If you’re a fan of SSDs, you won’t be surprised with the latest thought process that SSDs need to be cooled. As of late, there seems to be a common theme that some type of SSD cooling is better than no cooling at all and, with respect to that thought, I would agree entirely. Whether I might agree that SSDs, in general, require any type of additional cooling, I would simply point most at any ultrabook, and specifically the MBA, where we see these devices at under 4lbs doing just fine with SSDs and without any heat concerns.
It is a bit amusing actually as hard drives, when tasked with any aggressive duty whatsoever, were much hotter than SSDs are today. I can still remember having laptops that got plenty hot, such that one wouldn’t dare rest them on their lap. Having said that, there are those media professionals that want to ensure their storage doesn’t experience thermal throttling at the moment that they least expect it. And for that, we introduce the Team Group T-Force Cardea M.2 NVMe SSD.
SPECIFICATIONS, PRICING, AND AVAILABILITY
The Team Group T-Force Cardea is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD that meets NVMe 1.2 specification compliance. It comes in an M.2 2280 form factor and is available in capacities of 240GB and 480GB. The 240GB model’s sequential performance is rated at up to 2.6GB/s read and 1.4GB/s write while the 480GB model is rated at up to 2.65GB/s read and 1.45GB/s write. Random IOPS performance is rated at up to 180K/140K read and write for the 240GB model and at up to 180K/150K read/write for the 480GB model. Each drive’s endurance is rated for up to 335TB/670TB respectively and the T-Force Cardea has an MTTF rating fo two million hours. The warranty is in effect for 3-years and they also offer free technical support service.
The T-Force Cardea supports TRIM and features SMART support and thermal throttling but, unlike most SSD vendors nowadays, Team Group does not offer a software tool for the T-Force Cardea.
PACKAGING AND COMPONENTS
The Team Group T-Force Cardea’s packaging is very stylish with a black and red theme to match the product. On the front and back, all the important selling points and information are listed: capacity, form factor, interface, and features.
Out of the package, the Team Group M.2 SSD is of a very attractive design with the aluminum heatsink displaying the company branding logo on a very attractive red casing. You will notice that the heatsink is of a patented fin design and we can attest to the fact that the module is affixed to the SSD with a thermal conductive paste. Heat is transferred from the SSD to the module fins where passive cooling will dissipate the heat.
Taking a closer look at the SSD itself, we can see that it contains a Phison PS5007 PCIe Gen 3 four-lane NVMe controller, along with four Toshiba 15nm MLC NAND flash memory chips, each being 64GB in RAW capacity for this 240GB SSD. Also situated on the front beside the SSD controller is a Nanya 1GB DRAM buffer.
I use thermal pads from SIlverstone and I also stream constantly from Samsung 950s and since using these have had no throttling issues.
My apps use buffers in RAM that seek targets on the M.2/SSD.
Every time I hit a note on my 88 Note Synth Controller the storage device starts streaming.
So they get a huge workout.
I was throttling down to PCI-e 2X speeds of 785MBps and since using the thermal pads and a Dynatron side firing Fan my speeds are stable and fast.
Back up to 235,000 iops and 2000+ MBps.
Like the Cardea though. Tried to get them at Newegg a while back but got tired of waiting.
Nice review Les, thanks.