Samsung's 980 SSD, the Korean chaebol's latest budget NVMe SSD, finally fulfilled its purpose today when UK retailer Scan discounted the 1TB model by £27. That puts it down to £89 and change, the lowest price we've seen and in the same league as other low-cost, high-performance NVMe drives like the Crucial P2 and WD Blue SN550.
It was only recently that 1TB NVMe SSDs broke under the £100 barrier, so it's a treat to see one £10 below that threshold while still being capable of 3500MB/s read speeds and 3300MB/s write speeds - much faster sequential speeds than the first crop of budget NVMe SSDs which were in the 2000-2400MB/s range.
Katharine liked the Samsung 980 when she tested it earlier this year, pointing out that it very much did well in terms of performance, but it was priced a little bit too high to strongly recommend. Now that the price has trended downwards, including today's £27 reduction, the Samsung 980 has become one of the cheapest NVMe SSDs available while holding a performance lead against the few drives that have been sold at a lower price.
As the name implies, the 980 SSD is newer than the well-regarded 970 Evo and 970 Evo Plus, and even outperforms these drives when it comes to sequential read speeds - not to mention the popular WD Blue SN550, which it leads by a good 26% for reads and 18% for writes. The 980 SSD also outperforms the SN550 in random reads, by a healthy 16% margin. It's only in random writes that the SN550 manages a lead, although by a decent 30% margin. So depending on what you use your drive for, you should find quite competitive performance from the SSD 980.
To install this drive, you'll need a motherboard or laptop with an NVMe-capable M.2 slot (or you can make use of a PCIe to M.2 adapter - I use this £7 one). This is only a PCIe 3.0 drive, so you don't need to have a fancy AMD or Intel motherboard that supports PCIe 4.0 speeds to get the full use out of the 980 SSD. (Of course, PCIe 4.0 is also backwards compatible, so you can use this PCIe 3.0 drive in those faster slots without issue!)
I reckon £89 is a great price for an NVMe SSD of this calibre, so do consider it if you're in the market for a little extra storage, whether that's augmenting your existing drive, replacing it or for a new PC altogether.