TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless

T-Create Classic is a long time series with many models, now TeamGroup is updating its T-Create Classic lineup with a DRAMless (DL) PCIe Gen4 version.

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD  - Stalwart DRAMless
Published
Manufacturer: TeamGroup (TM8FPM001T0C329)
6 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 78%

The Bottom Line

Better options can be had, but it might be a consideration at $60 per TB.

Pros

  • + Gaming

Cons

  • - Consumer workloads

Should you buy it?

AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy

Introduction & Drive Details

Last month we got our first taste of Phison's E21T PCIe Gen4 DRAMless controller via the TeamGroup MP44L 1TB. Phison's E21T is a 4-channel DRAMless controller typically found paired with Micron's B47R flash, and we are starting to see a wave of SSDs based on this controller/flash combo. This hardware combo offers one of the better value propositions in the 5,000 MB/s PCIe Gen4 DRAMless niche. It is arrayed with high-endurance TLC flash and typically sells for about 9 cents per gigabyte.

This hardware combo is wading into the fray, competing mainly against InnoGrit competitors, like ADATA's ATOM 50. The InnoGrit-based DRAMless value drives are highly competitive in their own right, offering a very similar value proposition to what our test subject has on offer. However, where our test subject has a definitive edge over its IG5220 competition is gaming-related storage performance, where we typically find E21 T-controlled SSDs to be about 10% better on average.

As mentioned, TeamGroup recently launched its MP44L, which on paper at least, is identical to the T-Create Classic DL 4.0 we are about to put through its paces. Same hardware configuration, same factory sequential and random specs, same TBW and warranty. We are struggling to understand why, other than a modernization of its T-Create lineup, TeamGroup is apparently doing the same drive twice. Different markets, maybe? We aren't sure, really.

Well, whatever their reasoning might be, we know one thing for certain, factory specs might be identical with the MP44L, but overall performance is definitely not. We find the MP44L to offer significantly better performance, so the T-Create Classic DL 4.0 will need to come in with a very compelling price point to be an attractive option for the informed. As we see it, we would need to get this drive for 6 to 7 cents per gigabyte for us to even consider a purchase. Unfortunately, we don't know what the drive will retail for at this time.

Drive Details

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 01
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 02
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 03TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 04
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Our test subject features TeamGroup's exclusive and highly effective, thermally conductive graphene coating on aluminum foil for the SSD heat spreader. The spreader on its own is very effective at dissipating heat, and because the spreader is less than 1mm thick, it can be used in conjunction with any type of heatsink for even more efficient cooling.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Intel Test System

AMD Test System

Because we at TweakTown like to be first at everything whenever we can, we will present our storage performance results for the test subject on both 13th Gen Intel and 7000 Series AMD platforms going forward for the foreseeable future. Because Intel still delivers the best real-world storage performance, (Look Here), our running chart will continue to be Intel-based until AMD can deliver better real-world storage performance than its rival.

Buy at Amazon

T-Create Classic DL 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$68.99$74.99$74.99
* Prices last scanned on 2/7/2023 at 12:06 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 07
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 08
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 09
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 10
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 11

Sequential throughput looks good, with read hitting spot on at 5,000 MB/s and write exceeding factory up to specs by 400 MB/s. So far, so good. Now focusing on a much more important performance metric, Q1T1 random read, we find our test subject lagging behind the MP44L by roughly 1%.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 12
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 13
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 14
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 15
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 16
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 17

Scoring comes in as expected for this hardware configuration. Moving over to all-out random read performance, we find TeamGroup's DRAMless offering able to exceed stated up-to-max IOPS factory specs and even the better-performing MP44L.

ATTO

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 18
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 19
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 20
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 21

More than anything else, ATTO gives us a clear picture of what transfer sizes a particular SSD favors in terms of sequential throughput. As it is with all Phison-controlled SSDs, the MP44L is running full speed at 128K transfers. Additionally, because of Phison's core architecture, being the way it is when dealing with compressible data, the T-Create Classic delivers that same kind of a faux sequential read throughput this hardware configuration is known for.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, 3DMark SSD Gaming Test, PCM10 Storage

Transfer Rates

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 22
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 23
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 24

Our 100GB data transfer test is not your ordinary 100GB of data. Ours is a crushing mix composed of more than 62K files. Write performance random or sequential, as it relates to large transfers, is an infrequent operation, and as such, we do not consider it to be an important performance metric in the consumer space. An example being how many times is a game installed vs. how many times it's played. 1,000 -1,100 MB/s is as expected, and plenty good enough for our liking.

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 25
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 26
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 27

Slightly better than expected. Nice.

3DMark SSD Gaming Test

UL's newest 3DMark SSD Gaming Test is the most comprehensive SSD gaming test ever devised. We consider it superior to testing against games themselves because, as a trace, it is much more consistent than variations that will occur between runs on the actual game itself. This test is in fact the same as running the actual game, just without the inconsistencies inherent to application testing.

In short, we believe that this is the world's best way to test an SSDs gaming prowess and accurately compare it against competing SSDs. The 3DMark SSD Gaming Test measures and scores the following:

  • Loading Battlefield V from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Call of Duty Black Ops 4 from launch to the main menu.
  • Loading Overwatch from launch to the main menu.
  • Recording a 1080p gameplay video at 60 FPS with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while playing Overwatch.
  • Installing The Outer Worlds from the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Saving game progress in The Outer Worlds.
  • Copying the Steam folder for Counter-Strike Global Offensive from an external SSD to the system drive.
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 28
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 29
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 30

Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Very nice here because, as it relates to SSD gaming duties, our test subject is 10% better than the IG5220 drives and within striking distance of Samsung's 980 Pro. Outstanding.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 31
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 32
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 33

This particular test writes 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games, including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

Heavy consumer workloads involving a mass amount of data have traditionally crippled DRAMless SSDs, which is exactly what happens to our test subject. Here is where we begin to see the differences between our test subject and its cousin, the MP44L.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 34
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 35
TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 36

Massive performance disparity here between the MP44L and our test subject. We can only attribute the performance disparity here to what must be a difference in the flash. B47R comes in various grades that offer varying degrees of real-world performance; as we see it, this is the likely culprit.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned back at the beginning of this review, we are struggling to find a fit for the T-Create Classic DL 4.0. As it relates to performance alone, there are better choices to be had, even coming from TeamGroup's own stable. TeamGroup is playing up the reliable performance angle that its T-Create Classic line of SSDs has become known for, but we don't see it happening there either. The only way we see this SSD as one to consider is if it can be had for something like $60 per terabyte.

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 37

We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage and 3DMark gaming storage tests. We consider a user experience score of 12K or more to verify an SSD as a TweakTown Elite performer. Its gaming prowess is not enough to make a real difference here, as we rank SSDs, but it is still worth mentioning as it is still a considerable factor for most consumers. Again, it does game well.

TeamGroup T-Create Classic DL 1TB SSD Review - Stalwart DRAMless 38

Without knowing what this drive is going to sell for, it's very hard to make a final call on this one. We will say consider if the price is right.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

70%

Quality

85%

Features

80%

Value

N/A

Overall

78%

The Bottom Line

Better options can be had, but it might be a consideration at $60 per TB.

78%

T-Create Classic DL 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$68.99$74.99$74.99
* Prices last scanned on 2/7/2023 at 12:06 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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