Team Group is pushing the limits and despite this RGB rave, they managed to do something quite cool. Looking at the basic idea, this was bound to happen and they are certainly not the first but so far their implementation is hands down the best looking option out there. Having a full RGB screen on your storage device seems useless at first glance since most users keep them hidden but if you have a case with vertical mounting for 2.5″ drives, well, that changes everything.

This DELTA MAX RGB SSD is gorgeous looking even when it’s not working and adds something extra to your build. Mind you I haven’t even mention the mesmerising effects and how easy it is to program and control the RGB illumination.

Of course, this is not all about the looks, it also packs proper quality items under hood like a Silicon Motion SM2258 controller, Samsung 3D TLC flash NAND and Hynix DRAM. They come in either 250 GB, 500 GB or 1TB size options.

hawk_1

TeamGroup Inc. was founded in 1997 in Taiwan. TEAMGROUP Inc. possesses professional research and development capabilities, high quality products, rapid productivity, a tightly-knit global sales network and complete customer services. TEAMGROUP mainly produces its own brand of memory modules, memory cards, USB flash drives, solid state disks, peripheral series, mobile accessories and industrial applications. Gaming competitions have drawn worldwide attention in the recent years, so TEAMGROUP integrated its gaming memory modules into “T-FORCE” product line which is specifically designed for people who pursuit extreme high speed and excellent performance.

 

Prices and Availability

 

They are priced reasonably well considering what they offer. They come in either a 250 GB, 500 GB or 1TB capacity option. As per any SSD, the official endurance rating also increases with the capacity thus we have 60 TBW, 120 TBW, and 240 TBW respectively.

 

Presentation and Specification

 

*Courtesy of their website.*

They managed to respect the SSD format and to keep it at 9.5 mm thick. Then it’s really cool that they thought of backward comparability so all users can enjoy the light show. This means if you don’t have a 5V RGB connector on your motherboard you can still plug it in the USB 9 pin port and still use it with the built-in light effects. If you do have an RGB port available, then the sky is the limit since it will synchronise with your motherboard light controls software.

Specification:

* Model: DELTA MAX SSD
* Interface: SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – With Backwards Compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0
* Capacity: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB
* Voltage: DC +5V
* Operation Temperature: 0°C ~ 70°C
* Weight: 78g
* Dimensions: 100(L) x 69.85(W) x 9.5(H)mm
* Operating System: Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 / Vista, MAC OS 10.4 or later, Linux 2.6.33 or later
* MTBF: 1000000 hours
* Warranty: 3-year limited warranty
* Terabyte WritteN: 250GB (>60TB) / 500GB (>120TB) / 1TB (>240TB)
* Performance:

ATTO / Crystal Disk Mark:
250GB Read: 560MB/s ; Write: 500MB/s
500GB Read: 560MB/s ; Write: 510MB/s
1TB Read: 560MB/s ; Write: 510MB/s

IOPS:
250GB 4K Random Read/Write: 90K/75K IOPS Max
500GB 4K Random Read/Write: 90K/80K IOPS Max
1TB 4K Random Read/Write: 90K/80K IOPS Max

Performance wise, we have the regular SATA III (6Gbps) numbers so the DELTA MAX RGB will top out at 560 MB/s read and +500 MB/s write.

 

Visual Inspection and Installation

 

Team Group does a nice job with their marketing so it’s really easy to identify their products. All the branding is in the top section in a bold font and bright colors. Then we have a visual depiction of the actual SSD in the middle and a sticker on the right with the capacity. Our test sample has 500 GB.

On the back we have all the main specs and highlights. There is a quick brief about the company philosophy and objective in the upper part. The DELTA MAX RGB SSDs come with a 3 years warranty and the most important info to retain is the fact that you can make this SSD light up even on older motherboards by just using the USB 9 pin port. Otherwise, with the modern 5V RGB ports you get full control via literally any light software from any motherboard brand.

The T-Force DETLA MAX RGB SSD is centred in its own tray. Underneath it you get some highly welcomed accessories like the 5V RGB motherboard cable, USB 9 pin power cable, an instruction manual, a T-Force logo sticker and a cloth.

This SSD is just gorgeous looking even when not lit up ! It has this dark blue/purple tint to it in natural light (exactly like we saw in our previow review with the T-Force RAM).

It is basically a mirror and it quickly becomes a must have item for any display orientated built.

This is where you will plug in one of either cables for activating the RGB screen. Next to it we have the standard SATA interface.

Now this is what we are waiting for. Enjoy the fireworks !

