Intro

The T-FORCE CARDEA IOPS Gen 3 x4 PCIe NVMe 1TB SSD Review

The T-FORCE CARDEA IOPS Gen 3 x4 PCIe SSD (Solid State Drive) is a fast drive with Read/Write specs of 3400MB/s Read / 3000MB/s Write for its 1TB capacity.  Although its specifications indicate that it is faster than most Gen 3 x4 PCIe NVMe 1.3 SSDs, and significantly faster than any SATA III-based SSD, we want to see if this accelerated speed will make a practical difference for gamers.

Our review sample came directly from TeamGroup, and we will focus on the CARDEA IOP’s performance by comparing it with four other SSDs.  Unlike with the CARDEA Ceramic that has speeds of 5000MB/s / 4400MB/s that we are still unsure why TeamGroup sent it to us because the fastest Intel platform Z490 is a PCIe Gen 3 motherboard that only supports speeds of 3400MB/s Read / 3000MB/s Write while the IOPS top speeds max out Intel’s 10th Generation platform.

We have six SSDs (Solid State Drives) in BTR’s flagship i9-10900K PC with more than 6TB of total storage for games, and yet we always need more capacity.  Using a mechanical 7200 rpm 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 uses two 1TB TeamGroup MP33 NVMe PCIe SSDs – one for AMD and one for NVIDIA.  Primary storage for our 50-plus PC games and 25-plus VR games are provided by two 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 1TB TeamGroup SATA III GX2 for additional storage.  The very fastest SATA III SSDs generally max out around or below 560/500MB/s while the PCIe NVMe drives are much faster.  

We have already benchmarked HDDs and SSHDs previously, and they are painfully slow in comparison to any SSD.  So this time, besides benchmarking the CAEDEA IOPS SSD, we are going to focus on our other four fastest PCIe NVMe drives – the 1TB CARDEA Ceramic C440, the CARDEA Liquid 512GB SSD, and the 1TB MP33 SSD – as well as our fastest SATA SSD, the T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB drive.

The T-FORCE Vulcan 500GB SATA III SSD can be found for $58.99 and the 1TB version is $101.99; the Liquid CARDEA NVMe2 512GB drive is $82.99, but the 1TB version is $139.99; and the PCIe Team Group MP33 1TBB SSD is $94.99.  The CARDEA Ceramic C440 1TB is currently $166.49 at Amazon which is premium priced as a 5000MB/s / 4400MB/s drive.  However, the 1TB CARDEA IOPS drive is priced at $139.99.

BTR’s test setup uses Windows 10 64-bit featuring an Intel Core i9-10900K overclocked to 5.1/5.0GHz for all cores as set in the EVGA Z490 FTW motherboard’s BIOS, and 16 GB of T-FORCE XTREEM DDR4 at 3866MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the four drives being tested, and the graphics are powered by Intel’s integrated CPU graphics.  We tested the CARDEA IOPS using no PCIe drives attached, but the bandwidth the Z490 motherboard provides is the same whether we have no other drives connected or if we use our video card, a PCI soundcard, and 5 other SSDs.

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 IOPS which has been “dirtied” using IOmeter as well as cloned from the CARDEA Ceramic SSD, 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 IOPS SSD taken directly from TeamGroup’s website.

FEATURES

  • Winning every crucial game without lagging
  • Enjoy two cooling patents at once
  • Ultimate performance
  • Smart algorithm enhances stability and durability
  • Taiwan Utility Patent (number: M541645)
  • Taiwan Invention Patent (number: I703921)
  • China Utility Patent (number: CN 211019739 U)
  • 5 year limited warranty

Specifications

The specifications are also found on the TeamGroup website.

Source: TeamGroup

The key highlights are that the CARDEA IOPS Gen 3 x4 PCIe NVMe 1.3 SSD is fast, durable, uses little power, uses dual cooling technology with a choice of using a thin graphene heatsink with 9% better cooling than a bare drive, or a finned aluminum heatsink with 15% better cooling – and it is backed by TeamGroup’s 5-year warranty.  Above all else, it is a very good looking SSD that would look great in any build or fit perfectly behind a video card by using the graphene heatsink.

Source: TeamGroup

Next we unbox the T-FORCE CARDEA IOPS SSD and take a closer look at it.