Summary Charts & Conclusion

Summary Charts and Conclusion

Here are all of the gaming and summary charts again for easy reference followed by our conclusion.

The Game/Level Loading Time Results

Game and game level loading time results are difficult to measure precisely (such as by using a stopwatch) but our tests are far more consistent. Here are the World of Warcraft and Battlefield 3 loading times again as measured precisely by PCMark 8’s storage test and accurately by Final Fantasy XIV: Stormbringer/Endwalker’s benchmarks. Lower (quicker/faster) loading times (measured in seconds) are better.

PCMark’s Storage Benchmark also provides precise SSD bandwidth, loading times, game record, install, and save time comparisons.

All eight SSDs load games quickly but the Generation 4 x4 PCIe SSDs are generally faster than Generation 3 x4 and stand out from SATA III and external SSDs. When PC game developers start to target SSDs for game storage, only then may we see SSDs achieve the super-fast game loading performance they are capable of.  Until then, PlayStation 5 gamers may take full advantage of the CARDEA ZERO Z440 and other PCIe 4.0 fast SSD loading speeds.

Non-Gaming Summary Charts

Here are all of the summary charts presented again in one place.

A gamer who wishes to have the very fastest PC will choose an internal PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 NVMe SSD, and both CARDEA Ceramic A440 SSDs stand out as the fastest drives, and noticeably faster than the CARDEA C440 and CARDEA ZERO Z440 SSDs.  The CARDEA IOPS slots into fifth place well ahead of the TeamGroup MP33 or M200 Portable SSDs, and finally the Delta MAX SATA III SSD is almost always in last place.

For gaming and for regular tasks on current Intel platforms, any SSD will provide decent game and level loading performance well above that of mechanical hard drives or even hybrid (SSHD)drives, but a PCIe 4.0 NVMe Gen 4 x4 will provide the highest performance. Let’s head for our conclusion.

The Conclusion & Verdict

We would suggest that 1TB has become the minimum storage capacity for a gamer that includes the operating system since PC games have grown very large although 512GB may be acceptable. It is not absolutely mandatory to have a SSD if you only use your PC for gaming and have a ton of patience.  Games usually do not perform significantly better on SSDs since most PC developers still target HDDs for game performance optimization.  However, games generally take significantly longer to load from a HDD or SSHD than they do from any internal SATA III drive or even from an external USB 3.0 SSD.

If a gamer wants to get right back into the game, any SSD will improve immersion and decrease frustration compared with using a HDD or SSHD. Windows 10/11 have become positively painful to use when installed on a mechanical or even on a hybrid solid state/hard disk drive. Indexing, Search, or Anti-malware Windows programs may saturate the bandwidth of a mechanical drive, and even downloading or updating Steam games will slow your PC to an irritating crawl. This will not happen using a SSD.  And for maximum performance with the least frustration, using a PCIe NVMe SSD is the only way to fly.  

Let’s recap pricing. The T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 SSD is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, priced at Amazon at $227.99 for the 2TB version (and at $119.99 for the 1TB version).  The T-FORCE CARDEA A440 Pro Special Series SSD is priced at Newegg at $287.99 for the 2TB version.  The T-FORCE CARDEA A440 (vanilla) SSD is at Amazon for $299.99 for 2TB, but it comes with two heatsinks, and the 2TB CARDEA Ceramic C440 is priced at $229.99

We believe that spending the extra money is worth it for a fast 2TB NVMe CARDEA ZERO Z440 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD over Gen 3 x4 as long as your motherboard supports PCIe 4.0.  If not, the CARDEA IOPs is an excellent choice.  The CARDEA ZERO Z440 is priced $60 less than the fastest tested 2TB SSD and is priced $2 less than the CARDEA Ceramic C440 which is in the same 5,000MBps/4,400MBps class but comes with a better heatsink.  If you have an integrated NVMe motherboard heatsink, the CARDEA ZERO Z440 is a great choice.

Of course, gamers on a budget should also look for sales.  Because of today’s close pricing and competition, choosing an SSD is easier than ever.  Based on performance and price, we recommend the T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 SSD as a competitively-priced fast SSD. A five year warranty backed by TeamGroup insures that a player will enjoy fast performance for years to come.

Pros 

    • 5-year warranty backed by TeamGroup support
  • Fast game/level loading speeds and very fast large file copy speeds
  • Fast Write and Read speeds
  • The CARDEA ZERO Z440 is priced competitively $60 less than the fastest A440 SSDs, and not too much higher than slower Gen 4 x3 SSDs
  • Thin foil copper-graphene heatsink fits under integrated motherboard NVMe heatsinks

Cons

  • The included graphene heatsink is inadequate to prevent throttling under heavy load.  Use an aftermarket or integrated MB heatsink
  • No proprietary disk monitoring utilities. It is necessary to use third-party tools to monitor health and usage

This has been an enjoyable exploration comparing seven other SSDs with the T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 SSD. It is a great way to store, launch, and play games as it competes with other premium NVMe PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 SSDs regarding price and performance.
 
We purchased its near-equivalent 2TB CARDEA Ceramic C440 SSDs for BTR’s flagship PC (one for NVIDIA and one for AMD), and now use the CARDEA ZERO Z440 as an additional drive for loading the games we are currently playing.  We highly recommend the T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 as solid NVMe PCIe 4.0 Gen 4 x4 choice at a reasonable price backed by TeamGroup’s 5-year warranty!

 

Next up, a VR review of the RX 6650 XT and RX 6700 XT versus the RTX 3060 Ti.  It will be followed up by a budget mini-PC (book sized) ECS LIVA A300 review.

Happy Gaming!

 

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