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Users say Samsung’s latest Pro SSDs have health problems

Users say Samsung’s latest Pro SSDs have health problems


Samsung’s high-end NVMe drives seem to be degrading rapidly, with many users reporting its health statuses declining after light usage. A firmware update reportedly helps resolve similar issues in the older 980 Pro, but the 990 Pro’s issue remains in question.

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Samsung SSD module with a label that says V-NAND SSD 990 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Image: Samsung

Something seems to be wrong with Samsung’s 980 and 990 Pro SSDs. Owners of the highly regarded M.2 solid-state drives are reporting rapid degradation, with some users sending their 990 Pros back to Samsung. And for the older 980 Pro, Samsung is reportedly recommending owners to update to the latest firmware (via PC Gamer).

The issue was first reported by Neowin writer Robbie Khan, whose new, recently released 990 Pro 2TB module dropped to 94 percent health status at just over 4TB of written data. Prior to the article, Khan posted the findings on Reddit, which was met with owners voicing similar issues.

Samsung has acknowledged an issue but says so far it hasn’t received widespread complaints. “We are aware of limited reports concerning this matter and are currently investigating these experiences as user configurations vary,” reads a comment shared by PR representative Cat Forgione on behalf of Samsung.

Naturally, Khan decided to file a ticket with Samsung to get this resolved. Details sent to the company included the health and read / write values of the drive using CrystalDiskInfo, which is a program that can read the SMART data embedded in most hard disks. The drive was sent to Samsung RMA but was subsequently returned with the company claiming it found no defects — and then it went quiet after Khan pressed them to explain if the health drop was normal.

After the Neowin article went live, Samsung RMA offered to replace and test the SSD, but it was already returned to the store at that point. Now other owners are experiencing similar cases, including ExtremeTech writer Ryan Whitwam, whose 1TB Samsung 990 Pro dropped to 93 percent health at just over 2TB of written data. Some had even worse cases, including a Twitter user who shared that their 2TB 990 Pro is down to only 64 percent health with just over 2TB of written data.

For the Samsung 980 Pro SSD, the latest firmware (5B2QGXA7) can be downloaded from the company’s support site, which might resolve the health degradation issue for some. But 990 Pro owners, who might have recently bought the SSD to upgrade their PS5 or PC, are still left without a clear solution other than to try and get a replacement from Samsung — which may or may not end up with the same issue.

News of SSD failures isn’t coming at a convenient time for Samsung. The company recently reported an almost 69 percent drop in quarterly operating profits as its memory chip business took a hit due to falling prices stemming from oversupply and falling demand.