Science and Technology

Samsung 990 Pro: SMART “Health” depreciates too quickly for some

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Many users have reported an issue with Samsung’s current SSD flagship, the 990 Pro. As a result, the remaining health meter decreases much faster than expected. According to the tools, after writing only a few terabytes of data, a percentage of the persistence is used.

A reader brought the Newwen report to the editors’ attention, in which author Robbie Khan describes the problem from his own experience. My newly acquired (test) 2TB Samsung 990 Pro had already lost 1 percent of its durability index after only a few days. After writing only 2 terabytes of data, the value dropped from 100 percent to 98 percent and a few days later to 95 percent.

Your SMART Health score drops too quickly

The values ​​are based on SMART parameters and are read by tools such as CrystalDiskInfo or Samsung’s Magician software. The screen should show 100 percent with a new SSD and decrease over time depending on the write size and total bytes written (TBW) specified by the manufacturer. In the case of the 2TB Samsung 990 Pro, which is specified as 1,200 TB, a few terabytes of written data shouldn’t really be noticeable on the screen.

When calculated exactly using the official TBW information, the SMART “Health” value for the 990 Pro should actually lose only 1 percentage point from the 12 terabytes of data written. For the 1TB model with 600TB, that would be 6TB for 1 percent.

It is not an isolated case

But this is clearly not unique to Ruby Khan. At the end of December, other users have already reported the same problem on the ComputerBase forum and on another forum. In the first case, the 1TB 990 Pro wrote only about 1.7TB of data. However, his “healthy status” only accounted for 96 percent of the durability value. In the second case, with the 2TB model, it was only 93 percent with about 2TB of data written.

Even worse is the result, which Neil Scofield shared on Twitter as a screenshot. Its Samsung 990 Pro is only 64 percent even though it only has 2 TB written and so only 0.17 percent TBW.

The topic has also been discussed on Reddit. There, for example, one commenter mentioned that only 93 percent “lives” with only 1.6 terabytes of data written.

Reddit user FCS3 He explained the nature of the problem on his Samsung 990 Pro with a progress chart from Hard Disk Sentinel. After a good three weeks of use, but with a very high write load of 28TB combined, its 990 Pro is only 88 percent up.

Health history comparison for Samsung 990 Pro and 980 Pro
Health history comparison of the Samsung 990 Pro and 980 Pro (Photo: u/FCS3)

The 980 Pro is still up by comparison 98 percent after writing more than 36 terabytes. Both SSDs are officially rated at 1,200TB.

Just a bug or a serious problem?

The question remains whether it is just a display error and the SMART parameters are simply being read incorrectly for some unexplained reason. In this case, a firmware update for the 990 Pro should remedy the situation.

If not, the affected SSDs will be much less durable than the manufacturer promised for reasons that are also unclear. Then it would obviously be a warranty case.

The guarantee request is not successful

Robby Kahn has already passed the RMA track with Samsung. However, the agency responsible for this sent the SSD back, as it said that no fault could be found. However, the SMART screen issue persists.

The editors have been in touch with Samsung and will report back here once the manufacturer has commented on the issue.

The ComputerBase community can also help with clarity by allowing any affected members to participate in the following survey and leave a comment under this story if an issue occurs.

Viewing written data and health status is very easy, for example, using the free utility CrystalDiskInfo (download below). As the screenshot shows, “General Status” or “Health” as well as “Writes” in GB are relevant.

Example of reading SMART parameters using CrystalDiskInfo
Example of reading SMART parameters using CrystalDiskInfo

Samsung tool Magician can also be used to display the corresponding smart parameters. However, according to Samsung download pages, the 990 Pro is not officially supported by the tool. By the way, this also applies to Samsung’s NVMe driver, which hasn’t been updated in almost three years.

The editors would like to thank community members “Mummi74” and “Engaged” for pointing out this news.


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