Samsung 990 EVO vs 980 Pro: Which SSD to Buy?

Jerry updated on May 24, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

Samsung launched the new 990 Evo recently, and the SSD went live on January 23, 2024. 990 Evo is a PCle 5.0 compatible SSD on the budget side - the 980 Pro. Four years after its launch, the 980 still gives tough competition to the PCle 5.0 compatible drives. However, it is PCle 4.0 compatible and still a great contender for the 990 Evo. We will dive into a Samsung 990 Evo vs 980 Pro comparison to learn about the performance, specifications, and price. Keep reading this article from EaseUS for more details.

990 Evo vs 980 Pro: Specification, Price, Performance

Samsung makes SSDs both on the budget and expensive side. However, with almost similar specifications and performance tests, it becomes confusing to decide what to buy. The sections below discuss the hardware, performance, and price points of Samsung SSDs.


The Samsung 990 Evo uses the 5nm Piccolo controller, and the 980 Pro has an 8nm Elpis controller. Samsung replaced the regular  V6 TCL flash on the 980 pro with the updated V6 Prime 3D TLC NAND flash on the 990 Evo to make it more powerful. Both the SSDs are single-handed M.2 2280 and share the same five-year warranty or Terabytes Written (TBW) rating. Due to this, you can see similar ratings, like 600 and 1,200 TBW for 1TB and 2TB models for both SSDs.

samsung 990 evo.jpg

Samsung also claims an improved power efficiency of up to 3x per watt in the 990 Evo compared to the last Evo model 970. The power consumption average is listed as 4.9W on 1TB storage and 5.5W on 2TB storage for the 990 Evo. On the contrary, the 980 Pro average power consumption falls under 4W to 6W based on storage.

samsung 980 pro1.jpg

A big change in the 990 Evo is that it has a DRAM-less controller, which in turn amps up the affordability and power efficiency of the chip. One thing to note is that due to the lack of DRAM, the performance tends to deteriorate compared to the 980 Pro. This is because the 980 leverages the robust speeds of LPDDR4 DRAM for caching the data, whereas the 990 Evo uses the Host Memory Buffer (HMB) for primary caching.

Specifications Samsung 980 Pro Samsung 990 Evo
Storage variants 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 1TB, 2TB
Read and Write rates (sequential) 7,000/5,100 MB/s read/write Up to 5,000MB/s (read), 4,200MB/s (write)
Hardware used PCIe 4.0 PCIe 4.0 (x4), PCIe 5.0 (x2), NVMe 2.0
Terabytes Written (TBW) 150 (200GB), 300 (500GB), 600 (1TB), 1,200 (2TB) 600 (1TB), 1200 (2TB)
Controller Samsung Piccolo (S4LY022) Samsung Elpis


There's only a substantial difference between the prices of the chips, even though the 990 is a recent release. After many discounts over the years, the 250GB variant starts at $80, and the 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage are priced at $90, $110, and $165, respectively. Longer work hours may produce heat for the 980 Pro; you must buy the heatsinks.

The newer 990 Evo is only available in two storage options, 1TB and 2TB, costing $100 and $160, respectively. If you wish to buy a heatsink for the 980, it will cost an additional $15 or $20, depending on the manufacturers, and no such option is there for the 990 Evo SSD. The low power consumption helps the 990 Evo in heat management, and a heat sink is hardly required.


The USP of the Samsung 990 is its compatibility with the PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0. On the other side, 980 is only PCle 4.0 compatible and takes up four lanes to perform optimally. The 980 Pro works with the PCle 5.0 motherboards, but you cannot leverage the advantages of PCle 5.0 lanes. Although the 990 Evo is 5.0 compatible it can only use two PCle 5.0 lanes.

The table shows the writing and reading speeds of both the SSDs. The sequential reads and sequential writes of 990 Evo is up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,200 MB/s. This is reasonably lower compared to the read and write speeds of 7,000 MB/s and 5,100 MB/s of 980 Pro. Some members of the community are even claiming that the 990 Evo may not perform optimally with two PCle 5.0 lanes instead of four PCIe 4.0 lanes.

