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WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 SSD Comparison

31 août 2022 à 01:16

PCIe 4 NVMe SSD Comparison – WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530

In all my years of covering the subject of storage here on the blog, there are a few brand rivalries that stand out more than any other – and when it comes to HDDs and SSDs it has always been Western Digital vs Seagate! These two brands are grown into the two biggest names in storage, recognizable both inside/outside of the industry as the go-to media makers! In the Hard Drive industry, these two brands dominate more than 2/3 of the industry, but when it comes to SSDs, things get a little more complex. You see, Seagate utilizes long-running partnerships with 3rd Party companies such as Phison, Micron and SK-Hynix, whereas WD develops their SSDs using in-house teams and acquired companies that are part of the Western Digital family, such as Sandisk and HGST. This means that although both brands are targeting the same areas of the solid-state storage industry, their results arrive with very different architecture that ends up prioritizing very different user needs. Today I want to compare the two fastest PCIe4 M.2 NVMe SSDs that either company has ever commercially released (to date). The 2021 released Seagate Firecuda 530 and the Summer 2022 released WD Black SN850X (not to be confused with the 2020 released original WD Black SN850).

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $119.99, 1TB – $159.99, 2TB – $299.99, 4TB – $729.99

WD Black SN850X

1TB – $159, 2TB – $289, 4TB –$699

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 114L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Double Sided 4TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2 NVMe Controller
Warranty 5yr + 3yr Data Recovery (Rescue) 5yr
NASCompares Review
NASComapres YouTube Review
 

I want to look at these two SSDs and compare them on Price, Value, Architecture, Performance and Durability, in order to help you decide which of these two SSDs is best for your PC or PS5 Storage needs. Let’s begin.

WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Price & Capacity

Now, the prices below for the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X SSD are from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk as of August 9th 2022 and do not take into account any promotions/deals. It is worth highlighting that due to a huge range of reasons (hardware shortages locally, cost of living rises affecting buy patterns, post-pandemic supply chain issues and a pain in the bum that was Chia crypto currency in 2021) the price and availability of SSDs have been particularly unstable. Still, even if we JUST look at this snapshot of the pricing of these drives, spread across the available capacities, we can definitely see that the prices for the WD Black SN850X are unusually mixed across the different currencies. Now, the Seagate Firecuda has been in the market much longer now and has had time to spread itself out and have a more balanced pricing structure (much as the original SN850 did a couple of years ago).

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850X

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ $139 / £119 N/A
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T2X0E
Price in $ and $ $189 / £159 $159 / £159**
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T2X0E
Price in $ and $ $399 / £359 $289 / £309**
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 WDS400T2X0E
Price in $ and $ $799 / £769 $699 / £749**

Nevertheless, there is no avoiding the fact that the Seagate Firecuda 530 is almost always going to be the more expensive choice over the WD Black SN850X, wherever you are in the world. Now, it is worth remembering that Price is not everything, whereas as VALUE is much more significant – AKA what you GET for your money. In this area, it could be argued that the Seagate Firecuda 530 (despite it’s 10-15% higher price tag) gives you a tiny bit more. The higher layer density NAND of 176L, the higher durability (will touch on that later) and the inclusive forensic level data recovery services all add up to (in the eyes of many) justifying that increased spend. Now, it should be highlighted that only a small % of users will likely use/see the benefits in these and once you cost up the budget of your kit, chances are that this small price diff (particularly in bulk/RAID builds) is going to mount up, but it would be remiss to ignore it.

WD Black SN850X SSD = Best Price

Seagate Firecuda 530 = Best Value

*TBC at the time of writing and will be addressed/confirmed later. The video below will break down the definitions and meaning of the terms used throughout this review and the comparison tables

** Pricing for the SN850X is quite varied online at launch and regardless of tax and currency exchange rates, the pricing here (taken from the official WD store and then undated with Amazon pricing) seems a bit uneven. This will hopefully even out soon.


WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported Read & Write Speed

Next, we should discuss the traditional sequential performance of the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X SSD, as this is by far the most common way drives have been compared (despite the rise in importance of IOPS and durability when it comes to SSDs, in the eyes of many the ‘MB/s’ and ‘GB/s’ figure will always reign supreme). As both of these drives are part of the m.2 PCIe 4 x4 NVMe generation of SSDs, that means that each drive has 8,000MB/s of PCIe bandwidth to attempt to saturate and, frankly, they do an incredible job of it! Now, it is important to keep things relative when you see performance stats, as the capacity of the drive plays a HUGE part in hitting higher speeds. The reason for this is because the actual storage on an SSD is the NAND, one or more modules on the PCB that scale in density and frequency depending on the scale of the drive total capacity. So, for example, a 1TB SSD will either be a single block of NAND at 1024GB or two blocks of NAND at 512GB. Two blocks mean that the drive can be read/written to twice as much and tends to increase performance in most cases. This same logic extends to higher capacities (e.g. 2TB = 1x 1TB or 4x 512GB) and depending on the quality of the NAND (e.g MLC vs TLC, or 96L vs 176L) and factors such as power use and heat, different SSD brands tend to pick their physical architecture differently. This is very much the case when it comes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X SSD, meaning that the scaling performance of each drive model as you jump between each capacity tier is quite pronounced. Note that sequential performance refers to big ‘blocks/blobs’ of data when data, not hugely spread across the drive in small chunks (that is more accurately measurable in IOPS, which we will touch on in a bit). Another key point to remember is that these reported speeds are supplied by the brands themselves, in test scenarios running high high end CPU+GPU combos (eg, 12-16 Core Xeon/Ryzen and 64GB Memory) that they represent to maximum performance possible, but domestic and mid-range commercial users are going to hit max performance thresholds a good 10-15% lower. Use the links at the top of the article to see the full testing and benchmarks of the WD Black SN850X and Seagate Firecuda 530 in my 11th gen i5 + 16GB RAM setup.

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850X

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3000MB N/A
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T2X0E
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6000MB 6300MB
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T2X0E
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6600MB
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 WDS400T2X0E
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7300MB 7300MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6600MB

Now, both drives here predominantly hit the reported maximum 7,300MB/s sequential read figure on the bulk Terabyte scale drives, which is very good indeed and largely saturates the maximum potential bandwidth of PCIe4 nicely. The write performance is a fraction different (as write performance typically has a pinch more work to do than read) and on that score, the Seagate Firecuda 530 takes a small lead, at 6900MB over 6600MB on the larger capacities. Alot of this advantage comes down too the NAND on the Seagate, in two very clear ways. 1) the NAND is 176L and of a higher density count and 2) the 2TB on the Seagate is double-sided (4x 512GB modules) and the spread is still better on the 4TB in memory chips and NAND as well. The WD Black SN850X is a tremendous leap in Write (and partially Read) over the WD Black SN850 released almost 2 years previously and the increased range of a 4TB option is great news, but when it comes to traditional transfer sequential performance, the Seagate Firecuda 530 wins on points.

