Intro

The CARDEA ZERO Z340 Gen 3×4 PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB SSD Review

The T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z340 M.2 Gen 3×4 PCIe SSD (Solid State Drive) is a fast drive with Read/Write specs of 3400/2000MB/s for the 512GB capacity.  Although its specifications indicate that it is significantly faster than any SATA III-based SSD, we want to see if this speed increase will make a practical difference for gamers. 

Our review sample came directly from Team Group and we will focus on the ZERO Z340’s performance by comparing it with nine other drives. We have six SSDs (Solid State Drives) in BTR’s flagship PC with more than 3TB of total storage for games, and yet we always need more capacity.  Using a HDD or a Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD) is out of the question because of how slowly they load games and levels compared to SSDs.

BTR previously used two identical 480GB Team Group L5 LTE SATA III SSDs as boot drives – one for AMD and one for NVIDIA – which have been recently upgraded to two 1TB Team Group MP33 NVMe2 PCIe SSDs.  Primary storage for our 50 PC games and 25 VR games are provided by enterprise SATA III SSDs: a 1.92TB SanDisk SSD and a 2TB Micron 1100 SSD. 

In addition, we also use a T-FORCE Vulcan SATA III 500GB SSD and a 512GB SATA III DELTA MAX for additional storage, plus two 2TB Seagate FireCuda SSHDs which are relegated to backup duty.  We also use two portable USB 3.2 Gen2 SSDs for fast file transfers and to move games between our two desktop and two notebook PCs.

The fastest four SSDs in BTR’s collection are M.2 PCIe SSDs: the CARDEA ZERO 340 (with Read/Write speeds of 3400/2000MB/s), a T-FORCE CARDEA Liquid 512GB SSD (also with 3400/2000MB/s), the MP33 SSDs (1700/1400MB/s), and a 480GB Kingston A-1000 SSD (1500/900MB/s).  The SATA III SSDs generally max out around or below 560/500MB/s. The T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SATA III SSD can be found on sale for $49.99; the DELTA MAX 500GB SATA III SSD is $89.99; the Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe SSD is overpriced at $106 but it has been replaced by the A2000; while the Liquid CARDEA NVMe2 512GB drive is $110; the Team Group MP33 512GB SSDs are $68.99; the 480GB Team Group L5 SSD is $59.98; and a 2 TB FireCuda SSHD sells for $129 which is a 7200 rpm Seagate HDD coupled with 8 GB of flash drive. 

Compare these prices to the CARDEA ZERO 340 512GB drive which is a $94.99 drive currently at $79.99 on sale at Newegg.  Team Group has a special promotion for July and a contest giveaway that anyone can enter – click on the banner or here for the link.  Scroll to the bottom for the contest giveaway rules.

BTR’s test setup uses Windows 10 64-bit featuring an Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 4.8GHz for all cores as set in the ASRock Z390 Extreme 4 motherboard’s BIOS, and 16 GB of T-FORCE XTREEM DDR4 at 3866MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the ten drives being tested, and the graphics are powered by a RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition (FE).

We benchmark with all of our drives at less than 80% capacity, and in addition, all of the drives have been in use for months except for the CARDEA ZERO Z340 SSD which has been “dirtied” using IOmeter, so our benchmarking tends to give more real world performance results over using brand new drives. Here are the features and specifications of the T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z340 SSD taken directly from Team Group’s website.

FEATURES

  • High speed read/write performance
  • Ultra-thin and lightweight structure
  • Patented graphene cooling technology
  • All-around smart management technology
  • Taiwan Utility PATENT (number: M591304)
  • 5-year limited warranty

Specifications

The specifications are also found on the Team Group website.   The key highlights are that the CARDEA ZERO Z340 M.2 PCIe SSD is fast, durable, uses little power, uses graphene cooling technology, and is backed by Team Group’s 5-year warranty.

Next we unbox the CARDEA ZERO Z340 M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD and take a much closer look at it without its heatsink.