TeamGroup Cardea Zero Z440 PCIe 4.0 NVMe review

Memory (DDR4/DDR5) and Storage (SSD/NVMe) 357 Page 19 of 19 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

When we received the Z440 I expected its performance to be 100% similar towards the MP600 series from Corsair. Well, it seems that the ODM has made some updates to its firmware as especially in read performance there are differences to be measured, this driver quite easily hits that 5 GB/sec marker. Things are very relative though as performance differs per workload. Strictly speaking from noting down the highest values, this was the fastest SSD we have ever tested. But if you look at it relatively towards other SSDs, it's simply put an enthusiast-class performing TLC M.2 SSD. Admittedly we did not stumble into TLC write holes as much as I expected, so that is good.


TLC (and QLC NAND) are a weak spot for super fast and many writes. So the trace tests you have seen from the PCMark 8 suite for example completely load and stress up the SSD, and it is here where the Z440 has a harder time to deliver in the performance bracket where it needs to be. And I do deem the PCMark 8 trace tests to be among the best benchmark series in our test suite.  Now we also need to place it all in a relative matter, this SSD does reach 4.5 GB/sec given the right workload and Crystaldiskmark and ATTO indeed hits 5 GB/s. Copying many many gigabytes of movies and ISOs for example, well this SSD laughs at it, and while copying I actually laughed a bit nervously. I mean our 110 GB test file I had to copy towards this SSD from a Gigabit NAS, that took 18 minutes. Then copying the same file from an 970 EVO towards the M440 ... far less than a minute. So the results are a bit all over the place really, but it's also priced fairly competitive. I mean this super fast performing M.2. unit costs ~27 cents per GB in retail right now for the 1GB model. The unit reveals speeds at 2GB/ to 4.5 GB/s reads sometimes, in writes things are varying more. IOPS performance is great as well, but it does need massive queues and preferably threads for it to be able to show.



The Z440 will shatter records given the right conditions, but on in other workloads, you are down to high-end class TLC NVMe performance. And there is an abundance of choices available these days. The fact is that in roughly 50% of the tests a 970 EVO can outperform this unit is an issue. Then again, we doubt you'd ever notice the perf differences. What this product really does is pioneering, it is the first PCIe Gen 4.0 compatible NVMe 1.3 compatible SSD. The cost of ownership does require a Ryzen series 3000 and X570/TRX40 motherboard though, but that's AMD for you as they wanted to offer you a technology advantage over team blue. One remark, a bit of advice to TeamGroup. The naming of your products needs to change. Two or three words maximum, like TeamGroup Z440, period. Currently, the full name for this product is TeamGroup T-Force Cardea Zero Z440, and then add to that 1 TB PCIe 4.0 x3 M.2 NVMe SSD. Also, for this price class and segment, why is the SSD PCB not colored black?

We'll be handing out the Z440 a recommended award sheer peak performance. But prices will need to get down though as here in the EU it is priced rather high. The Z440 units will be available at €269,- and €479,- respectively. Prices in USD are $189 and $379 respectively for the 1TB and 2 TB models. I like to close with this line, while top sequential and sustained benchmark figures are incredibly fun to look at and nearly eye-popping with this SSD, it's the overall real-world performance that I care about. And in that respect, we expected to see a bit more perf overall in our trace tests and that is the honest truth. It, however, is amazing to see where prices and performance are now compared to what you got in performance and money a few years ago. And hey, 1800 TBW and a 5-year warranty. It's not perfect but it is very impressive. 

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