Seagate Firecuda 530 = Best Sequential Performance


WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Reported IOPS

Now, unlike the traditional performance benchmarks of transfer speeds in sequential Read/Write, IOPS has a much more important place in modern SSD use – especially as we start to see the capabilities of CPU, Memory and GPUs to harness the bandwidth of PCIe NVMe (such as Microsoft Direct Storage and modern gen consoles). Because modern high-scale computer processes (databases, loading game sandboxes and AI engines) use incremental loading and in-world loading on the fly, the abilities of an SSD to load vast numbers of smaller assets into the memory (either directly towards the GPU or unpacked by the CPU first) is incredibly important. The IOPS figure presented by SSD manufacturers is presented as a 4K random IOPS operation in Read and Write (4K being an incredibly small packet size and random, meaning constantly accessing data locations across the NAND). Both the Seagate Firecuda 530 and the WD Black SN850X SSD score very, very high in IOPS (once again, based on high-end PC hardware and benchmarks by the brand themselves) and either one will do a fantastic job of loading/recording vast scales of low-volume/high-frequency data – but which one does it better?

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850X

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 400,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 N/A
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T2X0E
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 800000 800,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1000000 1,100,000
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T2X0E
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,200,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,100,000
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 WDS400T2X0E
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,200,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,100,000

The WD Black SN850X has an almost clean sweep of the board here compared with the Seagate Firecuda 530, almost consistently living in the 1.1-1.2 Million IOPS reported mark. This is not a huge surprise and alot of this can be attributed to the in-house development of the hardware on board being much more fixed in its intended use. The Phison/Micron architecture of the Seagate Firecuda 530 is exceptionally good, but these components are used in several other branded SSDs in the market (Sabrent, Gigabyte, Kingston, MSI and PNY just to name a few) and that means they need to be a little more malleable. Much like the SN850 before it, the WD Black SN850X is extremely well geared to high volume and frequency operations and at 1.2 million ops per second is practically the highest in the PCIe4 M.2 NVMe sector right now commercially.

WD Black SN850X SSD = Highest IOPS Rating


WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – NASCompares Tests

Now, up to this point, we have been looking at the reported maximum performance of the WD Black SN850X and Seagate Firecuda 530 that was benchmarked by the respective brands. Although these are tremendously useful figures in isolating the max read/write for them both, the systems that they are tested with do not really represent the average user. So, in my reviews and benchmark video/article for each SSD, I use a Windows 10 Pro machine, running on an Intel Core i5 6-Core 11th Gen Processor, 16GB of DDR4 2666Mhz Memory and the M.2 NVMe SSD for the review being accessed as an additional drive (not OS, but still on a PCIe Gen 4×4 m.2 bandwidth slot). These are some of the results of that testing in traditional performance and IOPS:

Seagate Firecuda 530 ATTO 4GB Test R/W WD Black SN850X ATTO 4GB Test R/W

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 Crystal Disk 4GB Test R/W WD Black SN850X Crystal Disk 4GB Test R/W

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 AS SSD 5GB IOPS WD Black SN850X AS SSD 5GB IOPS

 

Seagate Firecuda 530 Temperature During Tests WD Black SN850X Temperature During Tests

Now, as you can see from the testing, there WAS an unfortunate hurdle of the Seagate Firecuda 530 being a 1TB and the WD Black SN850X being a 2TB! This was unfortunately unavailable, as I did not have comparable drives of capacity available from each bran’s SSD at the time, so these results need to have that VERY important piece of context taken into account and the write performance is too different to rely upon, because of how the NAND was distributed). However, in terms of Read performance in transfer rates and IOPS, we can still draw accurate comparisons. In all tests (with the exception of the Crystal Disk 4GB test and early parts of the ATTO tests), the WD Black SN850X was faster than the Seagate Firecuda 530 by a pinch in Seq Read and a noticeable jump higher in IOPS (even if you discount the capacity difference). In contrast, though, the Seagate Firecuda ran much lower in temp throughout all the testing (either though both were using quick large and highly proficient m.2 heatsinks).

WD Black SN850X SSD = Best Overall Performer in a Domestic PC

Seagate Firecuda 530 = Ran Much Lower Temp Throughout


WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Endurance & Durability

Unlike the other points in this comparison of the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X, the Endurance and Durability of an SSD is an area that is overlooked often enough that I wanted to take a moment to focus a little more on this – you can thank you years from now! The importance of SSD durability and endurance in 2022/2023 is actually pretty massive. Now that the devices we use all feature incredibly powerful processors, often cloud/network hybrid AI processes and graphical handling that will be instantly bottlenecked by traditional hard drives, SSDs are no longer just the ‘boot’ drive for our OS and are now the day to day working drive. This combined with SSD being used as caching and larger SSD capacities allowing suitable substitution for HDDs entirely means that the CONSTANT concern about SSDs lifespan and the durability of those NAND cells is now quite paramount. SSDs wear out – it’s as simple as that. The more you write, the more wear those individual NAND cells suffer – degrading performance over the years and inevitably leading to drive failure. Likewise, the smaller the drive, the greater likelihood that you will be writing, then rewriting, then rewriting, time and time again. The Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X are no exception and alongside massive research and development in better controllers and interfaces to improve performance, the way NAND is improved has led to SSDs lasting lover than ever before. However, SSDs and NAND are not built equally and there is actually quite a large difference in durability between the WD Black SN850X and the Seagate Firecuda 530. The Storage industry typically measures the predicted durability and endurance of an SSD as TBW, DWPD and MTBF. They are:

TBW = Terabytes Written, rated as the total number of terabytes that this SSD can have written to it in its warranty-covered lifespan. So if the TBW was 300TB and the warranty is 5 years of coverage, that would mean that the drive can receive on average (with deleting/overwriting data each repeatedly) 60 Terabytes per year (or 5TB a month). After this point, the manufacturer highlights that durability, endurance and performance will decline. Often highlighted as an alternative to warranty length when gauging the predicted lifespan of a SSD.

DWPD = Drive Writes Per Day / Data Writes Per Day, this is a decimalized figure that represents what proportion of the capacity of an SSD (where 1.0 = 100% capacity) can be filled, erased and/or rewritten on a daily basis. This is provided using the warranty period and TBW figure. So, for example, if a 500GB drive has a 0.3DWPD rating, that is approx 150GB of data per day

MTBF = Mean Time Between Failure, which is the interval between one failure of an SSD and the next. MTBF is expressed in hours and most industrial SSDs are rated in the Millions of Hours. MTBF and MTTF (Mean Time to Failure) have largely become overlooked in recent years in favour of TBW and DWPD in SSDs, but are still stated on most Data Sheets.

So, now you know what those large Terbyte stats, hours and decimal point details are on the average SSD datasheet. So where do the Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850X stand on this:

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850X

500GB Model ZP500GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 640TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A
1TB Model ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T2X0E
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T2X0E
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model ZP4000GM3A013 WDS400T2X0E
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 5100TB 2400TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
Note – Seagate Firecuda 530 includes 3yrs Data Recovery

This is pretty much a solid victory for the Seagate Firecuda 530 over the WD Black SN850X SSD. That higher quality NAND and higher quantity NAND distribution of modules on the PCB (and perhaps the running temperature too, but that is unconfirmed) with everything running for longer on the Seagate drive, as well as the inclusive data recovery services being thrown in too (either as a safety net or a guarantee of the quality – whose to say) means that the Seagate Firecuda 530, despite it’s slightly higher price point in most eShops, definitely being the more durable drive of the two.

WD Black SN850X vs Seagate Firecuda 530 – Conclusion

There is a good reason why the WD Black SN850X and Seagate Firecuda 850X still continue to be two of the most popular PCIe4 M.2 SSDs in the market – they are both such outstanding drives! So comparing them was never going to be easy. The WD Black SN850X is the better drive for mixed-use, PC gamers and post-production, thanks to it’s higher IOPS rating and excellent sustained performance ratings (though keep an eye on the heat in laptop usage). The Seagate Firecuda is the better choice for professional esports gamers, PS5 and use in large-scale databases, where an element of 24×7 use and high data recycle rates come into play. Both are excellent drives and deserve their places at the top of the food chain of consumer SSDs in 2022 and whichever one you choose, you will have an insanely capable SSD in your system for years to come!

