Generation 4 NVMe! It's fast but is it needed? Check out this review... - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Generation 4 NVMe! It's fast but is it needed? Check out this review...

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Generation 4 NVMe! It's fast but is it needed? Check out this review...


When Ryzen 3 was launched with the X570 platform chipset, one of the biggest new features was the addition of generation 4 NVMe solid state drive (SSD) technology. Team Group recently introduced the Cardea Zero Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD. This drive makes use of the new generation 4 technology that has been built into AMD X570 motherboards. They sent us a sample of their new drive to test out.If you'd like to learn more about this new technology, and see how it compares to other hard drive technologies, please follow along..

Advancements in SSD technology has allowed modern computers to boot faster and perform daily tasks more efficiently. When the first solid state drives appeared on the market it was the single biggest and most important upgrade one could do to increase overall system performance. At that time the hard drive speed was bottlenecking most productivity tasks. Fast forward more than 10 years and the story has not remained the same. While SSD’s do still offer a noticeable improvement in overall productivity and speed, they are not a magic bullet like they once were.



Below is the product lineup for the Cardea Zero Z440 Generation 4x4 SSD’s





Team Group shipps the Cardea Zero Z440 in a very simplistic package. Often times with high-end computer components such as graphics cards we like to see high end packaging with die-cut foam and hinged boxes. However, in the case of a solid state drive or other related support equipment, the retail packaging is just not something that people save. We applaud Team Group for saving money here and giving us a simplistic package even though it’s a high-end product.

That being said, the packaging is still quite attractive for what it is. Just be careful when you cut it open as they have included a case badge sticker in the package.


Once out of the package we get an immediate feeling of quality. Although it’s seemingly a naked SSD, it does have some weight to it.



If you’ve seen other generation 4 NVMe drives on the market, then you might have noticed most of them are bundled with a large heatsink. The new generation 4 NVMe drives are said to produce more heat and thus require greater cooling.

Team group gives you a heatsink too, but it’s slightly different from the competition and there’s a very good reason for this. The Cardea Zero Z440 has an extremely thin copper heat sink on the top side, and a customary product label on the back side. Coming in at a scant 1/64th of an inch it hardly qualifies as a heatsink by itself. However, we feel this is actually a benefit of the Cardea Zero SSD. We will put it to the test later on in this review.



Looking a lineup of X570 motherboard we see that all of the flagship, and many of the sub-tier motherboards come with integrated NVMe and M.2 heatsinks. Knowing that a high-tier SSD will likely be paired with a motherboard that has integrated heat sinks, Team Group makes this drive drop-in ready.

Purchasing one of the other drives, with a large integrated heatsink, one would have to potentially void the warranty to remove the heat sink and hide the drive beneath the integrated motherboard shield.




The objective is to put the Cardea Zero Z440 SSD to the test with a range of tasks. We will evaluate the performance if the drive and investigate what generation 4 has to offer the average user. To make things relevant and interesting, we will compare the results to a few other popular hard drives to give an overall impression of the speed.


Raw performance is not the only factor. We will also test the effectiveness of the ultra-thin heatsink design. First we will stress the NVMe drive with no EM heat sink. Once the baseline has been established, we will add the ASRock X570 Taichi heat sink and compare the results.


To measure drive temps and overall health, Team Group has a nice utility. Aptly named the SSD Toolbox, this utility has includes all the built in features you need to check the status of the drive.




Other than just the raw performance numbers, we want to see what this generation 4 drive offers and how it compares against older technologies. We have chosen three examples for comparison as seen below.


When it comes to synthetic benchmark speed, the Cardea Zero Z440 NVMe drive does not disappoint. We can see in the specifications listed above, the sequential read and write speeds are listed at a staggering 5000 MB/s and 4400 MB/s respectively.

When we put our drive to the test, we were pleasantly surprised that we in fact were able to achieve the effectively the same results as per the specification.


How did the other drives in our lineup compare? The speed difference is startling. Listed from left to right we have the: HP EX900 Gen3.0 x4 NVMe (250GB), Team Group L5 3D 2.5" SATA III SSD (120GB), and Western Digital Velociraptor 10K RPM (160GB).



To illustrate the CrystalDiskMark benchmark performance better, we will give you a graph.



Next we will take a look at two very critical aspects of overall desktop performance. The boot time from pressing the power button to reaching your desktop is something we all care about. How important is hard drive speed when it comes to boot time? In the graph below we answer that question as well as look at how long it takes to move a 6GB file.

As we might expect, the hard drive speed has a dramatic impact on both the boot time and file transfer speeds.



We decided to test a few common computer benchmarks to see if the drive would make a difference in the overall score. As you can see below, there was no realistic gain in performance from drive speed in these benchmark programs.



Lastly we wanted to take a look at the heat response of this drive. To evaluate the heat output we put the drive under the worst case scenario. There was no air flow at all used for this test. We ran Crystal Disk Mark 15 times in a row and watched the heat values in HWInfo and in the Team Group SSD Toolbox.


