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TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA A440 PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD Review

Compared with Gen PCIe 3.0, PCIe Gen 4.0 doubles the bandwidth, and the x4 channel can run to 7GB/s, which is the biggest benefit for SSD. For more than a year, PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market have become more and more abundant. On the one hand, the price ratio is getting higher and higher, and it has gradually become the standard for mid-to-high-end installations. On the other hand, with the advancement of technology, the bandwidth potential of PCIe 4.0 has also been improved Continue to dig deep, and soon you will approach the limit.

After the release of the PCI4.0 solid-state drive, the read/write speed of up to 6~7000MB/S is amazing, but its price is not low. Choose a cheaper PCIe3.0 hard drive, and the read/write performance is only 1~2000MB/S. What about a product without speed and a bit more affordable price? There really is, that is, T-Force CARDEA A440 PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD, an entry-level PCI4.0 solid-state drive produced by TEAMGROUP.

TEAMGROUP, a well-known memory brand released one of its M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD lineups called T-FORCE CARDEA Zero A440, and what we will review is the 1TB capacity. This SSD uses a controller from Phison with 3D TLC NAND memory. On paper, the speed offered is quite impressive. Its read speed reaches 7,000 MBps with its write speed reaching 5,500 MBps and can reach 700K IOPS. This SSD has also been embedded with a 1GB DRAM cache. To achieve this speed, you have to make sure the desktop or laptop you are using supports PCIe Gen 4. One more thing that impressed us from the specifications is the endurance of this SSD which reaches 700 TBW for 1TB capacity and 1,400 TBW for 2TB capacity with a 5-year warranty. . This is a large number and you don’t have to worry about the warranty.

Visit on Official TeamGroup’s Website

TeamGroup Cardea A440 Specification
form factor M.2 2280
Interface PCIe 4.0 x4
NVMe 1.4
capabilities 1 and 2TB
parent company Phison PS5018-E18-41
NAND type Micron’s 96L TLC
Medium S.M.A.R.T.
TRIM
NCQ
DevSleep
Garbage Collection
encryption XTS-AES de 256 bit
sequential read 7.000 MB / s
sequential write 1 TB – 5,500 MB / s
2 TB – 6,900 MB / s
random read 650K IOPS
random write 700K IOPS
Durability 1 TB – 700 TBW
2 TB – 1.400 TBW
Consumption 0.003W idle
0.2W avg
2.1W max read
7W max write
Operating temperature 0 – 70 ºC
Dimensions Sin disipador: 80mm x 22mm x 3,5mm
Disipador de grafeno: 80mm x 22mm x 3,7 mm
Disipador de aluminio: 80mm x 23.4mm x 12.9 mm
Weight Without heatsink: 10g
With graphene
heatsink: 13g With aluminum heatsink: 46g
Warranty 5 years

Unboxing

As usual for this manufacturer, the device is packed in a soft cardboard box on the front side of which we can see an image of the device, with its two heatsinks in this case, and where the brand, model, interface, and capacity are also indicated. On the back, we have its main technical specifications in white on black, as well as a brief sketch on how to mount the heatsinks.

When you open the outer packaging, you can see the real contents, which are in transparent plastic blister, the Cardea A440 SSD is fitted on one side (and under it, the graphene heatsink) and the aluminum heatsink on the other. In addition to the solid body, CARDEA A440 also provided two exclusive replaceable patent-certified cooling heatsinks and a thermal pad.

One of the qualities that distinguish this TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA A440 SSD from those of the competition is that it comes from the factory with two heatsinks so that we can choose: on the one hand we have the aluminum heatsink that is already quite typical in this type of device, but on the other, In another, we have the graphene heatsink which, as you will see, is a simple sheet that is extremely thin (0.2 mm thick) and light (weighs just 3 grams) which, according to the manufacturer, is more than enough to keep the SSD at a good temperature. of operation and, in addition, makes it compatible with practically any system since it hardly raises its height, including the Sony PS5.

CARDEA A440 Details

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA A440 is an M.2280 format SSD using the NVME1.4 interface and optimizes the NVM Sets division of labor and PLM, effectively shortening the delay time and reducing flashing loss. At the top are all the chips and on the back, there is a sticker with the serial number and the model. But this is so in this unit, in the case of the 2TB model the chips are distributed on both sides.

TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA A440 PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD Review
Graphene Heatsink

T-Force CARDEA A440 comes with 2 different heatsinks so that we can choose which one suits us. The first set of heat dissipation modules are ultra-thin graphene heat sinks that include the logo and the name of the model among other things, which contain graphene thermal conductive materials, and the heat treatment efficiency is as high as 9%. For platforms such as notebooks or HTPCs, if the height cannot support metal vests, the use of this graphene heat sink can also control the solid-state heat generation very well.

aluminum heatsink
aluminum heatsink

The second one is a heatsink made up of 2 pieces of black-painted aluminum and a strip of thermal adhesive. On the contrary, the upper part has a patented fin design and is decorated with the logo and the name of the model in yellow. This layered aluminum alloy heat dissipation fin adopts a unique beveled surface special diversion design, which can effectively increase the heat dissipation area and reduce the temperature by up to 15%. It is suitable for use on desktop computers, and it is more effective than the heat dissipation vest that comes with the motherboard.

