Samsung accidentally revealed the features of the anticipated 990 Evo NVMe SSD solid-state drive on its official site. Although the company quickly took down the page, some media outlets caught the details. Notably, the Samsung 990 Evo NVMe SSD supports four lanes of PCIe 4.0 and two lanes of PCIe 5.0, marking Samsung’s first consumer SSD with PCIe 5.0 support.
The Samsung 990 Pro series, Samsung’s flagship, offers sequential read and write speeds up to 7400 and 6900 Mb/s, but only supports the PCIe 4.0 interface. On the other hand, the 990 Evo, a midrange solution, provides sequential read and write speeds up to just 5000 and 4200 Mb/s, but unique in supporting four lanes of PCIe 4.0 and two lanes of PCIe 5.0. The data transfer capacity of the two lanes of PCIe 5.0 equals that of four lanes of PCIe 4.0.
Efficient features of the 990 Evo, such as its four lanes of PCIe 4.0 and two lanes of PCIe 5.0, won’t activate more benefits when matched to M.2 PCIe 4.0 sockets. However, for particular usage scenarios, these two lanes of PCIe 5.0 could be significant. While the bandwidth of two lanes of PCIe 5.0 and four lanes of PCIe 4.0 are identical, maxing out at 8000 Mb/s, there would be a circumstance where a 4.0 supporting two lanes would only utilize these two, halving the speed from 8000 to 4000 Mb/s. But the 990 Evo, supporting two faster lanes of PCIe 5.0, can maintain a higher bandwidth, even on a limited M.2 socket. Using two lines of PCIe instead of four can save energy consumption.
Still, in real-world scenarios, the value of having dual support for PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 interfaces is hard to identify. Modern motherboards have plenty of M.2 sockets supporting four PCIe 4.0 lanes, and current laptops are not equipped with PCIe 5.0 interfaces.
The Samsung 990 Evo NVMe SSD uses an OEM controller marked PM9C1a. This four-channel controller, code-named Piccolo, is manufactured using a 5-nm process. It is unconfirmed, but the Samsung 990 Evo NVMe SSD likely includes at least 176 layers of TLC NAND flash memory (V-NAND V7). It doesn’t have its own DRAM cache memory and uses part of the PC’s system memory for this purpose. Performance in random read and write operations reaches 700 thousand and 800 thousand IOPS, respectively.
As reported by ComputerBase, Samsung 990 Evo NVMe SSD appeared on Amazon, where it’s available for pre-order at about 115 euros for the 1 TB version and just under 190 euros for the 2 TB version. Amazon expects to ship the Samsung 990 Evo NVMe SSD between January 25th and February 24th.