Skip to main content

The Samsung 990 Pro SSD is built for PS5 and DirectStorage

Much of the discourse on SSDs has recently been focused on the upcoming PCIe 5.0 spec, which has twice the bandwidth of PCIe 4.0 and will theoretically allow SSDs to hit even greater speeds, just as PCIe 4.0 did in 2019. But that doesn’t mean PCIe 4.0 SSDs are old hat now, as Samsung is launching its new 990 Pro SSD with older PCIe 4.0 technology. And it’s ready for Microsoft’s DirectStorage and PS5.

Although Samsung has PCIe 5.0 SSDs for enterprise, which feature much faster sequential speeds and input/output operations per second (IOPS) than any PCIe 4.0 SSD, the company is sticking with PCIe 4.0 for consumer-oriented devices for the time being. There’s more to an SSD than just the interconnect it has, however, such as NAND storage chips themselves, the software and firmware, and the SSD controller.

The Samsung Pro 990 Heatsink model.

The sequential performance gains are not quite as dramatic as we’ve seen with PCIe 5.0 SSDs, which can reach over 13,000MB/s reads. However, the 990 Pro does have slightly higher reads and significantly higher writes than the last-gen 980 Pro. The claimed performance uplift in random reads and writes is much more substantial as the 990 Pro apparently has 55% more IOPS. Combined with optimizations for Microsoft’s DirectStorage API, the 990 Pro should have much faster loading times in games among other applications where increased random performance is beneficial.

Samsung 990 Pro (1TB) Samsung 980 Pro (1TB)
Sequential reads 7,450MB/s 7,000MB/s
Sequential writes 6,900MB/s 5,100MB/s
Random reads 1,550,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS
Random writes 1,550,000 IOPS 1,000,000 IOPS
Interface PCIe 4.0 PCIe 4.0

Samsung also says the 990 Pro is up to 50% more efficient than the 980 Pro, which is important for reducing heat and improving battery life on laptops and other devices that can use NVMe SSDs. The previous-generation 980 Pro can consume up t0 9 watts, which is almost as much as a low-end mobile CPU, so a significant reduction in power consumption would lead to noticeably better battery life.

Samsung attributes the performance and efficiency improvements of the 990 Pro primarily to the 8nm controller that the new SSD uses — the company claims it’s the first SSD controller on 8nm. However, the 980 Pro also used an 8nm controller; we’re not sure if Samsung means the 990 Pro uses the same controller as the 980 Pro (which leaves the improvements unexplained) or if the company made a mistake in its product announcement. We’ve reached out to Samsung for clarification on this point.

Preorders for the 1TB and 2TB models begin on November 1, and at $169 and $289 respectively, they are priced similarly to the 980 Pro when it came out (though the 980 Pro has since fallen in price by $30 to $60). A 4TB model will also be available in 2023, likely with performance similar to the 1TB and 2TB versions.

Samsung is also offering 1TB and 2TB versions with a heat sink, which are $20 more expensive. This heat sink model seems particularly built for the PS5. The heat sink still works in the console, allowing you to add an additional 2TB of speedy storage to your PS5.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Connatser
Matthew Connatser is a freelance writer who works on writing and updating PC guides at Digital Trends. He first got into PCs…
There’s a big sale happening on Lenovo Tower and Edge servers today
Lenovo ThinkSystem ST50 Tower Server product image

People often think of servers, the systems that empower online and cloud-based platforms, as more of a business solution. While that's true, and they do have widespread implications for the world of modern business (hello DNS servers), there are many uses for a server at home too. For example, you can set one up to run a media server, allowing you to access all of your media -- like movies, shows, and music -- both at home and on the go. You can also use a server to host and run your own website or even a full-fledged hosting solution, where you can sell hosting to other like-minded folks. Really, there are a ton of possibilities. Of course, servers tend to be expensive, but thanks to a huge sale on Lenovo Tower and Edge Servers, you can save big right now. In fact, some of the best desktop computer deals include an option worthy of moonlighting as a server from time to time. Regardless, if you're in the market for a server, now's the perfect opportunity to grab one for an excellent price. Why not take a look for yourself?

Why you should shop the Lenovo Tower and Edge Servers sale
Like any desktop or laptop computer, whether for gaming, work, or something else entirely, servers and their performance depend largely on the internal hardware. So, there are many servers included in this Lenovo Tower and Edge Servers sale, and your best bet to find what you're looking for is to head over and browse for yourself. That said, it makes sense to call out a few of our favorites and some of the best deals we've found.

Read more
Update your Apple devices now to fix these dangerous exploits
A person using a laptop with a set of code seen on the display.

If you’re an Apple user -- whether you have a Mac, an iPhone, an iPad, or an Apple Watch -- you need to update your devices as soon as possible. That’s because Apple has discovered three actively exploited vulnerabilities that could cause your devices serious harm, and the patches are already out to fix them.

One of the bugs was found in Apple’s Security framework and would allow a malicious app to completely bypass a device’s signature validation. Another bug concerns the WebKit browser engine and could grant a threat actor the ability to run arbitrary code when a victim views a certain web page.

Read more
This HP Pavilion desktop PC had its price cut from $700 to $440
HP PC connected to a monitor.

HP is one of the most reliable sources for dependable desktop PCs at affordable prices. Take this as an example -- the HP Pavilion Desktop TP01, originally priced at $700, is currently available for just $440 following a $260 discount. With a configuration that's more than enough for the usual tasks that you'll do for work or school, this is one of the most attractive desktop computer deals that we've seen in a while. We're not sure how long this offer will remain online though, so you'll have to complete the purchase as soon as possible if you don't want to miss out.

Why you should buy the HP Pavilion Desktop TP01
Let's get it out of the way -- the HP Pavilion Desktop TP01 isn't going to be as powerful as the top-of-the-line models of the best desktop computers. However, with its AMD Ryzen 3 5300G processor, integrated AMD Radeon Graphics, and 8GB of RAM, it's going to be more than enough to handle activities such as doing online research, making reports, and creating presentations. The desktop PC excels in its storage capabilities though, as it's got a 256GB SSD for its primary storage where Windows 11 Home is pre-installed and a 1TB HDD for its secondary storage. That's a lot of space for your files!

Read more