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  • 【Guide to Build a PC】How to build a Gaming PC that can play all games for $1,000

    “If my budget is only___, can I get a PC that can actually play games?” There are too many factors to consider for such a question, but if you don’t mind spending time on it, assembling it yourself is definitely more cost-effective than buying a finished PC. Today, we’ll recommend you the most suitable and affordable PC build on the market, and explain in order how to assemble the computer by yourself. Just follow the steps and you can build your own gaming PC! If you want to assemble your own gaming PC, first you have to know the list of parts you need to buy. The necessary parts include: CPU Motherboard Memory Hard drive Graphics card Power supply Case. In addition, you can get: CPU Cooler Case fan Network card, etc. The main reason that CPU cooler is listed here is that the CPU comes with a fan, so it’s not a necessity. However, if it’s a large game load, it is recommended to buy a CPU cooler with a better cooling ability or a larger CPU cooler to control the CPU temperature to avoid overheating or crashing during the gameplay.   【All components for PC build】 A. CPU To make it affordable, the R5-3600X will be one of the best choices since AMD is a real bargain in the mid-range. The R5-3600X offers 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a basic clock of 3.8GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz, supports native 3200MHz memory, and is PCIe 4.0 SSD compatible. The expandability is excellent, and very few gamers will manually adjust the CPU or memory frequency. AMD R5-3600X B. Motherboard The new B550 series motherboard is definitely a blessing for gamers. In the past, the B series is quite different from the X series in terms of CPU overclocking, memory overclocking and I/O interface; The TUF Gaming B550 PLUS is highly compatible, close to the X570 level, and has a sleek military look, making it the best choice at this price range. ASUS TUF Gaming B550 PLUS C. Memory To keep the budget in check, try to avoid getting components that have RGB lighting. However, since it’s a gaming PC, the memory must be gaming style as well. We pick T-FORCE VULCAN Z 8GBx2 3200MHz. It looks like a mecha with a strong sense of gaming design, and 8GBx2 3200MHz is also very sufficient to run all kinds of games. T-FORCE VULCAN Z DD4 (Learn More), Where to Buy D. Solid state drive There are some tips on how to choose an SSD. Since we want to have enough speed and capacity while keeping my budget under control, we choose a 512GB TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO M.2 PCIe and a 512GB T-FORCE VULCAN G SATA 2.5” SSD, so the read/write processing is done in PCIe and data storage is stored in SATA to avoid purchasing expensive SSD that has both high speed and large capacity. Learn more: TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO M.2 PCIe SSD (Learn More), Where to Buy T-FORCE VULCAN G SSD (Learn More), Where to Buy E. Graphics card As for graphics card, the ASUS TUF Gaming Geforce GTX1660 Super is a real bargain. Although the performance is not comparable to the ultra-high specification but over-budget RTX 3080, RTX 2080Ti, etc., but the 1660 Super is still the best choice in terms of Full HD quality. ASUS TUF Gaming Geforce GTX1660 F. Remaining parts (Power supply, Case, CPU cooler) Among the remaining parts, you should pay attention that the use of a major manufacturer’s power supply with a better warranty, such as the durable CoolerMaster, will reduce the chance of burning out. The wattage should be sufficient to support PC’s normal operation. Generally speaking, it is recommended to choose a power supply of more than 650W for a PC build with a discrete graphics card. The case and the CPU cooler are basically the same as long as they are compatible. Anything that isn’t bad enough to become an oven can be considered. Cooler Master 650WLearn more: 【Installation Process】 Next is the installation process. How to make a cool PC build out of the scattered parts? Even if you are a total beginner, just follow these steps and you will be all set! 1. Install the CPU cooler base onto the motherboard Nowadays, many CPU coolers are designed to be used by both AMD and Intel, so the screws need to be slightly adjusted to align with the motherboard holes. You can refer to the attached manual for the adjustment. The manual of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler is quite detailed, so don’t worry! 