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Is the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB Good for Gaming?

Find out if the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB M.2 SSD (model MZ-V8P500B/AM) is good for gaming. Also learn about how SSDs can improve your gaming experience.

Is the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB Good for Gaming? Kevin Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: March 18, 2023

Written by Brandon Jones

When building or upgrading a gaming PC, you will likely want to maximize the PC's overall speed. Are you considering getting an SSD for a laptop or gaming console? You might be curious if the SSD will improve gaming performance. This article will discuss whether the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB (model MZ-V8P500B/AM) is good for gaming and a good SSD overall.

I will also discuss the impact of an SSD on load times, FPS, and game installation/updates. If you're curious about PS5 compatibility, I also answer whether this Samsung SSD will work well in a PlayStation 5.

Speed of the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB

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The max READ speed of the 980 Pro 500 GB is 6,900 MB/s.

The max WRITE speed of the 980 Pro 500 GB is 5,000 MB/s.

The Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB's read and write speeds are excellent for gaming. This drive will load games quickly and allow for excellent gaming performance.

Check out our recommended M.2 SSDs below.

Lifespan of the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB

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The 980 Pro 500 GB has an expected lifespan of 1,500,000 hours MTBF (mean time between failures).

This lifespan value is an estimate of how long the SSD will last. Various factors can impact the actual lifespan, but lifespan estimates indicate how long you can expect the SSD to last.

Interface of the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB

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The 980 Pro 500 GB is an NVMe with a PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 interface.

The NVMe version is 1.3c.

Learn more about NVMe, SSD, SATA, M.2, PCIe, and more below.

Form Factor and Size of the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB

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The 980 Pro 500 GB has an M.2 form factor and a 2280 module size.

The first half of the module size is the width of the M.2 SSD and the second half is the length. The 980 Pro 500 GB has a module size of 2280 which means it is 22 mm wide and 80 mm long.

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How Can an SSD Improve PC Gaming Performance?

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By using an SSD in place of a hard drive for storage, you are increasing the speed at which your computer can read and write data. Games don't write very much data to storage, so the most critical performance metric is the read speed.

Some games may not even read from your storage device very often. If you have an adequate amount of memory (RAM), optimized closed-world games may load much of the level into memory as the level first loads. Memory is much faster than even a solid-state drive, so it makes sense for a game to keep game data in memory when it can. Learn more about recommended memory capacities in my article, How Much RAM Do You Need for Gaming?.

Installation and Update Times

During gameplay, games seldom write to your storage device. However, game files are written to your storage device during installation and game patches.

During updates, installers can write many gigabytes of data. Game installers first write to your storage device when downloading a compressed copy of the game update. After that, game files are read and extracted, writing individual files to the device again.

You likely won't notice when the update is first written, as your Internet download speed may be around the same rate.

Hard disk drives will extract files slower due to the resulting files being non-contiguous (i.e., spread out across the disk). Because storage device writes are often slower than reading speeds, game patches can be painful to wait for with a slower storage device.

We can estimate that a hard drive could extract an update at an average write speed of 50 MB/s and read speed of 200 MB/s. At this rate, a hard disk drive would take 1.5 minutes to extract 6 GB of files during the game update.

The latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSDs, on the other hand, might write at speeds of 2 GB/s and read at 7 GB/s while extracting 6 GB of files. This type of SSD would take about 4 seconds, assuming that your CPU can keep up.

Loading Times

Have you noticed the long loading screen when a game level starts or when switching locations? A large portion of this time is spent copying game assets from your storage device to memory.

Open-world games may contain too much data to copy all level data to your PC's memory at once. Instead, they load game assets for objects near your character. Games must read additional data from your storage device as you traverse the world. If your storage device isn't fast enough, you may notice stuttering or pausing until the assets load. Depending on the game's design, you may see objects or textures appearing after a delay. However, delayed object loading can sometimes relate to your GPU's capabilities.


FPS (frames per second) is a measurement determined by what your computer needs to do every time it renders a frame from the game scene. Because games only need to read from a storage device when loading additional level assets into memory, upgrading a storage device will not impact your average FPS.

However, using a fast storage device like an NVMe SSD will significantly improve your experience. A fast storage device will reduce the time it takes to boot your computer, load games levels, and load assets when exploring a game world.

