Final Words & Conclusion
There is no room for subjectivity, here. Performance is as performance does, and the Team Group drive we have tested faces some very strong challenges. In a world where SSD pricing is truly dropping through the proverbial floor, the Delta must go toe to toe with equally cheap SSDs. Sure, some may look a lot more plain, but in the grand scheme of things, SSD 'bling' is likely the last thing on most PC shoppers lists. In fact, I genuinely think that we will shortly reach a point where the average consumer looking for a mid-range PC build can forgo any kind of HDD storage. Small M.2 for your OS? Check. Big SSD for everything else? Double check. Whilst that isn't 100% feasible right now, give it another year, and I think that will become a reality.
In truth, that presents a problem for generically equipped SSDs like the Delta. Pretty looks and bling will only get you so far in life, and that remains true in the PC hardware space (possibly a little too far into social commentary there, but I digress). Tell me that I could - potentially - pay more for the same or worse performance just due to aesthetics, and I will likely tell you where to go. Anyway, we'll move onto my now established 'why should' and 'why shouldn't' you buy this drive.
Why should you buy the Delta?
I know I have spent the last couple of minutes is a bit negative, but it was for good reason. Shifting all of that aside, for a moment, and there are some genuine reasons as to why you should consider the Delta. The first, without a doubt, is its 'competitive' performance. I do not put the quotes marks there to be disparaging. Far from it, I use them because whilst it is evident that this drive has some shortcomings, it does a good enough job in most areas to be at least worth a mention.
This leads me onto another point, in that it will be 'ok for most,' and that is ok. We are in a time where SSDs are basically considered mainstream. In fact, this is so prevalent that I haven't seen a new build online or anywhere that hasn't featured at least a small 128-240GB SSD. In fact, I would go so far as to say that even M.2 (whether SATA or NVMe) is also mainstream, leading me to wonder how long 2.5'' drives will stay relevant. That 'ok' for most factor is important because it further solidifies the belief that SSDs can be for everyone, rather than just for those who can just about afford them.
Finally, let's not underestimate how important looks are. RGB sells, and that is a fact. You need only look as far as the GPU market to realise this. Over engineered cards before the Pascal era certainly made a difference, but with the advent of Pascal on 16nm, performance of the 10 series Nvidia cards (and, by extension, Turing) was largely down to silicon and silicon alone. Extra power, extra voltage, and higher TDP? It all made very little difference unless you were going to be overclocking the GPUs at an enthusiast level. For most, what sold higher end/higher SKU GPUs was the bling, and - maybe - a slightly beefier cooler. Lights and visuals sell products, and the expansion of the RGB craze to the SSD market was an inevitability.
Therefore, I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if someone did choose this drive over something else that - maybe - performs a little better. Why? Because, even by my own fairly anti-RGB admission, this drive looks simply excellent. Un-illuminated, it manages to still look good, which isn't something you can say for most 2.5'' drives, that tend to range from looking drab to just 'ok.' The Delta manages to look great both 'off' and 'on,' and trust me it look a lot to resist an RTX off/on joke, there.
Why shouldn't you buy the Delta?
Somewhat strangely, the same 'plus' I just mentioned re. aesthetics vs. cost will come back to be used as a negative. Drives that are in the same price bracket as the Delta perform better, and we saw that - most evidently - in the Anvil benchmark, where it got pretty much trounced by every SSD that we have reviewed in the last few years. I repeated this test a couple of times, and the result was pretty much the same. Mid 4150's. For a new brand new SSD released in the twilight years of the 2010's, that's pretty mediocre at best, and poor at worst.
Whilst the SSD may look great, most cases have a habit of hiding the drive behind the back panel. If said case has a glass back panel, then chances are it's going to be pricey, at which point I'd venture you'd want to buy something a little higher end than a 2.5'' TLC equipped drive? Sure, some cases do show off the drive in the main compartment area, and if that is what you're buying, then sure, go ahead and get this drive if absolutely everything in your case must be RGB and illuminated.
I think my point is that I would rather spend money in the storage department to know I am either getting a little better for the same, or notably better for not much more. It is, after all, your data, and your primary boot drive dying (or, perhaps, the drive with all your games on it) is one of the most infuriating things to happen. Period. Whilst I am not saying that this drive is unreliable (far from it), it's a consideration that someone should have, and - therefore - spending a little extra on storage is never going to be a bad idea.
I find myself a bit conflicted when trying to write a conclusion about this product. Right up until the final Anvil benchmark, the Delta was doing a pretty decent job at cementing itself a 'solid performer' nomination, doing nothing to stand out but doing enough to be at least considered 'up there' in terms of how it stacked up vs. similarly equipped competitors. However, come to Anvil, and we saw it get soundly beaten. Soundly.
This leaves me with a dilemma. Performance wise, I think this drive has some challenges, and they are evident. However, up till' the final test, I was perhaps a little ignorant as to how big the gap 'could' be. Whilst I know the real-world argument will get used against my conclusion, I cannot recommend this drive based on its performance. For the record, by 'real-world,' I mean the argument by which people claim that they or other buyers likely wouldn't notice the difference between, say, this drive, and other which scores higher up the stack. Whilst that might be true, canned benchmarks exist for a reason, and buying a drive that performs only slightly better than an 840 Pro from 'a fair while ago' in 2019 doesn't make much sense to me. I would argue that, before long, you perhaps would notice a difference, especially if you invested in a more expensive SSD to add to your PC.
By that same metric, though, the average person buying an SSD will either be adding one to their system, or assembling their first build. It's tough to say just how much of a real-world difference those performance deltas will make. Would you or I even notice? Maybe, if you came from using a top of line SATA SSD. I'm inclined to cop out slightly and say, therefore, that it will depend on what you're doing. Just want a great looking boot drive that can store 'some' games and provide adequate SSD performance? Buy away. Prefer performance over looks and don't mind paying a little more for something like the QVO? Do it. That's what I would do.
Some might think it a little unfair that I didn't especially dwell on this drive's party piece. The RGB. With respect, it doesn't affect performance, and therefore its importance to this product is to its marketing value only. Get it and another SSD on the testbench that is priced similarly, and you'll see the numbers in plain view. A somewhat blunt way to round of this review, but I think it's fair.