Samsung’s new 980 NVMe SSDs offer 3,500MB/s sequential read speeds starting at just $50 for 250GB

Samsung has announced its new line of SSD 980 NVMe M.2 drives, bringing improved write speeds, better sustained performance and less power consumption at reasonable prices.

The new SSD 980 NVMe M.2 drives are Samsung’s entry-level offering and a successor the company’s popular 970 Evo drive. The updated drives feature the same maximum sequential read speeds of 3,500MB/s, but bump the maximum write speeds up to 3,000MB/s (up from the 2,500MB/s in the 970 Evo line). The drives also offer improved sustained performance through a larger buffer, 36% less power consumption and better cooling for reduced risk of overheating.

Despite being faster than Samsung’s 970 Evo drives, the 980 drives are more affordable than equivalent-capacity 970 Evo drives at launch due to Samsung shedding the use of DRAM. Despite DRAM typically offering better performance, it costs more to use in the manufacturing process (there’s typically 1GB of DRAM for every 1TB of storage in modern SSD).

Despite the DRAM omission, Samsung says these new 980 drives deliver ‘identical’ speeds to their respective DRAM counterparts through the use of Host Memory Buffer (HMB), which allows the SSDs to use a small portion of DRAM from the system CPU its attached to rather than DRAM directly on the drive.

The result of this decision is impressively low prices, with Samsung’s 250GB 980 SSD model starting at just $50, compared to the $120 the 250GB 970 Evo drive retailed for at launch. Even the larger 500GB and 1TB capacities retail for only $70 and $130, respectively, making it an ideal option for those wanting performance on a budget. You can purchase the 980 SSD drives on Samsung’s website and authorized retailers starting today.