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 precise. 

Even SSHDs require loading the same level or program over-and-over to get quicker. 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’s benchmark. Lower (quicker/faster) loading times (measured in seconds) are better.

 All five SSDs load games quickly and there is very little difference between them although the T-FORCE CARDEA Liquid C440 is undisputedly the fastest followed closely by the T-FORCE CARDEA IOPS and Liquid SSDs, then the TeamGroup MP33 SSD, and finally by the T-FORCE Vulcan and the DELTA MAX and EX2 Elite SATA III SSDs. Until developers start to target SSDs for game storage, only then may we see SSDs achieve the game loading performance they are really capable of reaching.

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 NVMe SSD, and the CARDEA Ceramic C440 SSD is the fastest drive even when its bandwidth is curtailed by the PCIe bandwidth limitations of tenth generation Intel enthusiast motherboards.  Generally the CARDEA IOPS slots into second place just ahead of the CARDEA Liquid SSD.  Next fastest is the TeamGroup NVMe MP33 SSD, and finally the T-FORCE Vulcan, EX2 Elite, and DELTA MAX SATA III SSDs are grouped closely together.

For gaming and for regular tasks on current Intel platforms, any SSD will provide similar game and level loading performance well above that of mechanical hard drives or even hybrid drives. Let’s head for our conclusion.

The Conclusion & Verdict

We would suggest that 500GB is the minimum storage capacity for a gamer that includes the operating system, and 1TB is much better to have for a primary drive. It is not mandatory to have a SSD if you only use your PC for gaming and have a lot of patience.  Games do not perform significantly better on SSDs since most developers still target HDDs for game performance optimization.  However, games may 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 is becoming more and more 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 often saturate the bandwidth of a mechanical drive, and even downloading or updating Steam games may slow your PC to an irritating crawl. This will not happen using a SATA III SSD.  So let’s recap pricing.

The TeamGroup Elite EX2 is currently $51.99 at Amazon and priced at $86.99 for the 1TB capacity.  The 1TB DELTA MAX WHITE is currently $120.99 at Amazon or $72.99 for the 512GB version but they offer RGB lighting.   The 512GB T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SATA III SSD can be found for $49.99 and the 1TB version is $99.99; the Liquid CARDEA NVMe2 512GB drive is $76.99 at Amazon and the 1TB version is $139.49 at Newegg; and the PCIe Team Group MP33 1TBB SSD is $86.99. or $53.99 for the 512GB version. The CARDEA Ceramic C440 1TB is a Gen 4 x4 drive currently priced $119.99 at Amazon as a 5000MBps/ 4400MBps drive; there is no 512GB version. 

It’s clear that the EX2 is a decent choice for a gamer who has been holding out and still using a hard drive, but TeamGroup offers multiple other SATA III options with good prices.  Look for a sale.  Because of today’s close pricing and competition, choosing a SATA III SSD makes little sense over a PCIe-based SSD as a primary drive, but they offer excellent storage capabilities.  Based on performance and price, we will recommend a 1TB EX2 Elite SATA SSD for storage especially if it is on sale, but not a 512GB drives because it is just too small to hold many games plus the operating system.  We recommend that if a PCIe-based SSD is an option, pick it over SATA.

Pros 

  • 3-year warranty backed by TeamGroup support
  • Fast game/level loading speeds and reasonable file copy speeds

Cons

  • Price.  Buy it on sale
  • The Elite EX2 doesn’t meet its specifications for Read/Write

The Verdict

This has been quite an enjoyable exploration comparing our other SSDs with the TeamGroup EX2 Elite SATA III SSD. The EX2 is a great way to store, launch, and play games as it competes with other SATA III SSDs regarding price price and performance.  We can never return to using hard disk drives for gaming and would recommend using a HDD or SSHD only for back-up storage. SSD prices change daily so we suggest checking for sales to get the best bang for buck.  We recommend the TeamGroup EX2 Elite SSD as a solid choice for a storage drive with a 3-year warranty backed by TeamGroup.
 

Stay tuned as Rodrigo is currently working on his Win 10 versus Win 11 performance analysis.

Happy Gaming!

 

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