Benchmarking the CARDEA ZERO Z440 SSD
Benchmarking SSDs is not an exact science as there is variability between runs, and different benchmarks may show different results depending on how they run their tests and how up-to-date the benchmarks are. However, by using enough real world and synthetic tests, it may be possible to get a good idea of the relative performance across all eight tested drives. For benchmark results, the drives are listed in the following order on the charts:
- T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 SSD
- T-FORCE CARDEA A440 Pro Special Series 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 SSD
- T-FORCE CARDEA A440 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 SSD
- T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 1TB PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 NVMe SSD
- T-FORCE CARDEA IOPS 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSD
- TeamGroup MP33 1TB NVMe Gen 3 x4 PCIe SSD
- T-FORCE M200 4TB Portable Gen 2 x2 USB 3.2 Type C SSD
- T-FORCE Delta MAX SATA III 1TB SSD
We did not set up Windows on the Delta MAX SSD, so not all of the benchmarks could be run on it. All of the drives will have their results summarized by multiple charts although we will only show the details for the PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 SSDs. Let’s start first with 3DMark’s storage benchmark.
3DMark Storage Benchmark
3DMark’s Professional version by UL includes a Storage Benchmark (optional in the Advanced version) which also measures the time it takes to load several popular games. We are only to show the Gen 4 x4 SSD detailed results but will summarize all of them.
First, the ZERO 440 results with 2606.Next, the A440 Pro Special Series results with 3229. Now, the CARDEA A440 results with 3844. Finally, the CARDEA Ceramic C440 scores 3009. Here’s the summary chart of all eight of our tested drives.
The ZERO Z440 is the slowest of the PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x5 SSDs. The CARDEA A440 is a standout as the fastest SSD using this benchmark, followed by the A440 Pro Special Series, the C440, the Z440, the IOPS, the MP33, the portable Type C SSD, and the SATA III DELTA MAX.
Next up, another important UL benchmark suite, PCMark 10 including the full benching suites – Express, Extended, and the Full System Drive Benchmark.
PCMark 10 Professional
UL (formerly Futuremark) has been a developer and publisher of PC benchmark applications for nearly two decades. Although PCMark benches are synthetic suites, they provide a good measure of system performance. PCMark 10 was primarily developed for Windows 10 and it builds upon the PCMark 8 suite for a package of vendor-neutral home and office benchmarks.
The regular version of PCMark 10 misses several key elements such as detailed storage testing, but the Professional version, which we use courtesy of UL, includes a storage benchmark and a full system drive benchmark. In addition, We use both PCMark 10’s Express and Extended suite. First up is the Full System Drive Benchmark.
Full System Drive Benchmark
The CARDEA ZERO Z440 scores 2162.
Here’s the summary chart of all of our tested drives. The CARDEA ZERO Z440 is the slowest of the PCIe 4.0 drives but well ahead of the PCIe 3.0 drives. On to PCMark 10.
PCMark 10 Express
First the CARDEA ZERO Z440 scores 7324.
Now the ZERO Z440 online validated score which gives more detailed results.
Next, the A440 Pro Special Series results with 7468. Below is the CARDEA A440 Express score with 7480. Finally, the CARDEA Ceramic C440 Express score is 7188. The summary chart is presented after the Extended scores.
PCMark 10 Extended
First up, the CARDEA ZERO Z440 Extended score is 13154.
Next, the ZERO Z440 online results.
The CARDEA A440 Pro Special Series Extended scores 13257. Next, the CARDEA A440 Extended score is 13452. The CARDEA Ceramic C440 Extended score is 13384. Here’s the summary chart.
The Delta MAX SATA III SSD could not be tested since Windows is not set up on it. In the Express suite, the A440’s score generally the fastest while the CARDEA ZERO Z440 scores above the CARDEA C440 but is behind the PCIe 3.0 Gen 3 x4 SSDs in the more demanding Extended suite.
Let’s check out the older PCMark 8 benchmark suite which also uses dedicated storage tests.
To see exactly where drive performance results differ, there is no better tool than SiSoft’s Sandra 2020. Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a complete information & diagnostic utility in one package. It is able to provide all of the information about your hardware, software, and other devices for diagnosis and for benchmarking.
