Samsung 990 Pro SSD Officially Revealed – Hardware Confirmed

The Samsung 990 Pro NVMe SSD FULLY Revealed

For those that have been closely following the world of SSDs in summer 2022, one of the most intriguing leaks of a future product was undoubtedly the reveal on the PCI-SIG pages of a SAMSUNG 990 Pro that was reported to be a PCIe Gen 5 SSD. However, just a week later and now Samsung has put us out of our misery with the official reveal and launch of this new PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD! Now before you say “but wait, the Samsung 980 Pro is PCIe 4 – why should I care about the Samsung 990 Pro?”, it is worth highlighting that this new drive is designed to bolster the existing PCIe4 product family from Samsung and (much like the WD Black SN850X released in July 2022 – Review here) is an upgraded and far superior alternative for 2022, delivering improved speeds and increased power efficiency,  optimized for graphically demanding games and other intensive tasks including 3D rendering, 4K video editing and data analysis. The new Samsung 990 Pro also seemingly benefits from the latest V-NAND and a new proprietary controller, the 990 PRO series offers the highest speed currently available from the PCIe 4.0 interface. The SSD delivers sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,450MB/s and 6,900MB/s, respectively, while 4K random read and write IOPS come in at up to 1.4 Million and 1.5 Million respectively. The result is a 55% improvement in random performance over the 2020 released Samsung 980 PRO (depending on your hardware/storage setup). Samsung claims that the new 990 PRO is particularly well-suited for heavy gaming as well as creative and productivity tasks. Let’s discuss everything we know about this new SSD.

Hardware Specifications of the Samsung 990 Pro SSD

The full hardware specifications that Samsung have provided on the new 990 Pro give you the solid specs, whilst unsurprisingly keeping a little quieter on the proprietary stuff (such as that in-house controller and V-NAND depth/layer count). However, they do highlight that the Samsung 990 Pro will arrive with a new NVMe Controller, as well as running on NVMe 2.0 architecture.  Samsung’s newly designed controller dramatically improves the SSD’s power efficiency by up to 50% compared to the 980 PRO. Alongside this the Samsung 990 PRO employs a nickel coating on the controller and a heat spreader label on the drive for reliable thermal management, something we have seen brands such as Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and the Viper VP4300 from Patriot employ to great temperature dissipating success. Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard technology further ensures that the drive’s temperature stays in the optimal range.

The Samsung 990 PRO also arrives in a newly designed Heatsink option, that offers an additional layer of thermal control while its RGB lights add more style to the drive. Samsung’s 990 PRO is also an excellent solution for laptop and desktop upgrades as well as for build-your-own PCs, providing a significant performance boost while using less power for increased battery life and thermal management. Right now, the main questions on people’s lips (well – those more versed in SSD tech at least) are:

  • That New Controller! Will this be exclusive to the 980 Pro product line, introduced to new-gen releases and will the older Samsung 980 Pro benefit from it? The answer is almost certainly NO on that last one.
  • That In house 3bit V-NAND – How Many layers?
  • How hot will it get? The Samsung 980 Pro SSD is an excellent drive, even 2 years after its release. But it has always run a little hot and many will wonder if this drive will be the same, better or worse?

And right now, Samsung is being their usual incredibly tight lip self! But below is what we know:

Category Samsung SSD 990 PRO
Interface PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
Form Factor M.2 (2280) Length
Storage Memory Samsung V-NAND 3-bit TLC (Layer Count TBC)
Controller Samsung in-house controller (TBC)
Capacity5 1TB 2TB 4TB (2023)
$179 $309 TBC
Sequential Read/Write Speed Up to 7,450 MB/s, Up to 6,900 MB/s
Random Read/Write Speed (QD32) Up to 1,400K IOPS, Up to 1,550K IOPS
Data Encryption AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0,

Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)

Total Bytes Written 600TB 1200TB 2400TB
DWPD 0.3 0.3 0.3
Warranty 5 Year Limited Warranty

Interestingly, the new and improved Samsung 990 Pro still maintains the same durability rating as its predecessor the 980 Pro. Now, although a decent amount of the peak 7,450/6900MB/s seq performance and 1.4/1.5M IOPS comes from that new secret SSD controller architecture, there must be improvements in the V-NAND too, so the continued 0.3DWPD rating might have been an area where improvements could have been made, especially when Seagate’s one-year-old Firecuda 530 more than doubles that durability at 0.7DWPD and is comparable in performance.