Finally, with this heatsink mounted, the T-Force Cardea A440 has dimensions of 80 x 23.5 x 12.9 mm and a weight of 46g. When viewed from the physical appearance, it looks plain with the TEAM branding sticker placed at the bottom. But everything changed when the large heatsink was installed. The SSD looks dashing and definitely cooler. The team claims that this cooling system can reduce heat by up to 15%.

Thanks to this, without having to remove the sticker we can see, for example, the Phison PS5018-E18 controller that is responsible for the enormous performance of this solid-state device, as well as the DRAM chip manufactured by SK Hynix just below.

The main control uses Phison’s latest PS5018-E18 main control, which uses a 12nm process. Compared with the previous generation E16 and a number of competing main controls, it has obvious advantages in heat generation control. At the same time, there is also the exclusive CoXProcessor2.0 technology of Phison, which officially claims to provide top performance and outstanding power consumption efficiency. In terms of particles, it is a self-sealing film of Phison, so the T-Force Cardea A440 should be a customized product of TeamGroup based on the E18 public version scheme. Looking at the particle number, it should be Magnesium’s TLC particles, a single 256G capacity, 4 total 1TB.

We can also see the NAND Flash chips, with the code IA7BG64AIA. Doing some research we have been able to verify that they are exactly the same chips that the Corsair MP600 Pro equips, so we know that they are manufactured by Micron and are, indeed, 96-layer TLC chips as we assumed.

Mounting both heatsinks is an extremely simple task: to mount the aluminum one, we simply have to slide (not from above, you have to slide it from the sides) the SSD in the lower part, but the thermal pad, and then insert the upper part of the heatsink (now yes, from above so that it stays fixed with the clips). Mounting the graphene heatsink is even simpler since we will only have to remove the plastic sheet that covers the adhesive from its lower area and literally stick it to the SSD.

Using the NVMe 1.4 interface makes the T-FORCE Cardea A440 equipped with several advanced features, namely optimization of the NVM distribution mechanism and Predictable Latency Mode (PLM), both of which can reduce the latency that occurs effectively and can minimize damage to read and write operations. In general, these features are able to provide users with a better Quality of Service. Not to forget, this SSD is also equipped with the latest Read Recovery Level technology which can increase the life of the SSD.

Performance Test

Then does the T-FORCE Cardea A440 function as promised by TEAMGROUP? To find out, the author has tested it by running the Crystal Disk Mark application. For the record, the product that the author tested was the Cardea A440 1 TB variant. There will likely be a performance difference between the 1 TB and 2 TB variants, where usually an SSD with a larger space capacity will have faster read and write performance as well. After unpacking, the installation test began. The platform uses 5900X+B550+ZADAK 3600 8GX4, the first M.2 slot, and the PCIE4.0 X4 channel directly connected to the CPU.

Benchmark Test in PC

After getting on the computer, you can directly see the basic information of the T-FORCE Cardea A440 through Crystal Disk Info (not formatted at this time). As you can see in the figure below, the “transfer mode” indicates that this is a PCIe 4.0×4 solid-state drive that supports the NVMe 1.4 standard. In the case of no reading and writing, the temperature remains at 30 °, and after the benchmark test, the highest temperature is only about 65 °, which is very cool.

First, the test with an empty disk is carried out. In the CrystalDiskMark test, the sequential read speed of T-FORCE Cardea A440 1TB SSD reached an astonishing 7227MB/s, and the write speed was also 6902MB/s; 4K read and write speeds were 72MB/s and 272MB/s respectively.

In the 64GB test, the data barely changed. The sequential read and write speeds are 7203MB/s and 6763MB/s respectively, the 4K read speed is 72MB/s, and the 4K write speed is 269MB/s.

The T-FORCE Cardea A440 1TB SSD is the fastest consumer-grade SSD we’ve seen with sequential write speeds.

After changing the TxBENCH software test, The read and write speeds are 7105.78MB/s and 5576.14MB/s respectively, and the 4K read and write speeds are 64.68MB/s and 179.83MB/s respectively.

The first is the 1GB capacity test. In the test of AS SSD, the total score of T-FORCE Cardea A440 1TB SSD is as high as 10168, which is also the first product in this project to break through 10,000 points. The sequential read and write speeds are 5655MB/s and 6135MB/s, respectively, and the 4K read and write speeds are 87MB/s and 233MB/s.

In the 10GB capacity test, the sequential read and write speeds of the T-FORCE Cardea A440 1TB SSD were 5749MB/s and 5986MB/s, and the 4K read and write speeds were 65MB/s and 233MB/s, respectively.

On our wish, we manually changed the M.2 channel to Gen3 X4 in Bios, and then tested it with Crystal DiskMark. The left is the 1GB capacity test, and the right is the 64GB capacity test.

In the 1GB test, the sequential read can reach the official nominal 3.7GB/s, the write speed is also 2.2GB/s, and the 4K random read and write are 80MB/s and 328MB/s respectively.

In the 64GB test, the 4K random score dropped slightly, but the random speed can be guaranteed to reach 61MB/s read and 273MB/s write.

