Crucial P5 Plus vs. Samsung 980 Pro

Samsung 980 Pro
Samsung 980 Pro (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Crucial P5 Plus and the Samsung 980 Pro are both some of the best SSDs you can buy, using the PCIe 4.0 standard that can positively impact the performance of your PC. They're both available in up to a 2TB size, but only the Samsung drive comes in a 250GB size while the P5 Plus starts at 500GB.

Crucial P5 Plus vs. Samsung 980 Pro: Tech specs

Here's a look at the raw specs that make up each of these SSDs.

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CategoryCrucial P5 PlusSamsung 980 Pro
FormM.2 2280M.2 2280
ControllerMicron DM02A1Samsung Elpis
InterfacePCIe 4.0x4NVMe 1.4PCIe 4.0x4NVMe 1.3c
Cache (DRAM)1GB LPDDR4 (1TB)2GB LPDDR4 (2TB)512MB LPDDR4 (250/500GB)1GB LPDDR4 (1TB)2GB LPDDR4 (2TB)
Durability500GB: 300 TBW1TB: 600 TBW2TB: 1,200 TBW250GB: 150 TBW500GB: 300 TBW1TB: 600 TBW2TB: 1,200 TBW
Read speed6,600 MB/s7,000 MB/s
Write speed5,000 MB/s5,000 MB/s
EncryptionHardware-based256-bit AESHardware-based256-bit AES
Warranty5 years5 years
$ per GB500GB: $0.171TB: $0.132TB: $0.13250GB: $0.32500GB: $0.281TB: $0.162TB: $0.145

Crucial P5 Plus vs. Samsung 980 Pro: Design, features, and performance

The Crucial P5 Plus and the Samsung 980 Pro are both M.2 2280 style drives made for laptops and desktop computers. Either one would also be a good fit Iif you have a PS5. They're both using the PCIe 4.0 spec, an update over PCIe 3.0 that allows for much faster data transfer rates. This can not only boost boot times for Windows but it can also ramp up load times in games or transfer speeds for large files like video. PCIe 4.0 drives also generally suck up less energy, which is especially important in a laptop.

To take full advantage of either of these drives, you'll need a PC that can also handle PCIe 4.0. Many of the best Windows laptops have already made the leap, and there's a good chance that a new high-end PC you buy today will have PCIe 4.0. The two SSDs will work in a PC that tops out at PCIe 3.0, but you'll only get the lower speeds. If you're still working with a PC that utilizes PCIe 3.0 and don't plan on upgrading anytime soon, there are a bunch of other affordable storage options in our best SSDs roundup.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Crucial P5 Plus uses a Micron DM02A1 controller while the 980 Pro uses Samsung's Elpis controller. They have similar DRAM cache sizes, and they both offer 256-bit AES encryption at the hardware level. If you're working with sensitive data, this feature helps keep everything safe without impacting performance. No extra encryption software running overtop of everything else means faster writing to the drive. Neither of these drives come with a heatsink, but you can add one after the fact if you notice temperatures are too high for your liking.

In my Crucial P5 Plus review I ran a bunch of benchmarks to see how it compared to other SSDs, including the Samsung 980 Pro. In CrystalDiskMark, the 980 Pro pulled ahead in read speed but fell behind in write speed. In ATTO Disk Benchmark, the P5 Plus was again ahead in write speed but fell behind in read speed. The 980 Pro is quoted at 7,000 MB/s read speed while the P5 Plus is quoted at 6,600 MB/s, so this makes sense.

In our Samsung 980 Pro review, our former editor Richard Devine noted that the 500GB version he tested won't perform quite as well as the larger capacities. It's likely not noticeable in everyday use, but it's something to make note of. Both drives come with branded management software to help you keep tabs on your SSD. Samsung also offers its own data migration software, while Crucial bundles in Acronis True Image for cloning your data over to the new SSD.

Storage durability is measured in Terabytes Written (TBW), which refers to the amount you can write to the drive before it wears out. The P5 Plus and the 980 Pro both have the same TBW rating spread out across a five-year warranty. For the 1TB models, the 600 TBW rating equates to about 329GB of data written per day over the course of the warranty period. You can find better TBW ratings in something like the XPG Gammix S70, but most users will never come close to exceeding this rating.

Crucial P5 Plus vs. Samsung 980 Pro: Sizes and price

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

However, for most people their decision will come down to price. Samsung's 980 Pro comes in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes. The smallest drive starts at about $80 depending on where you buy from. At the time of writing, Best Buy had the best price. The 500GB is about $110 at Amazon, while the 1TB model sits around $160 at most retailers. 2TB models make a big jump up to about $290.

The Crucial P5 Plus is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes. If you'd like the smaller drive, you'll have to go with Samsung. Where Crucial wins out, though, is with its pricing. The 500GB drive starts at about $85, just a few dollars more than the Samsung 250GB drive. The 1TB P5 Plus costs about $135, while the 2TB model costs about $240. That's considerably cheaper than the 980 Pro, and anyone looking to build a new custom PC or upgrade a laptop on the cheap will be able to take advantage.

The Samsung 980 Pro's read speeds are superior compared to the P5 Plus, but write speeds fall behind. In the end, both drives are incredibly fast. If you're upgrading from PCIe 3.0, either one of these SSDs will make a noticeable difference. While the slight differences in speed between these two specific drives are certainly something to keep in mind, the prices are also notable.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.