Brand/Series Seagate Firecuda 530

WD Black SN850X

Best Performance
Best Endurance/Durability  
Best Price for TB  
Best Extras  
Best Value  
Where To Buy

 

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Samsung 990 Pro SSD – Hardware Information Update!

25 août 2022 à 01:05

The Samsung 990 Pro NVMe SSD FULLY Revealed

For those that have been closely following the world of SSDs in summer 2022, one of the most intriguing leaks of a future product was undoubtedly the reveal on the PCI-SIG pages of a SAMSUNG 990 Pro that was reported to be a PCIe Gen 5 SSD. However, just a week later and now Samsung has put us out of our misery with the official reveal and launch of this new PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD! Now before you say “but wait, the Samsung 980 Pro is PCIe 4 – why should I care about the Samsung 990 Pro?”, it is worth highlighting that this new drive is designed to bolster the existing PCIe4 product family from Samsung and (much like the WD Black SN850X released in July 2022 – Review here) is an upgraded and far superior alternative for 2022, delivering improved speeds and increased power efficiency,  optimized for graphically demanding games and other intensive tasks including 3D rendering, 4K video editing and data analysis. The new Samsung 990 Pro also seemingly benefits from the latest V-NAND and a new proprietary controller, the 990 PRO series offers the highest speed currently available from the PCIe 4.0 interface. The SSD delivers sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,450MB/s and 6,900MB/s, respectively, while 4K random read and write IOPS come in at up to 1.4 Million and 1.5 Million respectively. The result is a 55% improvement in random performance over the 2020 released Samsung 980 PRO (depending on your hardware/storage setup). Samsung claims that the new 990 PRO is particularly well-suited for heavy gaming as well as creative and productivity tasks. Let’s discuss everything we know about this new SSD.

  • SEQUENTIAL READ

    1TB: Up to 7,450 MB/s
    2TB: Up to 7,450 MB/s

  • SEQUENTIAL WRITE

    1TB: Up to 6,900 MB/s
    2TB: Up to 6,900 MB/s

  • RANDOM READ (4KB, QD32)

    1TB: Up to 1,200,000 IOPS
    2TB: Up to 1,400,000 IOPS

  • RANDOM WRITE (4KB, QD32)

    1TB: Up to 1,550,000 IOPS
    2TB: Up to 1,550,000 IOPS

  • RANDOM READ (4KB, QD1)

    1TB: Up to 22,000 IOPS
    2TB: Up to 22,000 IOPS

  • RANDOM WRITE (4KB, QD1)

    1TB: Up to 80,000 IOPS
    2TB: Up to 80,000 IOPS

  • AVERAGE POWER CONSUMPTION
    (SYSTEM LEVEL)3)

    1TB: Average 5.4 W Maximum 7.8 W
    2TB: Average 5.5 W Maximum 8.5 W

  • POWER CONSUMPTION (IDLE)3)

    1TB: Max. 50 mW
    2TB: Max. 55 mW

  • POWER CONSUMPTION (DEVICE SLEEP)

    1TB: Max. 5mW
    2TB: Max. 5mW

  • ALLOWABLE VOLTAGE

    3.3 V ± 5 % Allowable voltage

  • RELIABILITY (MTBF)

    1.5 Million Hours Reliability

  • OPERATING TEMPERATURE

    0 – 70 ℃

  • SHOCK

    1,500 G & 0.5 ms (Half sine)

 

Hardware Specifications of the Samsung 990 Pro SSD

The full hardware specifications that Samsung have provided on the new 990 Pro give you the solid specs, whilst unsurprisingly keeping a little quieter on the proprietary stuff (such as that in-house controller and V-NAND depth/layer count). However, they do highlight that the Samsung 990 Pro will arrive with a new NVMe Controller, as well as running on NVMe 2.0 architecture.  Samsung’s newly designed controller dramatically improves the SSD’s power efficiency by up to 50% compared to the 980 PRO. Alongside this the Samsung 990 PRO employs a nickel coating on the controller and a heat spreader label on the drive for reliable thermal management, something we have seen brands such as Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and the Viper VP4300 from Patriot employ to great temperature dissipating success. Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard technology further ensures that the drive’s temperature stays in the optimal range.

The Samsung 990 PRO also arrives in a newly designed Heatsink option, that offers an additional layer of thermal control while its RGB lights add more style to the drive. Samsung’s 990 PRO is also an excellent solution for laptop and desktop upgrades as well as for build-your-own PCs, providing a significant performance boost while using less power for increased battery life and thermal management. Right now, the main questions on people’s lips (well – those more versed in SSD tech at least) are:

  • That New Controller! Will this be exclusive to the 980 Pro product line, introduced to new-gen releases and will the older Samsung 980 Pro benefit from it? The answer is almost certainly NO on that last one.
  • That In house 3bit V-NAND – How Many layers?
  • How hot will it get? The Samsung 980 Pro SSD is an excellent drive, even 2 years after its release. But it has always run a little hot and many will wonder if this drive will be the same, better or worse?

And right now, Samsung is being their usual incredibly tight lip self! But below is what we know:

Category Samsung SSD 990 PRO
Interface PCIe Gen 4.0 x4, NVMe 2.0
Form Factor M.2 (2280) Length
Storage Memory Samsung V-NAND 3-bit TLC (Layer Count TBC)
Controller Samsung in-house controller (TBC)
Capacity5 1TB 2TB 4TB (2023)
$179 $309 TBC
DRAM 1GB LPDDR4 2GB LPDDR4 4GB LPDDR4
Sequential Read/Write Speed Up to 7,450 MB/s, Up to 6,900 MB/s
Random Read/Write Speed (QD32) Up to 1,400K IOPS, Up to 1,550K IOPS
Data Encryption AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0,

Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667)

Total Bytes Written 600TB 1200TB 2400TB
DWPD 0.3 0.3 0.3
Warranty 5 Year Limited Warranty

Interestingly, the new and improved Samsung 990 Pro still maintains the same durability rating as its predecessor the 980 Pro. Now, although a decent amount of the peak 7,450/6900MB/s seq performance and 1.4/1.5M IOPS comes from that new secret SSD controller architecture, there must be improvements in the V-NAND too, so the continued 0.3DWPD rating might have been an area where improvements could have been made, especially when Seagate’s one-year-old Firecuda 530 more than doubles that durability at 0.7DWPD and is comparable in performance.

We CAN make assumptions on that V-NAND though. Around a week ago, there were reports from Samsung that they were expected to release a 236-layer NAND flash product within this year. In addition, it is planning to open a new R&D center this month and the center will be in charge of developing more advanced NAND flash products. Memory chip makers are competing to increase their layer counts. SK Hynix recently completed the development of a 238-layer product and Micron Technology announced that it developed the world’s first 232-layer NAND flash product. Samsung Electronics’ share in the market is 35 percent, the highest in it. Samsung Electronics’ current layer count record is 176. The company is about to increase it by 60 with its production know-how and competitiveness in price and performance. Perhaps these improvements in V-NAND layer count are were we see these further improvements.

 

Why Didn’t Samsung Release a PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD Instead?