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Which SSD to Buy: Samsung 980 Pro or 990 EVO

There is still confusion about which SSD to buy. Both SSDs have various performance parameters and are suitable for multiple purposes. Let us see which SSD suits you better.

The 990 Evo is ideal for everyone looking to buy the PCle 5.0 compatible SSDs. It is a budget option and gives stable performance. Although some PCle 5.0 SSDs are faster than it, they are very pricey. It lets you utilize both the PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 lanes of the motherboard with good performance and storage. 

By default, the 980 Pro becomes an ideal choice for users wanting to switch to an SSD with less than 1TB of storage due to limited options for the 990 Evo. The reading and writing speeds of the 980 Pro, compared to the DRAM-less 990 Evo, are higher, making it desirable for people in creative and professional fields. Regarding versatility, the 980 Pro is less compatible than the 990 Evo in  PCIe switching. 

🚩You may be interested: Samsung 990 Pro vs WD Black SN850X: How to Choose?

How to Upgrade to Samsung SSD Without Losing Data

Upgrading to a new Samsung SSD without any data loss is a task. Although Samsung offers the Samsung Data Migration (SDM) Software, it only works with Samsung SSD and constantly gets stuck. If you want to switch to a Samsung SSD from a different one, you need a reliable tool like EaseUS Disk Copy

  Free Download

Support Windows 11/10/8/7

100% Secure

Disk Copy is a professional software tool for upgrading SSDs and cloning hard drives. You can transfer data from one SSD to another, clone hard drives, and upgrade drives with advanced algorithms and high efficacy. It lets you easily copy your C drive to a new drive. You have to choose the target and source disk; you can make clones, update the OS, upgrade hard drives, and more with just a click.

EaseUS makes the Disk Copy the best SSD cloning software to keep your data safe. Download Disk Copy now, and upgrade data from any hard drive to Samsung SSD.

Step 1: In "Disk Mode", select the HDD that you want to clone.

select the hard drive that you want to clone

Step 2: Select the SSD as your destination.

select the SSD

Step 3: Edit the disk layout and then click "Proceed" to continue.

As the destination is an SSD, you are suggested to tick "Check the option if the target is SSD".

confirm the message

A warning message tells you that the data on the SSD will be erased. Click "OK" to continue if you do not have important data on the destination disk.

check the diak layout

Step 4: Wait for the process to complete.

click proceed to start the cloning process

To Wrap Things Up

There is always confusion when one has to choose between two reliable SSDs with great performance. The Samsung 990 Evo vs 980 Pro comparison spills beans about the specifications, price, and performance of both SSDs. Cloning is the safest process to transfer data to new SSDs without data loss. You can leverage advanced algorithms of EaseUS Disk Copy to safely upgrade to Samsung 990 EVO SSD, 980 Pro SSD,  or other SSD.

  Free Download

Support Windows 11/10/8/7

100% Secure

FAQs on Samsung 980 Pro vs 990 Evo

Here are some frequently asked queries regarding the Samsung 980 Pro vs. 990 Evo comparison.

1. Is the 990 EVO good?

The 990 Evo from Samsung is an excellent mainstream SSD for the PCle 5.0 motherboards. It has better power efficiency, performance, reliability, and more to suit everyday tasks, gaming, business, and creative work.

2. How fast is the Samsung EVO 990?

The enhanced writing and reading speeds of Samsung 990 Evo are 5,000 MB/s and 4,200 MB/s, while the random speeds stand at 700K/800K IOPS. 

3. How much better is the Samsung 990 Pro than the 980 Pro?

The latest one (990 Evo) is better than the 980 by 450 MB/s and 1,900 MB/s. All of these are Samsung claims. The performance and durability factors are yet to be tested, whereas the 980 Pro stands tall in both aspects.

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Updated by Jerry

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