The next generation of storage is about to get its biggest drop yet, the Samsung 990 Pro, at least if a recent regulatory filing is anything to go by.
The Samsung 980 Pro remains one of the best SSDs available, but it still relies on the last-gen PCIe 4.0 interface, which limits its transfer speeds and potential capacity. With PCIe 5.0, however, SSD technology is making the same kind of generational leap as we've seen with the best graphics cards and processors in recent years.
The filing, with the Korean National Radio Research Agency (RRA), was first spotted by Twitter leaker harukaze5719, and it lists two SKUs from Samsung: MZ-V9P2T0 and MZ-V9P1T0.
Samsung 990 PRO SSD (1TB/2TB)It will be M.2 NVMe, PCIe 5.0. 2280? 2580? idk.memo : 980 PRO is MZ-V8P1T00https://t.co/PQBYA8rENZ pic.twitter.com/T1v03JkPSAAugust 2, 2022
Harukaze5719 said that they can't say for sure that this next-gen SSD will be PCIe 5.0 compatible, and nobody really can since we have no official word from Samsung on the matter. But it almost certainly will be, considering Intel Alder Lake supports PCIe 5.0 already and so will AMD Zen 4, which is expected to launch in as little as a few weeks.
As Wccftech points out, Samsung has already released a PCIe 5.0 compatible SSD for servers, the PM1743, and so the consumer SSDs to come would naturally follow suit. This is especially true given that Samsung will likely release the new SSDs later in the year or possibly CES 2023, by which point PCIe 5.0 compatible processors and motherboards will be more widely available, so there will be a greater demand for PCIe 5.0 hardware.
And while we don't know how fast the new SSDs will be, we can expect them to be substantially faster than even the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market right now, like the Samsung 980 Pro. That SSD is capable of 3,305.03MB/s during the CrystalDiskMark Random Q32 benchmark in our Samsung 980 Pro review, while PCIe 5.0 enabled the PM1743 to achieve an astonishing 13GB/s random read speed when Intel demoed its Alder Lake chips late last year.
That's a greater than four-fold increase in random read speeds, which is how most files are transfered under real-world conditions, and it's going to have a huge performance impact on everything from loading times while playing the best PC games to software updates, installations, and more.
Analysis: we're getting there, folks
The PCIe 5.0 standard has seemingly taken forever to become reality. Whether it was the Covid lockdowns in 2020 (and 2022), supply chain issues or just delays on the part of chipmakers to get compliant chips out the door and into customers' computers, the wait for PCIe 5.0 and its promised impact feels like forever.
With the release of Intel Alder Lake and the upcoming release of AMD Zen 4 chips, the two biggest consumer chipmakers will now support the standard with their latest processors. And since hardware makers have been waiting on Intel and AMD — after all, no PCIe 5.0 hardware release makes sense unless the CPU that's driving the computer supports the next-gen standard — once AMD releases its Ryzen 7000 series chips, component manufacturers can start rolling out their next-gen hardware and feel confident that there will be a consumer base willing and able to buy these new components.
Much like the extended 5G rollout in parts of North America and Europe were, until recently, advancing at a glacial pace, it looks like PCIe 5.0's extremely slow start could lead to the standard that finally delivers on that awesome speed promise.