Our RGB light control software is called ‘AURA’ representing ASUS boards which instantly recognised the T-Force SSD as the ‘RGB strip’ since it uses the 5V RGB header and as you can see from the video it is fully synchronised with the rest of the other components on the ‘Color Cycle’ pattern. The second half of the video is at night and shows the stock built-in effect of the DELTA MAX RGB SSD.

 

Testing methodology

 

* Synthetic and real life big file transfer tests – a game folder of 66 GB of mixed files
* All test subjects have identical content – at around 5-10% used space
* All SSDs were secure-erased before our tests started
* Between tests, drives are left idle for 1 minute to allow them to flush and reorganise their internal data.
* Steps have been taken to ensure that the CPU’s power-saving features don’t interfere with any of our results. All of the CPU’s low-power states have been disabled.
* In order to minimise random variation, each of the real-life performance tests are run a few times with reboots in-between tests to reduce the impact of disk cache.
* (SATA SSDs only) Make sure you use a SATA 6Gbps capable motherboard and a matching cable to avoid bottle-necking. Then double check in the BIOS that you have the AHCI mode activated for another maximum performance tip.

Hardware used:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 AM4 – 4c/8t @ 65W TDP
CPU Cooler: AMR Ryzen Wraith Spire RGB
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-i Gaming mITX @ BIOS 0608
Boot SSD: Crucial P2 500GB NVMe QLC
Video card(s): ASUS GTX 1080 STRIX A8G
PSU: Corsair SF750 SFX Platinum
Case: Sahara P35 Tempered Glass Mid Tower PC Gaming Case
Case fans 140 mm: Noiseblocker eLoop X-Series ARGB Black PWM – B14X-P 1500 RPM
Case fans 120 mm: Noiseblocker eLoop X-Series ARGB Black PWM – B12X-P-BL 2000 RPM

Competition SSD:

Samsung 970 EVO 2TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe
Samsung 860 PRO 1TB QLC SATA 2.5″
Crucial P1 M.2 1TB QLC PCIe NVMe
Crucial P2 M.2 500GB QLC PCIe NVMe

Software:

Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1909
HD Tune Pro v5.70
ATTO v4.01
Crystal Disk Mark v7.0.0

 

Testing, Results and Analysis

 

First, we start with HD Tune Pro – which is a hard disk / SSD utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more. Here the DELTA MAX beats the Samsung 860 QVO in the IOPs test. Of course, any SATA SSD will be under most x4 3.0 NVMe regarding these tests.

Moving to the next utility – Crystal Disk Mark – this one is designed to quickly test the performance of your drives. Things are looking even better for the T-Force drive since it beats the Samsung one across the board.

Moving to the “write” test, which is even more importat in real life scenarios, we get the same results and thus the same hierarchy.

To conclude the synthetic test, ATTO – is another performance measurement tool to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adaptors (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives. We see the same story as in the HD Tune test, where both SATA drives have similar results.

Now for the file transfer tests. Here we have a game folder at over 66 GB of mixed files which will be copied onto the T-Force DELTA MAX RGB SSD. Despite its TLC NAND and under 10 GB SLC buffer, we get impressive results. The controller does a great job in handling data from an external source. When copied from the SSD onto itself and the SLC buffer is filled, performance drops only 10-15% which is still great and in day to day usage you will hardly notice it.

Now let’s see how practical it is in some other real life scenarios like app installation. Let’s take the full suite of Microsoft Office 2019 and time it. Only 2 seconds behind the Crucial P1 1TB, which is a NVMe drive, thus a great result.

Loading times in Adobe’s popular photo editor Photoshop are as follows:

Our final test is to import a 5GB 4K60fps 70Mbps .mkv video sample file into Premier Pro CC and measure how much time it takes to process it in order to be ready to edit it in the timeline. In both Adobe tests, all of the SATA SSDs appear to perform the same.

 

Conclusion

 

This is the perfect product to take your build to next level of looks and proud of ownership status. The implementation works with modern motherboards and older ones so this is a big plus to enjoy the light show in any scenario. We witness solid overall performance in both synthetic and real life tests so there isn’t anything important to denounce this SSD. It looks absolutely stunning and at the same time it performs like any quality solid state drive.

The good:

+ Best looking RGB SSD out there !
+ Solid overall performance
+ Backward compatible regarding the usage of the RGB feature
+ Full sync with most software from motherboard vendors
+ 3 Years Warranty

The bad:

– Minor inconvenience that extra cable adds to the ecosystem
– Needs higher capacity options
– Price is close to some NVMe drives but what NVMe looks like this?

 

Glob3trotters “Best in Show” Award 5 out of 5

G

 

A lot of thanks to Team Group for supplying us with this epic piece !

hawk_1

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