The Samsung SM961 is one of the best consumer SSDs ever released. This series is one generation behind Samsung's current MLC NVMe SSD (970 Pro), but it now sells for less than half of the latest series.
Today we tested two SM961 capacities in a specialized RAID environment that was previously beyond the budget for many shoppers. It's true that SSD prices have decreased across the board, but Samsung's flagship 2-bit per cell (MLC) SSDs still carry a premium compared to the pure consumer TLC and QLC products selling for lunch money today.
For most end users, the TLC and QLC products offer strong performance at very affordable prices. If you write a lot of data, MLC is still a better option. These drives don't rely on a buffer to simulate high write speeds that only lasts for a brief moment in most cases, or a few seconds under ideal conditions.
MLC will sustain high write speeds for long periods of time and for many gigabytes of data. MLC is rare these days, and there is only one current generation prosumer SSD still using the technology, the Samsung 970 Pro. The older 960 Pro, and the model we tested today, the Samsung SM961, are not as fast as the 970 Pro but still offer very strong performance that under sustained workloads are more capable than modern drives using more dense flash technologies.
Until MyDigital Discount acquired a vast treasure trove of SM961 SSDs, we figured this series was gone for good. Just like exotic cars that often tip up after being stored in a bubble for many decades, small stashes of older SSDs come up for sale but rarely in any serious volume. The MyDigital Discount SM961 find isn't a small allocation, but it's still a finite supply that will move quickly at the current prices. I won't say this is your last chance to own an MLC SSD, but it might be your best chance to get one (or an array) cheap.