TeamGroup just unveiled the T-Force Z54A PCIe 5.0 SSD, which will undoubtedly shame even the best SSDs out there. With sequential read and write speeds of up to 14.2 GB/s and 11.5 GB/s, respectively, the T-Force Z54A is expected to become the fastest standard consumer PCIe 5.0 SSD once it hits retail shelves.
Unlike other PCIe 5.0 drives that use the Phison PS5026-E26 controller, the T-Force Z54A uses a competing solution: InnoGrit's IG5666 controller. Adata's Project Nighthawk and Project Blackbird SSDs use the same controller, but TeamGroup is the first to announce a finished product. There's a third player, too: Silicon Motion holds the SM2508 and SM2504XT controllers that will power upcoming PCIe 5.0 SSDs. However, these will be late to the party, as they're scheduled for release in the fourth quarter.
Judging by the performance provided by TeamGroup, the Innogrit IG5666 controller offers better performance than the Phison PS5026-E26 controller. The screenshot shows that the T-Force Z54A achieves sequential read speeds of up to 14,365 MB/s and write speeds of up to 11,547 MB/s. It surpasses the Crucial T700, which is the fastest E26-based drive with sequential writes of 12.4 GB/s and sequential reads of 11.8 GB/s.
The E26 controller can reach speeds of up to 14 GB/s when paired with NAND that operates at 2400 MT/s. Unfortunately, no consumer PCIe 5.0 SSD has this tray so far. Even Crucial, a subsidiary of Micron, could only equip the T700 with 2200 MT/s NAND, which prevented the SSD from reaching the full potential of the E26 controller. Our sources told us that the IG5666 controller outperforms the E26 controller despite the latter being connected to 2400 MT/s NAND.
There's hardly any public information about the Innogrit IG5666 controller. However, TeamGroup's press release confirms that the IG5666 controller is a product of the 12nm process node and supports 2400 MT/s NAND, just like the rival E26 controller. Additionally, the controller apparently features a unique code correction technique to extend the longevity of NAND and a decoder for a low-power mode. TeamGroup didn't specify whether the T-Force Z54A has 2400 MT/s NAND.
The product render for the T-Force Z54A shows a barebones unit with no heatsinks or bulky coolers. But like any other PCIe 5.0 SSD, the unit is likely to thermally throttle if run without a heatsink, although it may get away with standard use. However, more intensive workloads are likely to affect the drive's performance, so consumers should use the built-in M.2 heatsink on the motherboard or an aftermarket cooler with the basic PCIe 5.0 SSD. There's a reason why TeamGroup introduced an upcoming 360mm AIO liquid cooler with an M.2 module to cool the T-Force Z54A.
TeamGroup didn't reveal the price or availability of the T-Force Z54A, but we're likely to learn more about the IG5666-based PCIe 5.0 SSD at Computex 2023. Today's press release was likely just a small teaser to excite consumers for the upcoming show.
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