Samsung SSD 980 is a cheaper PCIe 3.0 alternative for the PRO

Posted on Friday, Mar 05 2021 @ 10:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Half a year ago Samsung introduced the SSD 980 PRO and now the firm is rolling out a cheaper SSD 980. It's best not to confuse the two as there are major differences in the specifications. The SSD 980 non-PRO is a PCI Express 3.0 based M.2 model that offers about half the maximum sequential read/write speeds of the PRO version. The lack of PCI Express 4.0 is the bad news here.

With the SSD 980, you're getting a disk capable of delivering read speeds of up to 3500MB/s and write speeds of up to 3000MB/s. For comparison, the SSD 980 PRO is capable of doing up to 7000MB/s reads and 5000MB/s writes. Random read/write IOPS has also been cut in half, Samsung claims the SSD 980 can do up to 500,000 random reads (4KB, QD32) and up to 480,000 IOPS random writes (4KB, QD1).

Another key difference versus the 980 PRO is the use of a controller without DRAM cache -- this makes the model a bit cheaper to produce too. The good news is that the SSD 980 uses the same 136-layer 3D NAND TLC flash memory as its faster brother. A lot of newer mainstream M.2 SSDs are switching to QLC -- but that's not the route Samsung is taking here.

Samsung SSD 980 arrives on March 30 -- preorder prices are already here

Samsung is expected to announce the disk later this month and retailers are already uploading pre-order pages that list a shipment date of March 30, 2021. Tom's Hardware checked some prices and concludes the SSD 980 does not look very competitive versus existing disks. At least not at the current price level.
Based on data from (via, Samsung's 980 250GB drive costs €70, the 500GB version is priced at €90, and the 1TB model carries a €150 price tag. Meanwhile, Samsung's 970 Evo Plus 250GB can be obtained for €54, the 500GB flavor is available for €74, whereas the 1TB version can be bought for €144.
Samsung 980 SSD

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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