Samsung 990 Pro PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD Drive Review

Thirty years ago, as a teenager, I attended a computer show and saw my first 1GB 5400rpm hard drive. If someone had told me then that I’d have a 2TB hard drive no bigger than a stick of gum, I would have been incredulous. But here I am with the new Samsung 990 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD — a testament to the future of technology that we now take for granted. Not only is it a huge amount of storage, but it’s also incredibly fast, with a rated 7,450MB/s read speed — something that was impossible for that old 1GB hard drive.

Starting at $239 for the 1TB model and $439 for the 2TB model, the cost of storage is quite high. For comparison, a 3.5-inch 2TB hard drive from Seagate or Western Digital typically costs between $60-75, so the price per byte of storage is much higher for an SSD drive like the 990 Pro. However, the real selling point is its speed; it’s like comparing a Formula 1 car to a scooter. With its impressive sequential read speeds, games load almost instantaneously. This means no more waiting around for loading screens and more time spent playing your games.

But gaming is far from the only thing to benefit from the blazing speed the 990 Pro offers. Everything from booting up Windows to hard core media editing to transferring files sees a substantial uptick in speed that is hard to deny. I did some benchmarking and found that I was getting just over 7080MB/s read and a whopping 6,730MB/s write which is less than what Samsung quotes but is still quite frankly, silly speeds. Anybody who knows a thing or two about PC’s will tell you that there are several components that have to perfectly align to ever achieve manufacturers claims so whether it’s my particular build, I’m not sure.

The Samsung 990 Pro is built to last, with an endurance rating of up to 1.5 million hours of continuous use. It uses less power than its predecessor, the 980 Pro, leading to a 50% performance per Watt improvement. Under extreme load, temperatures measure around 63 degrees, and in more pedestrian tasks, temperatures measure in the low 50s. However, this may depend on the cooling solution your motherboard offers, so results may vary. Plus, it’s got full disk encryption and a hardware-based security feature to keep your precious files safe from any unwanted eyes.

The Samsung 990 Pro is a sleek M.2 drive that fits in most modern laptops and is compatible with most NVMe-enabled motherboards, making installation and gaming quick and easy. It’s amazing how small this drive is; kids today will never know the struggle! The drive is compatible with PCIe 4.0 and backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0, though performance drops to about 3000MB/s, which is still much faster than any HDD or SATA SSD.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that Samsung has a great disk management app called Magician. It provides a useful dashboard to monitor the drive’s performance, as well as tweaking and benchmarking tools. The app is well-designed and easy to understand, even for those not familiar with data transfer terminology. Furthermore, Samsung offers an impressive 5-year warranty in addition to the 1.5 million hours of reliability, giving you peace of mind that your investment is secure.

Verdict

The Samsung 990 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD is the ideal upgrade for any serious gamer. It offers 2TB of storage, lightning-fast speeds, and excellent endurance and security features. While it is expensive, the performance gains are worth it, especially for people who do intensive read/write activities such as gaming, streaming, and video editing. Do you need speeds of 7000MB/s? For most people, the answer is no; a cheaper 3500MB/s drive is more than sufficient for modern gaming. However, if you want the best of the best, the Samsung 990 Pro is hard to beat.

Samsung 990 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD
LIKES
Insane read/ write speeds
Great power & thermal efficiency
Plug and play
Samsung Magician software
DISLIKES
Very expensive
5
Best of the best
Kizito Katawonga
Kizito Katawongahttp://www.medium.com/@katawonga
Kizzy is our Tech Editor. He's a total nerd with design sensibilities who's always on the hunt for the latest, greatest and sexiest tech that enhances our work and play. When he's not testing the latest gadgets or trying to listen to his three whirlwind daughters, Kizzy likes to sink deep into a good story-driven single player game.

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