2. Install the CPU in the motherboard Start by lifting the lever beside the CPU socket. Next, you need to pay attention to align the CPU correctly when placing it into the socket, otherwise the pin may be broken or burned. The motherboard and CPU are now equipped with foolproof mechanism, so you can install it correctly by following the arrows shown below. 3. Lock the power supply into the case From the front of the case, there is not much space on the right side, but if you open the right side panel, you will see a space below, this is where we will place our power supply. In most cases, the sockets and switches should face outwards and the air vents should face downwards, then lock the power supply from the back of the case. Also, since this is a non-modular power supply, which means the power supply itself is connected to a large bundle of wires, so it can be installed directly, but the downside is that it can’t be removed when there are too many wires. If you choose a “fully modular” power supply, since the wires need to be connected by yourself, you must make sure which wires are needed and connect them first and then lock the case, otherwise it won’t be easy to plug them after the case is locked! 4. Lock the motherboard tightly to the case Usually, the case has 9 screw holes corresponding to the holes of the motherboard, but not every motherboard will have 9 holes. As for myself, I usually lock 7 or 8 of them. When locking the motherboard, make sure that the CPU socket is on the top, so that the heat from the fan can be discharged out of the PC, and the graphics card will also have a place to put in. 5. Connect the power supply cable to the motherboard The most troublesome part of the installation is organizing the messy cables. We usually pull out the CPU power cable and the mother power cable from the reserved holes of the case and plug them into the motherboard. This can avoid leaving no room to plug in cables after other components have been installed. 6. Connect the front panel connectors of the case to the motherboard Almost all cases nowadays have 2~4 USB ports, power on/off and reboot buttons, etc. on the front panel. They all need to be powered and controlled by the motherboard. Since the wiring method of each motherboard is different, it is recommended to follow the user manual of the motherboard to connect them to the corresponding positions. The following is a brief introduction to the corresponding connection method of the TUF B550 PLUS motherboard. 7. Install rest of the parts on the motherboard Before installing, it is recommended to lay the case flat so that it can be screwed in easily. It can be installed in the order we are used to: Install the M.2 PCIe SSD first, then the CPU cooler to the base as mentioned in the first step, followed by the graphics card, memory, and finally the 2.5” SATA SSD. Most of the cases on the market still have the position of the 2.5” SSD on the power supply side, so the 2.5” SSD cable is usually the last thing we consider. Please note here that most mid-range and above discrete graphics cards also need to be connected to the PCIe power cable of the power supply! 8. Cable management The installation is almost complete! The rest is the most painful part: cable management. After installation, there will be a lot of messy cables, so you will need to find some cable ties to tidy them up and hide them out of sight. This is the part that requires more experience. 9. Install OS & update drivers Please support the genuine software when installing the OS. How to install the OS is explained in the “Tutorial of SSD Unboxing – The 6 Things You Should Do After Buying a New SSD”. If you are lazy to search for the drivers, you can download Driver Booster. It has the latest drivers from major manufacturers and you can install them by one click: https://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php Conclusion Here we explain the whole installation process, and introduce how to buy a PC for only $1,000, so that you can refer to according to different needs. All the selected products can be found on Amazon. T-FORCE VULCAN Z 3200 2x8GB T-FORCE VULCAN G SSD 500G TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO 512GB The installation process contains my own experience, and the order of the process is also based on convenience. Hope it will encourage new gamers to be more willing to try to build a PC by yourself!

