Gen 4 SSDs have become common place as of late and manufacturers have elected to rely on the Phison E18 PCIe 4.0 NVMe controller, and for good reason. It is a top tier controller with performance that provides 7GB/s throughput and over 1 million IOPS and, most recently, we even identified an SSD with this controller as being a ‘game changer’.
The reason for this is that, at least in the most recent E18 SSD releases, we are seeing much faster game load times (under 8s) in our test software, Final Fantasy XIV EndWalker Game Load Time Benchmark. Let’s include our test subject, the Team-Force Cardea A440 Pro Gen4 SSD in that last comment.
The reasoning for the ‘Pro’ designation on the Cardea A440 is that it is built to be a top tier gaming SSD with as much as a 48% cooler operating temperature than other Gen 4 SSDs, and TeamGroup believes that they have accomplished that with the included black aluminum heatsink. Packaging is such that the user has the choice between using this cooler or another of their choice, but let’s be very clear, the E18 is still a hot SSD controller and for this performance you will need a cooler present.
The TeamGroup Cardea is available as we have on the Test Bench today in the Pro Aluminum, as well as in the A440 PSS with a Graphene cooler. It is available in capacities of 1, 2 and and 4TB and is a PCIe 4.0 x4 (4-lane) M.2 2280 form factor (80mm) SSD that uses the latest NVMe 1.4 protocol.
It contains the Phison PS5018-E18 PCIe 4.0 8-channel NVMe controller along with 8 pieces of the best Micron B47R 176-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, this memory gaining a reputation as being amongst the best in the business. There are also two 2GB SKHynix DDR4 DRAM buffer chips.
Performance is listed at 7400MB/s read and 7000MB/s write with up to 1 million IOPS. 1400TBW for the 2TB capacity we are testing today and this SSD has a 5-year limited warranty. Checking Amazon, we are seeing prices of $179 (1TB) and $369 (2TB) for both the aluminum and graphene heatsink variations.
TEAMGROUP SSD SMARTTOOL
Available totally FREE OF CHARGE from TeamGroup is their SSD SmartTool which provides valuable information on ones SSD, tests performance as well as other tools such as firmware upgrades.