There are a handful of external USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gbps) SSD enclosures on the market that can offer these speeds and even more impressively, up to 8TB for this model from Team Group! Despite so many new bandwidth protocols, we still don’t have USB 20Gbps ports on motherboard as a mainstream so this M200 SSD is almost like a future proof item. Alas, let’s test it out and see how it performs in real life conditions.
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
The M200 line-up consist of 6 different size options to choose from, with models from 250GB all the way to 8TB! For the time being, here are a few from Amazon.co.uk.
*09.09.2022 Update – Check out the video review as well!*
Highlights and Specification
*Courtesy of their website.
Designs inspired by the M200 sniper rifle – Designs for the T-FORCE M200 Portable External SSD are inspired by sniper rifles and our design team has not only injected Picatinny rail motifs into every detail of the T-FORCE M200 for a unique look but also increased surface area for cooling.
Graphene, dual structure for ultimate cooling – T-FORCE M200 uses patented graphene cooling technology from TEAMGROUP to wrap up the dual metallic structure for ultimate cooling and stable transmissions. Enjoy lightning fast transmission speeds with T-FORCE M200.
Built for tough conditions – T-Force M200 is rugged, durable and compact, even passed 2-meter drop test.
Tactical, military-style hanging hole – The military-style hanging hole is also designed for maximum portability and convenience.
* Model – M200 Portable SSD
* Interface – USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
* Controller – Phison PS5016-E16
* NAND – 96-layer 3D Micron QLC
* USB Bridge – ASMedia ASM2364
* DRAM – 2GB Hynix DDR4-2666
* Capacity – 1024 GB (or 250GB / 500GB / 2TB / 4TB / 8TB)
* Internal – 1x M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe)
* Dimensions – 105(L) x 55.5 (W) x 11 (H) mm
* Weight – 83 grams
* Warranty – 5-year warranty
* Cables provided 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20 gbps) + 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen (10 gbps)
The M200 comes shipped in Team Group’s popular branding design with a visual depiction of the actual drive on the front while on the back there is a multilingual list of its main features.
The drive is nested in the middle of the box with an all blackout scheme.
As for accessories, you get just the main essential; the two USB cables. Just make sure you are aware that only the Type-C to Type-C cable offers the full 20 Gbps bandwidth, while the Type-A to Type-C up to 10 Gbps.
The overall design takes great inspiration from a popular sniper rifle, the CheyTac Intervention M200, hence the same name is used. Even the Picatinny rail system is used as another inspiration which is not just for cosmetic reasons but also to increase the surface area for cooling.
The T-Force M200 is very compact and light, at just 83g and it’s rated up to a 2 meter drop test. Unfortunately it does not posses an IP rating to further match the rugged theme.
This is the Type-C USB port that will offer you up to 20 Gbps if you have a free USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port. This is achieved thanks to the inner NVMe M.2 2280 SSD in combination with an ASMedia ASM2364 USB bridge. A Phison PS5016-E16 controller takes care of the communication to the 96-layer 3D Micron QLC NAND cells and even a 2GB Hynix DDR4-2666 DRAM chip is present.
The top gap is wide enough to perfectly accommodate a 550-paracord, again to match with the military theme here. This means you can easily make your own quick portability hacks.
* The external T-Force SSD was connected to the native USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port of the ASUS B550-I STRIX motherboard which is capped at 10Gbps (up to 1250 MB/s) and to properly test the 20 Gbps output, you require a PCI-E x4 adapter (which we sued on our secondary test machine) if your motherboard doesn’t have the full Gen2x2 port.
* Synthetic and real life big file transfer tests – a game folder of 124GB of mixed files and a single 9.5GB .mkv video file to test the burst speed and the SLC cache if present.
* 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.
* For the Gen4 x4 M.2s, you have to make sure you have a compatible motherboard that accepts and delivers the new bandwidth. Otherwise, it will work only in Gen3 x4 mode.
* For AMD users, make sure you update your motherboard chipset drivers from here.
