We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of Samsung’s 980 Pro SSD since it was unveiled at CES in January, and then more recently when a prominent leaker said it would be releasing soon. Apparently very soon, at this point—as spotted by TechPowerUp, Samsung went live with a product page for the 980 Pro series, then yanked it offline.
There are rarely any do-overs on the web, and a cached copy of the 980 Pro product page highlights this fact. It reveals that Samsung was able to increase the speed of the already super-fast SSD a bit since it was shown off at CES. The listing shows it can now deliver up to 7,000MB/s of sequential write performance (versus 6,500MB/s) and up to 5,000MB/s of sequential writes.
Of course, to come anywhere close to those top speeds you will need a PCI Express 4.0 platform, and so far there are just two to choose from, both from AMD—X570 and B550. Intel has not yet embraced PCIe 4.0, and AMD’s entry-level A520 chipset sticks with PCIe 3.0.
Even without a motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0, you can still run these drives, they just won’t approach their maximum rated speeds. And strictly for gaming, it doesn’t matter much, at least not yet. For gaming, even a 2.5-inch SATA SSD with speeds hitting a ceiling of around 580MB/s will load games just as quickly.
This could change when the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 arrive later this year. Both next-gen consoles have finally made the leap to SSD storage, and Microsoft and Sony have been hyping the benefits in the form of near-instant loads and the virtual elimination of in-game transitions.
In theory, the presence of SSDs inside both next-gen consoles should motivate game developers to better leverage faster storage, benefits of which should trickle into the PC space. We’ll have to wait and see.
As for how the 980 Pro compares, the SSD inside the Xbox Series X is rated to hit speeds of up to 2,400MB/s, and the SSD inside the PS5 is rated to deliver 5,500MB/s read speeds. However, those are uncompressed ratings. Using compression, the same SSDs are said to deliver up to 4,800MB/s and 9,000MB/s, respectively, for some workloads. So there’s your caveat.
The 980 Pro will be offered in 1TB, 500GB, and 250GB capacities. There’s no word on pricing yet, as these drives have not officially launched.