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A lot of laptops that advertise NVMe SSDs are using inferior TLC-based or non-Samsung SSDs to check that box. Apple's not alone at the top (especially when aftermarket upgrades are taken into account), but they have been pretty good about using the fastest PCIe SSD that money could buy at the time of release.

True, but I don't think that's common near the price point of Apple hardware.

It's also not uncommon in the "lower ranks". I just bought a 800 € ultrabook with a 256 GB Samsung PM961 SSD (NVMe, 2.8 / 1.1 GB/s) and the Skylake i7 for example.

Also, don't forget that one can buy a Samsung 960 Pro in a machine that comes with a cheaper SSD but uses a standard M.2 NVMe slot, and ditch the original SSD, for cheaper than any of Apple's capacity upgrades.

The Samsung PM961 is not top of the line. It's one of the more recent TLC-based alternatives that shares a controller with the top of the line products, but it's inherently slower and less power efficient.

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