Samsung 990 Pro: Hopes of a PCIe 5.0 SSD that can hit 13,000 MB/s wobble as Samsung teases an "Ultimate SSD"
The Twitter account for Samsung Semiconductor has shared a 6-second promo clip of a mystery SSD along with the claim that the “Ultimate SSD is on its way”. The teaser describes the unnamed SSD as the “Champion Maker” and mentions that it will be coming soon. It is possible that the SSD in question here is the Samsung 990 Pro, based on the fact that this particular designation was recently revealed on the PCI-SIG website. However, what the 990 Pro will likely be able to offer users in terms of key specs is now in something of a confused state.
Recently, VideoCardz published a report about the Samsung 990 Pro and its inclusion in the PCI-SIG record for Samsung devices. It’s clear to see in a screenshot (see below) that the 990 Pro was listed with the PM1743, which is a very fast PCIe 5.0 SSD solution for enterprise use. The record revealed that the 990 Pro had a spec revision of “PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s”, meaning that gamers and desktop PC builders could look forward to a consumer PCIe 5.0 SSD that would hit 13,000 MB/s operating speeds, presuming it matched the Samsung PM1743. Current fast PCIe 4.0 SSDs, such as the Samsung 980 Pro, can reach 7,000 MB/s speeds (read).
However, since then the PCI-SIG listing has been changed, with the Samsung 990 Pro still present in the Integrators List but now only in the PCIe 4.0 table with the spec revision “PCIe 4.0 at 16GT/s”. The entry for the Pro 990 in the PCIe 5.0 section has been removed. This revision could have been made simply to fix an error, but it does seem somewhat questionable that Samsung would use such hyperbolic marketing terms in its new teaser (“Ultimate SSD”, “Champion Maker”) for a PCIe 4.0 SSD that may only be a little better than the 980 Pro.
Presuming this “Ultimate SSD” is actually the Samsung 990 Pro anyway, and not an entirely different SKU or new series, there could still be something exciting to hope for if a logical generational leap is made. The Samsung 980 Pro offered a huge jump in performance capabilities over the Samsung 970 Pro thanks to the upgrade from PCIe 3.0 (3,500 MB/s read) to PCIe 4.0 (7,000 MB/s read). A similar kind of leap could be expected for the Samsung 990 Pro over its lofty predecessor, if it does end up being both this mysterious Ultimate SSD and a consumer-grade PCIe 5.0 SSD.