We CAN make assumptions on that V-NAND though. Around a week ago, there were reports from Samsung that they were expected to release a 236-layer NAND flash product within this year. In addition, it is planning to open a new R&D center this month and the center will be in charge of developing more advanced NAND flash products. Memory chip makers are competing to increase their layer counts. SK Hynix recently completed the development of a 238-layer product and Micron Technology announced that it developed the world’s first 232-layer NAND flash product. Samsung Electronics’ share in the market is 35 percent, the highest in it. Samsung Electronics’ current layer count record is 176. The company is about to increase it by 60 with its production know-how and competitiveness in price and performance. Perhaps these improvements in V-NAND layer count are were we see these further improvements.


Why Didn’t Samsung Release a PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD Instead?

It’s a very good question! When the early erroneous leaks appeared a little over 10 days ago via PCI-SIG that this drive was being listed as a PCIe Gen 5 SSD, It made ALOT of sense. Aside from the SSD industry starting to move into the area of commercial PCIe5 SSDs towards the end of 2022, it made sense for Samsung to try to get ahead of everyone else in this new SSD generation after arriving around a year into the PCIe4 generation, a tad sandwiched between a flurry of their competitor’s products. Perhaps Samsung does not have a PCIe 5 Generation Controller ready (outside of enterprise flash developments) leaving that big 3rd party SSD Controller giant Phison with their E26 Controller to start making waves (with several examples from Kingston, Corsair and Gigabyte revealed at everything from CES 2022 to Computex in H1 2022). Right now, if you are looking for a PCIe 5 SSD from Samsung, then the best and closest drive coming is the Samsung PM1743, which is reported to be capable of 14GB/s Sequential read and 2,500K 4K random read IOPS.

When Will the Samsung 990 Pro SSD Be Released?

According to the brand’s own reports/press-releases, the Samsung 990 PRO will be available worldwide starting this October with the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of $179 for the 1TB model and $309 for the 2TB. A 4TB capacity version will become available in 2023.



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      91 thoughts on “Samsung 990 Pro SSD Officially Revealed – Hardware Confirmed

      1. i have ben saving for a pc good gaming pc for the past 6 years now and yea the wd black sn850x 4TB ssd is something i will have as my C drive. whenni first found out about the drive it was a bit too expensive but now the prices has dropped to acceptable levels which is a relief as my budget is at around 4k$ which means yes i will have a RTX 4k series GPU but also get the benefits of high read and write speeds with that ssd. which is required as not only do i do a lot of modded gaming.. but i also do 3d modeling in blender and coding and such things and yea that ssd together with a RTX 4080 16GB will be a huge upgrade from the 10+ year old setup i currently am working with. not to mention that the new pc will have a much better cpu (a Ryzen 9 7950x 4.5 GHz 81 MB so even better then the one used in the benchmark testing of that ssd) then my current one.. as my current one do not have AVX support.. which has become a big problems when i wanna play games like subnautica BZ and slime rancher 2 as now game devs assume that all computers that ppl are using has that as standard.. but nope.. my current pc do not.. nor do my current motherboard support a newer cpu either due to how old everything is.. so yea i am looking forward to finally getting a new modern gaming pc

      2. Regarding WD Black SN850X vs. Crucial P5 Plus, I’m a little confused regarding the random read speeds.
        In the 1st random read test, the SN850X is 3 times faster than the P5 Plus.
        In the 2nd random read test, the SN850X is 3 times slower than the P5 Plus.
        So which one is more likely to be faster overall?

