Debut is the pinnacle of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD evaluation

Step by step, one flower and one hard work. From the beginning of the SATA3.0 era, Samsung brand storage has been deeply plowing in the two dimensions of product experience and technological innovation. The stunning four-seater 840EVO opened the way to glory in the Samsung SATA3.0 era. Since then, 850EVO, 860EVO, and 750EVO have come one after another. With Samsung’s only end-to-end integrated technology in the storage industry, it has established its dominance in the SATA3.0 era.

The wood is beautiful in the forest, and the wind will destroy it; if you walk higher than people, everyone will not. Especially in the emerging industries, almost all competitors want to replace them all the time. This is still the case in the solid-state hard drive industry. Facing industrial competition, only continuous technological innovation and product iteration can break the situation.

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Samsung 980PRO

Therefore, in 2015, Samsung branded storage carried its first consumer-grade NVMe product, Samsung 950PRO, which opened another golden age of the solid state drive industry-the birth of the NVMe era, which also meant that Samsung branded storage began to build a more comprehensive And the scientific product system, namely the mainstream and professional areas, plus the Samsung QVO series products (860QVO/870QVO, which focuses on high capacity and high performance), which began to deepen in 2018, the product sequence of Samsung brand storage is officially The formation is complete. The QVO series, for entry-level players, provides a larger capacity and higher cost performance; the EVO series products can meet the product needs of mainstream users, and the PRO corresponds to more professional and feverish core users.

With the advent of the NVMe era, more manufacturers have seen the value and future prospects of the SSD industry. The competition in the industry has also become fierce. From master control to flash memory, to overall solutions, it seems that every segment has In the face of this scenario, Samsung branded storage has demonstrated its technological precipitation and deep heritage as an established manufacturer, almost every year, successively released 960PRO/EVO, 970PRO/EVO, and Many products such as the 970EVO Plus with epoch-making significance.

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Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD

Among them, the Samsung 970EVO Plus, which officially came out in 2019, is undoubtedly the most shining one. Because of its performance, it has become the peak performance and evaluation benchmark of the NVMe interface in the PCIE3.0 era. It is not only the banner of the PCIE3.0 era. , It means the end of the PCIE3.0 era and the birth of a new generation.

Therefore, today in 2020, we are ushering in the PCIE4.0 technology era. The changes of the times mean drastic changes in the industry, and Samsung brand storage still maintains the glorious path of the PCIE3.0 era and even the SATA3.0 era. On September 22, 2020, the company officially launched its first PCIE4.0 consumer-grade solid state drive-Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 NVMe SSD.

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Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 NVMe SSD

In fact, compared to Samsung’s launch of PCIE4.0 SSD at this point in September 2020, many competitors have already launched PCIE4.0 storage products in early 2020 and even in 2019. “PCIE4.0 First Release” is in the limelight;

So, in the face of the unfavorable situation of many competing products, what are the technical advantages and outstanding product upgrades of the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD of Samsung brand storage?

Before the official evaluation, the author briefly summarizes the technology and product innovations of the new generation Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD from multiple dimensions such as technology and application, and then discusses them one by one.

  1. Hardware innovation, new Elpis main controller supporting PCIe 4.0, sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles, backward compatible with PCIE3.0

  2. The performance is comprehensively and explosively improved. The continuous performance of 7000MB/S and 4K random performance are close to 80% performance improvement compared with PCIE 3.0.

  3. Three-in-one intelligent cooling mechanism, innovative technology of the second-generation intelligent TurboWrite mechanism

  4. 5-year limited warranty, Samsung Magic Disk and other after-sales experience upgrades

Not much to say, let’s take a look at the arrival of the new king in the PCIE4.0 era.

Hardware upgrade: Elpis new main control + sixth-generation V-NAND new flash memory, backward compatible with PCIE3.0

By convention, let’s first look at the internal and external structure of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD.

In view of the current maturity of the SSD industry in terms of interface and form, the brand new Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD continues the 970EVO Plus series design in appearance and interface, the standard NVMe protocol M.2 interface, and the single-chip PCB board design.

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Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD

Only the “980PRO” marked on the external sticker can make people realize that this is a brand new upgraded solid state drive product.

Compared with the unchanging appearance and interface, Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD can be said to be “reinvented” in the internal core components. From the main control chip to the flash memory particles, it has achieved a 100% and complete change. .

The new Elpis main control that fully supports PCIE4.0 protocol

In terms of main control, Samsung adopts a new main control designed for PCIE4.0 protocol, the Elpis main control. Elpis is derived from Greek, the Chinese pronunciation is “Elpis”, and the Chinese literal translation is “(Hope) Goddess”. From the name of the master, you can feel the high hopes Samsung brand storage has placed on this 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD And look forward to.

