Samsung releases 990 EVO SSD: Support both PCIe 4.0 x4 and PCIe 5.0 x2 channels

Samsung has discreetly launched the 990 EVO SSD, unveiling a product page that showcases its unique design. This new offering is the first SSD to support both PCIe 4.0 x4 and PCIe 5.0 x2 channels. Since the release of the 970 EVO Plus in 2019, Samsung has not updated this product line for a considerable time, with the original models gradually transitioning from mainstream to entry-level.

While Samsung‘s SSD lineup is often highlighted by high-end models like the 990 PRO, the 990 EVO targets the mid-range market. It conforms to the 2280 M.2 specification and weighs approximately 9g. The maximum continuous read and write speeds are 5000MB/s and 4200MB/s, respectively, with the maximum random read and write speeds at 700K IOPS and 800K IOPS. The 990 EVO employs Samsung’s V-NAND TLC and features a proprietary controller chip. It boasts an MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 1,500,000 hours and supports Samsung Magician software for SSD management.

The Samsung 990 EVO can be regarded as a PCIe 5.0 SSD, albeit with only two channels, theoretically matching the bandwidth of a PCIe 4.0 with four channels. Generally, if an SSD with a PCIe 5.0 x2 interface is inserted into a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot, it operates with two channels, resulting in halved speed. However, the 990 EVO is unique in this aspect, as it can switch to use PCIe 4.0 x4 without any speed reduction. Currently, no other brand’s SSD employs this design. It’s intriguing why Samsung didn’t simply opt for four channels, perhaps due to considerations of power consumption and heat dissipation under the PCIe 5.0 standard.

The release date and specific pricing for the 990 EVO SSD are still unclear, but it is expected that consumers won’t have to wait too long.