may be able to get the best performance out of a PCIe 3.0 SSD without having to fork over the extra cash for PCIe 4.0.

970 EVO Plus versus 980 PRO: Which one is better?

First, let’s have a look at the technical specifications of both devices so that we may compare them side-by-side:

Samsung 970 EVO Plus vs Samsung 980 PRO

Form factor: M.2 vs.  M.2

Interface :     PCIe 3.0 x4 vs. PCIe 4.0 x4

NVMe protocol:       1.3  vs.  1.3c

Reading speed:      3,500 MB / s vs. 7,000 MB / s

Write speed:            3,300 MB / s vs. 5,000 MB / s

Heatsink:      None vs. None

Durability:     Up to 1200 TBW (2 TB) vs. Up to 1200 TBW (2 TB)

Warranty:      5 years vs. 5 years

When it comes to technical specifications, the only difference between these two solid-state drives is their interface and, as a result, how well they work in real life. Because of this, the 980 PRO model has double the reading speed of the 970 EVO Plus, although the 980 PRO only takes 1,700 MB / s of difference from the 970 EVO Plus in terms of writing speed..

Samsung specifies the 970 EVO Plus’s durability on its website, but to discover the 980 PRO’s durability statistics, we had to go to unapproved sources. This is strange. Regarding warranties, both devices come with a 5-year manufacturer guarantee, and in terms of TBW (total battery life) there is nothing to comment on.

Memory chips from Samsung are used in both SSDs. The only difference between the 980 PRO and 970 EVO Plus models is the controller; the 980 PRO utilizes a Samsung Elpis controller, while the 970 EVO Plus uses a Samsung Phoenix controller.

Both SSDs include TRIM, SMART, an automated garbage collection algorithm, and Dev Sleep support, however they don’t have WWN, which is a disadvantage. There is a noticeable difference in AES 256-bit compatibility between the 980 PRO and 970 EVO Plus models.

The TCG / Opal IEEE1667 for full device encryption, which can be very important for laptop users, is also supported by this device.

It should also be noted that both SSDs are compatible with Samsung Magician, the company’s software that provides optimization and monitoring tools for the unit, as well as direct firmware updates, making it possible to unlock the full potential of the SSD.

How do you know which one to buy?

Although they appear to be nearly identical, they differ in that they utilize various interfaces and so offer an additional level of performance. It’s evident that if your motherboard doesn’t support PCIe 4.0, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the better option because you won’t be able to take benefit of the additional performance provided by the 980 PRO.

Concerns will arise if you have a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0. It’s possible that you’ve already made up your mind to use a PCIe 4.0 SSD because your motherboard provides this interface. If you’re on a tight budget, the 970 EVO Plus is your best bet.

With that said, if your budget allows, the 980 PRO is a good pick because it has a very high performance, with amazing durability and guarantee, so don’t you’re going to be wrong. You can’t go wrong with this card!

As always, the decision is yours, and the bottom line is that both SSDs are superb, fast, and long-lasting. You should choose the 970 EVO Plus if your motherboard is PCIe 3.0, however the 980 PRO should be your pick if your money permits it. The difference in performance between the 970 EVO Plus and the 970 EVO will not be unduly obvious even on a PCIe 4.0 motherboard, if you have a constrained budget.

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