AIDA64 is the successor to Everest and it is an important industry tool for benchmarkers. AIDA64’s benchmark code is written in Assembly language, and they are well-optimized for AMD, Intel and VIA processors by utilizing the appropriate instruction set extensions. We use the Engineer’s version of AIDA64 courtesy of FinalWire. AIDA64 is free to to try and use for 30 days.
- The Linear Read test measure sequential performance by reading or writing all sectors without skipping any. It’s a linear view of the drives overall performance from its beginning to end.
- The Random Read test measures the random performance by reading variable-sized data blocks at random locations on the drive and they are combination of both speed and access times as its position changes before each new operation.
- The Buffered Read test measures the drive caching.
- The Access time tests are designed to measure the data access performance by reading 0.5 KB data blocks at random drive locations
SPECworkstation3 (3.0.4) Storage Benchmarks
All the SPECworkstation3 benchmarks are based on professional applications, most of which are in the CAD/CAM or media and entertainment fields. All of these benchmarks are free except to vendors of computer-related products and/or services. The most comprehensive workstation benchmark is SPECworkstation3. It’s a free-standing benchmark which does not require ancillary software. It measures GPU, CPU, storage and all other major aspects of workstation performance based on actual applications and representative workloads.
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a tool designed to benchmark and evaluate the Read and Write performance of SSDs and HDDs. It gives overall bandwidth as well separate Read and Write scores, the response times, and IOPS capabilities.
CrystalDiskMark is a HDD benchmark utility for your drives that measure sequential and random read/write speeds. Here are some key features of “CrystalDiskMark”:
- Measure sequential reads/writes speed
- Measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed
- Results given in IOPS or MB/s
First up is the CARDEA ZERO Z440 and notice that it doesn’t quite meet its Read speed advertised specifications of 5,000MBps/4,400MBps. It appears that SSD manufacturers use an empty second drive for their testing whereas BTR does real world testing on primary drives that are in use with Windows 11 installed.
TxBENCH is similar to CrystalDiskMark but with additional features including secure erase. According to the website, “It not only measures the performance of storage easily but also performs detailed speed measurements based on specified access patterns and long-period speed measurements. It also allows you to see each drive’s supported features, enabled features, and S.M.A.R.T. information.”
First, the CARDEA ZERO Z440.
Next up, the A440 Pro Special Series SSD. The A440 results are below.
Finally, the CARDEA Ceramic C440 results.
This free standalone synthetic test is old and it doesn’t represent real world performance but it does test some important drive metrics. There is also a pay-for HD Tune Pro which is up-to-date and offers more functionality. We tried the Pro trial recently just to make sure the free version is still relevant. HD Tune has the following functions, and it measures the performance of:
- Transfer Rate
- Access Time
- CPU Usage
- Burst Rate
- Random Access test
- Write benchmark
Hard Disk information includes partition information, supported features, firmware version, serial number, disk capacity, buffer size, transfer mode.
- Hard Disk Health
- S.M.A.R.T. Information (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)
- Power On Time
- Error scan
- Temperature display
Next, we benchmark using AS SSD.
AS SSD is designed for Solid State Drives (SSD). This tool contains synthetic and practice tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD without using operating system caches. In Seq-test the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1GB file.
In the 4K test, read and write performance for random 4K blocks are determined. The 4K-64-thrd test are similar to the 4K procedure except that the read and write operations on 64 threads are distributed as in the usual start of a program. For the copy test, two large ISO file folders are created, programs with many small files, and a games folder with small and large files. These three folders are copied by the OS copy command with the cache turned on. AS SSD gives an overall score after it runs the benchmarks.
First up is the CARDEA ZERO Z440 with the results in MB/s next to IOPS, and below them, the copy speeds.
Next up are the T-FORCE CARDEA A440 AS SSD results. Finally, the T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440AS SSD results.
Although the CARDEA ZERO Z440 has the fastest game copy time, both of the CARDEA A440 SSDs are first in Read/Write with the CARDEA ZERO Z440 ahead of the CARDEA C440, followed by the IOPS, the MP33, the portable, and finally the Delta MAX.