At the technical level, the Elpis main control adopts Samsung’s self-developed new 8nm process technology, fully supports the PCIE4.0 protocol, and can meet the needs of next-generation development and computing. The new Elpis main control supports 128 queues parallel work and 128 I/ The O queue performs data processing synchronously.

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Compared with the previous generation Phoenix master, the number of queues (32 queues) has increased by about 400%. According to data provided by Samsung, a single queue contains more than 64,000 command sets, which means that the internal Samsung Elpis master 128 queues can handle up to 8 million commands simultaneously. This performance is sufficient to meet the most demanding data storage requirements of most users, and it will also meet the performance requirements of solid-state hard drives in the PCIE4.0 era.

Self-developed sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles

In terms of flash memory particles, as a TOP brand in the global flash memory industry, Samsung brand storage has always been at the industry’s leading level in flash memory particle technology. It is precisely based on the huge advantages of flash memory particle research and development that Samsung brand storage solid state drive products can always maintain the industry The status of the overlord.

Since the first launch of 3D stacking or Samsung V-NAND technology in 2013, Samsung’s R&D and application of 3D stacking technology has been leading the world until 2018, the fifth-generation 9x-layer V-NAND applied to Samsung’s 970EVO Plus product. Technology, Samsung has achieved 5 technical iterations on 3D stacking, from the first generation of 32-layer V-NAND to the fifth-generation 9x layer, the single die capacity of Samsung brand storage solid-state drives has doubled, and the performance has also doubled;

Entering the PCIE4.0 era, in order to further satisfy users’ demands for performance and capacity, Samsung brand storage has once again launched a new sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles. According to the official introduction, the sixth-generation V-NAND particles are in the process of manufacturing. Taking full advantage of Samsung’s original “via hole etching” technology, by building a conductive wafer stack composed of more than 100 layers, and then vertically perforating from top to bottom to form a uniform three-dimensional charge trap flash memory (CTF) unit, thus achieving, On the basis of the 9x layer single stack structure, approximately 40% of memory cells have been added.

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The sixth generation of V-NAND particles

It is well known that as the stack height of wafers in each unit area increases, NAND flash memory chips are more prone to errors and read delays. In order to overcome these limitations, Samsung adopted a speed-optimized circuit design, which enables it to achieve a faster data transfer speed than the fifth-generation V-NAND, the write operation time is less than 450 microseconds (μs), and the read operation The time is less than 45μs. Compared with the previous generation products, the performance has been improved by more than 10%, and the power consumption has been reduced by more than 15%.

The increase in unit flash memory capacity makes this 1TB Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD only need two flash memory particles to provide users with up to 1TB storage capacity.

Downward compatible with PCIE3.0, wider adaptability

It often takes time to settle the technology from its birth to its full popularity. In view of the fact that there are still a large number of PCIE3.0 products on the market, Samsung 980PRO has considered compatibility issues at the beginning of its research and development.

The Elpis main control chip with 8nm process technology is perfectly compatible with PCIE3.0 and has excellent performance, even surpassing the 970EVO Plus and 970PRO that dominate the PCIE3.0 generation.

According to official data, under PCIE3.0 bandwidth, the maximum continuous read performance of Samsung 980PRO reaches 3500MB/S, which is basically the same as 970EVO Plus; in terms of maximum continuous write performance, it reaches 3450MB/S, even surpassing Samsung The official test level of 970EVO Plus.

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Compatible with PCIE3.0

As for the 4K random performance, Samsung 980PRO relies on a new process master chip and upgraded sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles, and it has a maximum random read of 690K IOPS (1TB capacity), far exceeding Samsung 600K IOPS of 970EVO Plus.

The significance of backward compatibility with PCIE3.0, on the one hand, allows more users to enjoy the new experience brought by the new master and new particles on the old platform; on the other hand, it can unknowingly improve PCIE4.0 products The popularity of the technology makes the technology better and faster to serve ordinary users.

Explosive performance improvement: 7000MB/S continuous performance approaches the peak of PCIE4.0

The doubling of the bandwidth of PCIE4.0 is the innovation from 8Gb/s of PCIE3.0 to 16Gb/s, making the performance of solid-state hard disk products have also achieved a leap from 3XXXMB/S to 7XXXMB/S. However, in fact, the Samsung 980PRO Before PCIE4.0 SSD came out, other PCIE4.0 SSDs could basically only maintain reading at 5000MB/S, which was far from the real performance under PCIE4.0 bandwidth.

How about the performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD?

Below, we will conduct theoretical performance tests from three dimensions of continuous performance, 4K random performance and comprehensive performance to explore the specific performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD under the new master control and new particles.

Continuous performance: exceed 7000MB/S for the first time

In the continuous performance test, we used three softwares including CrystalDiskMark, ATTO, and Txbench to conduct comparative tests and mutually confirm the final test results.

