Introduction & Drive Details
As one of the leading purveyors of Phison controlled SSDs, we've been wondering when we would see a TeamGroup Phison E18 based SSD hit retail channels. Well, the wait is over. TeamGroup has joined the 7,000 MB/s Gen4 SSD club with an E18 based version of their Cardea line of SSDs. The T-Force Cardea A440 is checking all the boxes we want to see from a Hyper-Class NVMe SSD, and as per usual for TeamGroup they have customized their offering to separate it from the pack.
The newest member of the T-Force Cardea series from TeamGroup can deliver more than 7,100 MB/s throughput as per our testing. Additionally, as per our testing, this hyper-class SSD can hit 1.5 million random IOPS. Impressive. The 2TB model we have on our bench today sports an impressive endurance rating of 1,400 TBW, making it one of the better choices out there for Chia plotting duties.
As mentioned, the TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 is not your ordinary E18 powered SSD. It's customized and in a meaningful way. TeamGroup gives you thermal options that will work for any application, including laptop upgrades. Let's get into the review, and we will discuss the thermal options offered by the Cardea A440, and more importantly, see how it performs.
The Cardea A440 comes with thermal-related options. You can go naked, with graphene label, with an aluminum heat sink, or stack the heat sink (with included thermal pad not shown) on top of the thermal label. We chose to test with the graphene-coated copper label only.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Extreme Glacial - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 - Buy from Amazon
- RAM: Thermaltake TOUGHRAM XG RGB DDR4 4600MHz 16GB (8GB x 2) - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: Zotac 2080Ti AMP Edition - Buy from Amazon
- Case: PrimoChill's Praxis Wetbench - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1000 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Free SSD Software
Third Party Freeware
We couldn't find any complimentary software associated with the Cardea A440. Not a problem because you can use the free tools below to basically accomplish what a typical SSD toolbox will do for you.
CrystalDiskInfo free monitoring software, download here.
If you need to clone, there is freeware for that here.
Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM & Anvils
The 2TB Cardea A440 comes out swinging and treats us to some E18 style sequential numbers. TeamGroup joins the exclusive and elusive 7 GB/s club. Nice.
Anvil's Storage Utilities
Like most of its E18 brethren before it, the 2TB Cardea A440 can dish out a total score of over 30K. Impressive.
The A440 is factory spec'd for up to 700K random write IOPS. This number falls WAY short of the 1.5 million IOPS it can generate. Max random read IOPS fall short of 650K factory spec due to our user state of OS disk 50% full. Exactly what we've seen from all E18/96L SSDs to date.
Synthetic Benchmarks: AS SSD & ATTO
The 2TB A440 is within 200 points of the highest we've scored to date. It's a place where only E18 powered SSDs can go.
Although not charted, we are looking for 50 MB/s read/write at 512 B transfers. No problem for the A440. Again, not charted, we are looking for full speed at 128K transfers. Again, not a problem for the A440. Looking at our charts, we find the 2TB A440 delivering the goods in spectacular fashion. Its sequential read performance at 128K is the second-highest we've recorded to date on our Intel test bench.
Real-World Testing: Transfer Rates & Gaming
At 1,464 MB/s the A440 is delivering as expected, and that is top notch.
More hyper-class performance from the T-Force Cardea A440.
Game Level Loading
While not the absolute fastest performance we've gotten with this hardware combination, it's still among the best. At just over 8 seconds flat, the Cardea A440 proves itself to be one of the best gaming SSDs available. And with a 2TB capacity, it can hold plenty of the latest titles.
Real-World Testing: PCMark 10 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 user experience. Of the two tests, we feel that the Quick System Drive Test most accurately replicates a typical user experience.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark
We've established that E18 SSDs with 96L flash score lower than expected on our Intel test system. This hardware combination is the only one affected. All others score higher on our Intel system than our AMD system. We consider this to be an anomaly. That said, the A440 2TB gives us our best result to date for an E18/96L SSD.
PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark
The anomaly with E18/96L/Intel continues here, but it's more pronounced on the Quick Test. Because we consider this to be a glitch of some sort, we will not weigh this result as heavily as we normally would.
The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 2TB SSD has proven itself to be what we consider a true hyper-class SSD, delivering well over 7,000 MB/s throughput and by far the fastest SSD TeamGroup has ever offered. The Cardea A440 performed exactly as we expected for an E18 controlled SSD with 96-layer Micron TLC. The T-Force Cardea A440 distinguishes itself from other similarly configured SSDs not by performance, but by customized thermal mitigation, as we covered earlier.
We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage tests. The 2TB A440 delivers the highest user experience rating of any similarly configured SSD we've tested to date.
Looking back at our results, the T-Force Cardea A440 impressed us by delivering well over 7,100 MB/s throughput and some of the highest synthetic numbers we've ever witnessed. Additionally, the A440 2TB demonstrated that it is one of the best gaming SSDs available. All in all, there is a lot to like about the T-Force Cardea A440 2TB, especially with the included thermal options exclusive to this SSD.
TeamGroup's newest flagship SSD has earned a TweakTown recommendation and one of our highest awards.
- Sequential Speeds
- Thermal Options
- Moderate Workloads
The Bottom Line
Its gaming prowess, thermal options, and throughput make the 2TB T-Force Cardea A440 highly desirable.