Samsung 990 Pro PCIe Gen 5 SSD Coming Soon
UPDATE – More information has arrived on the Samsung 990 Pro SSD that confirms that this drive will be PCIe Gen 4 x4. You can read the FULL UPDATE HERE.
Good news for anyone that has been waiting for Samsung to make their next BIG move in the commercial SSD sector, with the recent accidental leak this week by the PCI-SIG website that disclosed the submission of a new Samsung 990 Pro SSD. For the unaware, PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group) is an electronics industry consortium responsible for specifying the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), PCI-X, and PCI Express (PCIe) computer buses. In ‘human speak’, they are effectively a submission index/database that classifies the latest hardware releases of brands in order to identify the components standards and revisions (i.e speeds and bandwidth) and typically results are submitted by the brands themselves (who register for access) and/or connected company. But what does this leak show and should we start getting excited about this yet? Let’s discuss.
What do we know about the Samsung 990 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD?
First things first, the initial information on the Samsung 990 Pro leak comes from @harukaze5719 on twitter, who spotted model IDs MZ-V9P1T0 and MZ-V9P2T0, a 1TB and 2TB model of a 9th Gen Samsung Pro series SSD. See below:
Samsung 990 PRO SSD (1TB/2TB)
It will be M.2 NVMe, PCIe 5.0. 2280? 2580? idk.
— 포시포시 (@harukaze5719) August 2, 2022
Now the Samsung Pro series of SSDs has always been the brand’s flagship prosumer series, with the model name of ‘Samsung 9×0 Pro’ being considered the highest/best release in that family (which also includes PLUS, EVO and no identifier at all, which signify sub revisions), with each revision’s entrance normally being the most current/cutting-edge revision of M.2/NVMe in the last few years. Now that PCIe Gen 5 x4 m.2 SSDs are starting to appear at tradeshows, preview news and very, VERY gradually arriving with particular end-user partners, it was always a question of time before Samsung entered a Pro series drive into this arena. It is worth highlighting that Samsung has already provisionally released (in closed circles) the Samsung PM1743 for enterprise users, a PCIe5 NVMe SSD (first formally revealed at CES 2022), which was a U.2 / e3.s) drive for data center use. Here are its specs below:
(1.92TB to 15.36TB
|Form Factor||U.2 or E3.S|
|Interface||PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe|
|Controller||Unconfirmed Samsung PCIe 5.0|
|NAND Flash||Samsung 128L TLC (Massively TBC)|
|Sequential Read||13000 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||6600 MB/s|
Now, what is intriguing is that there are a few areas that seemingly highlight PCIe4 (possibly for reasons of compatibility) but in most locations involving this leak via PCI-SIG, it is displayed as a PCIe 5.0 / 32GT/s listing.
Below is the information in its original form:
|Company||Product Name||Identifier||Spec Revision||Max Lane Width Tested||Function||Date Added|
|SAMSUNG Electronics||990PRO M.2||PCIe SSD||PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s||x4||SSD Endpoint Card||Aug 05, 2022|
|SAMSUNG Electronics||1743 U.2||PCIe SSD||PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s||x4||SSD Endpoint Card||Apr 26, 2022|
|SAMSUNG Electronics||1743 U.3||PCIe SSD||PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s||x4||SSD Endpoint Card||Aug 05, 2022|
|SAMSUNG Electronics||1743 E3.S||PCIe SSD||PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s||x4||SSD Endpoint Card||Aug 05, 2022|
Unfortunately, there is ZERO further information at this time regarding it’s architecture or performance, but we will likely see a similar/identical controller to the PM1743, which is reported to be capable of 13-4GB/s sequential read speed and an astounding 2.5 MILLION IOPS. Write speeds and durability are still unconfirmed on any Samsung PCIe 5 SSD and are likely to be a pinch lower. So, why are Samsung suddenly gearing up for a PCIe Gen 5 SSD, despite the popularity of PCIe Gen 4 x4 drives, such as the Samsung 980 Pro?
Why Would They Release a Samsung 990 Pro PCIe5 SSD when the PCIe4 Generation is still Available?
It’s a valid point. Even now, we are seeing top-tier brand such as Western Digital release new and improved PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, such as the WD Black SN850X this month – so why would Samsung want to release a consumer PCIe 5 gen SSD like the Samsung 990 Pro? Well, ORIGINALLY, the PCIe Gen 5 commercial availability was set to take off around now/Autumn, with several high-profile SSD and motherboard manufacturers having released their hardware in Spring of 2022. However, hardware shortages and the on-going effects of the pandemic on the supply chain and consumer demand have resulted in the PCIe5 generation taking a small back step, resulting in alot of the PCIe5 NVMe SSDs that were revealed at CES 2022 and Computex 2022 being delayed. The feeling now seems to be that Autumn/Winter 2022 is more likely to be the launching pad for PCIe5 commercially (although a small range of motherboards and high-priced cards have arrived on the market). PCIe Gen 5 M.2 NVMes are already predicted to comfortably crack the 8TB 2280 length barrier, alongside the significant bandwidth improvements allowing double the read performance of PCIe4 and around 30-50% improvements in write performance in the first generations. But why would Samsung be so keen to get into this market so early?
From CES 2020:
Alot of the reasoning comes down to how they approached the PCIe 4 generation of SSDs. When PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs arrived commercially, Samsung was NOT one of the first to hit the shelves (unlike the Samsung 960 years before. In fact, they arrived on the scene with an SSD (the Samsung 980 Pro) around 1-1.5 years after everyone else (depending on where you were in the world and availability). They did this because unlike the first gen of PCIe4 drives that had 5000/3500MB/s performance, the Samsung 980 had an incredible 7000/5000MB/s performance. In their words, they used the extra time to make the ultimate PCIe4 SSD. At the time, only WD rivaled them (with their WD Black SN850) and it would take a while before this performance level was challenged (about 7 months and thanks to the Phison E18 controller development). Now fast forward about 2 years since the 980 Pro arrived and it is by no means one of the fastest in the market and I think (looking back over this time) this was a gamble by Samsung that might not have been as conclusive or lucrative as they would have liked. Therefore it makes sense that in the PCIe Gen 5 generation, they would want the Samsung 990 Pro to arrive right at the front of the pack this time!
When Will the Samsung 990 Pro Be Released and How Much Will It Cost?
No details on the release date or Price of the Samsung 990 Pro PCIe5 SSD have been confirmed at the time of writing and Samsung has not officially commented on the leak. I will continue to monitor this SSD and update you will more information as it appears.
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