While some promise a new revision of the high-speed PCI Express bus, others have been offering it for the second year already. Intel’s sluggishness has delayed the introduction of this interface, which is why some products using it are slowly moving out of the demo phase. For example, new NVMe drives with fast controllers that would fully reveal the capabilities of PCI-E 4.0. But the speed of their appearance on store shelves leaves much to be desired, and the solutions already on sale are either very expensive, or their characteristics are no different from SSDs with the old interface.
Ultimately, the market is still dominated by products based on the Phison PS5016-E16, the first mass-produced PCI Express 4.0 controller that debuted with the AMD X570 chipset, Matisse-based Ryzen 3000 processors, and Radeon RX 5000 graphics cards. it surpasses all solutions of the previous generation, but in real tasks the best representatives of the old guard compete with it on an equal footing without any problems. Naturally, until Intel releases fourth revision PCI-E processors, there can be no talk of any assortment of high-speed NVMe drives – the pie is too small, despite the growing popularity of the AMD platform.
With such a meager variety of controllers, SSD manufacturers are trying to somehow attract potential buyers to their products. For example, original radiators, like our hero of today’s review.
Team T-Force CARDEA Ceramic C440
Team has been in the SSD market for a long time, and its Delta series of drives was probably one of the first to feature RGB backlighting. It is also worth remembering the “liquid-cooled” CARDEA Liquid solutions. Our guest turned out to be no less original — a CARDEA Ceramic C440 series drive equipped with a ceramic composite cooler.
|Name||Team TM8FPA001T0C410||Team TM8FPA002T0C410|
|Product page||T-Force CARDEA Ceramic C440|
|Sequential read speed, MB/s||5000|
|Sequential write speed, MB/s||4400|
|Maximum random read speed (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS||750K|
|Maximum random write speed (blocks of 4 KB), IOPS||750K|
|Memory type||3D NAND TLC (Toshiba BiCS4 96L)|
|Total Bytes Written (TBW), TB||1800||3600|
|Mean time between failures (MTBF)||1,700,000 hours|
|Operating temperature range, °C||0–70|
|Connection interface||PCI Express 4.0 x4 (NVMe 1.3)|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280|
|Dimensions: LxWxH, mm||80 x 22 x 4,75|
In total, the new line has two SSDs with a capacity of 1000 and 2000 GB. The manufacturer decided to abandon the “500-ki” – apparently, according to its characteristics, it does not look so attractive.
Team T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD 1TB
We received a 1 TB model for testing. The drive comes in a lightweight package, which can often be found with various memory cards for mobile devices and cameras. No fancy large boxes for you, everything is trite and simple. The SSD is protected by a transparent plastic insert through which you can view the purchased product. On the packaging you can find a minimum of technical information and instructions on how to install the drive.
Inside the package, you can also find a sticker with the T-Force series logo, but it is glued on the inside and can easily be accidentally thrown away with everything superfluous after installing the SSD.
Externally, the drive looks modest: a blue printed circuit board and a flat thin white heat-distributing plate with golden inscriptions applied to it. In principle, nothing else could be expected from an NVMe device with PCI Express 4.0 support, given their hot temper and the need for more serious cooling under heavy loads.
This was understood by the company itself, so the radiator is not glued tightly, but can be easily removed if necessary. For everyday tasks it should be enough, but if you plan to constantly write a large amount of data to the SSD, then it is better to dismantle it and use a more efficient design. For example, a complete heatsink, which is usually pre-installed on mid-range and high-end motherboards. The thickness of the ceramic heat spreader is only 1 mm, while the sticky thermal pad does not cover the entire area of the installed microcircuits, and the difference in their height is not taken into account, so it can easily not reach the buffer.
On the back there is a sticker with information about the drive, which is not recommended to be removed, as this will void the 5-year warranty.
Having removed the heatsink, we see the Phison platform, which is found in all manufacturers offering SSDs built on its basis. A blue PCB is used, although a black board would be better for a white heat spreader.
The PS5016-E16 controller can hardly be called a powerful solution, since two ARM Cortex R5 cores in its structure allow developing sufficient speed only for linear reading and writing.
The volume of 1000 GB is filled with four 96-layer Toshiba BiCS4 3D TLC NAND chips marked TABBG65AWV, which are located two pieces on each side of the printed circuit board.
The 1 GB buffer consists of a pair of SK Hynix H5AN4G8NBJR DDR4 chips, which are also placed on both sides of the PCB.
After initializing the drive and formatting it with default settings, the user will have 931 GB of free space available.