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Is the Samsung 980 Pro 500 GB Good for the PS5?

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The 980 Pro 500 GB is excellent for installing into a Playstation 5. It fits all of the requirements needed for optimal compatibility and performance.

Follow Sony's official documentation for installation tips.

If you get an SSD without a heatsink, you will need to add one to install it into a PS5, which you can easily do yourself. Find M.2 2280 heatsinks on Amazon (affiliate link).

SSD Types and Interfaces: SATA, NVMe, M.2

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It's important to note that you may need to upgrade other PC components to achieve the fastest SSD speeds. NVMe SSDs currently provide the fastest available speeds.


The SATA interface can reach a max speed of 600 MB/s. The NVMe interface, on the other hand, is primarily limited by PCI-Express speeds.


SATA hard disk drives can provide much higher capacities than SSDs, at a lower price. However, their read speeds are limited to about 200 MB/s due to their design.


Consumer 2.5" SSDs always use the SATA interface, which means that if you want speeds faster than 600 MB/s, you'll need to upgrade to NVMe M.2 SSDs.

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M.2 is a small form factor used by storage devices. M.2 devices are typically inserted into a port directly on a motherboard. PCIe expansion cards also exist with M.2 ports.


Both SATA and NVMe M.2 cards exist but must be used with a compatible motherboard. When purchasing an M.2 device, ensure that your motherboard supports the form factor, as M.2 cards come in various lengths.

SATA M.2 cards run at SATA speeds, which means they are limited to 600 MB/s.


NVMe M.2 cards use the PCIe connection to provide a high throughput rate, with a max speed of 8 GB/s for PCIe 4.0.

Each version of PCI-Express roughly doubles the supported bandwidth. For example, a PCI-Express 4.0 NVMe M.2 card using x2 lanes may support up to twice the speed of a PCI-Express 3.0 card using the same number of lanes (same keying).

PCI-Express NVMe M.2 Speed (Rounded)
x2 Bandwidth x4 Bandwidth
PCIe 1.0 500 MB/s 750 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 1000 MB/s 2 GB/s
PCIe 3.0 2 GB/s 4 GB/s
PCIe 4.0 4 GB/s 8 GB/s
PCIe 5.0 8 GB/s 16 GB/s
PCIe 6.0 16 GB/s 32 GB/s
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Learn more in my article, Storage Type Comparison: M.2, U.2, NVMe, SATA, SSDs, HDDs.

Add-in Card PCIe to NVMe M.2 SSD Adapter

If SATA speeds are too slow for you, but you don't have M.2 slots available on your motherboard, you might consider a PCIe to M.2 SSD add-in card adapter. Adapters will run at the speeds supported by your PCIe version.

M.2 PCIe NVMe 4.0/3.0 Adapter M.2 PCIe NVMe 4.0/3.0 Adapter Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Hard Drive vs. SSD Read Speeds for Gaming

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Modern hard disk drives can reach up to 200 MB/s for large files. However, for smaller files that aren't located near each other on a hard drive, you can typically achieve read rates of only 1-3 MB/s. In comparison, the latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 drives can often reach speeds of up to 7 GB/s for large files and 2-3 GB/s for smaller scattered files.

For gaming, this means that your levels could load 35x faster by upgrading to the latest SSD devices and PCI-Express versions. This speed increase assumes that level data is collected into files that correlate with the level or map region. Unoptimized games with no asset organization could see a 1000x performance boost when loading data.

Check out our recommended M.2 SSDs below.

Samsung 980 PRO 500 GB NVMe Samsung 980 PRO 500 GB NVMe Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Our Favorite M.2 NVMe SSDs

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Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD: Samsung 980 Pro SSD

Best Value M.2 SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD

Our Favorite SATA 2.5" SSDs

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Best Value SATA SSD: Samsung 870 EVO 2 TB SSD

  • This drive provides a good value for those who are interested in SATA SSDs
  • 2 TB Capacity
  • Because this is using the SATA interface, it can reach read speeds of up to 560 MB/s
  • I've had many great experiences with Samsung SSD reliability! Samsung 870 QVO SATA III SSD 2 TB Samsung 870 QVO SATA III SSD 2 TB Check Price on Amazon Amazon Affiliate Link

Other Considerations When Building a PC

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Want to brush up on other new technologies to consider when building a computer? Check out these articles: