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Samsung 990 Pro SSD Review

Samsung 990 Pro

Samsung’s back again this quarter with an even faster m.2 that fits nice and snuggly in your PS5 via the Samsung 990 Pro. You know we had to run it one more ‘gain, so here’s our review for Samsung’s 990 Pro SSD:

Samsung 2TB 990 Pro SSD with Heatsink
Manufacturer: Samsung
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC
Price: $289.99 USD

Fairly similar to the Samsung 980 Pro I reviewed back in April, the new Samsung 990 Pro is the same size as the last one and comes in both this flavor as well as the heatsink applied version for an extra $20.

As I’ve already got a standalone heatsink to put in my PS5 with these drives, this wasn’t much of a deal breaker for me, so I popped my usual Sabrent drive out and plugged in the new Samsung hotness for a test drive.

To the surprise of no one, with this drive being the same size as their last one, you’ll be able to plug this in super fast and have it up and running in less than five minutes – even with very little hardware experience at all.

It’s super simple to set up, and there’s a video showing how to install a drive on our Youtube channel if you need it. Booting up the PS5 with the Samsung 990 Pro SSD in it, the drive bolstered an impressive 6558mbps read speed.

Unfortunately, the box rates the read speed up to 7450mbps which it’s clear the PS5 has already reached its capacity to keep up with the speed that drives can function at. Comparing the Samsung 990 Pro (read speed of 6558mpbs) to the Samsung 980 Pro (6483mbps) is a respectable but marginal speed increase.

I’m sure this drive probably performs far better when plugged into a PC, but we review the drives based on their performance with the PS5 specifically. Here’s where things get a little sketchy. The drive is awesome and it’s fast, but it’s such a minor speed upgrade that it’s practically not at all noticeable in comparison to the Samsung 980 Pro, which is currently $199 on Amazon.

Specifically rating this drive for the PlayStation 5, I can’t in good faith recommend spending full price for this drive when it barely outperforms its predecessor. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a good chance that we’ve already hit the limitations of how quickly the PS5 motherboard can receive instructions from this drive, especially when you take into account that this drive is currently $304 on Amazon, which is higher than the suggested retail price.

Maybe there’s a firmware update in the future that will allow the PS5 to fully tap in the power and speed of these drives, but for now I’ve yet to test any drive that reads faster in the PS5 than Samsung’s 990 Pro. Kingston’s Fury Renegade drive comes close at speed rating of 7300mbps, but it was only reading at 6502mbps while installed in the PS5. That drive is currently available for $209 and sits solidly between these two Samsung drives as a frame of reference.

The Samsung 990 Pro SSD is available in 1 and 2TB variations, available at Amazon, Tiger Direct, and other retailers. The 2TB version used in our review was provided by Samsung. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.


The Verdict: 8

The Good

  • Currently the fastest drive we've tested

The Bad

  • The PS5 isn't capable of the full extent of the speed this drive is capable of
  • It's expensive compared to other drives close in performance

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