Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4.0 SSD spied at CES

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The flagship solid state drive hasn’t been officially announced in a press release yet was on display on the show floor alongside other consumer drives from the South Korean tech giant. AnandTech spied the PCIe 4.0 drive and noted that its specs sheet only listed sequential performance numbers: 6,500 MB/s reads and 5,000 MB/s writes.

Capacities will range from 250GB to 1TB, suggesting Samsung is using 2-bit MLC rather than 3-bit TLC NAND. Unfortunately, there was nobody at the booth that could discuss the drive in detail with the publication so for now, we have no solid intel on what controller or what type of NAND flash it is using.

Samsung did later confirm that more information on the mysterious drive would be dished up in the second quarter. For now, however, pricing, availability and detailed technical specifications remain elusive.

Lead image courtesy AnandTech

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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
"Unfortunately, there was nobody at the booth that could discuss the drive in detail"

So who was at the booth? Someone spewing marketing buzz words? Is CES a technical conference or just for marketing hype? If the former I'm surprised nobody technical was there.
 

Porkous

TS Member
They won't make this explode out of proportions since it would fade out quickly. Talk about this in 1-2 years. Let Intel have some compatibility at least, and also AMD with mainstream boards having this bonus, along its new chip. What I find interesting is that those speeds are more likely faster then the old DDR2 Ram. We can easly put the page file on the SSD and see improvements. This is what they talked about in PS5 and xbox next gen stuff. Is so fast is can be used more as resemblance to real ram.
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
TechSpot Elite
It is odd to see Samsung tap out at just 1TB, while most of the competition is announcing 4TB drives. Looks like they continue losing their foothold in the SSD market.
 

Lionvibez

TS Evangelist
They won't make this explode out of proportions since it would fade out quickly. Talk about this in 1-2 years. Let Intel have some compatibility at least, and also AMD with mainstream boards having this bonus, along its new chip. What I find interesting is that those speeds are more likely faster then the old DDR2 Ram. We can easly put the page file on the SSD and see improvements. This is what they talked about in PS5 and xbox next gen stuff. Is so fast is can be used more as resemblance to real ram.
Don't be fooled by those sequential numbers. Yes they are fast but latency matters more unless all you do is transfer files all day DRAM still wins by a large margin.

Old chart but still relevant

 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
It is odd to see Samsung tap out at just 1TB, while most of the competition is announcing 4TB drives. Looks like they continue losing their foothold in the SSD market.
Their Pro line generally lags behind their EVO line in capacity - mostly because the only difference tends to be reliability. I guess they can't verify that their 4TB drives will last the 5 years...

But the 980 Evo, when it comes out, will probably be virtually the same, and be offered in 4TB...
 

Irata

TS Maniac
They won't make this explode out of proportions since it would fade out quickly. Talk about this in 1-2 years. Let Intel have some compatibility at least, and also AMD with mainstream boards having this bonus, along its new chip.
Why? They are a business and if there are enough customers, then why not sell it.
I am sure that there are many Ryzen / Threadripper customers who are waiting for a proper PCIe 4 NVMe drive, particularly from Samsung.

If they offer the first noticeably faster drive, they could charge more and thus earn more.
 

netman

TS Evangelist
"Samsung did later confirm that more information on the mysterious drive would be dished up in the second quarter"

Second Quarter...?! If they wait that long they will lose this market to competitors....!
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
"Samsung did later confirm that more information on the mysterious drive would be dished up in the second quarter"

Second Quarter...?! If they wait that long they will lose this market to competitors....!
By too long, you mean what? Three years? Because the amount of PCIe 4.0 motherboards is minuscule and will remain that way for at least the next year or so... these are niche items for the foreseeable future and Samsung has nothing to fear - their brand is recognized as one of the (if not THE) leaders in SSD technology and will sell well whenever they come to market.
 

Lew Zealand

TS Evangelist
Their Pro line generally lags behind their EVO line in capacity - mostly because the only difference tends to be reliability. I guess they can't verify that their 4TB drives will last the 5 years...

But the 980 Evo, when it comes out, will probably be virtually the same, and be offered in 4TB...
I think the difference may actually be the type of NAND. The Pro line continues to use MLC (2-bit per cell) NAND while the Evo and practically everything else on the planet uses TLC 3-bit stuff. Obviously the TLC gives you 50% more storage per die but the real problem may actually be production volume. TLC production has vast efficiencies of scale as well as voluminous end products. MLC is now small scale and expensive. That might keep the 2 and 4TB 980 Pros away for a while.
 
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Irata

TS Maniac
By too long, you mean what? Three years? Because the amount of PCIe 4.0 motherboards is minuscule and will remain that way for at least the next year or so... these are niche items for the foreseeable future
I would be curious if anyone had actual sales numbers for X570 and the new Threadripper boards.
While I am sure this is just a small part of the overall market, Samsung also is not addressing the mainstream market with their pro line but rather customers who do not mind spending a bit extra to get better parts.

Coincidentally, that would also be customers who opt for X570 and Threadripper and I think it's safe to say that they'd probably have a good part of this market to themselves if they have a good controller (vs. what's available now in terms of PCIe 4 drives).

and Samsung has nothing to fear - their brand is recognized as one of the (if not THE) leaders in SSD technology and will sell well whenever they come to market.
Agree on Samsung being recognized as the leader in SSD technology, at least for me. The danger here is losing mindshare if others are first to market with real PCIe 4 controllers and drives.

Also, being the leader means that you have to actually lead, I.e. not being an "also ran", and this is the danger for Samsung imho.

Right now - at least for me - I do not see a big benefit option for one of the available PCIe 4 nVme vs. a good Samsung NVMe, but if that changes customers may opt for a competing drive and perhaps discover that they are pretty good, too.
 
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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I would be curious if anyone had actual sales numbers for X570 and the new Threadripper boards.
While I am sure this is just a small part of the overall market, Samsung also is not addressing the mainstream market with their pro line but rather customers who do not mind spending a bit extra to get better parts.

Coincidentally, that would also be customers who opt for X570 and Threadripper and I think it's safe to say that they'd probably have a good part of this market to themselves if they have a good controller (vs. what's available now in terms of PCIe 4 drives).



Agree on Samsung being recognized as the leader in SSD technology, at least for me. The danger here is losing mindshare if others are first to market with real PCIe 4 controllers and drives.

Also, being the leader means that you have to actually lead, I.e. not being an "also ran", and this is the danger for Samsung imho.

Right now - at least for me - I do not see a big benefit option for one of the available PCIe 4 nVme vs. a good Samsung NVMe, but if that changes customers may opt for a competing drive and perhaps discover that they are pretty good, too.
I should apologize... Samsung is NOT a leader... what I meant to say is that they are established as one of the best providers of SSDs...

Samsung almost NEVER leads - they are a company who specializes in copying someone else's idea, refining it, and selling it in huge numbers. My favourite example of this is when Motorola released the Razr flip phone... what did Samsung market just a few months later to compete? The "Blade"... which looked awfully similar :)

Samsung is a HUGE company - they don't usually want to take any of the risks entailed by being a "leader". They are content to let other companies do that, then follow right behind and reap the rewards :)
 

PatrickEagle

TS Rookie
Yeah as usual they only advertise sequential speeds. Just like any other Nand based SSDs, this thing is no way near close to the random I/O speeds of my 3D Xpoint based Intel Optane 905P SSD.