T-Force Cardea Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD Review

Oct 1, 2020
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PRODUCT INFO

T-Force Cardea Ceramic C440

Type NVMe SSD
Price $189.99

When NVMe makers decide to cool down their drives they either say good luck or strap a large aluminum heat-sink to it, but T-Force shuffles things up with the use of ceramic! No, they're not making pottery here but a good ceramic material acts as a good conductor of heat so it makes sense, and if you're doing a white build this will fit right in! But is the ceramic-sinked T-Force Cardea C440 all it's cracked up to be? Let's dig in.

First Look At T-Force Cardea Ceramic C440 – Unboxing And Closer Look

The blister pack for the T-Force Cardea C440 isn't quite as premium as the product inside, but it's simple, effective, and cuts back on waste. The front has the pertinent nomenclature to make it clear what model and capacity you're looking at. We received the 1TB for this review but it is available in a 2TB flavor. Flipping things over to the back we're treated to the actual information of what you're buying. Offering up the usual marketing material we also find listed Crystal Disk Mark performance metrics for the 1TB and 2TB model in reads/writes bost sequential and IOPS. Kudos for giving customers information on what they're getting right there on the package.

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The drive itself if of the typical affair, and just like the Cardea II we're served up the unfortunate blue PCB. That would be worse if it was a bare drive, but it's covered on the outward-facing side with a beautiful white ceramic heatsink marked in gold letters. The backside that you won't see has your usual nomenclature.

T-Force Cardea C440 Lineup

Capacity1TB, 2TB
InterfacePCIe Gen 4x4 NVMe 1.3
ControllerPhison E16
DRAM/MemoryDDR4/Kioxia 96L TLC
Performance Read Peakup to 5,000 MB/s
Performance Write Peakup to 4,400 MB/s
IOPS Read Peak750K
IOPS Write Peak750K
Meantime Between Failure1,700,000 hours
Warranty5 Year

 

Testing Setup

Our test bench is now using the Ryzen 9 3900X on the ASUS TUF Gaming X570 Pro-WiFi so that now we have access to be able to take PCIe Gen 4 drives into account. We have the Ryzen 9 3900X clocked at 4.3GHz all core with the Hyper X Predator DDR4 3600 CL17.  Before starting the tests I loaded the NVMe drive up to 60% capacity so that the testing would not be run on a clean empty drive.

ComponentModel
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 3900X @ 4.3GHz All Core
MotherboardASUS TUF Gaming X570 Pro-WiFi
MemoryHyper X Predator 2x16GB (32GB) 3600MHz CL17
PSUCooler Master V1200P
OSWindows 10-64 Bit
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE
CaseLian Li T70X

T-Force Cardea Ceramic C440

ATTO Disk Benchmark

As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives, and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.

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Crystal Disk Mark 6.0

CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software Made by a Japanese coder named Hiyohiyo and is one of the simplest and most frequently used tests for storage due to its simple and easy to understand UI. It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill).

AS SSD

AS SSD is the opposite of ATTO as it uses incompressible data rather than compressible data and simulates the worst possible scenario imaginable for an SSD which gives the best understanding of performance when pushing the drive to its limits.

We separate the IOPS and MB/s in the results for ease of reading.

ANVIL's Storage Utilities

Anvil's Storage Utilities benchmark may be a bit of an older benchmark, but it's still very much relevant today.  It takes various performance and response time metrics and gives them a score in read and writes then delivers an overall rating, which is useful to see where an HDD or SSD slots in general performance.

Conclusion

The T-Force Cardea C440's $189.99 price tag for the 1TB ($364.99 for 2TB) does put it more in line with the premium-priced drives, and a little more expensive than the Silicon Power US70 we recently reviewed. But it isn't so far that it seems unreasonable. You're getting a mostly good looking (save for blue PCB) drive that has adequate cooling measure taken to ensure endurance performance. But with the upcoming Samsung 980 Pro, some people may have a pause. But that is a $229 drive and costing over 25% more. You're going to blow away Gen 3.0 drives with this one in almost all cases and if you find yourself needing to remove the heatsink for placing under one supplied by your board you can do that, but I'd likely save some change and go with another drive at that point.

The heatsink is quite effective with keeping the drive around 54C when there is active airflow around it and only topping out at 71C without direct airflow under our testing conditions.

The T-Force Cardea C440 is a solid performing drive that will be able to handle your workloads with ease and the 5-year warranty means you can rest assured it'll be taken care of if there are any issues for quite some time.

8.75

The T-Force Cardea C440 is a solid performing drive that will be able to handle your workloads with ease and the 5-year warranty means you can rest assured it'll be taken care of if there are any issues for quite some time.

Performance9
Value8
Design & Aesthetics9
Features9

Pros

  • Attractive and effective heatsink
  • No thermal throttling in tests
  • Great performance
  • Solid warranty
  • Well informed packaging

Cons

  • Blue PCB
  • Tough Price Point
  • Other Gen4 Drives offer similar performance for less
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