It’s a very good question! When the early erroneous leaks appeared a little over 10 days ago via PCI-SIG that this drive was being listed as a PCIe Gen 5 SSD, It made ALOT of sense. Aside from the SSD industry starting to move into the area of commercial PCIe5 SSDs towards the end of 2022, it made sense for Samsung to try to get ahead of everyone else in this new SSD generation after arriving around a year into the PCIe4 generation, a tad sandwiched between a flurry of their competitor’s products. Perhaps Samsung does not have a PCIe 5 Generation Controller ready (outside of enterprise flash developments) leaving that big 3rd party SSD Controller giant Phison with their E26 Controller to start making waves (with several examples from Kingston, Corsair and Gigabyte revealed at everything from CES 2022 to Computex in H1 2022). Right now, if you are looking for a PCIe 5 SSD from Samsung, then the best and closest drive coming is the Samsung PM1743, which is reported to be capable of 14GB/s Sequential read and 2,500K 4K random read IOPS.

When Will the Samsung 990 Pro SSD Be Released?

According to the brand’s own reports/press-releases, the Samsung 990 PRO will be available worldwide starting this October with the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) of $179 for the 1TB model and $309 for the 2TB. A 4TB capacity version will become available in 2023.

 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Samsung 990 Pro PCIe 5 M.2 NVMe SSD Uncovered

19 août 2022 à 01:10

Samsung 990 Pro PCIe Gen 5 SSD Coming Soon

UPDATE – More information has arrived on the Samsung 990 Pro SSD that confirms that this drive will be PCIe Gen 4 x4. You can read the FULL UPDATE HERE.

Good news for anyone that has been waiting for Samsung to make their next BIG move in the commercial SSD sector, with the recent accidental leak this week by the PCI-SIG website that disclosed the submission of a new Samsung 990 Pro SSD. For the unaware, PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group) is an electronics industry consortium responsible for specifying the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), PCI-X, and PCI Express (PCIe) computer buses. In ‘human speak’, they are effectively a submission index/database that classifies the latest hardware releases of brands in order to identify the components standards and revisions (i.e speeds and bandwidth) and typically results are submitted by the brands themselves (who register for access) and/or connected company. But what does this leak show and should we start getting excited about this yet? Let’s discuss.

What do we know about the Samsung 990 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD?

First things first, the initial information on the Samsung 990 Pro leak comes from  @harukaze5719 on twitter, who spotted model IDs MZ-V9P1T0 and MZ-V9P2T0, a 1TB and 2TB model of a 9th Gen Samsung Pro series SSD. See below:

Samsung 990 PRO SSD (1TB/2TB)
It will be M.2 NVMe, PCIe 5.0. 2280? 2580? idk.

memo : 980 PRO is MZ-V8P1T00https://t.co/PQBYA8rENZ pic.twitter.com/T1v03JkPSA

— 포시포시 (@harukaze5719) August 2, 2022

Now the Samsung Pro series of SSDs has always been the brand’s flagship prosumer series, with the model name of ‘Samsung 9×0 Pro’ being considered the highest/best release in that family (which also includes PLUS, EVO and no identifier at all, which signify sub revisions), with each revision’s entrance normally being the most current/cutting-edge revision of M.2/NVMe in the last few years. Now that PCIe Gen 5 x4 m.2 SSDs are starting to appear at tradeshows, preview news and very, VERY gradually arriving with particular end-user partners, it was always a question of time before Samsung entered a Pro series drive into this arena. It is worth highlighting that Samsung has already provisionally released (in closed circles) the Samsung PM1743 for enterprise users, a PCIe5 NVMe SSD (first formally revealed at CES 2022), which was a U.2 / e3.s) drive for data center use. Here are its specs below:

PM1743

(1.92TB to 15.36TB

Form Factor U.2 or E3.S
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe
Controller Unconfirmed Samsung PCIe 5.0
NAND Flash Samsung 128L TLC (Massively TBC)
Sequential Read 13000 MB/s
Sequential Write 6600 MB/s
Random Read
IOPS
2500k
Random Write
IOPS
250k
Power TBC
TBC
Write Endurance TBC

Now, what is intriguing is that there are a few areas that seemingly highlight PCIe4 (possibly for reasons of compatibility) but in most locations involving this leak via PCI-SIG, it is displayed as a PCIe 5.0 / 32GT/s listing.

Source: PCI-SIG (via @KOMACHI_ENSAKA) and VideoCardz site that broke this news first.

Below is the information in its original form:

CEM Add-in Cards
Company Product Name Identifier Spec Revision Max Lane Width Tested Function Date Added
SAMSUNG Electronics 990PRO M.2 PCIe SSD PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s x4 SSD Endpoint Card Aug 05, 2022
SAMSUNG Electronics 1743 U.2 PCIe SSD PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s x4 SSD Endpoint Card Apr 26, 2022
SAMSUNG Electronics 1743 U.3 PCIe SSD PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s x4 SSD Endpoint Card Aug 05, 2022
SAMSUNG Electronics 1743 E3.S PCIe SSD PCIe 5.0 at 32GT/s x4 SSD Endpoint Card Aug 05, 2022

Unfortunately, there is ZERO further information at this time regarding it’s architecture or performance, but we will likely see a similar/identical controller to the PM1743, which is reported to be capable of 13-4GB/s sequential read speed and an astounding 2.5 MILLION IOPS. Write speeds and durability are still unconfirmed on any Samsung PCIe 5 SSD and are likely to be a pinch lower. So, why are Samsung suddenly gearing up for a PCIe Gen 5 SSD, despite the popularity of PCIe Gen 4 x4 drives, such as the Samsung 980 Pro?

Why Would They Release a Samsung 990 Pro PCIe5 SSD when the PCIe4 Generation is still Available?

It’s a valid point. Even now, we are seeing top-tier brand such as Western Digital release new and improved PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, such as the WD Black SN850X this month – so why would Samsung want to release a consumer PCIe 5 gen SSD like the Samsung 990 Pro? Well, ORIGINALLY, the PCIe Gen 5 commercial availability was set to take off around now/Autumn, with several high-profile SSD and motherboard manufacturers having released their hardware in Spring of 2022. However, hardware shortages and the on-going effects of the pandemic on the supply chain and consumer demand have resulted in the PCIe5 generation taking a small back step, resulting in alot of the PCIe5 NVMe SSDs that were revealed at CES 2022 and Computex 2022 being delayed. The feeling now seems to be that Autumn/Winter 2022 is more likely to be the launching pad for PCIe5 commercially (although a small range of motherboards and high-priced cards have arrived on the market). PCIe Gen 5 M.2 NVMes are already predicted to comfortably crack the 8TB 2280 length barrier, alongside the significant bandwidth improvements allowing double the read performance of PCIe4 and around 30-50% improvements in write performance in the first generations. But why would Samsung be so keen to get into this market so early?

From CES 2020:

Source: https://hothardware.com/news/samsung-980-pro-pcie-40-ssd-65gbsec-performance

Alot of the reasoning comes down to how they approached the PCIe 4 generation of SSDs. When PCIe 4 M.2 SSDs arrived commercially, Samsung was NOT one of the first to hit the shelves (unlike the Samsung 960 years before. In fact, they arrived on the scene with an SSD (the Samsung 980 Pro) around 1-1.5 years after everyone else (depending on where you were in the world and availability). They did this because unlike the first gen of PCIe4 drives that had 5000/3500MB/s performance, the Samsung 980 had an incredible 7000/5000MB/s performance. In their words, they used the extra time to make the ultimate PCIe4 SSD. At the time, only WD rivaled them (with their WD Black SN850) and it would take a while before this performance level was challenged (about 7 months and thanks to the Phison E18 controller development). Now fast forward about 2 years since the 980 Pro arrived and it is by no means one of the fastest in the market and I think (looking back over this time) this was a gamble by Samsung that might not have been as conclusive or lucrative as they would have liked. Therefore it makes sense that in the PCIe Gen 5 generation, they would want the Samsung 990 Pro to arrive right at the front of the pack this time!

