Those in need of a speedy next-gen SSD should check out Samsung’s latest offering, the EVO 990. This hybrid NVMe SSD is compatible with PCIe Gen 4 x4 and Gen 5 x2 interfaces, and it performs 43% faster than its predecessor, the EVO 970 Plus.
The EVO 990 is primarily geared toward power efficiency, meaning that it’s a good option for laptops and game consoles. It delivers sequential read speeds of 5,000 MBps and write speeds of 4,200 MBps. That’s a sizable increase from the EVO 970 Plus’ respective 3,500 MBps and 3,300 MBps speeds, yet the new EVO 990 offers 70% more power efficiency.
Using the EVO 990 with a two-lane PCIe Gen 5 interface should further increase power efficiency. Of course, this SSD supports Modern Standby and will conform to your PC’s power state. It should have a negligible impact on power consumption when your PC is idling.
Eagle-eyed enthusiasts may notice that the EVO 990 is limited to PCIe Gen 4 speeds. It also lacks any DRAM, though Samsung says that the EVO 990 can piggyback off your system’s DRAM through Host Memory Buffer (HMB) technology.
In any case, the EVO 990 trades performance for power efficiency. It’s plenty fast for everyday tasks and gaming, but if you’re building a super-powerful desktop PC for photo or video editing, faster speeds and a dedicated DRAM cache are ideal. The EVO 990 Pro is geared toward such tasks but will consume more power than the new EVO 990.
For reference, the EVO 990 falls short of the PS5’s recommended 5,500 MBps sequential read speeds. This shouldn’t be a problem. Plenty of gamers use slower M.2 drives in their PS5s. However, if you want to eliminate the possibility of running into a problem, a drive that meets Sony’s recommendations is worth the extra cash.
At the time of writing, Samsung’s EVO 990 SSD is only available at the Samsung web store. The 1TB configuration costs $125, while the 2TB option is $210. There are plenty of cheaper options, but the EVO 990 is reasonably priced for a high-performance laptop or game console SSD. If you want to save a bit of money, hold off for a few months, as prices will inevitably drop.