[SOLVED] Bought Samsung 980 PRO SSD to replace 970 EVO Plus as C Drive, Right Decision?

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Jul 25, 2008
Greetings Everyone,

I recently purchased a Samsung 980 EVO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD 1TB. I had intended to clone my current C drive which is a Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe 500GB that is almost completely full.

The new Samsung 980 PRO can deliver a maximum read speed of up to 7,000 MB/s.

My older Samsung 970 EVO can deliver sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB s and 3,300MB s.

So, as I understand it, the 980 EVO can deliver almost twice the read speed of my 970 EVO Plus.

However, I was told by someone on this forum that I should use the new 980 EVO (Generation 4) NVMe SSD as NOT my new C drive as I had intended, but instead to use as a data storage drive only.

Apparently, I was not really going to see that much of an improvement between the two Samsung drives with regards to speed. But how is that possible if the read speed on the 980 M.2 SSD is almost double the read speed of the 970?

I have already cloned my operating system to the new 980 M.2 SSD. So far it seems okay but I probably will know for sure for a couple days of using the system.

Now, I still have the 970 EVO Plus with the operating system on it. I have NOT wiped it clean yet in case there is a strong case for continuing to use the 970 EVO as my C drive. If the 970 is almost completely filled with applications and other things, and I don't see how I would be able to bring the amount of space being used down, would not a M.2 SSD almost filled to capacity run slower than a new 980 PRO M.2 SSD that has 500GB of free space on it?

Ultimately, being at a crossroads here, I am looking for feedback on whether or not it makes more sense to use the 970 or 980 as my C drive. I cannot say for sure that applications will work faster or launch more quickly on the new 980, but it does seem to load the operating system faster than the 970, but not by a huge degree yet it was noticeable.

What do you think is the best choice and why? Thanks in advance for your help.


Jul 25, 2008
What motherboard?
How "full" is the 970?

Thank you for the videos. Based on the videos that you included on the performance of SSD generations 3 and 4, it appears there is little difference.

Seriously, I am wondering if I should just return my Samsung 980 PRO Generation 4 M.2 SSD for a Samsung 980 (not PRO) Generation 3 M.2 SSD that costs $50.00 less on Amazon? Clearly, I will not notice a difference in performance, so why not save myself the $50.00, right?

My motherboard is an ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard with an Intel i9-9900K @ 3.6GHz Base (Overclock 4.8GHz). Though I am not what you would consider a big gamer, I simply enjoy a fast computer.

When I say the Samsung 970 SSD is full, I mean that it has about 30GB of free space on a 500GB SSD.

I know that flash memory works differently than HDD memory. What I do not know is whether having only a small amount of free space on the operating system SSD has any negative impacts on performance like it would on an HDD?

So should stick to using my older Samsung 970 SSD as my C drive? It depends on whether the SSD which is near total capacity will affect performance? If it does NOT affect performance then I think I would switch back to the Samsung 970 as my C drive, then return the 980 Pro and buy the 980 (not Pro) as a data storage drive primarily. I could also move my games to the Samsung 980 because currently, they are on an HDD.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks again.


30GB free on a 500GB drive impacts lifespan as well as performance.

You really don't want to go over about 400GB actual used space.

Yes, continue with the 970 as the C drive.
But DO free up some space on it.

And it appears your Z390-E motherboard does not support PCIe 4.0 for the 980 Pro.
So it runs just the same speed as the 970, no matter what is on it.


Jul 25, 2008
Well, thanks, for checking whether my MB supports the Generation 4 SSD. Knowing that my MB does not support Generation 4 certainly makes all my decisions that much easier.

I will reinstall the 970 SSD as my C drive, and then format the 980 SSD and then return it for a generation 3 SSD.

Thanks again for your help!


Mar 31, 2022
I had a similar conundrum to you last time. Despite having a PCI-e 3.0 motherboard (Maximus Hero XI) I still went for the 980 Pro, partly to have a free speed boost once I upgrade to a PCI-e 4.0 board. That, and the potential PCI-e 4.0 speeds attainable could max out my PCI-e 3 interface, whereas a 970 Evo Plus in comparative synthetic benchmarks ran slightly slower when both were tested on a PCI-e 3 board. (https://ssdsphere.com/samsung-980-pro-vs-samsung-970-evo-plus-ssd-1tb/)

Perhaps the revised 970 Evo Plus with the Elpis controller could come even closer to 980 Pro speeds since the hardware revision, as there's now almost nothing between the two SKUs. I happily use both models in machines at home and work as single disks and in RAID sets.

If your primary concern is capacity, the 970 Evo Plus was revised to use the same Elpis controller as the 980 Pro and shares many of its attributes for a lower price point. Reviews say it runs a little warm but shouldn't be an issue for almost everybody (unless you run your PC in a vacuum). Chillblast recommended alternatives like the Seagate Firecuda 510 (PCI-e v3) if you want comparable storage and performance. I've not used them myself but they should know what they're talking about.

Temps on my 980 Pro (boot drive) are 38 celcius, my 970 Evo is at 42, and that's mainly due to the 980 Pro's slot always being about 3 celcius cooler than the 970's slot due to its slot having better airflow.

Sidenote, I would personally avoid Sabrent SSDs as they use QLC once the SLC is exhausted, an important caveat if you need sustained sequential write performance. (Samsungs use their V-NAND TLC).

A TH review graph from 2020 speaks volumes:


Bear in mind though this is after a fair period of intensive writes and a pretty extreme test, but it does highlight how reliable the Samsungs are in terms of performance.

As the TomsHardware test was actually quite relevant to some of my workloads (dealing with uncompressed media) the 980 Pro was a better fit in terms of predictable performance over extended periods. But the 970 Evo Plus would also be an excellent choice.

Ars did a useful review of the 980 vs 970 Pro vs 970 Evo Plus last year which may help inform future choices as well, https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...ssd-improves-on-970-evo-evo-plus-performance/ for that. If what you're interested in most is read performance, the 970 gens actually performed very well indeed.

I guess despite all this, buy what makes you happy if money in your pocket is a primary concern, just don't buy a BX500 ;)
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Jun 15, 2020
Sidenote, I would personally avoid Sabrent SSDs as they use QLC once the SLC is exhausted
They have QLC model but also have model with 176 layer Micron TLC with Phison E18 controller, which is actually faster than Samsung 980 PRO.

In my opinion, Samsung 980 PRO is the first generation of PCIE4 drives (analogous to 950 PRO/EVO in PCIE3 era)..
The second gen is drives using Phison E18 controller that are much faster but not saturating the PCIE4 speed yet (reminds me of 960 PRO/EVO of PCIE3 era) Wouldn't be surprised Samsung makes 990 PRO (980 PRO plus?) to match race the E18 drives.
I fully expect we will see even faster drives that use the full PCIE4X4 speed some time later. Maybe PCIE5 kicks in before that happens.. Who knows
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