Samsung 990 Pro SSDs are losing drive health at a worrying rate

Samsung’s entire range of 990 Pro solid state drives, one of the best SSD options available, is apparently deteriorating at a worryingly fast rate. This news comes from a number of Samsung 990 Pro owners, who have been monitoring the health of their drives, and found that health is dropping at a much faster rate than expected.

The scale of the problem has been variable depending on the drive, but all the examples that have been reported have the same problem: They’re dropping a lot faster than Samsung intended. To give you some context, Samsung rates the 990 Pro for 1,200 terabytes written (TBW), which logically means you can expect to see 1% drive health lost for each 12TB of data written to the SSD.

Unfortunately, the health loss has been way beyond those numbers. According to the first report, a drive lost 7% of its health in one month, with only 6,641GB written onto the drive. Another reports a 12% drop after writing 27.9TB to the drive. The worst, so far, is a drive with only 2TB of host writes, but 64% health left.

Nothing lasts forever, and solid state drives are not immune from that universal rule. While a drive should report 100% health when you take it out of the box, you can expect to see that health percentage drop as you use it. The rate of that decay will vary from drive to drive and manufacturer to manufacturer, but the rate at which these Samsung drives have been dropping is way outside of what you might expect.

There aren’t many clues to go on as for the reason behind this rapid degradation of the drives. Samsung has tested one of the drives thoroughly, and had to ship a replacement after finding no faults on their end. So far, the only common factor is apparently that the drives are used to store the operating system of each system, so it’s possible there’s a fault in how the drive communicates with Windows. Regardless, this is clearly an issue Samsung needs to investigate immediately.

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