Solid-state drives (SSDs) are like supercharged versions of regular hard drives, being faster and more reliable. People are really into them as technology moves forward. Samsung, a big player in SSDs, has introduced two top-notch options: the Samsung 990 Pro and the Samsung 980 Pro. These SSDs are famous for how well they perform and the cool features they have.
But, when you’re picking between the Samsung 990 Pro and the 980 Pro, you’ve got to think about things like speed, how well they work, how much stuff they can hold, and if they’re a good deal for the price. If you’re looking to switch to an SSD but aren’t sure which one to go for, keep reading. We’ll break down what’s similar and different between these two SSDs, so you can figure out which one suits you better.
990 Pro vs 980 Pro: Pricing, Availability, and Specifications
As of 2024, the 1TB versions of the 990 Pro and 980 Pro are both priced at $80. Clearly, the 990 Pro seems like the better choice because it’s newer and has some improvements. But things change when we talk about the 2TB versions. The 990 Pro 2TB is $160, while the 980 Pro 2TB is $120 (they have a nearly $100 difference in regular price). It’s hard to say if this will stay the same, though, because Samsung plans to make fewer SSDs, which could drive up prices.
This pricing situation is similar for the models with heatsinks. The 1TB 990 Pro and 980 Pro cost about $10 more with the optional heatsink. However, for the 2TB versions, the 990 Pro is $170 and the 980 Pro is $150, which is a smaller difference than the standard drives (the gap between their regular prices is also smaller). On paper, this benefits the 990 Pro with its potentially better performance.
Moreover, there was talk about a 4TB version of the 990 Pro hitting the market sometime back. However, it’s been almost a whole year since the initial release of the 990 Pro, and there’s still no sign of that 4TB model. Considering the upcoming PCIe 5.0 Samsung SSDs, it’s quite likely that the 4TB 990 Pro got scrapped, even though Samsung hasn’t made any official statement about it. As of now, there’s no storage advantage offered by the 990 Pro.
|Samsung 990 Pro SSD
|Samsung 990 Pro SSD
|Theoretical Read Speed
|Theoretical Write Speed
|Random read speed
|Max to 1.40 M
|Randon write speed
|Max to 1.55 M
|2TB, 1TB, 500GB, 250GB
990 Pro vs. 980 Pro: Hardware differences
The 990 Pro from Samsung uses its 8nm Pascal controller, which is a bit better than the 980 Pro’s Elpis controller. Both of these controllers are made on the 8nm technology. Besides, the 990 Pro also has a newer V7 TLC NAND flash, while the 980 Pro uses the V6 TLC solid-state storage. Basically, the 990 Pro is a faster version of the 980 Pro with the latest Samsung tech. But honestly, these aren’t huge differences in terms of how they work, so don’t expect the 990 Pro to be a massive improvement over the 980 Pro.
Both of these drives also come in versions that have a heatsink. This heatsink is meant to help with cooling and, as a result, boost performance. The 990 Pro’s heatsink is a bit better than the one on the 980 Pro, plus it has RGB lighting. Whether these drives really need a heatsink is up for debate, as they don’t use a lot of power. Anyway, if you’re getting these drives, chances are you’re installing them in a PC that probably already has an SSD heatsink on at least one of the M.2 slots. So, it’s not exactly necessary.
990 Pro vs. 980 Pro: Performance
Samsung is making some impressive claims about its 990 Pro product. They say it’s faster than the 980 Pro by 40% in random reads and 55% in random writes. Plus, it adds 450 MB/s for sequential reads and 1,900 MB/s for sequential writes. These speed stats are important because they relate to everyday tasks, especially for casual users. Samsung also says the 990 Pro is 50% more efficient for tasks done in sequence.
But, tests in the real world have shown that the 990 Pro doesn’t boost performance by much compared to the 980 Pro. It’s similarly efficient, except for specific tasks that are done one after the other. This is expected because real-life use is different from the tests Samsung and others use for marketing. Most reviewers agree that the 990 Pro is indeed faster than the 980 Pro, but not by the huge amount Samsung claims. In our own review of the 990 Pro, it didn’t perform significantly better than the 970 EVO Plus for tasks with random actions. However, it did perform much better for tasks that require actions in a sequence.
So, if you already have a 980 Pro and are thinking about switching to the 990 Pro, don’t anticipate a major leap in performance for tasks that happen in order or tasks with random actions. The 990 Pro, both on paper and in actual use, is pretty much a 980 Pro with some tweaks to squeeze out more performance from Samsung’s PCIe 4.0 technology. And that’s perfectly okay.
990 Pro or 980 Pro, Which One You Should Buy?
While looking at the 1TB models with or without a heatsink, there’s currently no significant difference. That makes the Samsung 990 Pro SSD a clear choice. If you own a high-end or fast gaming laptop, going for the 990 Pro is a good idea. It’s a bit more efficient, which means your battery could last longer. Unless prices change, the 990 Pro is usually the smarter purchase, even though it’s not a huge leap from the 980 Pro.
