ASUS Philippines

In for review is the T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF PCIe 4.0 SSD. This is a NVMe SSD from TEAMGROUP, featuring the ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance colorway.

The T-Force CARDEA Z440 comes in 1 TB of capacity with a 5000 MB/s read and 4400 MB/s write speeds. This SSD also features the venerable Phison E16, which is one of the very first high performance PCIe Gen 4 controllers. According to TEAMGROUP, this SSD is priced at the same  level as the regular Cardea Zero Z440. That puts it somewhere around ~$150 USD at Amazon or around ~₱9,000 PHP locally – shipping, duties and taxes considered.

Disclosure: TEAMGROUP sent the CARDEA Z440 TUF for the purpose of this review. As usual, the company did not ask me to say anything particular about it.

Technical Specifications

Storage
Capacity 1 TB
Cache
Flash Controller Phison PS5016-E16
Flash Memory 3D NAND
Form Factor M.2 2280
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4
Sequential Read 5000 MB/s
Sequential Write 4400 MB/s
Random 4 KB Read 750,000 IOPS
Random 4 KB Write 750,000 IOPS
Endurance
MTBF 1,700,000 Hours
TBW 1800
Dimensions
Length 80 mm
Width 23 mm
Height 19 mm
Weight 9.7 grams

Packaging and Accessories

The T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF sports a themed color box.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Images 1

The packaging comes with the following items inside:

  • TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF Gaming Alliance SSD
  • Aluminum heatsink

Everything included are just the essentials.

Design, Build and Connectivity

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 looks like your typical M.2 form factor NVMe SSD – without its heatsink. Notable feature here is the Phison PS5016-E16 controller which is a PCIe Gen 4×4 front end interface. We also have two of the four non-volatile memory here with a capacity of 250 GB each. Kingston is the supplier of the DRAM cache for this particular drive.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Images 3

The rear comes with a factory sticker. Underneath are the two remaining NVMe along with its cache.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Images 2

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF is one chunky unit with its heatsink attached. That said, make sure you have enough space for it – or use your motherboard’s own heatsink at the very least if really limited.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Images 7

The CARDEA Z440 TUF appears to be a rock solid unit but I have a small complaint – the lack of thermal interface for the bottom area of the SSD.

Test Setup and Methodology

Our test setup relies on the measurements taken from industry standard benchmark tools and real-world applications. It is important to note that we are testing the review sample after burn-in, with at least 24-hours of uptime. This is done so to negate the FOTB (fresh out the box) state of the DUT (device under test), yielding better benchmarking consistency.

Test System Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard BIOSTAR B550M-SILVER
Cooler Noctua NH-U12S Redux
Memory ADATA Premier DDR4-2666 16 GB
GPU GALAX RTX 2060 EX White 6 GB
Storage TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF Gaming Alliance 1 TB
Case Mechanical Library JXK-K3
PSU Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 650 W
Display LG UF680T
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

The DUT is tested with the following configuration from our test system:

  • UEFI configuration: Default
  • Windows Power Plan: Balanced

Throughput

Throughput is measured in Megabytes per second (MB/s) at read and write. This is done via Crystal Disk Mark and its sequential benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 1

Throughput is measured in Megabytes per second (MB/s) at read and write. This is done via AS SSD and its sequential benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 2

The T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF traded blows with the MSI Spatium M470. No surprise here since both device uses the same Phison E16 controller.

Operations per Second

Operations per Second is measured in Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS) at read and write. This is done via Crystal Disk Mark and its 4K benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 3

Operations per Second is measured in Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS) at read and write. This is done via AS SSD and its 4K benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 4

Performance is again pretty similar to the Spatium M470. No clear winner here unless we look at the Crystal Disk Mark’s read results.

Access and Loading Time

Access time is measured in Milliseconds (ms). This is done via AS SSD and its Access Time benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 5

Loading time is measured in Seconds (s). This is done via Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker and its official benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 6

Proper performance output we got here for the CARDEA Z440 TUF. Actually faster at these particular benchmarks compared to the Spatium M470.

File Copy

File copy performance is measured in Seconds (s). This is done via AS SSD and its File Copy benchmark.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 7

File copy performance is measured in Seconds (s). This is done via TeraCopy and 16 GB worth of files.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 8

File copy performance is excellent – as is with the other recently tested products.

Thermals

Temperature is measured in degree Celcius (ºC) at system idle and load. This is done via AIDA64 Extreme and its System Stability Test.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Benchmarks 9

Thermal performance is great – if not excellent, considering its speed rating. This is where the Z440 TUF shines the most, more so if we’ll take extended operating time into account.

Features

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 comes with the usual stuff: garbage collection, TRIM commands, LDPC error correction codes and E2E Data Protection. Aside from those features, the SSD not only comes in TUF colorway – it also carries the brand’s philosophy. That said, this has been tested rigorously along with other ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance certified products.

TeamGroup T Force CARDEA Z440 Images 5

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF also comes with a 5 year warranty along with 1,700,000 hours of MTBF and a TBW rating of 1,800 TB.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF is a compelling choice if you are looking for a high performance SSD. It comes with a capable thermal solution so you are certain that this wont overheat over an extended period of operation. With its MTBF and TBW ratings, you are also insured that the drive will perform its duties for a much longer period compared to lets say, a low capacity and budget oriented SSD such as the MSI Spatium M390.

The only thing I could fault with it is the lack of thermal interface for the bottom side’s two remaining NVM and their cache. Granted, this area doesn’t get as hot as the top side but for precaution, a TIM should be included here so it could still transfer heat to the heatsink using the bracket.

In closing, the TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF is a straight up recommendation. With a possible price point of around ~$150 USD, this is one promising SSD with reliability and endurance – on top of its performance. Better check it out once it has been released.

TechPorn Awards 2018 (1)

TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF Gaming Alliance SSD
  • 9/10
    Throughput - 9/10
  • 9/10
    IOPS - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Thermals - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Build - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Features - 7/10
8.4/10

Summary

The TEAMGROUP T-Force CARDEA Z440 TUF is a straight up recommendation. With a possible price point of around ~$150 USD, this is one promising SSD with reliability and endurance – on top of its performance.

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