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Samsung 980 NVMe SSD is unexpectedly priced for its speed

Samsung today added a new NVMe M.2 drive to its lineup, introducing the 980 NVMe SSD. If you’re thinking that you’ve heard this name before, you’re definitely not alone there, as one could be forgiven for thinking that this same SSD was already announced last year. That SSD, however, was the 980 PRO NVMe SSD, while this is a more affordable option for those who aren’t necessarily looking to have a top of the line M.2 drive in their rig.

For starters, Samsung says that the 980 it’s announcing today is its first DRAM-less SSD, which helps bring the price down. Another thing worth pointing out is that while the 980 PRO – which was released last September – supports PCIe 4.0, the standard 980 that was announced today supports PCIe 3.0.

Samsung says that users can expect sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,500/3,000 MB/s for this drive, so it seems to be plenty speedy despite a focus on affordability. Samsung says that the drive is able to go DRAM-less thanks to its Host Memory Buffer technology, which “links the drive directly to the host processor’s DRAM to overcome any performance drawbacks.”

Samsung Magician can even kick the drive into Full Power Mode when large files are being read, which “allows the drive to continuously run at peak performance.” Random read/write speeds come in at up to 500K IOPS/480K IOPS, and the drive comes in three different configurations: 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB.

Today’s announcement doesn’t give us a release date for the drive, but it’s worth noting that Newegg shows a launch date of March 22nd while there doesn’t appear to be any official listing live on Amazon yet. Regardless, when the 980 drops, it’ll have an MSRP of $49.99 for the 250GB model, $69.99 for 500GB, and $129.99 for 1TB.