When Will the Samsung 990 Pro Be Released and How Much Will It Cost?

No details on the release date or Price of the Samsung 990 Pro PCIe5 SSD have been confirmed at the time of writing and Samsung has not officially commented on the leak. I will continue to monitor this SSD and update you will more information as it appears.

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – The Best Value for Money SSD for PS5 Right Now?

12 août 2022 à 01:12

Review of the T-Force Cardea A440 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Of all the SSD brands that I have been reviewing in the last 12 months or so, very few have had the meteoric impact of TeamGroup (and their T-Force series of SSDs). That isn’t to say that the brand has not been around for a long time (originally established in the late 90s in fact) but they have been incredibly prolific in the PCIe Gen 4 generation of M.2 NVMe SSDs and their gamer-focused Cardea series has been especially popular in the PC gaming world. However, the Teamgroup T-Force Cardea A440 series being compatible with the PS5 SSD expansion has introduced this largely PC-known brand into the field of knowledge of many, many console gamers. The T-Force A440 brand splinters off into several different sub-series (Pro Special, etc) and today I want to review the T-Force Cardea A440 from TeamGroup, their 7000MB/s+ performing NVMe SSD that includes multiple heat dissipation options, Phison E18 architecture and has confirmed PS5 compatibility. In today’s review, I will be looking at the design of this SSD, the components, the effectiveness of the heatsink and benchmarks of PC and PS5 use. So, let’s not waste any more time, let’s find out if the T-Force Cardea A440 deserves your data?

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 started off in my eyes as ‘another Phison E18 SSD’, but very quickly became a genuinely stand out purchase indeed! Whatever way you look at it, the T-Force Cardea A440 drive is delivering exactly what it intends. In terms of performance, the 1TB SSD benchmarked 7000MB/s Seq Read and 6000MB/s sequential write straight out the gate and 860K IOPS without breaking a sweat. In terms of hardware, it arrives with exactly the top tier Controller+NAND+Mmeory combo that I would want to see in the PCIe4 storage tier. And in terms of Value, the SSD arrives at a competitive price point over many of its peers, whilst still proving two very useful heat dissipated options at no additional cost. Add PS5 dependant factors, such as the 6,500MB/s repeated console benchmark and a heatsink that happens to align very well with the PS5 designs cooling system and you can see how TeamGroup have gone from relative obscurity with console gamers to suddenly being a commonly mentioned name! PC users might be able to find a few better choices out there than the T-Force Cardea A440 in 2022 (with a T-Force Cardea PCIe 5 SSD reportedly making its way in H2 of the year and PCs having the better capability to harness 1 Million 4K IOPS SSDs above this one), but for the middle of the road PC  gamers and PS5 gamers, the T-Force Cardea A440, there are very few better SSDs in the market right now you can choose over this one.

SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 10/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)
👍🏻Impressive on-board cache recovery
👍🏻
👍🏻Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options
👍🏻
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Cardea Series is pretty varied
👍🏻
👍🏻4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)
👍🏻
👍🏻The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5
👍🏻
👍🏻The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow
CONS
👎🏻The retail package is a little underwhelming
👎🏻Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use

 

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Packaging

The retail box of the T-Force Cardea A440 is pretty much what you might expect. Arriving in a petite package that still shouts quite loudly from all angles that THIS is a very high-performance SSD! The retail package itself does not include any paperwork relating to the setup, warranty or troubleshooting, instead providing that kind of information on the rear of the box.

Opening the retail box, we find the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and both heat dissipation options held in a plastic moulded shell. It is a bit flimsy, but I’ll be damned if I could get the SSD out easily – it was held in there INCREDIBLY well! SSDs, unlike their more mechanical alternatives in HDDs, are far less susceptible to shock damage in transit, however, it is still quite a light amount of protection. Though, to be fair, 80-80% of all SSDs arrive in this fashion, so the T-Force Cardea A440 is hardly a stand up villain on this one!

The larger heatsink additional extra stands out particularly tall against the SSD itself and gives you some idea how coversome this panel is going to be when deployed. The flexible heatshield is packaged underneath the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD.

The 1TB model of the T-Force Cardea A440 is a single-sided (SR or Single Rank) SSD, so the rear of the SSD simply has the manufacturers label that denotes the model number, serial number, firmware revision, etc.

Laying the entire contents out, it is actually quite a good-sized bundle and the inclusive option of two different heat dissipation solutions with the T-Force Cardea A440 (whilst the drive still arrives at a very competitive price vs similar performing drives in the market) has to be respected and applauded. Though some less experienced or tentative buyers might have preferred one of the heatsinks to be applied at the factory level instead (personally, I would prefer the option to choose and do it myself – so I approve!).

The two heat dissipation options that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrive with are quite distinct and are suited to very different deployments. PC users will welcome the larger and angular designed heatsink, whereas PS5 users might want to consider the thinner/shorter stacked heat shield, as the larger heatsink will not fit inside the PS5 expansion bay with the aluminium plate cover in place.

A closer look at the heat shield dissipation panel shows that it is a thin, metallic strip that is designed to adhesively stick to the SSD top (where the controller is located, important) and draw heat away from the components as much as possible. However, this panel is single-use and aside from the adhesive being considerably less efficient if re-use is attempted, the shape and smoothness of the heatshield will be impaired and contact with the SSD components will be lessened with repeated use.

The traditionally larger and angular slit designed heatsink on the other hand will be much more familiar to PC users and is arguably more effective than the heatshield in sustained use. Branded with the T-Force logo and branding, this is definitely the stronger heat management option that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrives with.

Additionally, the T-Force Cardea A440 larger heatsink option can be deployed and re-deployment over and over, with the thermal panels it arrives with being reusable and easily replaceable. Also, the  heatsink is a surrounding design, so it sits under and on top of the T-Force Cardea A440, with a thermal pad on either side to help conductivity into the metal of the heatsink. Certainly the preferred choice.

When installed, the heatsink completely covers the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and interestingly, although the heatsink is too tall to fit into the PS5 M.2 slot with the cover it, the slits and angle of the heatsink align with the PS5 vents. I am unsure if this was an intentional design choice (as this heatsink has been around for quite a while) but it’s an unexpected bonus indeed.

Overall, although I will get onto the hardware architecture of the T-Force Cardea A440 shortly, I have to give props to Teamgroup for selling this package at a lower price than alternatives from Samsung, WD and Seagate (which arrive 15-20% more expensive for heatsink included options), whilst still providing a high performance SSD.

So, what about PS5 deployment of the T-Force Cardea A440?

When installing the T-Force Cardea A440 into the PS5 M.2 Expansion storage bay, the difference in height between these two SSDs is immediately apparent! The thinner heatshield covers the SSD and leaves a significant area of space for active airflow (what there IS of it in the PS5 M.2 bay under that metal cover anyway).

