Samsung 980 pro vs 990 pro – Which SSD is superior ?

Samsung recently unveiled its next-generation SSD storage solutions by the name 990 Pro M.2 NVMe drive. The 990 pro model motive is to push speeds even further while building on the reputation of its predecessor, the 980 Pro. With Samsung’s SSD leadership in the market, expectations are high for the 990 Pro. let;s check the Samsung 980 Pro vs 990 Pro SSDs across key specs and real-world capabilities to see exactly what the new model brings to the table.

SpecSamsung 990 ProSamsung 980 Pro
Sequential Read SpeedUp to 7,450 MB/sUp to 7,000 MB/s
Sequential Write SpeedUp to 6,900 MB/sUp to 5,000 MB/s
Random Read SpeedUp to 78K IOPSUp to 68K IOPS
Random Write SpeedUp to 64K IOPSUp to 56K IOPS
NAND FlashSamsung V-NAND 3-bit MLCSamsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC
ControllerSamsung PabloSamsung Elpis
InterfacePCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x4 & PCIe 3.0 x4
Form FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280
Warranty5 years5 years
Endurance1,200 TBW (1TB)600 TBW (1TB)
Launch Price (1TB)$124.99$99.99

980 pro vs 990 pro

Let’s analyze in detail – Samsung 980 pro vs 990 pro

Sequential Read and Write Speeds

On paper, the 990 Pro demonstrates appreciable gains in maximum throughput over the 980 Pro:

Feature990 Pro980 Pro
Sequential reads 7,450 MB/s7,000 MB/s
Sequential writes6,900 MB/s5,000 MB/s
Random Read SpeedUp to 78K IOPSUp to 68K IOPS
Random Write SpeedUp to 64K IOPSUp to 56K IOPS

The 990 Pro leverages the updated PCIe 4.0 interface for improved read and write speeds, especially writes. While the real-world impact depends on use cases, the 990 Pro sets a new high bar for peak Samsung M.2 SSD performance.

980 pro vs 990 pro Controller and NAND Configuration

While featuring the same 1GB LPDDR4 DRAM cache, the core components differ between models:

  • 980 Pro: Samsung Elpis controller, TLC V-NAND 3-bit MLC flash
  • 990 Pro: Upgraded Samsung Pablo controller, TLC V-NAND 3-bit MLC flash

The Elpis controller already provided excellent performance that the Pablo aims to build on. And both leverage Samsung’s reliable 3-bit MLC V-NAND technology for the storage media.

Interface Support and Compatibility

A key similarity between the drives is backwards compatibility:

  • Both the 980 Pro and 990 Pro include support for PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 connections.

This ensures broad compatibility with AMD Ryzen and Intel platforms. But to achieve full performance, a PCIe 4.0 motherboard is recommended. The 990 Pro showcases its speeds best on a PCIe 4.0 CPU and chipset.

980 pro vs 990 pro Capacity Comparison

The 980 Pro and 990 Pro share much of the same capacity options:

  • 980 Pro: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • 990 Pro: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

The largely overlapping ranges give users flexibility in choosing the right capacity based on workload needs and budget. High-capacity 2TB models cater to power users while staying cost-effective versus 4TB models.

Form Factor and Dimensions

As M.2 NVMe SSDs, both models share the same compact form factor:

  • M.2 2280
  • Max dimensions of 22mm x 80mm x 2.38mm

This allows easy installation into desktops or laptops with M.2 slots. The small footprint is ideal for tight builds. And no power cables are required, reducing clutter.

980 pro vs 990 Pro Warranty and Endurance

Samsung protects both SSDs with a 5-year warranty and strong endurance ratings:

  • 980 Pro: 600 TBW (terabytes written) for 1TB model
  • 990 Pro: 1,200 TBW for 1TB model

These high TBW ratings indicate the drives can withstand heavy workloads over years of operation. The 990 Pro doubles the endurance, but both easily satisfy most consumer and prosumer use cases.

980 pro vs 990 Pro Price Comparison

990 Pro is approximately $25 costly than 980 Pro. (last updated 16 January 2024)

SSD990 Pro Price980 Pro Price
4TB$349.99Not available

Prices are taken from official samsung site but you can find different pricing on other sites. Overall pricing is competitive with other high-end PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market.


  • Samsung claims big performance gains of the 990 Pro over the 980 Pro, including 55% faster writes and 40% faster reads.However, real-world testing shows the 990 Pro is only marginally faster than the 980 Pro for most usage. The massive gains are in highly sequential workloads.
  • For everyday random usage, the performance improvement is minor. Reviews found little difference in random speeds compared to the 980 Pro.
  • The 990 Pro is more efficient mostly in sequential transfers. But for general usage, efficiency gains over the 980 Pro are small.Upgrading from a 980 Pro to 990 Pro won’t provide a dramatic real-world speed boost. The optimizations provide a slight performance bump.
  • With very similar pricing currently, the 990 Pro is the better choice over the 980 Pro based on the modest improvements. But if the 980 Pro drops significantly in price, it would be more appealing.
  • In summary, the 990 Pro is a slightly optimized 980 Pro, not a revolutionary upgrade. But it makes sense to choose the 990 Pro at near price parity.

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About Author
Arun is a tech enthusiast who loves to navigating the latest gadgets. He likes to write comprehensive buying guides and finding tech solutions. His passion for tech, you can see on craze for gadgets via reviews, where he helps others make informed decisions in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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