If you need a SSD for storing your operating system and a few programs, the Samsung SM961 256GB might just be the drive for the job. The SSD is currently available on Amazon for just $40. That's an eye-catching deal considering it's usual $101.95 price and that we've seen it sell for well over that on Amazon.
The Samsung SM961 is built with the brand's Polaris SSD controller, 48-layer MLC (multi-level cell) V-NAND flash and a 1GB LPDDR3 cache. The SSD adheres to the M.2 2280 form factor, so you'll need a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface to fully exploit the drive's full potential.
The Samsung SM961 offers exceptional performance with sequential read and write speeds that scale up to 3,100 MB/s and 1,400 MB/s, respectively. Random read performance is rated for up to 330,000 IOPS reads and 280,000 IOPS writes. Although Samsung doesn't list the SM961's write endurance rating, the SSD is employing MLC V-NAND flash, which has a good reputation of being very durable and reliable. The Samsung SM961 comes with a limited three-year warranty as well.
Should You Buy This SSD?
At $40, the Samsung SM961 might not be the cheapest 256GB SSD around, but it is certainly one of, if not, the fastest drive in that capacity on the market. However, we highly recommend you check out our in-depth Samsung SM961 SSD review before opening your wallet.
For help understanding what to focus on when buying an SSD, see our SSD Buying Guide. We've curated a list of our favorite SSDs, based on our own testing, on our Best SSDs page. If you also happen to be searching for external storage, you can visit our Best External Hard Drives and SSDs page.