Samsung SSD 980 NVMe Solid State Drive Review

Final Thoughts

When it comes to Samsung solid state drives we typically know what to expect, but with the SSD 980 things are a little bit different. This is really the first drive Samsung has released that was made for the value market and comes with a DRAMless design. It makes sense for them to enter this market and bringing with them their known reliability and support should definitely make consumers happy.

When it comes to performance this is not the fastest Gen3 NVMe drive we’ve tested (at least the 500GB model), but the performance is pretty solid across the board. In CrystalDiskMark we saw sequential read and write speeds of 3185.30 MB/s and 2532.39 MB/s, which is right in line with the advertised speeds of the drive. Having a DRAMless design means that the drive will rely on host memory buffer technology that uses your system’s DRAM instead of an onboard memory chip. This works pretty well as we were able to write about 20% of the drive before we saw a big performance hit. In many drives we see performance start to take a hit after 10 or 15%. Now once the performance starts to take a hit the write speeds do drop down quite significantly. Keep in mind you really are only going to experience this if you are doing a lot writes to the drive.

The drive does not ship with a heatsink, but it does not need one. We test all of our M.2 NVMe drives without motherboard M.2 heatsinks and the drive performed without any issues at all. This means you won’t have to worry about throttling or if your motherboard has heatsinks or not. The drive is compatible with Samsung’s Magician software, which I think is the best SSD software out there.

At the end of the day it really comes down to price. Right now you can pick up the 512GB version of the SSD 980 that we tested today for $69.99 and the 1TB version is $129.99. Those prices aren’t bad, but I feel Samsung could do better and undercut many other value drives out there. With global chip shortages still going on prices are fluctuating a lot though. Keep in mind Samsung does back this drive with a 5-year warranty, while many other drives only come with a 3-year warranty. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Samsung SSD 980 NVMe Solid State Drive a 9 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– Solid overall performance
– Write performance can be sustained for longer than other drives
– Price (but could be better)
– SSD Magician software
– 5-year warranty

Cons:
– Not the fastest Gen3 drive out there
– Once HBM cache is exhausted write performance takes a significant hit

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