In a nutshell: As the saying goes, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." A bargain-hunter posting on the Baidu Tieba forums recently learned this lesson the hard way. As Tom's Hardware recounts, the user picked up a purported 2TB Samsung 980 Pro SSD for the equivalent of $127.77. The low price should have been the first warning sign that something was amiss but according to the report, the user had been out of the PC hardware game for a while and wasn't up to speed on current technology and pricing.

For reference, Samsung's 2TB 980 Pro is currently priced at $159.99 over on Amazon before a $10 instant discount.

According to the buyer, the drive arrived in official Samsung packaging and had legitimate-looking stickers covering the controller and NAND like you'd find on the real deal. It even had the right firmware which was apparently good enough to fool Samsung's Magician software.

Peel back the sticker, however, and the forgery comes into view. The drive in question is equipped with a Maxio MAP1602A PCIe 4.0 SSD controller and uses YMTC's 128-layer TLC 3D NAND (X2-9060) instead of Samsung's own in-house controller and NAND.

The differences are immediately evident in the benchmarks as well. Whereas Samsung's drive is rated for up to 7,000 MB/s on the sequential read side and up to 5,100 MB/s with sequential writes, the impostor drive falls well short with speeds of around 4,800 MB/s and 4,450 MB/s read and write, respectively, in CrystalDiskMark and 4,200 MB/s / 3,959 MB/s read / write in AS SSD.

This is yet another cautionary tale about the risks of purchasing hardware from sketchy vendors but even if you play it safe, you aren't guaranteed to get what you bargained for.

Last year, a third-party Walmart vendor was found to be selling bogus 30TB external SSDs for around $18 (again, too good to be true). Amazon also made headlines for refusing to refund a buyer who allegedly received a fake graphics card. Only after the story gained widespread publicity did Amazon refund the purchase.

Image credit: Baidu Tieba