The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is a strong PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD, offering excellent performance and reliability, but it costs $200 on Amazon for a new 2TB model. That's a fair bit, so we were excited to see a refurbished option for $140 at Best Buy. That's considerably cheaper than any other 2TB NVMe SSD on the market, and user reviews on Best Buy paint a rosy picture of barely-used drives whose condition can easily be checked.
To check the drive, you just need to install it in your desktop PC or laptop, then use a program called CrystalDiskInfo - made by the same folks as the CrystalDiskMark storage benchmark. There, you'll be able to see how many times the drive was powered on, and how many GB of data has been written to the drive - which gives you an idea of how much life it has left. Most of the user reviews on the Best Buy site show that the drives were often used only a handful of times, presumably once when bought and then again when the drives were checked by Best Buy technicians.
You have 15 days to return the drive for a full refund, so that's plenty of time to decide if the drive is a great bargain with minimal usage or whether you'd prefer to spend extra and get a brand new model. Personally, I'd go for the refurb if it still had a good percentage of its 1200 TBW (terabytes written) endurance rating intact.
So now that we've covered the 'why refurb' question, let's cover why this drive is worth the trouble in the first place. Basically, Samsung's SSDs are the gold standard for performance and reliability, especially in the NVMe SSD space. The company uses its own NAND and its own controllers, giving it a leg up over most other SSD makers that buy these components from other vendors. This vertical integration lets Samsung push the envelope in terms of performance, and Samsung drives are often among the fastest when they're released. The 970 Evo Plus is a continuation of the 970 Evo, a mature PCIe 3.0 design that falls behind PCIe 4.0 alternatives but costs much less and still delivers excellent performance. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 970 Evo Plus has received plenty of accolades from various tech publications, and former RPS hardware editor Katharine had strong first impressions - and some concerns over the drive's sustained performance, an issue that can be alleviated with a good NVMe heatsink. Either way, it's worth doing the research yourself to see whether this drive is a good fit for your PC.
That's all for now; stay tuned and we'll catch you again next time!