Unbeatable Value: A Comprehensive Review of the Samsung 990 EVO PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD

The Samsung 990 EVO is a PCIe 5.0 SSD that runs at two lanes (x2) and performs similarly to a PCIe 4.0 SSD. Despite being the first affordable PCIe 5.0 SSD on the market, our testing showed that it was slower and less consistent than other PCIe 4.0 drives. Additionally, it is on the expensive side when compared to budget PCIe 4.0 SSDs. With a five-year warranty and a good TBW rating, the 990 EVO offers decent performance. It is available in 1TB and 2TB models priced at $125 and $210 respectively.

The 2280 form factor NVMe SSD features 133-layer TLC NAND and an in-house Samsung controller. It can function as a four-lane PCIe 4.0 or a two-lane PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSD, providing the same theoretical bandwidth with the help of Host Memory Buffer (HMB) for primary caching, eliminating the need for onboard DRAM. The 990 EVO is warrantied for five years or 600TBW (terabytes that may be written) per 1TB of capacity.

Despite its slower and less consistent performance as a PCIe 5.0 drive, the 990 EVO’s 4K performance remains competitive. However, its real-world sequential 48GB transfer tests were faster when using PCIe 4.0. Additionally, the drive’s overall sequential write performance is lackluster.

In conclusion, the Samsung 990 EVO is best thought of as a slightly pricey, average-performing PCIe 4.0 SSD rather than a groundbreaking PCIe 5.0 SSD. Its premium pricing makes it less compelling compared to budget PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Users should consider these factors before deciding whether to purchase the 990 EVO.