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  • Budget Build Guide with LiquidHaus

      I wish I could count how many times I have been approached about building super high-end gaming or workstation PCs. I also can't count how many times I have actually built those exact systems. Computers that blow past the $5,000 range into the realm in which not many people have the sort of money to spend. Through it all, the PCs that people end up being the happiest with are the PCs that came from smaller budgets, and end up becoming great machines for the money that was invested. This article will discuss choosing components for a system that is budget minded - aimed at the very respectable sub $1,500 price point - $1,295 to be exact, all the while assembling the very system that’s being discussed, right before your eyes!     A quick disclaimer here: I am writing this article for TeamGroup, as they have graciously hired me to write a few articles for them, for which I am deeply honored that they appreciate my work enough to want to work with me! Also, some of the parts used in this build were indeed sent to me as a requested sample product to be used in various builds, and some of the parts used have also been purchased by me. I will be listing the parts below: AMD Ryzen 5600X AM4 Processor $300 USD - Purchased myself MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC ITX Motherboard $300 USD - Purchased myself ASRock 5600XT Radeon D3 Graphics Card $310 USD - Sample sent by ASRock TeamGroup Zeus 16gb DDR4 Memory Kit $80 USD -  Sample sent by TeamGroup TeamGroup Vulcan G 512gb 2.5” SSD $55 USD - Sample sent by TeamGroup GEEEK G1 Case $120 USD - Sample sent by GEEEK Scythe Shuriken 2 CPU Cooler $40 USD - Sample sent by Scythe Scythe Kaze Flex 120x25mm Fans $14 USD x 2 - Samples sent by Scythe Scythe Kaze Flex 120x15mm Fans $16 USD x 2 - Samples sent by Scythe Silverstone SX750 Platinum SFX PSU - $180 USD - Sample sent by Silverstone Silverstone 8 channel PWM Hub $20 USD - Purchase myself Total Cost (current actual MSRP pricing): $1,295 USD   By looking at the spec list, you can see that you've got some pretty solid components here that are more than capable of handling gaming as well as the workstation side of things. I would personally say the one biggest change you could do if you wanted to gear the spec list more towards work rather than gaming is doubling the memory from 16GB to 32GB! Moving onto the assembly of the system, this article will cover the broader viewpoint of the assembly rather than the more minute details.   Starting with the motherboard and processor, I decided to stick with AMD's B450 chipset due to its great value - especially when the B450 chipset can become compatible with AMD's latest 5000 series processor, specifically the 5600X in this instance - with a simple BIOS update! The 5600X has been called the "best gaming CPU of 2020", and I would say as of right now it's still one of the best gaming CPUs of 2021! With a boost clock of 4.6ghz, this 6 core, 12 thread processor has helped bridge the performance demand with the latest games needing more than just the now-classic 4 cores and 8 threads. The B450 chipset motherboard was chosen because it's more than capable of handling modest overclocking, and it doesn't need to be cooled like the X570 chipset does, and because of that, the chipset itself isn't as expensive, so you then have a budget-minded solution that is still more than capable of handling the needs of an average everyday gamer.     Up next are the memory and storage choices! These offerings by TeamGroup were hand-picked for this very situation. You have the Vulcan G 2.5" SATA SSD, which is capable of 500 MB/s read and write speeds, and they come in both the 512GB and 1TB sizes. With the ever popular NVMe and M.2 technologies becoming so popular, it still needs to be stated that SATA SSDs can still keep up with most tasks that an everyday user needs to accomplish, and gaming is no exception. There are only a few games out there that can really fully utilize insanely high speed storage devices like NVMe's. Coming in at just $55 USD, the Vulcan G is an insanely solid choice when you're limited by a budget!   Every build has to deal with memory, and when you're focused on finding a kit that will do the job reliably, without focusing so hard on the fastest speeds attainable, the Zeus DDR4 kit is a perfect example of just that. Speeds are the original DDR4 standard - 2666mhz - along with very basic timings - 19-19-19-43 - this kit is clearly designed to simply get the job done with budget in mind most of all. At just $80 USD, it's a supremely cost effective way to get memory out of the way when budgeting for other parts of your build.   