PCIe Gen 4 drives might be the fastest kid in town that everyone talks about, but they are pricey. Not everyone can afford a PCIe Gen4 SSD and that is where PCIe Gen 3 SSDs come in. They provide exceptional real-world performance at lucrative price points that look affordable compared to their faster siblings. The Samsung SSD 980 is most certainly a stripped down PCIe Gen 3 SSD, but it delivers respectable performance for what it is. There was once a time that we would by no means recommend a DRAM-less SSD for mainstream use, but the Samsung SSD 980 is making us reconsider that way of thinking.
Samsung is also launching this drive without proper support for it in Samsung Magician software. They have promised a ‘full power mode’ that delivers the best possible user experience with this drive. The software isn’t done yet, but they are still releasing the drive. It will be interesting to see what that does for the performance of the drive.
When it comes to pricing the Samsung SSD 980 1TB model that we reviewed here today carries a suggested retail price of $129.99. It comes backed by a 5-year warranty and a 600 TBW endurance rating. That price point makes this drive very interesting and street pricing could possibly be lower. You get a solid user experience with this drive and it should be considered a value play for mainstream desktop and laptop PCs.
This is a drive that we’d recommend to our readers that are on a budget and want a PCIe Gen 3 drive with TLC NAND Flash.
Legit Bottom Line: The Samsung SSD 980 series shows that DRAM-less drives can deliver solid performance and PCIe Gen 3 drives are going to be around for a long time.