In August of last year, TeamGroup launched the "world's first water cooling M.2 solid state drive". The concept was something we had not seen before. The "water cooler" consists of an aluminum plate designed to transfer heat into an acrylic chamber filled with liquid. TeamGroup claimed a 10c lower heat range with its unique cooler.
Our review back in August of last year found the Cardea Liquid did not deliver lower temperatures as advertised due to a design flaw. The flaw? There was no thermal contact between the drive's Phison E12 controller and the aluminum part of the "liquid cooler." We dinged them pretty bad for that and proclaimed the Cardea Liquid a failed attempt at a novel idea.
Well, TeamGroup took the lumps we dished out, and rather than scrapping the idea and giving up, they decided to address the flaws we pointed out and have another go at it. After receiving the drive and upon removing the updated Cardea Liquid SSD from its packaging, we immediately noticed that at least visually, the problems we pointed out back in August of 2019 had been addressed.
This time around, TeamGroup is employing a thicker thermal interface between the drive's controller and the aluminum plate located under the water chamber. This time, we have a thermal interface that makes direct contact with the controller and the heat sink. Additionally, we observed that, this time, there are no stress cracks in the drive's acrylic water chamber. Excellent, but can TeamGroup's unique design deliver as advertised? Let's dive in and find out.
The drive is, in our opinion, super cool looking. You can change the liquid to any color you wish, and it will really add a nice touch to any custom water-cooled rig. More importantly, we can see that there is no gap between the controller, thermal interface, and the cooler. Additionally, we will note that there are no stress cracks in the drive's acrylic/aluminum "cooling" chamber. Perfect.
But, does it work as advertised? To our surprise, it absolutely does! The first CDI image above shows the drive at idle, and it is indeed running at 10c cooler than our drive "D". This is something we've not seen before, certainly not from a Phison E12 powered SSD.
The second CDI image shows the drive at its hottest point as we filled it with 328GB of proprietary data mix. Pretty remarkable and without a doubt the lowest temperature high mark we've seen from any Phison E12 powered SSD when filling the drive with data.
Looks cool, runs cool. We like that. Now let's see what kind of performance this little gem is serving up.
Jon's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair Hero VIII Wi-Fi (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Swiftech H2O-320 Edge AIO
- Memory: ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 3800MHz 16GB (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1000 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Last updated: Apr 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm CDT