Samsung 990 PRO Evaluate: One other Strong SSD | Mind Tech

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Samsung in the present day made out there its newest flagship NVMe solid-state drive, the 990 PRO. He first introduced this unit in late August. The brand new inner SSD is meant to interchange the earlier mannequin, the 980 PRO, which got here out greater than two years in the past.

In response to the specs, the 990 PRO boosts efficiency by a small margin and, dashing the hopes of Samsung SSD followers, it nonetheless helps PCIe 4.0.

However the excellent news is that the brand new storage machine is extra inexpensive than its predecessor. Particularly, the 2 out there capacities, 1TB and 2TB, have steered retail costs of $169.99 and $289.99. Every additionally has a warmth sink model that prices $20 extra.

Samsung says the 4TB model can be out there in 2023, with pricing to be introduced at the moment.

You will not be capable to get the brand new 990 PRO unit in the present day. Samsung says you may pre-order from November 1 and the unit will ship later within the month.

The brand new unit proved to be quick and dependable in my one week check. It is not vital, it has little within the novelty division, but it surely has sufficient to make an excellent private buy (or present) among the many many upcoming vacation tech offers.

Dong’s observe: I first revealed this text on August 24, 2022 as a preview, and up to date it to an in-depth assessment on October 18 after a hands-on check.

Samsung 990 PRO SSD in action
The Samsung 990 PRO out of the field and in motion

Samsung 990 PRO Collection: Pushing the PCIe 4.0 Envelope

By itself, the 990 PRO is fairly thrilling: it is a top-tier NVMe SSD. Nevertheless, in comparison with the earlier mannequin, the 980 PRO, the brand new unit has little to write down residence about.

It is an incremental step in Samsung’s effort to push the efficiency of the PCIe 4.0 normal a bit additional. And it has little to point out.

commercially Accessible lane price
pace x16
1 2003 2Gb/s 250MB/s 0.5GB/s 1.0GB/second 2GB/s 4.0GB/s
two 2007 4Gb/s 500MB/s 1GB/second 2.0GB/s 4GB/s 8.0GB/s
3 2010 8Gb/s 984.6MB/s 1.97GB/s 3.94GB/s 7.88GB/s 15.8GB/s
4 2020 16Gb/s 1969MB/s 3.94GB/s 7.88GB/s 15.75GB/s 31.5GB/s
5 2022 32Gb/s 3938MB/s 7.88GB/s 15.75GB/s 31.51GB/s 63GB/s
PCI Categorical PCIe at a look
Notice: 1 Gigabyte per second (GB/s) = 1000 Megabyte per second (MB/s) | 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) = 125 MB/s

And that is probably as a result of there’s not a lot left to push. Within the 4-lane configuration utilized in NVMe SSDs, the PCIe 4.0 normal tops out at 7.9 GB/s or round 7,900 MB/s. And as you may see from the spec desk under, on paper the 990 PRO is about as quick as PCIe 4.0 could be after the overload.

Samsung 990 PRO SSD front caseSamsung 990 PRO SSD Back Box
The back and front of the Samsung 990 PRO 2TB SSD retail field

{Hardware} Specs: Samsung 990 PRO vs. 980 PRO

The 990 PRO is nearly similar to the 970 PRO. The 2 share the identical design and lots of options and may work interchangeably.

What units them aside is the truth that the previous is barely sooner and is on the market solely in 1TB and 2TB capacities.

SSD Samsung 990 PRO Samsung 980PRO SSD
capabilities 1TB, 2TB, 4TB 250GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Interface PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0 PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 1.3c
Design M.2 (2280) M.2 (2280)
Dimensions Naked: 80 x 22 x 2.3
Heatsink: 80 x 24.3 x 8.2mm
Naked: 80 x 22 x 2.3
Heatsink: 80 x 24.3 x 8.2mm
Controller Samsung Inner Driver Samsung Elpis Controller
NAND-flash reminiscence TLC Samsung V-NAND Samsung 1xx layer 3-bit MLC V-NAND
1GB (1TB)
2GB (2TB)
4GB (4TB)
512MB (500GB, 250GB)
1GB (1TB)
2GB (2TB)
Safety AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, Drive Encrypted (IEEE1667) AES 256-bit full disk encryption,
TCG/Opal V2.0,
Encrypted drive (IEEE1667)
sequential learn 7450MB/s As much as 7000MB/s
sequential write 6900MB/s As much as 5000MB/s
random learn 1,200,000 IOPS (1TB)
1,400,000 IOPS (2TB)
(QD 32 Thread 16)
As much as 1,000,000 IOPS
(QD32 Thread 4)
random write 1,550,000 IOPS
(QD 32 Thread 16)
As much as 1,000,000 IOPS
(QD32 Thread 4)
(Terabyte Written)
2400TBW (4TB)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
1200TBW (2TB)
600TBW (1TB)
300TBW (500GB)
150TBW (250GB)
Software program Samsung Wizard Samsung Wizard
Utility of use consumer computer,
sony ps 5
consumer computer,
sony ps 5
Guarantee 5 years 5 years
{Hardware} Specs: Samsung 990 PRO vs. 980 PRO

the identical resistance

The 990 PRO shares the identical function set because the 980 PRO. It has built-in {hardware} encryption and an endurance ranking that is half that of Samsung’s PCIe 3.0 SSDs just like the 970 PRO.