In the lightweight 1GB test and the high-voltage 64GB test, the results of sequential read and write are relatively stable, and the difference is not too large. It can be seen that the Gen4 channel is still useful.

Through the HD Tune Pro software for 100G mixed data writing, you can see that the curve is very good-looking, the fluctuation is small, the writing is basically stable between 4600-5000MB/s, and the sequential reading is between 6000-6200MB/s. At same time, it is not difficult to see that this is a hard disk that simulates SLC in its entirety.

From the results of ATTO Disk Benchmarks, T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD can also achieve a speed of over 44MB/s for reading and writing small files of 0.5KB. At 32K, the write speed reached 2.6GB/s and the read speed was 2.89GB/s. Starting from 512KB, the write speed is stable at around 6.25GB/s, and the read speed can reach 6.8GB/s.

After the last operation, we intercepted the case with the highest temperature, which was only 65 degrees. For the high-speed read and write PCIE4.0 solid-state, this temperature control performance can be said to be very good. The heat dissipation improvement brought by the process is very obvious.

Benchmark Test in PS5

At the end of July 2021, Sony has released beta firmware 2.0 for the PS5. Around eight months after the PlayStation 5 release, the update allowed the first users to expand the internal memory for PS5 games without any loss of performance. The test has just finished and since September 15, 2021, average consumers can decide which SSD to buy to get more internal storage space for PS5 games without slowing down the Sony console. After Sony’s PS5 console allows players to expand their own M.2 SSD, many manufacturers have also launched corresponding products to provide consumers with more choices.

After the PC Benchmark test, We install the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD in PS5. Before disassembling, confirm that the system is the major version number 21.02. Now the latest version is 21.02-04.50.00. After confirming, you can shut down and start disassembling.

The way of fixing the PS5 is very friendly to disassembly. You only need to lay it flat, with the right panel facing up (the optical drive is facing up), and you can open the side panel by pushing it toward the bottom.

When you open the panel, you can see the slot for installing a T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD, which is covered with a metal cover, and you can easily install the solid-state by removing the cover.

In the slot for installing solid-state, different sizes of fixing screw positions are designed. PS5 supports 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110 solid-state.  T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD is 2280 specification, so the metal gasket of the fixing screw Moves to the 80 hole position.

As for the installation and fixing method, it is the same as the PC installation. After fixing the screws, you can re-install the metal cover, and the solid-state can be easily replaced. PS5 has relatively loose specifications for installing solid-state. Almost all solid-states with a standard width of 22mm are perfectly compatible. The only thing to note is that the height cannot exceed 11.25mm. If the heat dissipation vest is too thick, there may be problems.

It should be said that the process of installing the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD on PS5 is still very smooth, and there is no resistance. Next, open PS5 and feel whether the game experience is affected or better.

Benchmark Test in PS5

After installing the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD, it will prompt “format the hard disk” for the first time. If there is this prompt, the installation is successful. Follow the prompt to format the hard disk and proceed to the next step.

Wait for a while, when the PS5 is successfully formatted, it will automatically measure the speed. The reading speed measured by the PS5 is 4589MB/s, which is slower than the test results we performed on the PC, but far surpasses the Sony official support for installing solid-state read speed requirements.

You can enter the system when everything is ready. In the PS5 system, the total size of the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD is 1.01TB, which is a very safe capacity.

Since the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD has been installed, it is time to transfer games data. After all, it is two-way PCIe 4.0, and games of 50 GB can be transferred soon. Firstly, I moved the two games, one is “ASTRO’s PLAYROOM” that has not been cleared, and the other is “GOD OF WAR” that I play every day. Although one game is the PS4 version, you can still feel the difference in performance through scene transitions and loading speeds.

Through a simple experience, it can be clearly stated that the experience of installing T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD is undoubtedly the same as that of the original solid-state drive, whether it is quick wake-up or game loading and other scenarios. After all, these two games have been played for nearly many hours together, and I can’t escape my eyes with any trouble, and I am very satisfied with the experience.

Conclusion

Through the various tests above, we can see that the performance of the T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD is completely top-notch. In most cases, it can run faster than the nominal 7000MB/s and 5500MB/s Faster read and write speed, and 4K random read is also very eye-catching. At the same time, thanks to the blessing of the patented aluminum fin-type heat dissipation vest and the optimization of the scheme, the hard drive of Hei Yao Goddess maintains ultra-high performance, and the temperature performance is also very cold. The name of the goddess is well-deserved.

The above experience of replacing the SSD for PS5 this time. After the upgrade, you can enjoy a large-capacity and extreme performance gaming experience. The maximum capacity is 2TB, which is very suitable for gamers who need performance and capacity, as well as heat sinks. The version can also start, want to upgrade the solid-state drive? T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD Gen4 PCIe SSD is worth having! This T-FORCE Cardea A440 SSD may give you one more choice. In conclusion, the process of adding an SSD to the PS5 this time was very smooth. It was completed in one go and did not encounter any problems. As long as you don’t “make a miracle” when opening the cover, there will be no difficulty.

Visit on Official TeamGroup’s Website

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