Contrary to expectations, Samsung has decided to offer its new premium SSD series, the 990 Pro, also with PCIe 4.0 interface, promoting only optimizations on the power efficiency side.
Prepared in anticipation of AMD’s big launch next month, the Samsung 990 Pro was supposed to be one of the first and also the most powerful storage devices with PCIe 5.0 interface, capable of delivering speeds of over 10GB/s on data read operations.
It’s unclear whether Samsung opined on last-minute hardware issues, or simply the South Korean company decided to “milk” another generation just for brand image, leaving it to deliver the real performance boosts only next year. All we can say is that Samsung hasn’t “jumped on” the PCIe 5.0 bandwagon just yet, with the largest manufacturer of NAND solutions only content to promote a 50% increase from a performance-per-watt perspective. In other words, SSDs already known for frugal power consumption will now consume even less power if you choose to buy a new one.
While the announcement might have some favorable resonance among cloud services companies, which work with thousands or even tens of thousands of such devices installed in cramped, poorly cooled spaces, for ordinary users the news says little.
So the new Samsung 990 Pro range will push the current PCIe 4.0 interface even closer to its theoretical limits, at best waiting for a firmware update that delivers the long-awaited speed boost. The good news is that even without PCIe 5.0 support, the new SSDs are perfectly capable of handling 4K and even 8K video editing tasks, just like the previous generation.
According to official data, the 990 Pro series is capable of speeds of up to 7,450MB/s and 6900MB/s write/read data operations, or IOPS performance of 1,400K and 1,550K operations per second.
The truth is that the 980Pro series had some issues with temperatures, risking overheating and artificially limiting performance in truly intensive usage scenarios (which, however, are hardly reached under normal use). Thus, the advances made by the successor Samsung 990 Pro might be enough for a category of users who really wanted to achieve top-notch and sustainable performance in a heavy usage regime.