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Samsung Launches 990 Pro Series PCIe 4.0 SSDs With up to 7,450 MB/s

Samsung 990 Pro Series PCIe 4.0 SSDs
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has launched its eagerly anticipated 990 Pro Series SSDs. These are high-performance NVMe M.2 2280 SSDs that are “optimized for gaming and creative applications.” In the run-up to this announcement, there were hints that Samsung’s 990 Pro Series SSDs would feature a PCIe 5.0 interface; however, that hasn’t come to pass, at least not yet. The new Samsung 990 Pro Series SSDs use a PCIe 4.0 interface.

(Image credit: Samsung)

If you are perhaps a little disappointed that the 990 Pro Series SSDs don’t use PCIe 5.0, there's at least some consolation. Firstly, these drives are a step above their predecessors, with the 990 Pro SSDs capable of sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,450 MB/s and 6,900 MB/s, respectively. This compares well against the Samsung SSD 980 Pro, which could muster a maximum 7,000 MB/s and 5,100 MB/s, respectively. Moreover, the IOPS performance numbers are as much as 55% better than the 980 Pro SSDs. 

In broader comparisons, when gaming in Forspoken, Samsung claims the new SSDs load a game level in approximately one second, four times faster than a SATA SSD, and 28x faster than level loading from an HDD.

Samsung SSD 990 Pro /990 Pro HS

Interface

PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0

Controller

Samsung in-house

NAND / LPDDR4 Cache

1TB / 1GB, 2TB / 2GB, 4TB / 4GB

Seq Read / Write

Up to 7,450 MB/s, Up to 6,900 MB/s

Random Read / Write

Up to 1,400K IOPS, Up to 1,550K IOPS

Encryption

AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)

Endurance in TBW

600TB,  1,200TB,  2,400TB

Warranty

5 years, or TBW (whichever comes first)

The second consolation is that the 990 Pro Series launches with three capacities of 1, 2, and 4TB, in two variants. One variant will use a nickel coating on the controller and a heat spreader label that spans across the Samsung V-NAND 3-bit TLC ICs. Samsung will also sell a 990 Pro HS (with Heatsink) model, which comes with a beefier sculpted heatsink with RGB LED lit "go-faster stripes."

Samsung doesn’t make specific data-based claims about the advantages of buying the RGB heatsink model. All it says is that the heatsink “prevents performance degradation due to overheating.” Whichever model you buy, Samsung says the new controller is designed to improve power efficiency dramatically, claiming a 50% improvement over the controller used in the SSD 980 Pro.

There had been some hints that Samsung’s SSD 990 Pro would be a PCIe 5.0 device. It isn’t, and this is all the more surprising given that within recent days, lesser storage players like Corsair and Gigabyte have unveiled PCIe 5.0 SSDs with transfer speeds of up to 12,400 MB/s. This might be due to Samsung wishing to use its own proprietary SSD controllers, but the only PCIe 5.0 storage controller currently shipping is from Phison.

Retailers will start selling the 1 and 2TB models from October, priced at MSRPs of $179 and $309, respectively. Unfortunately, we don’t have a price for the 4TB models, which aren’t due until 2023. Also, Samsung didn’t reveal the price premium for the RGB Heatsink models.

(Image credit: Samsung)
Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Makaveli
    Hmm but it is direct storage optimized?

    Don't think i'm going to be buying any new ones until that is the case. And secondly No PCIe 5.0 isn't that big of a deal since there really isn't any improvement on Random I/O which is where you will feel the difference most on windows. If all you do are sequential file transfers and have two of the same drives on both ends meh!
    Reply
  • saunupe1911
    So this is why the 980s had that crazy Prime Day sale and other retailers followed suit. I would wait for PCIe 5.0 if I was doing a new build though.
    Reply
  • kal326
    970 Evo had a mild refresh as a “Plus” + model. This should have been a 980 Pro +. Even then the 980 Pro was really should have been called Evo compared to the the 970 Evo/Pro hardware with the NAND change.
    Reply
  • dehjomz
    Samsung used to be the unquestioned leader, but it seems in recent years competitors have caught up, and that Samsung is slowly falling behind.
    Reply
  • JimboCA
    I am happy that the 980's have been aggressively priced. I believe in letting the tech mature on the PCIe 5 controllers. The 4's are very fast and can be had for a great bargain. That said, as PCIe 5.0 motherboards become big sellers, that will be the best time to migrate over.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    JimboCA said:
    I am happy that the 980's have been aggressively priced. I believe in letting the tech mature on the PCIe 5 controllers. The 4's are very fast and can be had for a great bargain. That said, as PCIe 5.0 motherboards become big sellers, that will be the best time to migrate over.

    100% it will be the same as when PCie 4.0 drives launched a year later the controllers and drives will be better.
    Reply
  • parkerthon
    saunupe1911 said:
    So this is why the 980s had that crazy Prime Day sale and other retailers followed suit. I would wait for PCIe 5.0 if I was doing a new build though.
    If 4.0 is any indication, we’ll be waiting a while. There’s that whole economies of scale supply chain thing that has to build up along with making the chips affordable that go on the v5 ssds. It’ll be like the ddr4 vs 5 debacle but at least the slots won’t change and will still be backwards compatible. I’m betting a couple years minimum till it makes sense to jump in.
    Reply
  • AgentBirdnest
    Eagerly awaiting the review for this! I'm not necessarily planning on buying one, but I'm very curious just how much of a difference it will be from 980 Pro.

    I thought the headline "Samsung launches 990 Pro" meant... uh... that it launched? Doesn't a launch usually indicate that the product is available? But availability isn't until October.
    Reply
  • mtrantalainen
    dehjomz said:
    Samsung used to be the unquestioned leader, but it seems in recent years competitors have caught up, and that Samsung is slowly falling behind.

    I agree. Samsung 970 Pro was a very good product, albeit quite expensive. I hope this 990 Pro would actually match the 970 Pro unlike the 980 series. (Looking at random 4K read performance with shallow queue depth, especially QD1 and QD2...)
    Reply
  • Matt_ogu812
    Admin said:
    These new M.2 2280 form factor NVMe SSDs will be available in October, starting from $179 for the 1TB model, sans-heatsink. Those wishing for a 4TB model will have to wait until 2023.

    Samsung Launches 990 Pro Series PCIe 4.0 SSDs With up to 7,450 MB/s : Read more

    Glad to hear about this new product from Samsung. Been happy with the ones I own.
    Looking forward to the downward price on mature NVMe so I can snag me a 2TB. Don't need Warp Drive 4 or 5...... yet.
    Reply