Samsung 980 NVMe M.2.1TB SSD
Samsung returns with a new M.2 NVMe SSD in their reputable 900 series product line. We test the new Samsung SSD 980, which would be a non-PRO, but also a non-EVO model. It is a product that sticks to PCIe Gen 3. and Samsung also stripped away the DRAM cache, now solely utilizing HMB (Host Memory Buffer). Yes, this is what Samsung deems to be a value proposition. The times that Samsung SSDs were a niche on their own with massive TBW values and only the best of the best included on their SSD series, seems to slowly shift away. The 980 Pro already received a lot of critique for various reasons. With the new 'standard' 980 Samsung again is going to create a lot of debate. With the new 980 series, Samsung will start off with three models:
- 250GB £45.99 / 51 EUR
- 500GB: £64.49 / 74 EUR
- 1TB: £119.49 / 139 EUR
As mentioned, the connection interface is based on PCIe 3.0 x4 , not PCIe 4.0 x4, the sequential access speed reaches up to 3,500 MB/s for reading and 3,000 MB/s for writing for the 1 TB model. It uses 6th generation V-NAND, the latest 3D NAND from Samsung, is be used for NAND flash memory. The number of stacked layers has increased to 128, and not only capacity and access speed but also power efficiency have been improved compared to the previous generation V-NAND. Three models are released, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. While the stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing at as fast a pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SATA3 SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. You get between 450 MB/s to 500 MB/sec on SATA3, which is the norm for a single SATA3 controller-based SSD. Now in the year 2021, by combining advanced NAND Flash controller with PCIe Gen4 x4, NvMe 1.3 interface, and 3D NAND Flash, PCIe M.2 delivers sequential read speeds are moving to that 7,000 MB/s domain. The performance numbers a good SATA3 SSD offers these days are still excellent. But, with the NVMe SSDs becoming the new norm, you can see sustained performance increase at exponential differences, which offers serious numbers. The unit follows a smaller M.2 2280 form factor (8cm), so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine.
Samsung 980 SSD - Is it MLC or TLC?
The NAND Flash memory used on this NVMe M.2 SSD, is noted down by Samsung as MLC. The reality, however, is that the configuration shows 3-bits per cell written, and that means this in fact is TLC written NAND. Samsung for a long time now has been using some creative freedom using the word 'Multi' in MLC, which factually can be explained like that, however, no matter how we look at it, this is TLC. It would be good if Samsung started to label their NAND writing methodology properly, as any responsible company would do. TLC versus MLC is important as the type of writes is directly related to endurance, the number of program and erase cycles a NAND cell can cycle. Samsung offers just 150 TBW for the 250 GB model, 300 TBW for the 500 MB model, and 600 TBW for the 1TB model, which we test. MLC based NAND would have had far greater TBW values.