Team Group has announced what it says is the world's first liquid cooled M.2 solid state drive, which looks to be true in the sense in that it's the first to ship that way. And unlike waterblocks that exist for SSDs, this is a self-contained unit.
The new T-Force Cardea trades a traditional heatspreader design for a clear container that is prefilled with coolant. Team Group says gamers can adjust and refill as needed, though it's not mentioned how often that should. When the time does come, however, it looks easy enough—a piece of the housing slides inward to reveal a screw inlet. Have a look:
There's also a scale that is printed on the casing, so you know when it's time to add more liquid. Or if you want to adjust the ratio between liquid and air. Hopefully it's not too often, though, or users are trading convenience for lower temps.
As it pertains to temps, Team Group says its cooling solution can lower temperatures by around 10C. Compared to what? Good question, and Team Group does not specify.
This is a PCIe 3.0 drive, not one of the newer PCIe 4.0 models that push 5GB/s read speeds. Instead, sequential reads and writes break down as follows:
- 1TB: 3,400MB/s read, 3,000MB/s write
- 512GB: 3,400MB/s read, 2,000MB/s write
- 256GB: 3000MB/s read, 1,000MB/s write
Newegg carries the 1TB model for $149.99, and the 512GB model for $89.99. There are cheaper NVMe SSDs available at both capacities—and the best SSDs for gaming from a bang/buck perspective are still in SATA territory—though at the rated speeds, pricing isn't egregious.