At a glance

Professional’s Rating
ProsTop-tier everyday performanceAvailable with and without heat sinkConsPriceySlightly off the pace with our 450GB writeOur VerdictThe Samsung 990 Pro NVMe SSD is a high-tier performer. That, and the company’s sterling reputation would make it an attractive option—if there weren’t equally competent drives available for relatively a bit less.

Notice When Reviewed$240 for 2TB

The Samsung 990 Pro is a number of the greatest NVMe SSDs on the market. But the place as soon as Samsung’s SSDs were ahead of the performance curve, this one is merely diploma with it—placing fourth overall in our making an attempt out.

It’s a very tight race for the demolish dwelling, but the 990 isn’t the winner, and Samsung aloof costs the 990 Pro as if it were a dominant performer. That at explain makes it a little bit of a hard sell.

Note: This assessment is part of our ongoing roundup of the greatest SSDs. Pace there to learn more about competing products, what to witness for in an SSD, and searching for recommendations.

Samsung 990 Pro: Acquire and features

The 990 Pro is your standard 2280 gain factor (22mm broad, 80mm lengthy) M.2, NVMe SSD. It’s PCIe 4 x4 the usage of 176-layer TLC NAND, with 1GB of primary caching DRAM for each 1TB of NAND. The controller is an in-apartment Samsung fabricate that, according to the company, provides a 50 percent development in power efficiency over the 980 Pro.

The 990 Pro is available both with a heatsink or without (examined). The label on the non-heatsink version also serves as a heat spreader, so except you’re pounding on the force constantly by transcoding excessive-resolution video or gaming, you probably don’t need the heatsink. Also, many performance motherboards provide their very acquire heatsinks.

Retail pricing is $170 for the 1TB capacity, and $290 for the 2TB version sans heatsink. Add $20 when you want said heatsink. Those costs are significantly greater than what the demolish-ranked WD SN850X was available for on Amazon at the time of this writing.

We can simplest compare the usage of the costs that the company provides until the force actually displays up in retail. On the alternative hand, the older 980 Pro is lawful as heavily discounted as the SN850X, so when you peep the 990 Pro for more competitive costs, that would make the force a far more attractive purchase.

Right here’s a box shot of the 990 Pro without a heatsink that we examined. Most users gained’t need one.

Samsung provides a 5-year warranty which is mitigated by a 600TBW (terabytes that can be written) per 1TB endurance rating—i.e., the warranty expires when both limit is exceeded. TBW ratings are extremely conservative as a rule, so that you is normally able to write more to the force.

600TBW per 1TB is actually relatively a rather low allowance given the 990 Pro’s top rate pricing.


In some tests, the 990 Pro rocked; in others it fell a bit off the pace of the alternative high opponents; and in a single test (the lengthy 450GB write), it was surprisingly mid-tier in performance. Add it all up and it was the fourth fastest force we’ve examined, though not lagging by remarkable. It’s an extremely tight contest between the greatest drives.

CrystalDiskMark 8 (shown below) was largely a number of the 990 Pro’s sturdy parts. It was fastest in two of the tests, and a hair unhurried in a third; nonetheless, a surprisingly weak single-queue read performance sabotaged its aggregate rating. Note that the WD SN850X integrated in the comparison is the fastest force overall we’ve examined to date.

When it comes to pure sequential performance beneath CrystalDiskMark 8, simplest the single-queue read performance holds the 990 Pro back. Longer bars are higher.

If not for that weak single-queue/thread performance, the 990 Pro’s aggregate CrystalDiskMark 8 performance may’ve placed it simplest a tick out of first place. Note that this aggregate is our totaling of the outcomes, not one thing CDM8 provides.

Right here’s an graceful aggregate throughput rating, albeit a little bit of unhurried the competing WD SN850X and Adata Yarn 960. Longer bars are higher.

When it came to the real world, the 990 Pro was a bit unhurried the alternative high drives in small file/folder writes, but aced the single large-file write. The 21-seconds read velocity is the fastest we’ve considered, matched simplest by the in any other case slower Teamgroup Cardea A440 Pro.

Again, the margin of loss in our 48GB transfers was minuscule for the 990 Pro. Legal stuff. Shorter bars are higher.

What did surprise us a bit was the 990’s uneven transfer rate while writing a 450GB file to its cells. With an empty 2TB SSD with masses of NAND to be used as SLC secondary cache, right here is usually very soft and even. The tip end result was the 990 Pro lagging about a half minute off the pace situation by the fastest performers on this test.

Right here’s a decent time for the 450GB write, but not as fast or steady as we were anticipating from the 990 Pro. Shorter bars are higher.

The a large selection of dips and bumps in velocity you can peep below were probably because of granular real-time allocation of more NAND for secondary cache tasks. The most effective 450GB write time we’ve considered on our unusual test bed was 206 seconds by the 4TB Crucial P3. Having that remarkable NAND helped the P3’s cause. It lagged in other areas.

We’re not ancient to seeing these form of peaks and valleys from a Samsung force, but the overall velocity was aloof very accurate.

The performance differences we’re pointing out right here are minor. You may take any of the demolish PCIe 4 drives and never notice the variation subjectively. In other words, they’re all very, very fast.

Internal force tests at explain train Home windows 11 64-bit working on an MSI MEG X570/AMD Ryzen 3700X combo with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an ASMedia ASM3242 USB 3.2×2 card. Replica tests train an ImDisk RAM disk the usage of 58GB of the 64GB total memory.

Each test is performed on a newly formatted and TRIM’d force so the outcomes are optimal. Over time, as a force fills up, performance will decrease because of less NAND for caching and other factors.

The performance numbers shown apply simplest to the force we were shipped and of the capacity examined. SSD performance can vary by capacity because of more or fewer chips to shotgun reads/writes across and the amount of NAND available for secondary caching. Vendors also occasionally swap parts, though Samsung has traditionally changed model numbers for revisions.

Must aloof you raise Samsung’s 990 Pro?

While Samsung’s 990 Pro didn’t situation any data, it’s aloof one of a handful of drives vying for the demolish performance dwelling. It’s an graceful force; nonetheless, remarkable of its opponents is significantly more affordable, making it harder to indicate.