Counterfeit products in the tech market, such as the fake $39 Samsung 990 Pro 4TB SSD, are becoming increasingly prevalent — The authentic Samsung 990 Pro SSD is known for its high-quality performance, making it a prime target for knockoff producers seeking to capitalize on its reputation.
A Redditor recently took the plunge, purchasing one of these imitation “990 Pro” SSDs from AliExpress for a mere $39, purely out of curiosity. And what they discovered was a striking discrepancy in performance, with the fake drive being up to 7 times slower than the genuine model.
The counterfeit “990 Pro” SSD makes a considerable effort to mimic the appearance of the real Samsung 990 Pro, potentially deceiving less experienced buyers; However, keen observers can easily identify the differences, such as variations in font and underlining, as well as the complete absence of the Samsung brand on the product’s sticker and packaging.
Moreover, the alleged manufacturer, Delaihe Electronics Co., “Tltd,” appears to be a fictitious entity. A clear distinction lies in the fact that Samsung produces the authentic 990 Pro in Korea, whereas the counterfeit hails from China.
A significant revelation is the alteration or erasure of the SSD controller model by the counterfeit manufacturer. However, they overlooked this inconsistency on the rear of the drive’s PCB, which revealed the use of the Realtek RTS5765DL, a PCIe 3.0 x4 DRAM-less controller. This controller choice is commonly favored by scammers and has also been linked to other counterfeit SSDs, such as the Samsung 980 Pro 2TB.
The disparity in performance between the real Samsung 990 Pro, powered by the superior Pascal PCIe 4.0 SSD controller, and the imitation “990 Pro” with the subpar RTS5765DL controller is substantial. Furthermore, the fake SSD employs an unidentified NAND, possibly of low quality or even recycled, as evidenced by the made-up part numbers.
In terms of distinguishing real from fake, Samsung’s Magician software offers a reliable solution. While the counterfeit “990 Pro” predictably fails this authenticity test, it surprisingly passes the GRC ValiDrive test, a utility verifying the device’s capacity. This means the Redditor received a 4TB SSD but not the genuine Samsung 990 Pro, highlighting the extent of the deception in the market.
Real-world performance tests revealed significant shortcomings in the fake SSD’s capabilities, with speeds dropping precipitously from initial readings. The imitation eventually ceased to function entirely, underscoring its poor quality.
Counterfeiting issues are not unique to Samsung, but the company’s stellar reputation in the SSD market makes it a frequent target. As consumers increasingly turn to online marketplaces for their purchases, the prevalence of counterfeit hardware poses a growing concern.
It’s crucial to exercise caution when shopping online, whether on platforms like AliExpress or major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Newegg, as counterfeit products can surface in unexpected places. Staying informed and vigilant is key to avoiding such scams in the tech world.