Heatsink Version

Heatshield Version

Whereas the chunkier and taller heatsink installed with the T-Force Cardea A440 prevents the cover from being used and means that this heatsink will partially live in the airflow channel of the PS5’s vents and central cooling fan. Now, for the SSD – this is GREAT NEWS! A cooler SSD is (especially the controller) the considerably better it will operate. However, the PS5 cooling system is a quite delicately designed system that uses negative pressure (pulling air in one way and pushing out the other, forming a small vacuum) and if the heatsink got especially hot, that means that air entering the PS5 might well be a few degrees higher than normal. This is not the end o the world and not something we have been able to explore fully, but some users would prefer to have the cover on to ensure the PS5 does not get even 1 degree hotter than it needs to.

When I deployed the TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD into the PS5, the console’s own internal benchmark (which is marked considerably different to popular PC benchmark tools such as AJA, BlackMagic, ATTO, CrystalDisk or PC Mark) gave us a very reassuring 6,557MB/s Read rating. Repeated testing of this SSD (i.e 3 more reformats for the benchmark ALL gave us between 6500-6550MVB/s – VERY impressive indeed, especially when you know that this is the 1TB drive and most 1TB SSDs we have tested on the PS5 have given us around 6000-6100MB/s at most.

After the benchmark is completed, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and it’s available storage immediately appeared in the PS5 storage manager for us. No delays, no formatting, just STRAIGHT into storage. Lovely stuff.

So, the PS5 benchmark of the T-Force Cardea A440 is good, but how does it compare with similarly built SSDs in the market?

TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

To put the T-Force A440 Cardea SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Addlink A95, Adata XPG Gammix S70, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Gigabyte Aorus 7000s – four SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture very little difference between the others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark. The T-Force Cardea A440 managed to hit the same highs as three other Phison E18 SSDs, all the while arriving $20-30 cheaper in most cases. Again, absolute music to my ears!

Addlink A95 PS5 Benchmark – 6556MB/s XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 Benchmark – 6235MB/s
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus – 6557MB/s Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 Benchmark6557MB/s

Full PS5 Testing of the T-Force A440 Cardea is all available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A440, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the WD Black and Seagate Firecuda 530,

So that is the physical design of the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the T-Force Cardea A440 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the T-Force Cardea A440 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the T-Force Cardea A440 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND MICRON 3D TLC 96L NAND
Max Capacity 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the T-Force Cardea A440 can actually back up it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the T-Force Cardea A440 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the T-Force Cardea A440 does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD.

Much like the Controller on the T-Force Cardea A440 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The T-Force Cardea A440 SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the T-Force Cardea A440 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the T-Force Cardea A440 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the T-Force Cardea A440 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the T-Force Cardea A440, as it is still (less than 6 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the T-Force Cardea A440, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The T-Force Cardea A440 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 18 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 10% (which still keeps it less than the WD Blacck and Segate Firecuda in price at the time of writing). Below is a breakdown of how each T-Force Cardea A440 SSD compares:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440

1TB – $209.99, 2TB – $399.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND MICRON 3D TLC 96L NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ N/A $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $179 / £139 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $349 / £289 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than the 96L/128L used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the T-Force Cardea A440 is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700-800K. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the T-Force Cardea A440 is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440

1TB – $209.99, 2TB – $399.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands a higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arrives at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Though we cannot remove the fact that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrives at an excellent price point, even WITH two inclusive heat dissipation options included. The Seagate and WD versions of their drives with inclusive heatsinks will increase their prices 10-15%, thereby even further increasing the disparity in price here. Let’s get the T-Force Cardea A440 on the test machine!

Testing the T-Force Cardea A440 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The T-Force Cardea A440 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the T-Force Cardea A440 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 43C between each test being conducted, but at it’s peak, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and larger heatsink hit 53C.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.59GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.59GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  =6.58GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but I wanted something clearer, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our latest barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Tests were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write tasks to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6001MB/s Read & 5715MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5994MB/s Read & 5703MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6015MB/s Read & 5654MB/s Write

Overall, the T-Force Cardea A440 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were actually higher than those provided by the brand, which was a very pleasant surprise, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Conclusion

The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 started off in my eyes as ‘another Phison E18 SSD’, but very quickly became a genuinely stand out purchase indeed! Whatever way you look at it, the T-Force Cardea A440 drive is delivering exactly what it intends. In terms of performance, the 1TB SSD benchmarked 7000MB/s Seq Read and 6000MB/s sequential write straight out the gate and 860K IOPS without breaking a sweat. In terms of hardware, it arrives with exactly the top tier Controller+NAND+Mmeory combo that I would want to see in the PCIe4 storage tier. And in terms of Value, the SSD arrives at a competitive price point over many of its peers, whilst still proving two very useful heat dissipated options at no additional cost. Add PS5 dependant factors, such as the 6,500MB/s repeated console benchmark and a heatsink that happens to align very well with the PS5 designs cooling system and you can see how TeamGroup have gone from relative obscurity with console gamers to suddenly being a commonly mentioned name! PC users might be able to find a few better choices out there than the T-Force Cardea A440 in 2022 (with a T-Force Cardea PCIe 5 SSD reportedly making its way in H2 of the year and PCs having the better capability to harness 1 Million 4K IOPS SSDs above this one), but for the middle of the road PC  gamers and PS5 gamers, the T-Force Cardea A440, there are very few better SSDs in the market right now you can choose over this one.

SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 10/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)
👍🏻Impressive on-board cache recovery
👍🏻
👍🏻Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options
👍🏻
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Cardea Series is pretty varied
👍🏻
👍🏻4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)
👍🏻
👍🏻The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5
👍🏻
👍🏻The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow
CONS
👎🏻The retail package is a little underwhelming
👎🏻Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use
PROs of the T-Force Cardea A440 CONs of the T-Force Cardea A440
Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)

Impressive on-board cache recovery

Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options

Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Cardea Series is pretty varied

4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)

The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5

The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow

The retail package is a little underwhelming

Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use

 

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QNAP TS-464 vs TS-453D NAS – Which Should You Buy?

3 août 2022 à 01:17

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS Drive – Which Should You Buy?

Are you considering the QNAP TS-464 now it has been released? Or thinking of saving some money and opting for the predecessor TS-453D that is currently on sale? It’s a tough decision for some that want to ensure value for money, yet remain future-proof. It is no secret that QNAP, much like many other NAS brands, refreshes their range of available hardware every few years. We are all quite used to tech makers producing a new version of their ‘thing’ that makes big and bold promises to be bigger, better and faster than what came before! In the case of Network Attached Storage though, one big contributing factor that often necessitates the release of new versions of their products and series is the CPU. CPU manufacturers such as Intel and AMD tend to perform refreshes of their own to their portfolios (retooling manufacturing plants for the newer processors and ceasing production of the previous chip) and this leads to NAS brands having to change their CPU in line with the chip manufacturers new revisions shortly afterwards. This new CPU revision will often open the door to further improvements in the rest of the hardware too and that is eventually what governs the shape and abilities of a new NAS release. This all too often though leads to a period of around a year when retailers that provide these solutions (everything from Amazon to specialized retailers) will feature both the older and newer NAS systems in stock at the same time and that leads to many, MANY buyers wondering whether it is worth saving some money and purchasing the previous NAS release on ‘sale’ or spending more and getting the newest release to be more future-proof. Given that both the TS-464 and TS-453D run IDENTICAL versions of the QNAP QTS 5 system software and services, the temptation to save a few quid and/or spend that saving on network improvements or more storage is pretty high. Also, the TS-453D released back in 2020 arrived on the market at $630 and is now available to buy for $549 (or even as low as $438 during seasonal sales such as Prime Day and Black Friday), see below:

