The Samsung 990 Evo and Samsung 980 Pro are BOTH on sale, but which one is best?

Samsung 980 PRO vs Samsung 990 EVO
(Image credit: Future)

As the files we process daily get bigger and better, so too must our storage. What better way to upgrade your PC than with some of the best SSDs on the market? Samsung is amongst the best in the business, but that reputation for quality and performance often comes with a hefty price tag. Thankfully, right now, Best Buy has some great deals on SSDs, and we've picked out two of the best, depending on your needs. 

Samsung 990 EVO (1TB) | was $124.99 now $89.99 at Best Buy

Samsung 990 EVO (1TB) | <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fsamsung-990-evo-ssd-1tb-internal-ssd-pcie-gen-4x4--gen-5x2-m-2-2280-speeds-up-to-5000mb-s%2F6571723.p&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">was $124.99 now $89.99 at Best Buy

Save files in a flash with Samsung's most power-efficient drive yet. With its signature smart thermal control and PCIe 4.0 x4 and PCIe 5.0 x2 compatibility, this is Samsung's latest drive and is already at a sizable discount. 

✅Great for: This affordable and power-efficient storage solution will be a decent upgrade for most users. It is compatible with both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0.

❌Don't buy if:
You're a power user, processing a lot of creative work or playing high-spec games. You'll benefit more from the high speeds of the Samsung 980 Pro below.

💰Alternative deal: <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samsung.com%2Fus%2Fcomputing%2Fmemory-storage%2Fsolid-state-drives%2F990-evo-nvme-ssd-1tb-mz-v9e1t0b-am%2F&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="samsung.com"">Also on sale at Samsung for $89.99

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB | $134.99 now $109.99 at Best Buy

Designed for hardcore gamers, the ever-popular 980 Pro offers next-level SSD performance. From battling dragons to editing 4K videos, this is a durable and reliable drive for power users.

2TB | $219.99now $169.99

Samsung 980 Pro 1TB | <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fsamsung-980-pro-1tb-internal-gaming-ssd-pcie-gen-4-x4-nvme%2F6431939.p&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">was $134.99 now $109.99 at Best Buy

Designed for hardcore gamers, the ever-popular 980 Pro offers next-level SSD performance. From battling dragons to editing 4K videos, this is a durable and reliable drive for power users.

2TB |
<a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fsamsung-980-pro-2tb-internal-gaming-ssd-pcie-gen-4-x4-nvme%2F6447126.p&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">was $219.99 now $169.99

✅Great for: Gamers and content creators processing a lot of audio and video, with read/write speeds of 7000/5100 MB/s, respectively.

❌Don't buy if:
You want to use PCIe 5.0 lanes with your motherboard; this only uses PCIe 4.0.

💰Alternative deal: <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samsung.com%2Fus%2Fcomputing%2Fmemory-storage%2Fsolid-state-drives%2F980-pro-w-heatsink-pcie-4-0-nvme-ssd-1tb-mz-v8p1t0cw%2F&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="samsung.com"">Also on sale at Samsung for $109.99

🤓Our review:
<a href="https://www.windowscentral.com/samsung-980-pro-review" data-link-merchant="windowscentral.com"" data-link-merchant="samsung.com"">Samsung 980 Pro review

Samsung 990 EVO vs 980 PRO — which should I buy?

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Samsung SSD model names are confusing. It's easy to be fooled into thinking that a higher number or the latest launch means it's better, but it's not that simple. The two drives mentioned above will suit different users and, therefore, have different values depending on your needs.

The Samsung 990 EVO is the newest model of the two, launching only in January this year. Therefore, it is the most power-efficient and broadly compatible. The Samsung 980 PRO is an older model but faster than the 990 EVO, albeit less power-efficient. Due to its higher read and write speeds, it's better suited to power users and gamers and can even be used to upgrade a PS5. Here's a brief spec table comparing the two SSDs.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 SAMSUNG 990 EVOSAMSUNG 980 PRO
Read/Write speeds5,000MB/s / 4,200MB/s7,000MB/s / 5,150MB/s
DRAMNone, uses HMBLPDDR4
CompatibilityPCIe 4.0 (x4), PCIe 5.0 (x2), NVMe 2.0PCIe 4.0
ControllerSamsung PiccoloSamsung Elpis

The Samsung 980 PRO is much older than the 990 EVO, launched in 2020, but it's still a great SSD and better for gamers. In fact, we put it top of our best SSD list. Basically, if you play a lot of open-world games that load in assets, textures, and procedurally generated content, or you process a lot of video for streaming content, the 980 PRO is going to be the better deal for you.

If future-proofing is more of a concern, technically, the 990 Evo is the better purchase due to its compatibility with both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 5.0, but it's been built with more streamlined and minimalist systems in mind, like mini PCs and slim-line laptops, and despite that PCIe 5.0 compatibility, it can only utilize two lanes. It does utilize the new 5nm Poccolo controller though, and has the lowest power consumption of the two drives if that's important to you.

Ultimately, the decision between the Samsung 990 EVO and the 980 PRO boils down to your specific requirements and priorities. Whether you prioritize speed, future-proofing, or power efficiency, understanding the nuances between these two SSD models will help you make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and takes advantage of the current sale. 

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.