Mauro Icardi scored twice and Milan Skriniar was also on target as they came back to haunt former club Sampdoria and send Inter to the top of Serie A, for 24 hours at least, with a 3-2 win on Tuesday.
Having claimed a thrilling 3-2 derby win over AC Milan and then held Napoli to a 0-0 draw in their last two games, Luciano Spalletti's men continued their unbeaten start to the season with a dominant display at San Siro.
It represented a second defeat of the season for sixth-placed Samp while Inter moved a point clear of Napoli, who visit Samp's arch-rivals Genoa on Wednesday, and four ahead of champions Juventus and Lazio ahead of their respective games with SPAL and Bologna.
Skriniar left Samp for Inter in the close season and his scruffy 18th-minute opener was reward for a strong start from the hosts.
Inter continued to bombard the Samp goal and it was Icardi, who departed them for Inter in 2013, that made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute, taking advantage of some unconvincing defending to lash home.
A simple 54th-minute finish from Icardi, who took his tally to 11 in 10 league games, brought about the third goal.
Samp pulled one back through Dawid Kownacki before Fabio Quagliarella sent home nerves jangling with a late header, but Inter held on for a win that will only increase talk of them challenging Juve.
After Samp's Duvan Zapata had sent the game's first chance well over the crossbar, Antonio Candreva went much closer with a long-range effort that swerved just past Christian Puggioni's right-hand post.
Inter soon began to take control and Ivan Perisic supplied a low cross which Danilo D'Ambrosio should have converted, the right-back instead side-footing narrowly wide.
Candreva was then denied by Puggioni at the end of a driving run, but the deadlock was broken a minute later.
Skriniar never scored for Samp but netted his second goal for Inter as he poked home from point-blank range after Matias Vecino had diverted a corner into his path.
Icardi was presented with an opportunity to double Inter's lead in stunning fashion but the Argentina striker could not get the direction on his volley from Candreva's right-wing cross following a surging Vecino run through midfield.
And Puggioni was soon extremely grateful that an incredible 40-yard lob from Perisic, after a weak clearance from the goalkeeper, bounced off the right-hand upright and into his arms.
Puggioni was required to make two saves in quick succession to thwart Yuto Nagatomo and Icardi, but could do nothing to prevent the latter from finding the second goal Inter's onslaught deserved, the 24-year-old rifling into the bottom-right corner after Sampdoria failed to properly clear Vecino's ball into the box.
Only the woodwork stopped Icardi from making it 3-0, his header from Candreva's corner clattering against the right-hand post.
But just nine minutes into the second half he put the game seemingly beyond doubt by tapping in Perisic's cross with Puggioni stranded at the end of a well-worked team move.
Icardi returned the favour by sending Perisic through on goal down the left side of the box, but the winger cannoned his effort against the bar.
Despite being second-best throughout, Samp pulled one back against the run of play, Kownacki turning Quagliarella's ball to the back post beyond Samir Handanovic from a tight angle.
Candreva fired wide before Quagliarella wasted a gilt-edged chance and was then thwarted by some fine defensive work from Perisic before finally beating Handanovic from Dennis Praet's cross, with Inter left to cling on to take their place at the summit.