Now, if you compare that against the newly released QNAP TS-664, which has seemed to hit the eShops at around $600-650, that is quite a big difference in price tag. So, today I want to compare the QNAP TS-464 released now in spring 2022 against the 2020 released TS-453D, just to see where that extra goes. On the face of it, we have two very, VERY similar NAS drives that simply arrive in different colours but have all the same ports. However, even the smallest dig into their respective specifications reveals a huge difference in the bandwidth and capacity in how these ports have changed. Let’s begin

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Design

The design of the TS-464 and TS-453D are INCREDIBLY similar. The chassis that both NAS systems use a black, plastic and matt textured enclosure, with a coloured front side panel and a removable glass effect front cover that reveals the main SATA bays. This external plastic casing covers the internal metal structure completely and passive airflow via ventilation is quite discreet around the box, facilitated by a larger single 120mm rear fan on both NAS. This design has been their main choice for their flagship series since the release of the TS-x53B and TS-53Be devices in 2017/2018 and is quite understated. Of the two I SLIGHTLY prefer the copper effect side panel of the TS-464 over the TS-453D, but this is a purely personal preference.

QNAP TS-464 NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

QNAP TS-453D NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

Ventilation and notice on both the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D are largely identical, however, there is the tiniest potential increase possibility in fan operation in the TS-464, due to the increased hardware inside the enclosure that I will touch on and the system needing to maintain an efficient system temperature. However, ventilation on both of these NAS systems is a limit more understated than alternatives from the likes of Synology, as the side vents on both these NAS are quite small (with a larger base vent panel under the SATA media bays) and I have always wondered how much impact the lockable front panel of this chassis design impacts airflow from that rear active cooling fan (negatively, positively or no different). But nevertheless, the chassis has little or no difference in the two years between the TS-453D and TS-464 being released.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

The rear of each of these NAS systems are largely the same, however, the rearrangement of the ports of the newer TS-464 (likely to make room for additional internal M.2 NVMe SSD slots that we will discuss later) has led to them being a little between distributed across the internal board. The vents in the metal rear panel of the older TS-453D are wider than those found on the TS-464, though I am not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this decision (dust control, creating increased velocity for the air via compressed channels? I have no idea), but it does not seem to affect system temperature either way when we checked the system diagnostics after 24 hours power-on. The fan is completely automated to increase/decrease as the system temperature monitor dictates but can be adjusted higher or lower in RPM manually if needed for reasons of preemptive high system activity or noise adjustment. Personally, I would ALWAYS leave this on automatic.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

Overall, the design of the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D has changed so very little, that there is little or no difference between them of note. Both are particularly compact 4 bays that can be deployed pretty easily. Let’s dig down into the internal hardware of these two NAS, as it is there that we really really start to see how much has changed in two years and gives us a clearer picture of which one will be better value for money.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Internal Hardware

Right, so HERE is where we start to see some big differences between the TS-464 and TS-453D, as QNAP are able to take advantage of a better CPU to spread their hardware and bandwidth a great deal more. Once again though, on the face of it, the specifications are incredibly similar. Both use quad-core Intel Celerons, both arriving at 2.0Ghz with embedded graphics and both using 4GB DDR4 memory, yet more than a $/£/€100-150 difference! This is down to the maximum capacities afforded to this hardware in the TS-464 and its scalability down the line. For example, the default memory inside the TS-453D (ADATA 2400Mhz DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM) is also accompanied by an additional empty memory slot to allow an additional 4GB more memory. As the older TS-453D has a CPU that has a maximum 8GB of memory, this is perfectly fine. However, the TS-464 NAS’ newer gen CPU allows up to 16GB of memory (4GB of 2666Mhz memory in the default model) across two upgradable slots. Likewise, the newer system features those M.2 NVMe slots that can be used for SSD storage upgrades. Although both the TS-453D and TS-464 support SSD caching (when a pool of SSDs is used to speed up data write/read in conjunction with the larger HDD RAID array), Qtier and as standalone storage pools, the TS-464 is the only one that provides this as immediately without any upgrade cards. This is the first of several key differences between the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D NAS that stem from the CPU choice. Here is how they scale up specifically though:

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Price £559               $650              €675

£429               $530              €549

Storage Media Support 4x SATA, 2x m.2 NVMe 3×1 4x SATA
CPU Model Intel N5105/N5095 Intel J4125
CPU Frequency & Cores Quad-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz Quad-Core 2.0-2.7Ghz
CPU Benchmark Score CPU benchmark 4161 CPU benchmark 3006
Memory Default/Max 4-16GB SODIMM DDR4 4-8GB SODIMM DDR4
PSU Power & Design 90W External PSU 90W External PSU
Physical Fans 1x 120m FAN 1x 120m FAN

Now, that CPU is the big game-changer here. When Intel made the switch to the newer N5105/N5095 processor, this opened the door to a bunch more ways to extend the efficiency and bandwidth of those existing physical services. NAS systems are designed to be operational for days, weeks, months and even years at a time. Therefore, in order to maintain optimal performance, as well as lower power consumption and lessen the damage that long term operation can inflict on a processor, the CPUs used in NAS are a great deal more modest. In the case of the TS-453D and TS-464 NAS, they feature Intel Celeron processors, each featuring an embedded graphics component (allowing graphical operations, multimedia handling and visual data to be handled by a specialized area of the processor), quad-core architecture and a base level clock speed of 2.0Ghz that can be burst (turbo/increased when needed). However, the newer generation N5105/N5095 CPU in the TS-464 is able to reach a higher overall clock speed and also is more efficient (i.e uses a little less hardware resources to get a task done than it would take on the J4125 typically, so, therefore, can do more tasks overall when the full CPU power is utilized). Indeed, CPUBenchmark rated the newer CPU 30%+ higher in its scoring than the J4125 (again, as you would expect for a CPU released more than a year later by Intel), so this processor means that more can be done on the TS-464 (in like for like tasks) and also this CPU allows a greater range of hardware to be built into the system. CPUs are one of the largest quantifying factors of how a NAS is built and this is because they can only handle a certain amount of connected hardware (storage bays, ports, expansion slots, etc) when connected to a larger controller/motherboard. This is commonly referred to as the # of PCI lanes and the chipset used in the build of the system. Because this newer Intel N5105 / N5095 CPU has more lanes to use at once than the J4125, it allows the newer NAS drive to have more hardware.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Intel N5105/N5095 CPU

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Intel J4125 CPU

These additional CPU resources, as well as the increased maximum memory and flexibility the TS-464 providing M.2 NVMe SSD slots can be used ultimately means that in terms of internal hardware, the newer released QNAP TS-464 wins over the TS-453D NAS. It is worth remembering that the M.2 NVMe SSD slots on the QNAP TS-464 are PCIe Gen 3 x1 (down to the Celeron CPU still not having anywhere near the scope in its flexibility that the likes of an Intel Core, Ryzen or Xeon might have) and will bottleneck at 1,000MB/s, but this is still better than nothing and as these slots are not an option on the TS-453D without the installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade card over PCIe.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Ports & Connections

Once again, the ports and connections available on the QNAP TS-453D and TS-464 seem near enough identical at a glance, but even a casual dig into those spec sheets real some big differences. Both systems provide two 2.5GbE network ports that, along with up to 260-270MB/s throughput, also allow port-trunking (otherwise known as link aggregation) and with the use of a smart switch can provide 500-550MB/s performance to your connected network. Alongside this, both systems support the QNAP USB 3.2 to 5GbE adapter to add further network ports to the system too. Likewise, both system provide an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port and USB 2.0 ports for a KVM (keyboard, video, Mouse) setup to be used in conjunction with the included parallel HD Station application and its tools. The HDMI and direct interface of the QNAP is still pretty niche as a service on this system, but it has a number of useful multimedia, surveillance and VM utilities that can be quite impressive. Finally, Expansions on the TS-464 and TS-453D are largely the same, with QNAP offering 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12-Bay expansion chassis (arriving in JBOD or hardware RAID enabled) that connect over USB or an inclusive PCIe card. However, after this, things become a great deal more future proof and scalable on the TS-464 NAS.

