If you’re looking to build your own computer or even upgrade your current one, grab Samsung’s brand new Gaming SSD, the 980. The stunning NVMe M.2 PCIe 3.0 drive is the successor to the 970 EVO, and it’s most spectacular feature is its low price—just $49.99 for the 250GB model, or up to $129.99 for 1TB.
The 980’s low price may seem like a typo, but it’s real thanks to the fact that it’s Samsung’s first DRAM-less NVMe SSD. It doesn’t have the random access memory you’d typically find in an SSD to help map its contents; rather, it leans on the Host Memory Buffer feature and accesses up to 64MB of your device’s DRAM via PCIe. So while it may not be quite as fast as traditional DRAM-inclusive options, it performs better than previous attempts at this specific design (Samsung stated that it’s performed up to six times faster than SATA-based SSDs). It’s also a terrific way to save some money on your build.
“Through both hardware and software innovations, our new 980 SSD brings greater value without compromising the high-end NVMe performance. The 980 offers an excellent blend of speed, power efficiency and reliability, making it suitable for everyday PC users and gamers as well as content creators,” said KyuYoung Lee, VP of the Memory Brand Product Business team at Samsung.
The drive also increases the Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0’s buffer region on the drive as a means to help bolster its speed. Where the 970 EVO offered 42GB, the 980 can now reach up to 160GB. It simulates rapid single-layer cell performance even though it actually uses 3-bit multilayer cell memory.
Samsung states that the 1TB version of the 980 is still on par with the pricier 970 Evo Plus SSD, with up to 3,500MB/s sequential read and 3,000MB/s write speeds. However, it still doesn’t touch those of the 980 Pro model, which has logged 7,000MB/s read speeds and 5,000MB/s write speeds on a PCIe 4.0-ready motherboard. And, as you’d expect, performance is less impressive on the 250GB version of the drive. The company is confident the SSD is fast enough to handle intensive tasks.