Dropping in for a much needed review is the T-FORCE Z540 SSD from TEAMGROUP. This is a midrange PCIe 5.0 SSD, slated at a value oriented price of $149.99 USD.

Disclosure: TEAMGROUP sent the T-FORCE Z540 for the purpose of this review. The company did not ask me to say anything particular about it.

Technical Specifications

Capacity 1 TB
Cache SK Hynix LPDDR4
Flash Controller Phison E26
Flash Memory Micron 3D TLC
Form Factor M.2 2280
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4
Sequential Read 11700 MB/s
Sequential Write 9500 MB/s
Random Read N/A
Random Write N/A
MTBF 1,700,000 Hours
TBW 600 TB
Length 80 mm
Width 22 mm
Height 3.7 mm
Weight 7 grams

Packaging and Accessories

Similar to other TEAMGROUP storage products, the Z540 comes in a simple packaging.


Scope of delivery are as follows:


The contents are basic: You get the drive, the graphene sheet, and that’s it.

Design, Build and Connectivity

The TEAMGROUP Z540 is a PCIe 5.0 SSD in a 2280 form factor. It comes with a graphene sheet that should also act as a protection-slash-thermal interface for the drive should you wish to slap a third party cooler on it.


Bearing the Phison E26 controller, the Z540 is among the very first PCIe 5.0 SSDs from TEAMGROUP. This model also comes with Micron’s 3D TLC NAND, along with an LPDDR4 memory from SK Hynix.


With only a graphene sheet in tow, it is safe to assume that TEAMGROUP pins the Z540 to achieve its claimed speeds without the aid of an active cooling solution.


The throughput benchmark from CrystalDiskMark confirmed that the Z540 can achieve its advertised sequential read speed. However, the write speed failed short of the claimed performance, averaging at just around 8659 MB/s.


Input/Output operations per second peaked at 1 million for the read and 1.1 million for write during CrystalDiskMark’s Random 4K benchmarks. These are great results apt for the PCIe 5.0 interface drive.

Access Time

TEAMGROUP’s Z540 comes with the fastest access times I’ve observed in the Anvil Storage Utilities benchmark. While the improvement is rather small compared to PCIe 4.0 SSDs, it’s still a note worthy advantage.

File Copy

With regards to file copy performance, the T-FORCE Z540 handles ISO, program, and game file transfers quite smoothly. Now it’s important to mention that this PCIe 5.0 SSD exhibits slightly slower ISO copy speeds compared to the PCIe 4.0 SSD we’ve tested recently, although the difference is quite minimal. However, other results are noticeably better.

The results mentioned correspond to 0.26, 0.86, and 0.38 seconds, respectively.


As for compression, both read and write performance yields satisfactory results. Now while read compression is consistent, the write performance of the Z540 dips to approximately 4153 MB/s in some areas. Those dips are narrow and the lowest dips observed are still rather fast.


The read performance remains stable across the benchmark, whereas the write performance of the drive declines from 2100 MB/s to approximately 1050 MB/s after 116 GB of data has been written. These results are on par with several top-tier PCIe 4.0 storage devices.


Thermal output is on the higher end of the scale. Idle for instance peaks and remains at 57 °C. Under load, it peaks at 80 °C before throttling reduces it to a steadier 70 °C. Results considered, applying an effective M.2 cooler is crucial for the Z540 to maintain a lower operating temperature. In this regard, tests conducted with a passive M.2 cooler yielded significantly better outcomes, with a peak temperature of approximately 71°C.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing a PCIe 5.0 interface and Phison E26 controller, the T-FORCE Z540 incorporates Micron’s 3D TLC NAND and SK Hynix LPDDR4 memory in a competitive package.

While the Z540 achieves its advertised sequential read speed, its write speed falls short, averaging around 8659 MB/s. This is notably lower than the claimed rating but still twice as fast compared to PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

The SSD also demonstrates impressive IOPS rates during random 4K benchmarks, with access times being among the fastest observed, albeit marginally faster compared to the last generation interface models.

File copy performance is generally great, with just a slightly slower ISO copy speeds compared to PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Compression performance on the other hand is satisfactory for read operations, but expect write performance to dip in certain areas.

As for the cache, while read performance remains consistent, write performance declines after a significant amount of data has been written, which is 116 GB to be exact.

Now thermal output is relatively high, peaking at 80°C under load so its graphene sheet may not be enough if you want to keep it from thermal throttling. Using a capable M.2 cooler is highly recommended for lower operating temperatures.

In conclusion, the TEAMGROUP Z540 PCIe 5.0 SSD offers a competitive performance with some areas of improvement to consider, particularly in managing its thermal output for optimal performance. If you have a motherboard with a capable cooling solution already built-in, consider picking this PCIe 5.0 SSD for its slated price.

Superb Award

Product Name: T-FORCE Z540 (1 TB) SSD

Product Description: The T-FORCE Z540 M.2 PCIe 5.0 SSD adopts the latest PCIe Gen 5 x4 interface and supports the latest NVMe 2.0 protocol. It offers astonishing continuous read and write speeds of 11700 MB/s and 9500 MB/s, enabling gamer to unleash impeccable speed in launching games and enjoy carefree gaming experiences.




The T-FORCE Z540 PCIe 5.0 SSD combines Phison E26 controller with Micron’s 3D TLC NAND and SK Hynix LPDDR4 memory, in a sub $150 USD package. For the price, the Z540 offers competitive PCIe Gen 5 performance, but with room for improvement in thermal management.

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