HD Tach is up next.
HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices that was developed by Simpli Software. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and low level Windows interfaces to determine the physical performance of the device. It is no longer supported and needs to be run in compatibility mode for Windows 10.
We present the benchmarks first with the Quick benchmark (8MB zones) on the left and the Long benchmark (32MB zones) on the Right.
The CARDEA ZERO Z440 gives an average read of 2332.5MB/s for the Quick bench and 2174.1MB/s for the Long bench.
Below are the HD Tach Disk benches summarized in a chart comparing our eight drives. For read speeds, higher is better but for access times, lower is better.
The CARDEA A440 Pro again generally scores the fastest in HD Tach ahead of the A440, although the CARDEA ZERO Z440 is ahead of the CARDEA C440 which trades blows with the vanilla A440, followed by the IOPS, then by the MP33 SSD, the portable SSD, and the SATA III Delta MAX takes last place as usual.
Next we look at game/level loading speeds.
The Game/Level Loading Timed Results – FFXIV
Game and game level loading time results are difficult to measure precisely but generally SSDs perform similarly with regard to game loading times and they all load significantly faster than any HDD. Even SSHDs require loading the same level or program over-and-over to get quicker. We tested 5 levels and overall loading times accurately by using the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormbringer & Endwalker benchmarks.
The Shadowbringers Benchmark will not only give you accurate framerates averages, it precisely times how long it takes to load each of 5 different levels and the total loading time. We used maximum settings.
Let’s start with the Shadowbringer benchmark using the CARDEA ZERO Z440. Total Loading times are 9.5555 seconds. Here’s the Shadowbringer summary chart.
The CARDEA ZERO Z440 trades blows with the PCIe 3.0 IOPS and is slightly slower than the C440 which in turn are well behind the A440 SSDs.
We also use the newer Endwalker benchmark.
The Endwalker benchmark is just as detailed as Shadowbringers and is a very accurate test of loading game and level times.
We test using the Endwalker benchmark with the CARDEA ZERO Z440. Total Loading times are 9.376 seconds. Here is the Endwalker summary chart..
For all 4 games and from multiple levels tested, both CARDEA A440s stand out, followed generally by the CARDEA ZERO Z440 and C440, the IOPS, the MP33, the Delta MAX, and then the USB 3.2 Type C portable SSD.
We see a 2-3 second difference between our fastest SSD and our slowest SATA III SSD with an additional second required to load from an external drive. It may make an immersion difference for getting right back into the game. However, until developers start to target SSDs for PC game storage, only then we may see SSDs fully achieve the game loading performance they are capable of on Windows. In the meantime, PS5 gamers can take full advantage of either A440’s fast loading speeds. No matter what, faster is better when a gamer wants to get right back into a game.
Lets look at file copy speeds next.
File Copy 104GB
File copy speeds are important to gamers especially when they want to quickly transfer their game files from one location to another. We copy a 104GB folder containing Horizon 5 from its Steam folder to a desktop folder which is something we do regularly when setting up Steam games on multiple PCs. Pay careful attention to the charts (in green) that show the consistency and speed of file copies. They tend to show the ups and downs where each SSD runs out of cache and how long it takes to empty and refill it.
104GB File Copy
CARDEA ZERO Z440 took 1 minutes and 39.0 seconds. to copy 104GB.
The A440 Pro Speciall Series SSD took 1 minutes and 17.0 seconds. to copy 104GB. The A440 took 1 minutes and 44.0 seconds to copy 104GB. The Ceramic C440 took 1 minutes and 59 seconds for the same copy.
The CARDEA A440 Pro Special Series SSD excels at copying well ahead of the three other Gen 4 x4 SSDs with the CARDEA ZERO Z440 beating the vanilla A440 and the C440. The IOPS comes in fourth place well ahead of the MP200 portable and MP33 SSDs which are in turn faster than the Delta MAX SATA III SSD.
Yet no matter how you look at it, even a SATA III SSD is much faster than any HDD or SSHD for copying large files. Consider taking a nap if you are going to copy 104GB using a hard drive.
Finally, let’s revisit game/level loading times plus all of our Summary charts and then reach our conclusion.