Samsung 980 Vs. 970 EVO Plus SSDs: Which Solid State Drive Should You Choose?

Samsung makes some of the best SSDs on the market. Two of their most popular consumer NVMe drives are the 980 and 970 EVO Plus. But how do you decide between these fast, high-performance solid state drives?

This comprehensive 2100 word guide compares the Samsung 980 and 970 EVO Plus head-to-head. By examining speed, endurance, hardware encryption, form factors, and more, you’ll know which Samsung SSD is the better choice for your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

Feature/AspectSamsung 980 SSDSamsung 970 EVO Plus SSD
Sequential Read SpeedUp to 3,500 MB/sUp to 3,500 MB/s
Sequential Write SpeedUp to 3,000 MB/sUp to 3,300 MB/s
Capacities Available250GB to 1TB250GB to 2TB
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
NAND Flash TypeV-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND flashV-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND flash
DRAM Cache (1TB Model)YesYes
Hardware Encryption SupportAES 256-bit encryptionAES 256-bit encryption
Warranty5 years5 years or 600 TBW for 1TB model
Heatsink IncludedNoPartial heatsink included
Pros– Blazing fast sequential speeds – Low power consumption – Hardware-based encryption – Reasonable 5-year warranty– Extremely fast sequential speeds – Higher endurance with MLC NAND flash – Runs cooler with partial heatsink – Matching 5-year warranty
Cons– Runs hot under load without heatsink – QLC NAND in lower capacities – No enterprise-level endurance rating– Higher cost per GB than 980 – Overkill for many consumer workloads

Overview of the Samsung 980 SSD

First, let’s recap the key features of the Samsung 980 NVMe SSD:

Samsung 980 SSD
Samsung 980 SSD
  • Sequential read speeds up to 3500MB/s
  • Sequential write speeds up to 3000MB/s
  • Available in 250GB to 1TB capacities
  • M.2 2280 form factor
  • Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND flash
  • DRAM cache on 1TB model
  • Hardware AES 256-bit encryption
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • No heatsink on case


  • Blazing fast sequential read and write speeds
  • Also good random IO performance
  • Low power consumption
  • Hardware-based encryption security
  • Reasonable 5 year warranty


  • Runs hot under load without heatsink
  • QLC NAND in lower capacities
  • No enterprise-level endurance rating

Overview of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD

And here are the main highlights of the 970 EVO Plus:

  • Sequential reads up to 3500MB/s
  • Sequential writes up to 3300MB/s
  • Available in 250GB up to 2TB
  • M.2 2280 form factor
  • Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC NAND flash
  • 2GB LPDDR4 DRAM cache on all models
  • AES 256-bit encryption support
  • 5 year or 600 TBW limited warranty
  • Some heatsink on case


  • Extremely fast sequential read and write speeds
  • Improved random IO performance
  • Higher endurance with MLC NAND flash
  • Runs cooler than 980 with partial heatsink
  • Matching 5 year warranty


  • Higher cost per GB than 980
  • Overkill for many consumer workloads

Also Read: Comparison Between Zotac And Asus.

Key Differences Between Samsung 980 And 970 EVO Plus SSDs

1. Speed and Performance Comparison

One of the most important aspects of any SSD is the speed. Here is how the 980 and 970 EVO Plus compare:

Samsung 970 EVO Plus
  • Sequential reads: Both drives are rated for maximum sequential reads up to 3,500 MB/s when tested fresh out of the box. Real-world speeds can reduce over time as unused cells are consumed.
  • Sequential writes: The 970 EVO Plus is rated for 3,300 MB/s sequential writes, while the 980 drops slightly to 3,000 MB/s. This 100-200 MB/s difference is minor.
  • Random read/write: For random IO, the 970 EVO Plus shows a small edge over the 980 in benchmarks. This is thanks to its larger LPDDR4 DRAM cache.
  • Responsiveness: Overall real-world usage feels equally snappy on both. Light workstation and gaming tasks open quickly with virtually instantaneous loading.

Unless you regularly transfer 10+ GB files, the differences in sequential speeds will be unnoticeable. Both deliver extremely fast load times for programs, games, and the operating system.

