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Samsung SSD 980: New PCIe SSD without SDRAM cache

Samsung launches a new PCIe SSD on the German market. The Samsung SSD 980 is an SSD without the meanwhile established name extensions “Evo” and “Pro”. Compared to the two known SSDs, Samsung also downgrades its new SSD 980. Thus, it does not have an SDRAM cache. Nevertheless, it is supposed to be faster than the 970 Evo.

Official presentation is pending

The South Koreans have not officially presented their latest SSD yet. Nevertheless, you can already take a look at the Thai product page. Furthermore, there are already a few German retailers that list the product. The name is still the “SSD 980”. Samsung has not yet added a suffix like “Pro” or “Evo”. Nevertheless, it is supposed to be the smaller sister model of the 980 Pro. However, if you take a look at the specs, the SSD 980 is most likely to be a successor of the 970 Evo.

Mid-range SSD

The similarities between the 970 Evo and the newcomer cannot be dismissed out of hand. This already starts with the PCIe technology. Thus, the upcoming SSD 980 also has PCIe Gen3 with four lanes. We do not find modern PCIe Gen4 as we know it from the premium 980 Pro model. Samsung combines its NAND flash memory with the in-house “Pablo” controller. So far, we only know this controller from the manufacturer’s external SSDs. For example, it is used in the T7 Portable. The SSD 980 does not only share the controller with the T7 Portable. The two storage devices also have another thing in common. The SDRAM cache is also missing in the internal SSD 980. This is quite surprising. After all, Samsung has used the corresponding SDRAM cache in all of its PCIe SSDs so far. We actually only know this waiver from inexpensive entry-level SSDs.

High speeds even without SDRAM

Samsung nevertheless seems to bring a very fast SSD onto the market with the SSD 980. This is at least true if you can trust the accessible data sheet. Thus, the variant with 1 TB of storage space is said to be capable of 3,500 MB/s (read) and 3,000 MB/s (write). Thus, the SSD 980 is faster than the 970 Evo despite the lack of SDRAM. The newcomer is also ahead in the area of random write accesses. Instead of 450,000 IOPS (write) of the 970 Evo, the SSD 980 offers 480,000 IOPS (write) according to the spec sheet. In reading, both have identical rates with 500,000 IOPS.

But how does the SSD 980 compensate for the missing SDRAM? The reason for this is probably the Host Memory Buffer (HMB). This is supposed to ensure that the SSD’s performance remains on a constantly high level. Conveniently, this function can still allow the SSD to access an external working memory to use it as a cache.

Price and availability

Samsung seems to be keeping its SSD 980 a big secret. After all, the company has not yet made an official presentation. However, data is already comprehensively available. This does not only apply to technical specs. On top of that, the prices can already be seen. The SSD 980 is supposed to start at a RRP of 70 Euros (250 GB). The large version with 1 TB of storage space will cost 150 Euros. Alternatively, a version with 500 GB is also available. Speaking of alternatives: Considering the price, you should probably also take a look at the SSD 970 Evo Plus. It offers more performance at a lower price. However, those who still want to opt for the new SSD 980 should be able to expect delivery from the end of March.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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