Samsung’s new 980 NVMe SSD is an entry level option that lacks a DRAM module
Samsung has announced the new affordable 980 NVMe SSD. Not to be confused with the 980 Pro, the 980 is the company’s first DRAM-less option which is primarily the reason why it is available at a starting price of just $50 for the 250GB size variant and goes up to $130 for the top 1TB variant.
DRAM, or dynamic random access memory, is an important part that helps to chart out the contents of the SSD so that it can access your data quickly and efficiently. By removing the module altogether, Samsung has managed to lower the price of the SSD, something that has been tried and tested by many other SSD manufacturers. To make up for the absence of DRAM, Samsung says that the 980 comes with a Host Memory Buffer feature. This allows the drive to utilize a small chunk of memory (64MB) of the CPU via PCIe. While this doesn’t make the drive the fastest one on the market, the memory sharing feature helps it perform better than an SSD that doesn’t have DRAM. The drive also comes with the newly upgraded Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 which is said to offer ‘enhanced sustained performance’ over the older 970 Evo by allocating a much larger buffer storage area inside the drive.
Compared to a SATA-based SSD, Samsung claims that the 980 can offer up to six times the speed. Expect the 1TB version of the 980 to offer up to 3,500MB/s sequential read speeds and 3,000MB/s write speeds, which is roughly on par with the more expensive 970 Evo Plus and better than the 970 Evo’s top sequential write speed. The lower-end 250GB storage model is not going to be as fast, though, as it offers up to 2,900MB/s sequential read and 1,300MB/s sequential write speeds. In short, the new 980 NVMe can be slotted somewhere in between the company’s 970 Evo Plus and the 970 Evo, with the highlight being that the company has managed to offer respectable speeds despite the absence of DRAM.
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