The results are shocking. The idle temperature is around 38°C with the stock heat sink. Installed just as it ships, with the stock heat sink, the Team Group drive reached a temperature of 97°C and was throttling most of the time. For comparison the HP drive reached 88°C and was also throttling most of the time.

When we added the motherboard heat sink, both drives stopped throttling but the temps are still higher than we expected. Both drives heated up quickly but stayed around 65-70°C for the duration of our torture test.





Our experience with the Cardea Zero Z440 is overall very positive. In terms of raw performance, Team Group delivers what it promises. Out of all the generation 4 SSD’s on the market today, it’s performance numbers ranks it up with the current fastest models.

Whether or not your system can use all the of the speed inherent in Generation 4 will depend greatly on the usage. We observed super fast boot times and incredible file transfer speeds with this NVMe drive but generally speaking most applications won't be able to utilize the enhanced speed that generation 4 has to offer.

Some may see the lack of a large heatsink as a potential downside to the drive, however, we see it as a selling point. Disassembling a newly purchased NVMe drive and potentially damaging it as well as putting the warranty into question is not a good idea. Team group saves you money here and makes it perfect for clean installation with factory motherboard heatsinks.

The Cardea Zero Z440 is competitively priced at $189.99 . Looking at Newegg for other Generation 4 SSD’s we find the price ranges from $189.99 up to $249.99. Given the price point and design style, we feel this drive is a big success for Team Group and would make a nice addition to any performance oriented system.

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Last edited by mllrkllr88; 12-05-2019 at 08:19 AM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 07:35 PM
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Thank you for your review! So apparently it uses a slightly different Phison controller (PS5019-E16 for the Cardea Zero vs PS5016-E16 for the Aorus NVMe Gen4 and the Corsair Force Series MP600). That's not a bad price and I honestly was thinking about getting one with my x570 that I'm waiting on, but then I saw derBauer's NVME vid and decided I'd wait a bit longer.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Aquineas View Post
Thank you for your review! So apparently it uses a slightly different Phison controller (PS5019-E16 for the Cardea Zero vs PS5016-E16 for the Aorus NVMe Gen4 and the Corsair Force Series MP600). That's not a bad price and I honestly was thinking about getting one with my x570 that I'm waiting on, but then I saw derBauer's NVME vid and decided I'd wait a bit longer.
Thanks, I hope it was helpful! I was going to dive into the controllers and potential software but for the majority of people that's just too deep of a dive

Yeah, they are fast but it really depends on what you are doing if it will be worth it or not. If you are moving tons of files around then absolutely, you should get it. The file transfer speed is crazy. However, if you are just internet surfing and casual gaming then it might not be worthwhile.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 10:40 PM
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Benchmarks mean nothing, You cant see a difference between SSD drive and a m.2 drive,,, same goes for PCIe 4.0 ........ there is no real world difference, maps load same OS loads same apps launch same. Same **** When I went from SSD to M.2 I saw zero difference,, only difference is benchmarks shows 2500mbps read which is BS..... You can only get that if your on RAID with dual Gen4 drives and copy one to another. But for real world use like I said,, it doesn't matter if your running SSD m.2 or PCIe gen 4 m.2.


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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 07:11 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Turtle Rig View Post
Benchmarks mean nothing, You cant see a difference between SSD drive and a m.2 drive,,, same goes for PCIe 4.0 ........ there is no real world difference, maps load same OS loads same apps launch same. Same **** When I went from SSD to M.2 I saw zero difference,, only difference is benchmarks shows 2500mbps read which is BS..... You can only get that if your on RAID with dual Gen4 drives and copy one to another. But for real world use like I said,, it doesn't matter if your running SSD m.2 or PCIe gen 4 m.2.
Interesting. Do you happen to do any software development with your machine? Anything that requires compilation or opening and closing hundreds (or thousands) of files to produce a result?
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 07:33 AM
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If you want to compare SSD's, you should use the same size disks.

SSDs with higher capacity will out perform their own lower capacity counterparts.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Aquineas View Post
Interesting. Do you happen to do any software development with your machine? Anything that requires compilation or opening and closing hundreds (or thousands) of files to produce a result?

There are special curcumstances like running 2 SSDs or m.2 in RAID and copy over from one drive to another. It will be fast but will it be 5000mbps as benchmark shows. The answer to that is no. Its just a form factor ,, small cute,, no cables needed etc.


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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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As I talk about in my review, it's not for everyone... If you are doing basic computer tasks such as web surfing, and even casual gaming then you wont see any gain in performance.


However, if you are moving and managing files then it's an INCREDIBLE boost in productivity. File transfer speed is astronomical with Gen. 4 and very beneficial for those dealing with large files.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 10:15 AM
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1. Percentage values are completely useless in this case.
2. Use case limited to moving a single file (I'm skipping the Firestrike/Geekbench nonsense) is laughable.


It's not a review, it's a first look.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 10:20 AM
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you can't see a difference between standard SSD and NVME in benchmarks?

i uhh.. ok. Definitely not how all of my testing has panned out, in the slightest. but whatever floats your shell.

yes, clearly NVME >> SATA or SATA >>NVME will be slower than NVME to NVME ...

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