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Do you really need PCIe 4.0? T-Force Z340 Cardea Zero

Now this isn’t the latest SSD on the market right now, but it was performing so well I thought we had to do a review on it. Now the SSD I’m referring to is the T-Force Z340 1TB PCIe 3×4 NVMe SSD. 

Price

The Z340 is the PCIe 3 version but you do also get the a PCIe 4 version which is around $55 more for the 1TB, but we currently don’t have one. 

As for pricing the Z340 is very well priced if you can find one. We were only able to find the 1TB in the US which was retailing for around $120. Here in South Africa we have one more option with the 512GB going for R1800 and R2400 for the 1TB. 

Amazon

US

UK

Canada

South Africa

Bykski

Specs

Specs wise the Z340 uses a 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND with a lifespan of 1665 TBW  (total bytes written) for the 1TB model and then a 5 year warranty as well. 

Design

Now the design of the Z340 is nothing special, it has a blue PCB, with what I thought at first was a normal black and copper sticker, ended up being a graphene and copper heat spreader, that’s less than 1mm thick. Now these, combined, are a very good recipe for heat dissipation. But how good can a heat distributor be that’s less than 1mm thick? Well I was actually quite surprised, after about 20 minutes of intense testing the maximum temp reached was 71 degrees Celsius, which isn’t all that good, but given the small size of the heatsink if we can call it that, it’s actually quite remarkable. The Sabrent rocket, which has an enormous heat sink, also had a max of 71degrees Celsius. The but it is worth mentioning that SSDs peak limit is 70 degrees Celsius, and that is usually where they will start to thermal throttle to bring the temps back down again, I couldn’t see that it was hitting the throttle limit because of unrealistic stress test that we did but that is usually the case and why both these SSDs reached the same temperature. If you do have a heat spreader on your motherboard I would throw that on there as well. 

Benchmarks

Now as for the benchmarks I’m Going to compare to a couple of other SSDs I have tested before.  Also we currently only have the 1TB model here and speeds between the capacities do differ somewhat with the larger capacities being faster.

Sequential

The performance from the Z340 was actually quite decent , as we can see with sequential tests that we reached the 3400 read speeds and a little bit over the write speeds with 3070MB/s. Actually coming very close to the fastest PCIe 3 SSD that we have tested thus far.  

Random

As for Random read and writes the Z340 was extremely impressive, with one of our tests it actually beat the PCIe 4 SSDs being the fastest by about 18%. Even on the second random test it was very close to them only lacking behind a mere 7%.

Copy Test

Now we also did some copy tests to see how the Z340 handles different size files. The first test was with a 38GB steam backup, which we copied to, from and duplicated on the Z340. For the test that we copied to the Z340 it only took 29 Seconds, copying from it back to another drive took only 25 seconds and the duplicating the file on the Z340 took 53 seconds. 

Now we did the same test for a larger 113GB folder, the test where we copy to the Z340 took 151 seconds, copying from the Z340 again, took 94 seconds and a duplicate took 254 seconds. 

Which places it right below our PCIe 4 SSDs. So a very good performing SSD indeed. 

We did see that the copy speeds did fluctuate quite a bit dropping down to 150MBps then bouncing back to 500MBps. 

Conclusion

So in the end the Z340 is a very good SSD and should definitely be one of the ones to consider, especially at these speeds. Yes there are cheaper ones on the market but with a significant decrease in speed. Like the WD blue, which is $105 but with read speeds of only 2400MB/s. That’s a 42% decrease in performance for only $15. Not a worthy trade in my opinion.

So the Z340 is a very good value for money SSD, and again they even have the PCIe 4 version also available which does 5000MB/s reads and 4400 writes, which is really good. The 1TB version of that goes for $175. So if you have the capabilities for PCIe 4, I would pay the extra $55 and get that then. 

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Written by Ruan Bronkhorst

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