      3. I have the 4TB version and can only get 3475 MB/s on CrystalDiskMark. I have a Dell Latitude 5591 laptop with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8850H CPU @ 2.60GHz, 2592 Mhz, 6 Core(s), 12 Logical Processor(s), and 32 GB of RAM. Is something wrong, or is this a reasonable speed?

      4. Hi! I have a quick question: would this WD Black SN850X with the heatsink fit in my laptop Predator Helios 300 (2022 version) or should I buy the model without heatsink? Your reviews are always so helpful, thanks! 🙂

      5. Good review thank you Heat likely killed mine..had a heat sink. Installed as a drive to house simple data for VST libraries used in audio software. Installed retail box version on Nov 28, 2022. Dead March 6, 2023. BIOS no longer sees any drive in the allocated M. 2 slot on a Z390 Gigabyte MOBO. Original Intel 2TB M2 and Samsung Ssd SATA from Dec 2019 still there no issues. This is shameful. Some Amazon users rated this drive as 1 star listing failure after failure. In IT for 30 years, this is a first in this short of timeframe. Avoid.

      6. Stuck it into a PCIe 3.0 with half the max speed, and still faster than high quality fastest PCIe 3.0 drive with similar max speeds. Due to bigger faster DRAM on WD drive, random read writes are faster.
        Always buy WD, quality and reliability not found in any other. Not Samsung, not Kingston, not Seagate.

      7. Hey Nas!
        I just bought this m2 but i am unable to install windows.

        I installed the harddrive, and using the windows on my SSD it’s possible to see it in diskmanagement and as storage in “computer”
        However, i am unable to see it in my windows installation (USB bootable)

        I have tried just about everything and i searched google thin without hope, even asked on a forum but no luck..

        Please be my saviour <3

      8. Ive Just got this ssd for christmas and have now bought an orico M.2 ssd enclosure with nvme m.2 ssd compatibility, however im unable to initialise the drive and it only appears in disk manager as one that cant be initialised and it appears in device manager but other than that it doesnt work even though its brand new adn it working on some pc’s ive tried but not my own. The conclusion ive come to is either theres something wrong with the drive or my pc having had its operating system upgraded to windows 11 rather than a full clean install and so is having issues detecting it properly, Ive made sure the BIOS is updated and any outstanding updates for my os is installed as windows has a tendancy to disable certain functionality based on if youve updated it or not but low and behold it doesnt work still does anyone know how to fix it?

      9. Just picked this drive up, installed it in a new build with: i9-13900k slightly OC, 32GB DDR5-6000 and a 3090 OC. I didn’t think I would see much of a difference between my old off brand M.2 and my new SN850x but I’m here to say it was well worth the $199 I picked it up for. Pcie gen 5 is on the horizon so there are some great deals out there for the top drives. 100% would recommend.

      10. Thank you!
        Can you please expand on why you don’t feel this is a great drive for PS5 application?
        4TB currently $450. Every Amazon review is CONSISTENTLY showing PS5 read speeds of just over 6,500 MB/s; highest I’ve seen registered for PS5 application (i.e., Firecuda PS5 read speeds ranging 5,200 – 6,500 MB/s)

      11. @NASCopares May you or anyone else could please tell me if you have seen SN850X 4TB in your hand that, is 4TB single sided or it is double sided SSD? I am seeing conflicting comments, some says it is single sided and some saying it is double sided! Even in official data sheet they have mentioned exactly same thickness of SN850X regardless the capacity, that means according to data sheet 1TB and 4TB has same thickness, my laptop cannot accept double sided NVMe that’s why I want to be sure if 4TB is one sided (I know 1 or 2TB are one sided)

      12. What a difference 2 or 3 months make. In the video the WD Black 1TB SN850X w/o heatsink is selling at $159.99. I just picked up, in a Black Friday special, the 2TB SN850X for $154.99.

      13. The 4TB version is sold only without a heatsink for a reason: the chips on top are very different in height, so you have to use relatively thick thermal pads to make the heatsink sit properly flat on top. To make it worse: on the bottom, chips are on one half only, which makes it even harder to fit double-sided heatsinks easily, because you can’t use even pressure to make the top side a snug fit.

