Samsung 990 EVO 2TB SSD – Review

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The Samsung 990 EVO aims to be the new mainstream SSD darling, and nothing quite excites like the launch of a new Samsung SSD. Following on the heels of the excellent Samsung 990 Pro, the 990 EVO has big shoes to fill if it wants to live up to the EVO name.

Aside from an interface that can hop from x4 PCIe 4.0 to x2 PCIe 5.0, it arrives with a new 5nm controller with the promise of great efficiency gains. Yet the flash is more mundane, with reduced bandwidth in a DRAM-less design. At least it’s a single-sided 2TB drive that can work well as a PS5 SSD or in your PC, though that’s pretty common these days.

This is a drive designed for laptops, OEMs, and pre-builts, with enough performance for gaming and everyday activities. It’s no 990 Pro, but neither is it supposed to be. It fills a gap in the line and offers a pared-back experience at an ostensibly lower cost. You get the Samsung name with excellent software support in a reliable package. At least, that’s the idea.

Instead we found the power efficiency to be questionable and it feels like the drive is trying to do too many things at once, possibly as a reflection of the current SSD market. What results is a careful balancing act, but the real issue right now is that the Samsung 990 Pro 2TB can be had for $169, which is only $10 more than the Samsung 990 EVO 2TB.

The Samsung 990 EVO is rated for up to 5,000 / 4,200 MB/s for sequential reads and writes as well as up to 700K / 800K random read and write IOPS. QD1 random read and write IOPS can hit 20K / 90K. It has the standard 5-year, 600TB of writes per TB capacity warranty. The drive does support TCG Opal 2.0 for encryption, which would make it a nice pick for laptop users in particular.

The drive also operates in both x4 PCIe 4.0 and x2 PCIe 5.0 modes, which adds some flexibility for future mobile platforms.

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