2. Endurance and Warranty

SSD endurance and warranties also matter for determining long-term reliability.

  • The Samsung 970 EVO Plus offers a 5 year limited warranty, or 600 TB of writes for the 1TB model. This matches some enterprise-level SSD endurance.
  • The 980 warranty is 5 years, but without an endurance rating. Total bytes written will be less than the 970 EVO Plus over the lifetime of the drive.
  • For consumer workloads, most users will never approach the endurance limits. But the 970 EVO Plus gives extra peace of mind for demanding productivity use cases.

3. Hardware Encryption

Both SSDs support AES 256-bit hardware encryption:

  • Hardware-level encryption provides protection of sensitive data without impacting performance like software encryption would.
  • Enabling encryption is seamless through tools like Windows BitLocker. The SSD encrypts all data in real-time as it is written.
  • For professional or personal users wanting to secure their drive’s data, the 980 and 970 EVO Plus offer equally robust encryption capabilities.

4. Form Factors and Compatibility

The 980 and 970 EVO Plus come in the same compact M.2 2280 form factor:

  • This small stick-like shape allows the SSDs to be installed directly on a desktop PC or laptop motherboard’s M.2 slot.
  • Cooling is very important for these drives to maintain max performance and endurance. The 970 EVO Plus includes a partial heatsink, while the 980 has none.
  • Both are compatible with a wide range of consumer PC and laptop motherboards. Just ensure ample airflow over the SSD with or without additional heatsinks attached.

5. Cost Comparison

The 970 EVO Plus does carry a price premium over the 980:

  • At the 1TB capacity, the 970 EVO Plus typically costs about $40 more than the 980. The extra cost is justified by the increased endurance rating.
  • For larger capacities, the price difference widens further. The 2TB 970 EVO Plus costs over $100 more than a 2TB 980.
  • On a cost per GB basis, the 980 is clearly cheaper. But the 970 EVO Plus may still be worth it for intensive workstation usage and future-proofing.

Also Watch This Review Video:

Our Recommendation

So which SSD is better for you? Here are some short recommendations:

  • For budget focused builds or general home and gaming use, the Samsung 980 provides nearly equivalent real-world speeds for less money. It’s the better value pick for most.
  • If you have a demanding productivity workload with large file transfers or need greater endurance ratings, the 970 EVO Plus justifies its premium with extra speed and vastly higher TBW ratings.
  • For laptops or compact builds, the partial heatsink on the 970 EVO Plus helps manage heat in constrained spaces.

Either drive will provide a huge upgrade over hard disk or SATA SSD speeds. But your budget and workload intensity will determine if it’s worth stepping up to the 970 EVO Plus over the cheaper 980.

Also Read: Comparison Between Samsung 970 EVO Plus And 980 Pro

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Samsung 980 and 970 EVO Plus SSDs:

Which is better, the Samsung 980 or 970 EVO Plus?

For most users, the Samsung 980 is the better choice. It offers nearly as fast speeds for a lower cost. But for extreme workstation use, the 970 EVO Plus provides higher endurance ratings.

What is the read speed of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus?

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD provides sequential read speeds up to 3,500 MB/s, equaling the 980. Even sustained reads will be 3,000+ MB/s in real-world use, much faster than any hard drive.

How long does the Samsung NVMe 980 last?

The Samsung 980 doesn’t have a terabytes written endurance rating. But for normal consumer workloads, it should easily provide many years of service. Samsung SSDs are known for reliability.

What is the maximum speed of the Samsung SSD 980?

The Samsung 980 SSD has a maximum sequential read speed of 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of 3,000 MB/s in optimal conditions. Sustained speeds will be very fast as well over its lifetime.

Also Read: Choose Between Solidigm P44 Pro And 990 Pro.


The Samsung 980 and 970 EVO Plus deliver outstanding NVMe SSD performance. While the 970 EVO Plus has minor speed and endurance advantages, the 980 offers nearly as much real-world benefit for significantly less money.

Carefully consider your budget and workload before choosing. But you can confidently rely on the quality and speeds of either Samsung SSD option.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.