If you're looking for a soulmate for your empty M.2 slot, the Samsung 1TB SM961 might be just what you need. The SSD, which usually retails for $399.99, is currently on sale at Newegg for an impressively low $149.99.
Some might argue that the Samsung SM961 is already showing its age, since it came out in 2016. But believe it or not, the SM961 is still a very capable SSD that can trade blows with even the most modern offerings.
For starters, the drive ships with Samsung's legendary Polaris controller and 48-layer MLC (multi-level cell) V-NAND flash. So this ain't your average M.2 SSD with TLC (triple-level cell) chips. From a durability standpoint, MLC's lifespan is roughly double of that of TLC.
The Samsung 1TB SM961's performance isn't too shabby either. The drive delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 3,200 MB/s and 1,800 MB/s, respectively. The SSD's random performance is rated up to 450,000 IOPS reads and 320,000 IOPS writes. Of course, you'll need to slip the SM961 into a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot to reach that level of performance. Any modern motherboard will have one. The Samsung 1TB SM961 only measures 80mm long, so you should be able to install it into your laptop without hiccups.
Although the Samsung 1TB SM961 is an OEM product, the drive is backed by a limited three-year warranty.
Should You Buy This SSD?
We highly recommend you check out our in-depth Samsung 1TB SM961 review before opening your wallet.
For help understanding what to focus on when buying a 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. And those looking for external storage users can also check out our Best External Hard Drives and SSDs page.