CrystalDiskMark is a classic hard disk testing software. It can guarantee continuous read and write, random read and write performance of 512KB and 4KB data packets, and 4K random performance when the queue depth (Queue Depth) is 32. Optimized the queue settings, performance description, and test data block selection, which is more in line with the current hard disk test requirements.

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In the CrystalDiskMark test, the performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD is really amazing. The maximum continuous read performance reaches 7099MB/S, and the maximum continuous write speed reaches 5154MB/S, which is almost close to the extreme under PCIE4.0 bandwidth. value.

Then comes the ATTO test. In the ATTO test, we use the new 4.0 version of ATTO for testing. The advantage of ATTO is that it can simulate daily actual work scenarios by testing data blocks of different dimensions, which is more in line with the actual functions of the product. Test scores are more meaningful.

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ATTO test

In the ATTO test, the performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD basically maintained at a high level under different data blocks. Among them, the maximum continuous read performance reached 7.04GB/S, and the maximum write speed broke through to 5.30GB/S, which was basically the same as the previous CrystalDiskMark test results.

Finally, we will conduct continuous performance testing through Txbench, which is an old-brand software that can perform storage performance testing from different queues and different data blocks.

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In the Txbench test, we can see that the maximum continuous read performance of the Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD reached 7078MB/S, and the maximum continuous write performance reached 4975MB/S.

Combining the continuous performance tests of three softwares including CrystalDiskMark, ATTO, Txbench, etc., we can see that the continuous performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD is still amazing, and it can basically maintain the maximum continuous read performance of 7000MB/S. The maximum continuous write performance is at the level of 5000MB/S.

Such continuous read and write performance is basically the strongest performance in the current PCIE4.0 era.

4K Random Performance: Compared with PCIE 3.0, it is close to 80% performance improvement

The PCIE4.0 bandwidth upgrade has not only brought about a surge in continuous performance, but the more critical 4K random performance, this 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD did not disappoint.

In the 4K random performance test, we use AS SSD for testing.

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In the AS SSD test, we can see that the maximum random read IOPS value of the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD reached 664K iops, and the maximum random write value reached 855K iops. Compared with the PCIE 3.0 era, it is nearly 80% performance improvement.

Comprehensive performance: PC Mark8 performance is amazing

In terms of comprehensive performance, we use PC Mark8 for performance testing. The built-in storage performance test of PC MARK8 can accurately reflect the real performance of storage products under various simulated daily load conditions.

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PC Mark8 performance

In the PC Mark8 test, the specific performance of post-processing, game loading, office scenes and other subdivisions, and the final total score of 5072, compared to the PCIE3.0 era, the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD almost achieved nearly 20 The improvement of% and the improvement of comprehensive performance are all-round for the application experience of ordinary users.

Trinity enhanced heat dissipation mechanism, innovative technology of the second-generation intelligent TurboWrite mechanism

In addition to comprehensive hardware innovations and subsequent performance surges, Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD has also achieved many technological and experience innovations in its internal mechanism.

Trinity enhanced cooling mechanism

Let’s talk about heat dissipation first. Friends who are familiar with solid-state hard disk products may know that when flash memory has been working for a long time, heat accumulates quickly. On the one hand, it will cause the main control to lower the frequency and the transmission performance will drop significantly; on the other hand, a lot of heat Long-term accumulation will accelerate the aging of the core components of the SSD. In particular, with the rapid increase in PCIE4.0 product performance, a large amount of heat caused by the high-power master control superimposes, which intensifies the degradation of performance and the aging of product life.

In order to better utilize the performance of the solid state drive and extend the life of the product, Samsung brand stores the brand new 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD, and designed a three-in-one enhanced heat dissipation mechanism for the heat dissipation function.

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Trinity enhanced cooling mechanism

The core of the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD enhanced heat dissipation mechanism is the copper foil heat dissipation label, the nickel coating on the Elpis controller, and the advanced dynamic heat dissipation protection (DTG) technology. The comprehensive coverage from hardware to software allows 980PRO PCIE4. 0 SSD has better heat dissipation performance.

According to the data provided by Samsung, the nickel coating on the Elpis controller is in a normal working environment, compared with the uncoated product, the average temperature difference between the two is 7℃; the copper foil heat dissipation label part has a copper foil heat dissipation label It can delay the trigger time of DTG thermal protection by close to 30%; as for the core dynamic thermal protection (DTG) technology, Samsung’s self-developed technology can monitor the temperature of solid state hard drives and provide an early warning mechanism for overheating protection. It is applied in Samsung Among the many flagship products of the brand storage, its core function can be summed up, that is, a threshold is artificially set. When the operating temperature of the solid state drive reaches the threshold, the dynamic thermal protection (DTG) technology will be Trigger, reduce and reduce the working frequency of the main control until the temperature drops to a safe zone.

