Samsung 990 PRO SSD Review – The Need For Speed(s)

Does your PS5 need more storage space? Are you impatient and want to get into your games even faster than you already can? Well, if you’ve got the cash, then have you tried looking into the Samsung 990 PRO SSD?

The 990 PRO boasts a significant performance boost from its predecessor, the 980 PRO. Samsung states that the 990 has “40% and 55% faster random read/write speeds than 980 PRO – up to 1400K/1550K IOPS. While sequential read/write speeds up to 7450/6900 MB/s reach near the max performance of PCIe® 4.0.” The SSD also requires 50% less power per watt than the 980.

Samsung 990 Pro Specifications

Column 1Column 2
Capacity1TB, 2TB, 4TB (available Spring 2023), 1TB with Heatsink, 2TB with Heatsink
Form factor M.2 2280
DRAM cache memory 1GB LPDDR4 (on 1TB), 2GB LPDDR4 (on 2TB)
Interface PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
Sequential read 7,450 MB/s
Sequential write 6,900 MB/s
Random read Up to 1,400K IOPS
Random write Up to 1,550K IOPS
Mean time between failure (MTBF) 1.5 million hours
Terabytes written endurance (TBW) 600TBW (1TB model), 1,200TBW (2TB model)
Controller Samsung proprietary Pascal Controller
Warranty 5-year limited
Microsoft DirectStorage API support Yes
RGB lighting Only on Heatsink variants
Dimensions Standard: 80.0 x 22.0 x 2.3mm / Heatsink: 80.09 x 24.3 x 8.2mm
Power consumption Up to 55mW (2TB) idle; 5.8W active read; 5.1W active write
Temperature Operating: 0 to 70 degrees Celcius / Non-operating: -40 to 85 degrees Celcius

Suffice it to say, that’s a pretty impressive upgrade for an already impressive SSD. Samsung previously sent me the 980 PRO with Heatsink last year. I noticed improved load times and a quieter gaming experience. So much better could the 990 PRO be? Let’s get into that.

This is an image of the Samsung 990 PRO SSD with Heatsink. It shows off the box, instruction booklet and the SSD.
Blistering speed is the only proper way to market this SSD As far as endless victory goes Sure but I got a lot of game over screens getting there

Installing the Samsung 990 PRO is Easy.

Samsung was kind enough to send me a 2TB SSD with Heatsink for my PS5. Admittedly, installing the SSD into my PS5 was a little nerve-wracking at first. I have never built a PC and my only real experience with installing hardware is upgrading RAM in an old PC as a teenager. Thankfully, Sony has made installing and upgrading your SSD a very simple process. If you can use a screwdriver, then you’re all set.

The most harrowing part of the ordeal is removing the side panel, for me, anyway. There’s something about it, where at the beginning, it feels like you could potentially break the panel. However, popping the panels off becomes a much more relaxed step when you realize they’re built pretty tough!

After the side panel is off, it’s simply a matter of utilizing the “Righty tight-y, lefty loose-y” method and placing the small screws somewhere they can’t get lost. Oh, and avoid dropping your screw into the console’s fan. That is something I actually did, and a small pair of tweezers came in handy. You’ll also want to make sure you keep the console stationary.

Finally, with the SSD cover removed, you just push the SSD in, and you’re good to go. It does require a small bit of force, and you’ll know when it’s finally in correctly. The SSD will line up with a hole, and just make sure you keep the little support piece that keeps it aligned when you screw it in. Once that’s all done, you just put the console back together and turn it on to format the SSD.

Someone is installing their brand new 990 PRO SSD with Heatsink into their PC.
I felt the same way this guy feels when I installed my 990 PRO honestly

How Does it Improve Performance?

While the console itself (without any upgrades) is already pretty quiet, some PS5s may be louder than others. When it comes to my PS5, I have always had an issue with coil whine. It’s something that has always made it noticeably louder than my Xbox Series X. There isn’t evidence to prove the SSD is linked to this issue, however, after I installed the SSD, the coil whine from my console was much quieter.

Where games are concerned, there was definitely a decrease in loading times as well. I have had my Samsung 990 PRO for quite a while now. It’s been thoroughly tested by games like God of War: Ragnarok and, most recently, Wild Hearts. One game I tried to test was Horizon Forbidden West, a game the PS5 already loads blisteringly fast, and I couldn’t notice an upgrade there.

With God of War: Ragnarok, I timed a pretty large difference. Without the SSD, it takes about eight to nine seconds to get from the main menu into the game. Samsung installed into my PS5, I went from eight to nine, to five seconds. That was me starting from the moment I hit continue.

Then, when traveling between realms, I timed it somewhere between two to four seconds. It depended on what I was doing and where I was traveling to. Just hopping around one realm, with no conversations taking place, I was at two seconds. Going to a different realm, I was timed four to five seconds.

This is an image of the Samsung 990 PRO SSD with Heatsink.
The Samsung 990 PRO SSD is sleek stylish and looks like its going to empower my PS5 to take over the world someday soon

Is it Worth the Price?

If you’re looking for a substantial upgrade to storage space and performance, yes. Samsung was kind enough to send me a 2TB SSD with a heatsink, which is priced at $309.99 on Samsung’s website. While that is expensive, I’d argue that it’s well worth the price. The SSDs are priced competitively and offer better performance than Seagate’s, for example.

The Samsung 990 PRO is competitively priced, especially compared to other cards on the market. Downloading and playing games felt like they received a significant upgrade where it mattered. So, as I stated above,  if you’re in the market for an upgrade to your PS5, the 990 Pro is worth it.

This is rating that recommends the Samsung 990 PRO.

Review Disclosure Statement: Samsung 990 PRO SSD was provided to us by Samsung for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info. 

Affiliate Link Disclosure: One or more of the links above contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we may receive a commission should you click through and purchase the item.