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FRONTPAGE T-Force Cardea Liquid M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Review

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Overclockers.com

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
When it comes to modern NVMe drives, heat actually becomes a real concern. Often times M.2 drives are buried under hot graphics cards, which tends to exacerbate the heat problem. To combat this growing concern for NVMe temperatures, and to stop the drives from thermal throttling, companies like Team Group are taking things to the next level. Their latest NVMe SSD release, the T-Force Cardea Liquid, features a liquid cooled heat sink. How can such a small device be liquid cooled? Follow along as we investigate this new drive and run it through a gambit of benchmark tests.

Click here to view the article.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Sure it looks cool, but how long does it actually run before it overheats because the silly bling on it is actually insulating? I expect the cheapest of metal sinks would perform better than a plastic box with a puddle in it.
 

EarthDog

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Buckeyes!
Sure it looks cool, but how long does it actually run before it overheats because the silly bling on it is actually insulating? I expect the cheapest of metal sinks would perform better than a plastic box with a puddle in it.
I don't believe our reviewer tried to run it hard for an hour, but I believe he had mentioned an extended run time and no throttling?? Maybe I am confusing reviews?
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
You're not missing anything ED. It appears from the review that the fluid enhances the dissipation of heat. Water has a specific heat of 1. There are few better liquids for that purpose. I can see how it would match a metal strip easily. My main concern would be a leak. If they designed it well and the owner doesn't damage the unit it should be capable past the time it's replaced with DNA drives. Or not depending on the R/W cycles.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
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Jun 5, 2013
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According to the review the length of time for the water temps to drop back to ambient were excessive compared to an aluminum heatsink. My question is how many NVMe drives are stressed for hours at a time without a break? Who uses NVMe drives as file servers?

Just my opinion but, if I were to manufacture a water cooled "heatsink" for an M.2 drive it would be a waterblock with a cold plate, not a heatsink. One that could be added into a custom loop.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
According to the review the length of time for the water temps to drop back to ambient were excessive compared to an aluminum heatsink.

That was my point. The water is going to eventually reach the drive's maximum temperature because the plastic is insulating, and then this would perform worse than a bare drive, let alone one with a metal sink.

My question is how many NVMe drives are stressed for hours at a time without a break? Who uses NVMe drives as file servers?

Who uses NVMe drives for anything but that? If you're not needing to repetitively store and load terabytes of data where the GB/s transfer rate is useful, what is the benefit of having an NVMe drive at all?

I think 3 million files for a total of 264GB is plenty for a 'real world' test :D ...snip... This was a pretty serious torture test

I have to strongly disagree. If you're paying for an NVMe drive, you're paying for GBps transfer speeds. Your benchmark, with STR well under 200 MBps, is hardly a test for a cheap SATA drive, let alone NVMe. Try again with a single hundred-gigabyte file (random or a tarball of a bunch or music or something psuedo-random) copied a few times.
 
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EarthDog

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Who uses NVMe drives for anything but that? If you're not needing to repetitively store and load terabytes of data and actually need the GB/s transfer rate, what is the benefit of having an NVMe drive at all?
Me...and many many others USE it, but NEED (the speeds) I/we don't. I'd go as far to say that an OS and game storage is more common than using these as loading TB/s of data and requiring GB/s transfer for extended periods of time. Surely some users beat on these and for that, our testing isn't good enough... but we can't please all use models for every part. We just try to look at typical use scenarios for the consumer.

That out of the way, we are looking at updating our storage testing methods to include more significant temperature testing. :)

You should see an update from the article author in this thread on this specific drive soon!
 

mllrkllr88

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
To answer your question I thought I would setup a little test. As in the main review, the drive is tested in an open air test bench with no active airflow pointed at it. There is an AIO close by but it does not blow directly on the drive, so it's close to a worst case scenario.

I decided to create a large file and copy it from drive to drive. I started with some random benchmark software files I had on my USB drive, and copied them many times. Here is a screenshot of the file creation process, as you can see the dive is getting a good workout even before the main event takes place. I copied files back-to-back and the drive never got much of a break doing the initial file build up.
File Creation.jpg

Here is a screenshot of the finished file. I think 3 million files for a total of 264GB is plenty for a 'real world' test :D
Transfer File.jpg

Here is a screenshot of the final file copy and benchmark result. This was a pretty serious torture test but I think the heat sink worked out well. With decent airflow in a case, I believe the max temperature would be considerably less. With the system running idle and no workload, it took 25 minutes to drop the temp back down from 52c to 25c.
Bench Result.jpg

Would you like to see this kind of testing implemented in future NVMe reviews?
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
"My question is how many NVMe drives are stressed for hours at a time without a break? Who uses NVMe drives as file servers? "
Out here in the wild nvme drives can REALLY help in video editing rigs.