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Team Group T-Force Cardea II M.2 SSD Review (Page 1)

Team Group T-Force Cardea II M.2 SSD Review

Team Group's T-Force Cardea II M.2 SSD delivers an attractive look and extra performance for heavy workloads.

By Chris Ramseyer from Aug 10, 2019 @ 16:42 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Team GroupModel: CARDEA II

Introduction

Team Group's Cardea Liquid seems to be getting all of the headlines these days, but the Cardea II uses the same controller, flash, and comes with an extravagant cooler, too.

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The Cardea II an updated version of the original Cardea that came to market in 2017 with the Phison PS5012-E7 controller and MLC flash. The updated model follows the Phison release schedule with the PS5012-E12 controller paired with Toshiba 64L flash memory.

The updated model is quite a bit quicker than the previous version, and both include the same extruded aluminum passive cooler with T-Force (Team Group's gaming brand) graphics. The Phison E7 controller ran much hotter than the newer E12 with the later using a much more modern process node. Under heavy reads and writes the E12 can still throttle, decreasing performance, but the new process node increases the time it takes for the controller to reach throttle temperatures. The Cardea II's heat sink works to extend the time it takes the drive to throttle to the point where nearly all consumer workloads are immune to the condition.

Specifications

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Team Group will release the Cardea II in three capacities ranging from 256GB to 1TB. The largest size uses a DDR4 DRAM buffer, and the 256GB and 512GB use a DDR3 buffer, but the E12 controller and 64L Toshiba BiCS FLASH remain the same.

The performance changes with each capacity with the 1TB model sporting the highest results, 3,400 MB/s sequential read, and 3,000 MB/s sequential write speeds. It also offers 450,000 IOPS read and 400,000 IOPS write.

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The company published a graph showing temperatures with and without a heat sink. We assume the model without a heat sink is the MP34, also from the company. The "normal" heat sink is likely similar to the thin metal shield ADATA ships on the GAMMIX product line. Finally, the graph shows the Cardea II with the over-the-top extruded aluminum heat sink that is in a class above what most companies use on premium SSDs today.

Pricing, Warranty, and Endurance

We were not able to find the Cardea II series available at the time of writing. Team Group has a number of series with the E12 controller, and this model fits right in the middle. The Team Group T-Force MP34 that we recently tested is the base series with prices starting at $39.99 for the 256GB drive and $159.99 for the 1TB model. We expect the Cardea II to cost slightly more, but not as much as the premium Cardea Liquid. The Liquid model is also not available yet at Amazon or Newegg in North America.

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