It is under the comprehensive protection of software and hardware that the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD can ensure large-scale continuous reading and writing with efficient reading and writing performance.

Innovative technology of the second-generation intelligent TurboWrite mechanism

As for the smart TurboWrite mechanism, I believe everyone will be familiar with it. The so-called smart TurboWrite mechanism actually simulates the SLC working mechanism, and establishes OP reserved space inside the solid state drive to provide performance comparable to SLC particles to meet the needs of ordinary users for ultimate performance.

The newly upgraded intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 can automatically identify the user’s workload and specify the appropriate SLC buffer, which means that TurboWrite 2.0 can intelligently identify the user’s current storage workload. According to different loads, dynamic Adjust the high-performance SLC write buffer ratio; in terms of buffer capacity, compared with the original TurboWrite mechanism, it provides up to 5 times the buffer capacity.

Specifically, the smart cache technology formed by a fixed default space + smart area is adopted. For the 1TB model 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD, Samsung is equipped with a 6GB default cache area and a dynamic smart cache area up to 108GB.

Below, we will use HD Tune Pro to conduct the actual test of TurboWrite2.0.

We set the write volume of the smart TurboWrite cache space exceeding the highest specification of the 1TB model 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD, and observe the change curve of the write performance. After a few minutes of testing, we got the following performance curve changes.

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TurboWrite2.0 test

Through the performance curve, we can see that in the TurboWrite2.0 write range of 0-114GB, the write performance of the 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD is maintained at a relatively high level; when the write volume exceeds 115GB, the TurboWrite2.0 buffer After the consumption, the write speed of 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD has been obviously taken off the shelf, basically maintaining the level of 2000MB/S.

In fact, for most ordinary users, the single write volume is far less than 100GB. The existence of TurboWrite2.0 can help users always maintain high write performance, and at the same time through the simulation of SLC Reducing the overall cost of flash memory is very beneficial to manufacturers, users and the industry.

Innovative upgrades of after-sales experience such as 600TBW/5-year limited warranty and Samsung Magic Disk

Originating from the flash memory architecture of solid state drives, the durability and after-sales warranty of solid state drives have always been another important concern for users in addition to performance.

Based on the technical upgrade and durability guarantee of the sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles, Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD 1TB capacity provides users with up to 600TBW, or 5-year limited warranty after-sales service, of which the 5-year limited warranty is almost nowadays The industry’s highest standard for consumer-grade solid state drives.

From the higher specification after-sales warranty, we can see that Samsung brand storage has confidence in the new generation of 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD products.

In addition to the hard-core after-sales service, in order to allow users to better experience and manage Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD flagship products, Samsung has developed Samsung Magician management software. Through this software, users can conveniently view key information such as the model, temperature, firmware, and interface of the solid state drive. At the same time, Samsung Magician also has built-in performance testing software to facilitate users to grasp the specific performance of the solid state drive product.

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Samsung Magician Management Software

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Performance Testing

The download and use of the Samsung Magician management software is very easy. You only need to enter the official website of Samsung Electronics, download the corresponding Samsung Magician management software, and install it to automatically identify and manage the current solid state drive in the computer.

Go ahead, count the romantic figures, and look at the present.

After experiencing the Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD for nearly a week, I suddenly remembered the author and Samsung Brand Storage Product Director Liu Chengxin’s answer when discussing the progress of Samsung’s PCIE4.0 product, “Samsung’s new product must be the peak of its debut. “.

Debut is the pinnacle, it can be said to be the best footnote of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD.

In terms of hardware innovation, with a new high-performance master controller supporting 128-queue I/O processing, and sixth-generation V-NAND flash memory particles, Samsung once again redefines the performance trend of the PCIE4.0 era from the hardware dimension;

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In terms of performance experience, many industry firsts, such as the first continuous read performance exceeding 7000MB/S, all demonstrate the powerful performance of Samsung 980PRO PCIE4.0 SSD;

Finally, continuous innovation in heat dissipation and TurboWrite, 5-year limited warranty after-sales system, Samsung Magician management software and other aspects of continuous hard work, from the inside to the outside, are all flagships.

It is worthy of debut, but it is the pinnacle.

Finally, regarding the price issue, just as the author’s review article went online, Samsung branded storage also officially announced the sale price of the 980PRO.

To be honest, when the author first saw this price, I was quite surprised. According to the official selling price, the starting price for 250GB is only 599 yuan, 500GB is only 999 yuan, and the mainstream 1TB capacity is even more expensive. It is only 1899 yuan. Compared with the prices of the current mainstream PCIE3.0 and other competing products PCIE4.0, I can only say that this time, the Samsung 980PRO is simply a price butcher.

The performance has doubled, but the selling price is basically the same as that of the previous generation of flagship products. It can be expected that the launch of the 980PRO will inevitably trigger a new wave of buying. Recently, friends who have a demand for computers, strongly recommend buying.