Fake Samsung 1080 Pro SSDs show up on Aliexpress, and the benchmark results are hilarious

Fake Samsung 1080 Pro 4TB SSD
(Image credit: Aliexpress)

PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are now widely available. There are numerous examples of speedy Gen 5 x4 drives including Teamgroup Z540 And Nextorage X Series. But one of the names missing the Gen 5 x4 wave is Samsung. We're yet to see a true replacement for the Samsung 990 Pro. Or have we?

The answer to that is a big no, even though listings for a so-called Samsung 1080 Pro has shown up at AliExpress. Sadly, this is not some pre-release early listing, these drives are total fakes. The first red flags are the ridiculously low prices. AU$48.73 (under $29 USD) for a high performance 4TB SSD should be enough to prevent anyone from falling for this scam.

The listed performance capabilities of the drive are all over the place. In one of the pictures of the drive, a text overlay shows sequential read and write speeds of up to 15,800 MB/s and 14,500MB/s respectively. That's quite impossible for a drive marked as Gen 4 SSD. Probably just a typo, right? The 'official' spec shows a read speed of up to 14,000 MB/s while another so called spec for the 4TB drive shows 7,450 MB/s and 6,950 MB/s read and write speeds.

Looks like a pretty low quality scam. Then again, some of the customer reviews all-but convinced me. One AliExpress customer review says: 'I will give it five stars', while another says 'After installation, it fits 100% and I believe it is original. I am very satisfied with its use'.

Shut up and take my money!

Peak Storage

SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

Best SSD for gaming: The best speedy storage today.
Best NVMe SSD: Compact M.2 drives.
Best external hard drives: Huge capacities for less.
Best external SSDs: Plug-in storage upgrades.

Despite being an obvious scam, the Korean tech site Quasarzone (via El Chapuzas Informatico) bought one anyway, and for giggles gave it the full benchmark treatment. Surprisingly the drive was actually functional. The drive included a single 96-layer NAND chip (impossible for a 4TB drive), a Realtek controller and support for PCIe Gen 3.

The results show the '1080 Pro' is absolute garbage as expected. Many of the fake drive's test results fall under 10% of the performance of a real Samsung 980 Pro, but the sustained performance tests are much, much worse than that. For example, a 100GB single file transfer took 1,815 seconds on the fake drive, compared to just 33 for the real 980 Pro.

Another test showed the 1080 Pro slowing to 2MB/s once it reached 3% of its capacity. I'd be annoyed with that kind of performance from a cheap USB drive.

Honestly, I can't imagine this scam is worth the time it took to create.

We're yet to see a real Samsung 990 Pro replacement, but if, or when it does, it may well end up being called the 1080 Pro. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it'll perform just a little bit better than this ridiculous knock off. 

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.