Introduction & Drive Details
To date, we've tested several different brands of Phison E16-powered SSDs, and all have been impressive. Phison E16 Gen4 x4 powered SSDs have proven to be that fastest flash-based storage you can currently equip your AMD Zen II platform with. Today, we have TeamGroup's version of Phison's E16-powered powerhouse in the lab for evaluation.
TeamGroup's T-Force Cardea Zero Z440 Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD is configured a bit differently than what we've seen to this point. The main difference is that instead of a large integrated heat sink that is common to E16 powered SSDs, TeamGroup is using an ultra-thin graphene and copper thermal label. This layered copper and graphene thermal label are surprisingly effective, providing up to 9c cooler temps, according to TeamGroup marketing.
We kind of like this approach for a couple of reasons. The first being that most X570 based motherboards have integrated heat sinks that will not accommodate an integrated heat sink on the SSD itself. This isn't much of an issue if the heat sink is removable. However, some are not so the motherboard's M.2 SSD IHS must be abandoned, which can detract from the overall aesthetics of your Zen II build.
We like that the ultra-thin thermal label is quite effective at keeping the Phison E16 controller temps in check, but as we already know from previous testing, a heat sink is not a requirement for throttle-free performance in most cases. We also like the fact that if you do not have an integrated SSD heat sink on your motherboard and the drive is visible, the black and copper themed Cardea Zero Z440 will compliment your build.
TeamGroup's T-Force Cardea Zero Z440 M.2 x2280 NVMe SSD is available in two capacities, 1TB and 2TB. Let's dive in and see what kind of performance TeamGroup's Gen4 offering is serving up.
The Cardea Zero ships in an attractive and minimalistic blister pack. The drive's exclusive copper and graphene thermal label is advertised along with sequential performance and 5-year warranty.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils
As expected, the world's most popular SSD benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, was used to establish factory sequential performance specifications of 5,000 MB/s read, 4,400 MB/s write. Factory specs were taken as an empty secondary device. We do not test empty secondary devices, which is why our sequential write performance comes in a bit lower than 4,400 MB/s.
We want to take note of the Cardea Zero's 4K Q1T1 random write speed of 308 MB/s as it is a new lab record for an AMD-based platform.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
Total read score is our focus when evaluating Anvil's performance. The Cardea Zero lights up our chart beating all flash-based contenders showing us another reason why Phison E16 powered SSDs are the fastest flash-based storage currently available for your AMD Zen II Platform.
We also want to acknowledge the total score of over 21.6K, as it is a new lab record for a flash-based SSD running on an AMD platform.
In the overall scheme of things, Max IOPS is relatively meaningless to the average enthusiast. We are just showing what the drive can achieve when running in our custom test state.
Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO
Read score is our focus, and we again find the Cardea Zero easily beating all the contenders in our lineup. The Cardea Zero owns the Gen3 competitors from top to bottom.
Our focus is 128KB transfers, and as we would expect to see from a Gen4 SSD, the Cardea Zero is taking no prisoners. The drive is running nearly full speed at 128 KB transfers, which is what we are looking for. Max sequential read performance comes at 512 KB transfers, where the Cardea Zero is delivering 5.64 GB/s bandwidth. Max sequential write performance hits at 48 MB transfers with a speed of 4.26 GB/s.
Real-World Testing: Game Loading & PCM8
While not the fastest at launching games, the Cardea Zero is no slouch, delivering performance that is less than one second slower than our top flash-based performer.
UL's PCMark 8 storage benchmark accurately represents real-world performance and user scenarios, which is why we consider it to be the premier benchmark we test with. We use the results of this test to rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience or total performance.
These charts demonstrate why we think that Phison E16-powered SSDs currently deliver the best overall performance for AMD Gen4 equipped platforms such as our X570 Crosshair Hero VIII SSD test rig.
Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates
More than 62,000 files, 100GB in size, and the Cardea Zero manages to do what no other has been able to do to this point; unseat Intel's Optane 905P as our test lab consumer SSD write transfer champion. PCIe Gen4 and 96-Layer BiCS4 is a powerful combination to be sure.
Data transfers really benefit from the new Gen4 interface. The Cardea Zero can beat the Gen 3 competitors in our test pool by well over 500 MB/s.
If you have a Gen4 enabled platform and you want the best storage performance you can currently get other than Optane, then you need to take a close look at what TeamGroup is serving up. The Cardea Zero is as good as they come. From its exclusive ultra-thin copper and graphene thermal label to its five-year warranty to its class-leading endurance, the Cardea Zero is a top-shelf SSD through and through.
Looking back at our benchmarks, the Cardea Zero easily vanquished the competing SSDs in our lineup and even managed to set a few lab records for consumer SSDs in the process. And if that isn't enough, we find that current pricing for the Cardea Zero makes it a considerable bargain when compared with the current pricing of other Gen4 x4 SSDs on the market.
TeamGroup's T-Force Cardea Zero Z440 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD is TweakTown approved and highly recommended.
- Overall Performance
- High Endurance
- Ultra-Thin Thermal Label
- No SSD ToolBox
The Bottom Line
Gen4 speeds, attractive minimalistic design and bargain pricing make the T-Force Cardea Zero Z440 a highly attractive option for your AMD Zen II platform.