– Laptop: Apple Macbook Pro 2020 M1 13″ 8GB 512GB
– Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
– PCI-E x4 USB 3.2 Gen2x2 adapter card Silverstone ECU06
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600x
– CPU Cooling: SilentiumPC Navis F240 AIO
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B550-i Gaming mITX @ BIOS 2803
– Boot SSD: Samung 970 PRO 1TB M.2 Gen3x4 MLC PCIe NVMe 1.3
– Video card: ASUS GTX 1080 STRIX A8G
– PSU: Corsair SF750 SFX Platinum
– Case: Phanteks Evolv Shift XT ARGB mITX
– Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.4 Gen4x4
– Sabrent Rocket Nano Rugged 2TB USB 3.2 Gen2 TLC External
– Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Samsung 860 QVO 1TB QLC SATA 2.5″
– Crucial P1 M.2 1TB QLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Crucial P2 M.2 500GB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Team Group T-Force DELTA MAX RGB 500GB TLC SATA 2.5″
– Team Group T-Force Vulcan G 1TB TLC SATA 2.5″
– Team Group T-Force Cardea Liquid 512GB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Team Group T-Create Classic 1TB TLC PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Silicon Power 1TB US70 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen4x4
– Silicon Power 2TB UD70 QLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Silicon Power 1TB A80 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Silicon Power 1TB A60 TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Neo Forza eSports NFP075 2TB TLC M.2 PCIe NVMe 1.3 Gen3x4
– Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
– HD Tune Pro v5.70
– ATTO v4.01
– Crystal Disk Mark v7.0.0
– HWMonitor v1.43
– AmorphousDiskMark 4.0 (MacOS)
Testing, Results and Analysis
Let’s start things off with the Android test. On our Samsung Note 10+ smartphone, we just connected the M200 via the Type-C to Type-C cable and its was recognised instantly. Cooping a 2GB video file from the phone to the M200 was done in a few seconds, as you can see below.
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. These results are on the 10 Gbps port and thus the results will reflect this in all of the upcoming tests.
Moving to the next utility – Crystal Disk Mark – this one is designed to quickly test the performance of the drives. The 10Gbps limit of our testing rig is once again confirmed.
To conclude the synthetic tests, here is ATTO which is another performance measurement tool to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adaptors (HBAs), hard drives and SSD drives. This one just reconfirms the numbers from the previous test.
Taking into consideration that this T-Force M200 1TB will make an excellent external games’ library (like Steam etc), let’s see how are the loading times when compared to internal mounted drives.
The final practical test revolves around some real life copy tests. First, we will copy to the SSD a single 9.5GB .mkv video file to test the burst speed followed by a big 124GB installation folder from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game.
Both the burst speed test and even the large file transfer, the T-Force M200 1TB maintains a sustained and constant write speed because it poses an incredible generous SLC cache (over 150 GB at least!). If you ever manage to exhaust this cache in one go, it will write at the native QLC NAND cells, which will be barely 140 MB/s writes.
Regarding the operating temps, the M200 behaves really well because the M.2 drive inside has a thermal pad that makes full contact with the outer case, thus the whole unit acts like a big heatsink. Using an infrared thermometer, the M200 never went above 50°C even in a hot summer day.
Now this is how it performs on a 2020 Apple Macbook Pro M1 13″ that has Thunderbolt 3 compatible ports which are sufficient to offer 20 Gbps bandwidth but there is a highly known conflict for any drive outside the Apple ecosystem and thus we only get barely over SATA 600 speeds.
Finally, using a Silverstone PCI-E x4 USB 3.2 Gen2x2 adapter card, we at last see the M200 performing to its maximum potential.
The T-Force M200 is one impressive bit of kit, since it is compact, light and very fast, as long as you have a Gen2x2 USB port. This, in itself, can be a bad thing or a good one, depending how you look at it. Bad, as in you might need a PCI-E x4 adapter card to fully access the available bandwidth, but you are stuck if you have a gaming console. However, it can be a good thing, because this protocol might take a while until it becomes standard on all quality tier levels of motherboards. Thus, it’s like a future-proof item. With storage options available up to 8TB, a heat dissipating design and practical traits, all of these make the T-Force M200 external SSD a highly desirable piece of gear!
+ Really fast highly portable solution, if your computer supports the protocol
+ Rugged look with military design inspiration cues
+ Up to 8TB in capacity
+ Compatible out of the box with Windows, Mac OS and Android
+ Highly impressive SLC cache size
+ 2 Meter drop resistant
+ 5 years warranty
– No IP rating
– Be a while until most motherboards will have USB 20Gbps ports as standard, or consoles
– Thus, will require a PCI-Express x4 add-in card, if you’re motherboard has a spare x4 slot
Glob3trotters “Top Class!” Award 4.5 out of 5
A lot of thanks to Team Group for supplying us with this blazing fast drive!