Team Group T-FORCE CARDEA M.2. NVMe SSD Tested
We review Team Group's T-FORCE CARDEA M.2 480GB NVMe SSD. This M.2 NAND NVMe unit is nice 'n fast and even has been fitted with a large heatsink. Will Team Group be able to deliver a unit that manages to impress?
First things first, if you are wondering, CARDEA what's what or where did I hear that before? Well Cardea is the Goddess of Storm. Anyhow, M.2 is interesting stuff, these smaller form factors storage units are evolving from being "just as fast" as a regular SSD towards double, tripling, heck... even quadrupling that performance. It comes in a different package, M.2. The M.2 interface is so much more capable as it can deal with way more bandwidth using PCI-Express lanes. As such, M.2 solutions are intended for enthusiast class motherboards.
This series of M.2 SSDs are a breathtaking series of storage technology as they offer enthusiast class performance yet remain reasonable in pricing depending on NAND type. Though prices still need to go on-line, we already spotted our tested 480 GB version for roughly 275 EURO, which would mean 57 cents per GB. Keep in mind you are looking at an MLC based product with @ 2,650MB/s and 1,450MB/s reads and writes respectively. These new M.2 units use the NVMe protocol and that means storage technology at hyper fast speeds while remaining competitive in pricing.
The SSD M.2 series is Team Groups first consumer-ready Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) M.2 form factor SSD available in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities. These sticks have been fitted with MLC Toshiba NAND (15 nm) and is located under product code TM8FP2480G0C110. The performance numbers a good SATA3 SSD offers these days are simply excellent, but with NVMe you can triple maybe even quadruple performance, which offers serious numbers. The T-FORCE CARDEA M.2. product line is powered by a Phison PS5007-E7 NVMe controller. The SSD follows a smaller M.2 2280 (8 cm) form factor so it will fit on most ATX motherboards capable of M.2 just fine.
Cardea M.2 NVMe storage devices are a bit ginormous with a their red heatsinks attached with high-conductivity thermal adhesive. When it comes to random I/O, they should be able to do 180K read IOPS. Random write figures are 140K IOPS for the 240 GB Cardea Jr. and 150K IOPS for the 480 GB drive. At just one-tenth the weight of a traditional 2.5-inch SSD, the M.2 SSDs are ideal for users looking to upgrade their desktop or ultra-thin PCs with high-capacity, high-performance storage. You do need a modern motherboard with capable NVMe supported M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 connected) interface though, please do check out your motherboard manufacturer for that. But ever since Z97/Z170/Z270/B350/X370 chipsets have been released, the mainstream to high-end class motherboards mostly all support it very well.
Yeah, have a look at the photo below, and then let's head on-wards into this review.