Particularly, the 1TB has a lifespan of 600 terabytes written (it will probably write as much as 600 terabytes earlier than it turns into unreliable) and the 2TB and 4TB have double and quadruple that.

Nonetheless, 600TB is a whole lot of information. In case you write about 100GB, which is lots, a day and also you do it day by day on the 1TB model, it should take about 15 years for the drive to expire. And the 2TB model will take you 30 years.

On prime of that, Samsung features a beneficiant 5-year guarantee with its PRO items. The purpose is: there isn’t any want to fret in regards to the longevity of the 990 PRO.

Recognized specs, now with higher power effectivity and thermal management

Samsung says that the brand new drive makes use of its V-NAND TLC reminiscence as storage. V-NAND means reminiscence cells are stacked vertically in lots of layers to extend density on the expense of endurance and efficiency.

And the low resistance talked about above outcomes from any such flash. However the unit has high-performance specs because of its controller which, amongst different issues, has higher warmth administration.

Samsung 990 PRO SSD in front of handSamsung 990 PRO SSD back
The back and front of the Samsung 990 Professional

Samsung does not reveal the main points of the 990 PRO’s controller, apart from calling it “the world’s first 8nm controller for shopper SSDs” that “improves its energy effectivity by as much as 50% in comparison with the 980 PRO.”

Samsung says that the 990 PRO “employs a nickel plating on the controller and a warmth sink label on the unit for dependable thermal administration.”

That new design, plus Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard know-how, helps maintain the drive’s temperature inside the optimum vary even throughout heavy masses. Because of this, the 990 PRO can preserve excessive efficiency even in lengthy operations.

Extra importantly, the brand new unit is programmed to run cooler than earlier fashions.

Nevertheless, the model with a warmth sink nonetheless exists, as was the case with the 980 PRO. However this time, along with serving to cut back warmth buildup, the 990 PRO’s heatsink additionally doubles as gaming-related brilliant built-in RGB lights, just like the case with the WD BLACK P40.

You possibly can handle these lights, in sync with any RGB gear, via the Samsung Magician Dashboard software program. Clearly, you have to use a gaming rig with a clear casing to understand that. And solely then is the additional $20 value it.

The well-known Samsung Magician software program

The Samsung 990 PRO is a well-known NVMe SSD because of the truth that it comes with Samsung Magician dashboard software program that works with all earlier Samsung SSDs.

Samsung 990 PRO Wizard Software 7.2
The Samsung 990 PRO makes use of Samsung Magician 7.2 software program to offer varied options. Notice the brand new LED configuration part of the software program that handles the brand new drive heatsink flashing.

The newest model 7.2 comes with a extra streamlined interface and varied options. You need to use it to verify the standing of the drive, replace its firmware, customise its efficiency and over-provisioning, handle its RGB lights (the place relevant), and different helpful instruments.

Samsung 990 PRO: quick efficiency

I examined a “bare” 2TB 990 PRO for over per week, and the drive proved to be very quick, although not persistently or decidedly sooner than the 980 PRO or different high-end PCIe 4.0 SSDs, as you will discover within the graphs under. continuation. .

Particularly, in random entry efficiency, the brand new drive topped the desk in learn, however its write efficiency trailed just a few others.

Samsung 990 PRO SSD Copy Performance
Samsung 990 PRO Random Entry Throughput (IOPS)

The drive ranked second on the chart within the sequential (copy) assessments, barely slower than the WD BLACK SN850X. Nevertheless, the variations between the 2 have been inside the margin of error.

Nevertheless, it’s value noting that, as is the case with different NVMe SSDs with comparable specs, the 990 PRO had very excessive learn or write efficiency individually. However in mixed assessments the place you wrote and browse concurrently, it delivered simply over 1,700 MB/s.

Samsung 990 PRO SSD Random Access Performance
The copy efficiency of the Samsung 990 PRO

As in actual world, normally anecdotal use, I used to be unable to “really feel” the distinction between the Samsung 990 PRO and most different PCIe 4.0 drives, most likely as a result of that they had all already come so near maximizing normal bandwidth.

In truth, the brand new drive carried out comparatively effectively in my assessments, and I used it on the best efficiency setting. I may really feel it get a bit heat on my finger, however by no means to the purpose the place I might name it “sizzling”. It is solely protected to say that the heatsink model can be even cooler.


Wonderful PCIe 4.0 efficiency

Helpful Samsung Magician software program with many helpful settings and options


No new or revolutionary options


The brand new Samsung 990 PRO NVMe SSD was not a hit; It could have been if it supported the long-awaited PCIe 5.0 normal.

As a substitute, it turned out to be one other acquainted and wonderful inner drive from Samsung you could safely get to your pc or sport console. And its cheap worth does not harm.

In case you’re seeking to improve that PCIe 4.0 (and even PCIe 5.0) platform, think about one in the present day.

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Samsung 990 PRO Review: Another Solid SSD