New Samsung 990 PRO SSD Launched

Samsung has announced a new lineup of super-speed NVMe SSDs, the Samsung 990 PRO SSD. With sequential read and write speeds up to 7,450 MB/s and 6,900 MB/s, these drives could be a terrific solution for DIT, and quick-turnaround 4K and 8K post-production. Let’s dive into the specs!

Shooting anything in 4K or 8K eats up a lot of hard drive space, but using slow drives to transfer, edit, or ship that footage can cost you precious time. Typical 7200 RPM HDDs move data at between 80-160MB/s, which means a 1 TB camera card could take as long as 3.5 hours to download. Going by the specs, the 990 PRO SSD could transfer that same data in approximately just 2.5 minutes.

Real-world speeds are normally a bit different from lab tests with any drive. However, Samsung claims the 990 PRO SSD is capable of delivering the highest speed currently available from the PCIe 4.0 interface. PCIe 4.0’s highest theoretical sequential read speed is 8,000 MB/s.

Samsung SSD 990 PRO 2TB. Source: Samsung

“The 990 PRO provides an optimal balance of speed, power efficiency and reliability, making it an ideal choice for avid gamers and creative professionals seeking uninterrupted work and play.”

KyuYoung Lee, Vice President of the Memory Brand Product Biz Team at Samsung Electronics

Samsung NVMe SSD 990 PRO Series Specifications

Samsung SSD 990 PRO 2TB. Source: Samsung
Category Samsung SSD 990 PRO | 990 PRO with Heatsink
Interface PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
Form Factor M.2 (2280)
Storage Memory Samsung V-NAND 3-bit TLC
Controller Samsung in-house controller
Capacity 1TB 2TB 4TB
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
Management Software Samsung Magician Software
Data Encryption AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0,
Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)
Total Bytes Written 600TB 1200TB 2400TB
Warranty Five-year Limited Warranty

In addition to a sizable speed increase, Samsung also claims that the 990 PRO series is 50% more power efficient than the previous generation, the 980 PRO. It employs a nickel coating on the controller and a heat spreader label on the drive for reliable thermal management.

Samsung SSD 990 PRO with and without the additional heatsink. Source: Samsung

The Samsung 990 PRO will be sold with and without an additional heatsink. The heatsink version adds better thermal control and RGB lights for “more style” (as Samsung puts it). Thermal control is extremely important when working with SSDs as heat will dramatically reduce the performance of the drive.

Performance speeds will always vary in the real world, but having the fastest drives on set and in the editing room can really make all the difference in the world. Personally, I use NVMe SSDs as my active storage for post-production and they really do make a difference.

Price and availability

The 990 PRO will be available worldwide starting this October with an MSRP of $179 for the 1TB model and $309 for the 2TB. A 4TB capacity version will become available sometime in 2023. There is no mention of the cost of the additional heatsink.

For more information, including warranty details, please visit Samsung’s website here and here.

What do you think about Samsung’s PRO SSD lineup? Do you use NVMe SSDs on your productions? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below!

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