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Network Ports 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE
USB 3.2 Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
USB 2.0 Ports 2x USB 2.0 3x USB 2.0
HDMI Ports 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS
PCIe Upgrade Slots PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot (2Gb/s) PCIe Gen 2×2 Slot (1Gb/s)

The first difference worth highlighting is regarding those USB ports. The older TS-453D features USB 3.2 Gen 1 (AKA USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports that provide up to 5Gb/s (500MB/s+) bandwidth with connected external storage media (i.e you would need a RAID enabled HDD USB enclosure or SSD drive in order to hit this performance cap). The TS-464 on the other hand features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 2 – THANKS for the name nonsense ‘USB.org’!) which can provide 10Gb/s performance (i.e 1,000MB/s). As SSDs become increasingly affordable and even external m.2 NVMe SSD enclosures arriving at a bargain, this option to have a significantly faster backup drive option available is quite attractive. Especially for those that plan on having a USB tier to their multi-stage NAS Backup strategy and choose to have dated/versioned backups, rather than differential backups just ‘topping things up’ over time. Another big difference of note is in that PCIe upgrade slot. Both the TS-453D and TS-464 feature the option to install a PCIe upgrade card that can include options to add better network interfaces (2.5/5/10G or WiFi 6 / AX wireless options) with multi-port card, storage upgrade cards (adding multiple M.2 NVMe and SATA bays) or even combo cards that feature both on a single card. The difference between the TS-464 and TS-453D though stems from the bandwidth afforded these slots, with the TS-453D arriving with a PCIe Gen 2×2 slot and the TS-464 having a PCIe Gen 3 x2 slot. This results in the newer NAS providing DOUBLE the potential bandwidth of the TS-453D when installing an upgrade card. So this will be particularly useful when installing multiport network upgrade cards and SSD cards that exceed 1,000MB/s, as well as combo cards that need to spread the bandwidth a bit. Overall, the hardware in the TS-464 is certainly better and broader than the TS-453D, but it is worth remembering that the bulk of these advantages and improvements made in the 2 years later hardware release can be viewed in terms of optional scalability and expandability – so you are going to need more hardware to take advantage and almost certainly not advantages that most users will take advantage of on day 1.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Software

This is pretty much the smallest difference that can be measured between the QNAP TS-464 and QNAP TS-453D NAS. Both these NAS systems run the QTS 5 operating system, services and applications available for the platform and numerous client hardware devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc). The only REAL difference between these two NAS systems is the fact that the improved hardware inside the newer TS-464 (more efficient and higher clock speed CPU, after memory and large maximum RAM threshold) allows a larger number of actions and clients to be managed at a single time than the TS-453D NAS. However, in smaller or single operations, you are not going to feel/see the difference, unless you are particularly pushing the CPU or Memory utilization in a single client interaction (i.e surveillance camera feeds, Virtual Machine deployment, transcoding natively and/or Plex, etc). Likewise, the inclusion of the default M.2 NVMe slots on the TS-464 means that you have a few extra SSDD services available on day 1, but these are still available to the TS-453D via either the installation of a PCIe upgrade card OR using SATA SSDs internally. Below is a breakdown of the applications and services that are included in QTS available on both NAS systems.

TS-464

TS-453D

Browser Support Supports all Browsers Supports all Browsers
Browser File Management Browser File Management
Photo/Music/Video Tools Photo/Music/Video Tools
Multimedia Console Multimedia Console
AI Photo Recognition AI Photo Recognition
Edge m.2 Coral TPU Support
Storage Services
SED Drive Support SED Drive Support
QTier QTier
Hybrid Mount Hybrid Mount
ISCSI Target/LUN ISCSI Target/LUN
vJBOD vJBOD
Snapshots Snapshots
SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both) SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both)
Cloud Sync / QSync Cloud Sync / QSync
Ex-FAT is Free Ex-FAT is Free
RAID Resync control RAID Resync control
Secure Erase Secure Erase
Lots of Expansions (TR/TL) Lots of Expansions (TR/TL)
HBS 3 HBS 3
Qfiling and Qsirch Qfiling and Qsirch
Business Applications
QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses
Virtualization Station Virtualization Station
Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20 Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20
Container Station Container Station
Hypervisor Protector Hypervisor Protector
QMailAgent QMailAgent
HD Station HD Station
BoXafe BoXafe
Security
Security Councillor Security Councillor
Malware Remover Malware Remover
McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning
QVPN QVPN
Log and Notification Center Log and Notification Center
Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc
256 bit Encryption 256 bit Encryption
2 Step Authentication 2 Step Authentication
Firewall App Firewall App
Access Protection and Allow/Deny list Access Protection and Allow/Deny list

Although you are going to be able to do more of these things above simultaneously on the TS-464 than the TS-453D NAS, it is not a huge win for the newer box and once again, this win comes largely down to futureproofing than anything you will feel on Day 1. You can learn more about the QNAP QTS Platform in my review below in both video and blog form:

QNAP QTS 5 Review Video QNAP QTS 5 Review on the Blog

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Conclusion

It will come as no shock that the newer QNAP TS-464 NAS is the better choice in the long run compared with the QNAP TS-453D, thanks largely down to a larger degree of upgrades, storage scaling in the future and resource expandability. If you KNOW you are not going to be scaling up your storage hardware in the next 4-5 years, then perhaps the TS0453D is a better choice for you, using that saved $/£/€100-150 difference towards more storage, network interface upgrades or improving your in-house network environment generally with 2.5GbE or 10GbE. The software provided on both systems is still very good value for money and QNAP is still one of the few brands that provide this level of hardware (plus inclusive software and services) at this price point. Equally, you are almost certainly going to see the QNAP TS-453D at ever more attractive price points at retailers and it is still a great little NAS (check out my 2020 review of the TS-453D HERE). But you simply cannot ignore the number of ways that the base level TS-464 NAS can be upgraded and improved in its lifespan and for those that want a ‘blank canvas’ NAS solution that they can then change alongside their own network client hardware in the home/office, the TS-464 NAS is the more mature and long-term choice easily.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Spring/Summer 2022

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Spring/Summer 2020

Reasons to Buy it?

Better Hardware inside and out

More Expansion/Upgrade Options

Able to run more simultaneous apps/clients at once

Faster USB Ports (10Gb/s)

Larger bandwidth PCIe upgrade slot (PCIe 3×2 vs 2×2)

Higher CPU Frequency, Efficiency & Proficiency

Reasons to Buy it?

Lower Current Price Point

Overall lower power consumption

Better ventilation internally and on fan panel design

More USB Ports overall

More likely on Sale over Black Friday/Seasonal Sales

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

 

 

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