AnandTech Storage Bench - The Destroyer

Our AnandTech Storage Bench tests are traces (recordings) of real-world IO patterns that are replayed onto the drives under test. The Destroyer is the longest and most difficult phase of our consumer SSD test suite. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

ATSB The Destroyer
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

The Samsung SSD 980 turns in decent overall scores for an entry-level drive on The Destroyer, but it doesn't quite match the performance of the WD Blue SN550. In particular, Samsung's latency scores are quite a bit higher, especially for write operations. The 500 GB 980 struggles compared to the 1 TB model, but still pulls off an overall average data rate that's better than the 1TB SATA 870 EVO.

The SSD 980 does use less energy to complete The Destroyer than the 970 EVO Plus or 980 PRO did: slower and lower power worked out to lower overall energy consumption. But Samsung's performance-oriented NVMe drives have long been notable for their high energy consumption, and the SSD 980's results are nothing special in the context of other competitors on the market.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Heavy

The ATSB Heavy test is much shorter overall than The Destroyer, but is still fairly write-intensive. We run this test twice: first on a mostly-empty drive, and again on a completely full drive to show the worst-case performance.

ATSB Heavy
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

Moving on to the Heavy test, the Samsung SSD 980 improves its standings considerably. Performance when running the test on an empty drive is now competitive with mainstream TLC NVMe drives, including the latency scores. When the test is run on a full drive, the SSD 980's performance drops considerably, and it ends up on par with the WD Blue SN550. The 99th percentile latency scores are much higher for the full-drive test runs, but it's not an egregious outlier like a few of the other entry-level NVMe drives.

AnandTech Storage Bench - Light

The ATSB Light test represents ordinary everyday usage that doesn't put much strain on a SSD. Low queue depths, short bursts of IO and a short overall test duration mean this should be easy for any SSD. But running it a second time on a full drive shows how even storage-light workloads can be affected by SSD performance degradation.

ATSB Light
Average Data Rate
Average Latency Average Read Latency Average Write Latency
99th Percentile Latency 99th Percentile Read Latency 99th Percentile Write Latency
Energy Usage

On the Light test, the Samsung SSD 980's performance is a step below mainstream TLC NVMe drives with DRAM, but it's not a huge difference. Even for the full-drive test runs, the latency scores all stay better than the 870 EVO SATA SSD, so there's nothing to complain about in that department. Energy consumption is a bit on the high side given that low-end drives often save quite a bit of power on light workloads, but the SSD 980 is still an improvement over Samsung's performance-oriented NVMe drives.

PCMark 10 Storage Benchmarks

The PCMark 10 Storage benchmarks are IO trace based tests similar to our own ATSB tests. For more details, please see the overview of our 2021 Consumer SSD Benchmark Suite.

PCMark 10 Storage Traces
Full System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Quick System Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency
Data Drive Overall Score Average Bandwidth Average Latency

The Samsung SSD 980 scores very well on the Full System Drive, likely helped by the large SLC caches. Its rankings fall a bit with the Quick System Drive and Data Drive tests as more drives are also able to fit the tests within their SLC caches or pull ahead with higher sequential IO speeds.

Introduction Synthetic Tests: Basic IO Patterns
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  • ptthere - Thursday, June 17, 2021 - link

    I think what was implied by "retail-ready," was the idea that OEM builders like Dell, Acer, etc. might use the price-competitiveness of this model with the Samsung name-recognition to package, say, the 500 GB model into their builds. This would go a long way for performance and marketing bragging for sales when compared to lesser performing drives like an other (insert lesser-known name here) 250 GB DRAM-less NVMe. Reply
  • Byte - Monday, August 30, 2021 - link

    Samsung has a lot of OEM only drives that most of us has not seen directly. As they have reviewed a few OEM only Samsung SSDs, i think this is why it was written that way. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Doesn't look like to me they are targeting the OEM crowd, lazy design as it is a two-sided M.2 stick, by removing the dram should have been easy to get everything on one side.

    This is solely for the retail market where consumers by and large prefer Samsung , most will pick the cheapest samsung drive and at this price it will be hard to justify a brand that isn't associated with performance.

    The whole thing appears to be designed for cost, and I am guessing a two-sided design was the most cost efficient layout(Don't have to double stack NAND dies?). Did you take any picture of the device with the sticker removed, would be interested to see how they chose to populate this. Also impressive the QD1 uplift with HMB enabled.
    Reply
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    It's a single-sided drive. The image shows the PCB with and without the label, not the different sides. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Dang you are right, my bad, Guess we may see this in OEM laptops then.
    If only anandtech comments allowed edits, my ignorance will live on forever...
    Reply
  • Kurosaki - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Entry level sizes for over the top prices. Yayy. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Samsung likes to have a catch for trying to spend less, like the dryer I bought. It played an extremely long very irritating song every time the load was finished. Only on the more expensive models could it be turned off. Of course none of the online reviews warned people about this and there was nothing in the big box store about it. Caveat emptor!

    What did turn up online later, though, were the endless tales of woe from owners whose machines broke an expensive part — the same thing that happened with mine. The dryer only lasted three years or so. Some part on it melts and it's too difficult to replace and too expensive to have serviced.

    Last Samsung appliance for me.
    Reply
  • UltraTech79 - Monday, March 29, 2021 - link

    Dude just unplug the internal cable that connects the internal speaker. No warranties have to be lost here Reply
  • Wereweeb - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    Samsung tried really hard to make an SSD drive with worse value for money than Intel, and I'd argue they still managed to fail.

    I guess it's fast enough that the typical consumer wouldn't notice the difference, will last longer than Intel's QLC, and the user would still get a fuzzy feeling inside because they bought a Genuine Samsung 980®™
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - link

    A castrated TLC drive is still better than those Intel QLC horror shows. Reply

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