      14. good in debt video, thx..
        a bit of a shame that your system isnt powerfull so it can give the true maximum performance ..
        – that is a thing Id like to see, since I do have a 5950X, with a SN750 1TB + SN850 1TB, – and Iam considering upgrading the SN750 to a SN850X 2TB..

      15. i want to order a 2tb. I have hard time to decided between Kingston KC3000 and this WD SN850X. Today i see they are the exact same price . Both 5 years warranty and similar performance. KC3000 has more TBW at 1.6PBW and 1.2PBW for the SN850X. 36% price drop on SN850X today

      16. WD’s dashboard app is absolute dogshit. Never use it except for updates or maintenance, other than that uninstall it when you don’t need it. It absolutely destroys your pc’s performance. It maxes out your cpu usage no matter your settings or how good your cpu is. I contacted their customer support and they installed the app on their pc and were shocked at how much it destroyed their cpu usage also. They even had another rep that had a way more powerful pc try it too and same thing. They had no idea what to do about it. Such a weird pathetic issue. Even if you turned off the background process settings for it and didn’t have the program open there was still processes it was doing destroying your usage. You had to uninstall it completely to get your perf back. It’s been a year now so I’m hoping they maybe fixed it? Idk the whole thing seemed so negligent, careless, and ignorant.

      17. Hi, thanks for the informative videos. Have you checked if the 850x comes with the latest firmware since it impacts performance when using enclosures like orico? I have the 4TB version, I tried to check firmware on pc using dashboard but couldn’t get the software to install properly, blank window, I’ll contact WD for that. I got 2450/2700 with the shipped firmware, on mac mini thunderbolt 3, APFS format. Thanks

      18. Looking at the fingers, not even it has hit the magical 7000 finger

        I am positive cpu and ram and motherboard have influence in final speeds ,

        ???? even my gigabyte nvme has better stats than your wd .

      19. WD Black SN850X (2022) over the SN850 we’ll only see an improvement in write output, but otherwise it’s the same. So whatever is at a better price is worth it.
        Firmware – WD Black SN850 – 1TB
        611100WD – 01.2021
        612100WD – 03.2021
        613200WD – 07.2021
        614300WD – 09.2021
        614600WD – 11.2021
        614900WD – 02.2022

        Firmware – WD Black SN850X – 1TB
        620241WD – 06.2022

      20. Re: specs on the flash modules – I’ve been researching drives for a new build for multiple hours now. I’m in the US, where KIOXIA doesn’t sell their consumer grade stuff, but after looking into it, I’m like 90% sure that this is, essentially, almost a rebrand of the KIOXIA exceria pro. The specs are almost identical, and WD’s flash is made by Toshiba’s (kioxia’s) chip fab. In the rest of the civilized world, you can just buy the kioxia drive if you want the speed, but I think in the US, for … marketing reasons (?), you are expected to settle on the WD Black.

      21. Great video, i also saw some odd heatsinks on Amazon, the new ineo heatsink w/cover, Graugear heatsink w/cover too, they look…well you’d need to see them, temp test with one of those and this ssd would be something on the Ps5.

      22. Still be nice in my PS5. I only just got a 2Tb 850 on prime day, but I’ll be looking at the 850X in November. I can offload my 850 to the mrs, mates rates so be both win.

      23. I have always wondered why is the 4TB the same speed as the 2TB, but the 2TB is faster than the 1TB? The 4TB has more DRAM package on the back so you would think it would also increase speed.

      24. i personally have never found appealing the value of WD’s ssds. always 10-15% pricier where i live than samsung/crucial/kingston counterparts.
        i like the hdds though

      25. Hello; thank you for your vidéo and thank you for all of them. What you do is very interesting to compare and chooose the ssd we want for your bugdet.
        And your vidéos about the heat on SSD are very interesting for learning.
        Have a good week and see you soon.