The cost difference for the 990 Pro is so minimal that spending a few extra bucks for a bit more speed is totally worth it. If the 980 Pro gets close to being 70% of the price of the 990 Pro, then it might become a more tempting option.
How to Upgrade to a New Samsung SSD Without Losing Data?
Upgrading to a new Samsung SSD without losing data is a straightforward process. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Backup Your Data Before you start, make sure to back up all your important files and data to an external drive, cloud storage, or another reliable location. This ensures you don’t lose anything during the upgrade.
Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools You’ll need your new Samsung SSD, a screwdriver, and potentially a USB-to-SATA adapter if your new SSD is an external drive.
Step 3: Power Down and Open Your Device Turn off your computer or laptop and unplug it from any power source. Open your device’s casing according to its manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4: Locate and Remove the Old SSD Identify the current SSD in your device. Carefully disconnect any cables connected to it and remove any screws holding it in place. Gently slide it out.
Step 5: Install the New Samsung SSD Insert the new Samsung SSD into the same slot where the old one was. Make sure it’s properly aligned. Secure it in place using screws and reconnect any cables you removed earlier.
Step 6: Power On and Initialize Close your device’s casing, plug it back in, and power it on. If you’re upgrading an external drive, connect it to your computer using the USB-to-SATA adapter. Your computer might recognize the new SSD right away, or you might need to go to the BIOS settings to ensure it’s detected.
Step 7: Clone or Install the Operating System You have two options here:
- Clone: If you want everything to remain as it was on your old SSD, you can use Samsung’s Data Migration software or other third-party cloning tools to copy the contents of the old SSD to the new one.
- Fresh Install: Alternatively, you can install a fresh operating system on the new SSD. You’ll need a bootable USB drive with your operating system’s installation files. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the OS on the new SSD.
Step 8: Transfer Back Your Data If you cloned your old SSD, all your data should be on the new SSD already. If you did a fresh OS install, transfer your backed-up data from the external storage or cloud service back to your new SSD.
Step 9: Test and Verify Restart your computer and ensure that everything is running smoothly on the new Samsung SSD. Check that all your files and applications are functioning as expected.
Step 10: Erase Old SSD (Optional) If you want to repurpose or sell your old SSD, securely erase its data using the appropriate software. This step is essential to protect your personal information.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult your device’s manual and the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific details related to your system.
Samsung 990 Pro vs 980 Pro SSD FAQs
Q1: What are the main differences between the Samsung 990 Pro and 980 Pro SSDs?
A1: The main differences lie in their performance and efficiency. The 990 Pro generally offers slightly better speed and efficiency compared to the 980 Pro. It’s often a more suitable choice for high-end laptops and gaming systems.
Q2: Is there a noticeable performance improvement when upgrading from 980 Pro to 990 Pro?
A2: While there is an improvement, it might not be significant for average users. The 990 Pro’s speed and efficiency gains are more notable for power users who demand the utmost performance.
Q3: Can I upgrade from a 980 Pro to a 990 Pro without data loss?
A3: Yes, you can upgrade without data loss. You can clone your 980 Pro’s data onto the 990 Pro using software like Samsung’s Data Migration tool or other third-party solutions.
Q4: Are these SSDs compatible with gaming laptops?
A4: Absolutely. Both the 990 Pro and 980 Pro are excellent choices for gaming laptops. The 990 Pro’s better efficiency can lead to improved battery life during gaming sessions.
Q5: Does the presence of a heatsink impact my choice between the two models?
A5: At the time of writing, the difference between 990 Pro models with or without a heatsink might not be substantial. You can choose based on other factors like pricing and compatibility with your system’s cooling solution.
Q6: Is the 990 Pro worth the extra cost over the 980 Pro?
A6: It depends on your use case. If you’re a power user, the 990 Pro’s better efficiency and performance might be worth the investment. However, for regular users, the 980 Pro might offer a better price-to-performance ratio.
Q7: What are the potential future pricing changes for these SSDs?
A7: Pricing in the tech market can change over time. If the 980 Pro’s price approaches around 70% of the 990 Pro’s price, it might become a more attractive option for budget-conscious users.
Q8: Can I upgrade my laptop’s SSD to either of these models?
A8: Most laptops support SSD upgrades, but you should check your laptop’s specifications and compatibility before making a decision. Also, ensure you have the necessary tools and knowledge for the upgrade process.
Q9: Do these SSDs come with software for data migration or management?
A9: Yes, Samsung usually provides software like Samsung Data Migration to assist in transferring data from an old drive to a new one. Additionally, you can use other third-party cloning tools for this purpose.
Q10: Which SSD should I choose for content creation and video editing?
A10: If you’re involved in content creation and video editing, the 990 Pro’s slightly better performance might be advantageous. It could lead to smoother editing experiences, especially for larger files.