The T-Force Cardea Liquid is the third NVMe SSD released from Team Group using the Phison PS5012-12 flash controller this year. We've already tested the base model MP34 and the midrange Cardea II with a massive extruded aluminum heat sink. Today we move to the flagship series with an innovative liquid-filled chamber â€" that is completely useless.
This isn't the first time we've seen a storage company move a little too quickly and miss critical flaws in a design. This may be the first time we've seen a storage device that could jeopardize some of your other components. Before we get into what went wrong, there are a couple of them, let's look at what Team Group tried to accomplish.
The Team Group Cardea Liquid takes a standard reference design Phison PS5012-E12 SSD, the same used in the MP34 and Cardea II, and adds a plastic shell filled with liquid. A metal plate forms the bottom of the chamber to pass heat from the SSD components to the liquid. A thin thermal material interface pad sits between the components and the metal base. The marketing material shows a 10-degree difference with the cooler.
Another marketing image shows heat passing from the SSD, through the thermal material, through the metal place, through the liquid, and finally magically passing past the plastic case and into the air. In reality, the liquid will absorb the heat when the liquid is at a temperature lower than the components.
After the two components reach the same temperature, the liquid without a way to displace heat would actually become an insulator. When the SSD moves to an idle state and generates less heat on its own, the liquid would then actually pass heat back to the controller. This is a negative for the design, but it's still not either of the major issues we found.
The final part of the design comes from a display at Computex where Team Group showed the Cardea Liquid in a rainbow of colors. It's possible to remove the liquid and refill the chamber with whatever liquid you want. Our sample shipped with blue liquid and modern marketing images only show blue. The drive does ship with extra blue coolant in a small bottle and a tiny funnel to refill the chamber.
The Cardea Liquid comes to market in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. The performance and specification list is identical to the Cardea II we tested last week with an aluminum heat sink. The Cardea II is also one of our favorite Phison PS5012-E12 SSDs shipping today.
Pricing, Warranty, and Endurance
Like the Cardea II, the new Cardea Liquid has yet to hit North American retails like Newegg and Amazon. Team Group has yet to release pricing details, but in this case, I don't think you will care too much about that.
The series uses advanced LDPC to insure data integrity, and that gives this series strong endurance numbers. The 256GB gives users up to 380 TBW (terabyte writes) under the 3-year warranty coverage. That increases to 800 TBW for the 512GB model and a massive 1,665 TBW rating for the 1TB model.