When choosing the components for a budget build, one way that can really set you apart from other builds is the case choice. I personally chose to do a small form factor (SFF) build for this article based on the premise of taking advantage of packing all of these budget component choices into a super small package, plus SFF builds are becoming extremely popular in the PC building community. There are also tons of smaller cases that represent essentially the less material used, the less the actual case will cost you. However, it's easy to go overboard with how small you can get the chassis, where it becomes an issue of what actual components can fit into the case and being heavily restricted on dimensions and free space. The G1 by GEEEK is a great cast aluminum chassis that clearly has it's design thought out and is a solid performer for proper airflow inside a case. I threw a LiquidHaus ‘LH’ vinyl sticker on the front because well, I think it works perfectly there!   One of the biggest killers to any PC, whether it's high-end or budget-friendly, is heat. Heat can kill any component if the necessary precautions aren't taken into consideration. Your processor's cooling should almost always be near the top in what is most important when putting your PC together. Thankfully the market is quite saturated with many different options at many different price points. The cooler I decided to use for this build was Scythe's own Shuriken 2 cooler. With an overall heatsink + fan height of 58mm, it's a great choice for small form factor builds, especially with clearance for any size memory heatsinks. Scythe makes some excellent cooling parts that are almost always budget friendly. I also chose Scythe's Kaze Flex line of fans, both in 25mm thickness and 15mm thickness for the intake and exhaust fans.   Up next is the GPU, and I decided to go the route of using ASRock's 5600XT Radeon D3, which is priced at a comfortable $310 USD. Of course, that's the MSRP of when the card was released and sold at that price for quite some time until the GPU market blew up and every sort of GPU that is still out on the market currently all sit at very uncomfortable and unreasonable prices. I still consider the original MSRP as the price for this GPU for this build because of how volatile the GPU market is, where you really don't know if you'll be able to find a GPU for the price you want or not.   The 5600XT is a solid choice for 1080P gaming, and it often trades blows with Nvidia's RTX 2060, with most times beating it out! I've personally had this sample card for about a year, and the one issue I don't like about the card is the default fan stop setting, in which the card's cooling fans will only start spinning once temps reach 50c, and for me that is just a little too warm to finally start cooling. Luckily there’s a trick to overwrite that fan stop setting through AMD's Radeon Drivers, but that was only a somewhat recent development. I'll always be a fan of...fans spinning continuously to keep components cool! Like I said, heat is a killer for PC components!   Up next is the power supply, and wow have power supplies become awesome! For this build, I chose Silverstone's brand new revisioned line of their well known SFX form factor PSUs. I've used Silverstone power supplies for years, and they honestly just keep getting better and better. The SX-750 is an 80 Plus Platinum rated revision of the older SX-700W. A nice 50w jump on top of a few efficiency advances as well as a couple of tweaks makes the SX-750 a prime choice for small form factor builds. I've personally used an AMD 5900X and RTX 3090 with this same PSU and it handled the hardware with no issues whatsoever! You'll have lots of headroom that will last you for years to come!   All in all, when it comes to building your own PC, it's really not too hard! One of the trickiest parts about the ordeal is choosing the right components before the assembly even begins. I have seen many people stumble at this step and it becomes discouraging for them, and the drive they have to build one starts to disappear. Luckily the internet has provided many instances of walkthroughs and helpful tips when diving into this hobby, and so I hope this article can help you in this endeavor! Thanks for reading!

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  • T-FORCE Gaming Build Guide

    With a gaming PC, not only can you work and attend classes remotely and more smoothly, but in addition, you can play games in your spare time to relieve your stress. Moreover, the types of computer games are very diverse, which can meet everyone’s needs. It is highly recommended to assemble one as soon as possible! But here comes the question many people who are not that familiar with computers will ask: “I don’t know what parts or which brands to buy, so it’s too hard for me to handle!” But today, I’ll recommend the best PC build solution for you to play all major triple-A title games and handle any work smoothly. You can assemble a gaming PC according to your desire.   First, let’s list the parts that need to be purchased if you want to assemble a gaming PC: 1. Motherboard 2. CPU 3. CPU cooler 4. Memory 5. Graphics card 6. SSD 7. Power supply 8. Case Next, I’ll introduce the recommended items one by one:   A. Motherboard For the motherboard, we chose ASUS, a well-known and experienced manufacturer in the pc hardware industry, whose gaming brand ROG is definitely one of the most popular choices among gamers worldwide. For this particular article, I’m using ROG’s latest INTEL platform, ROG STRIX Z590-F GAMING! I’m amazed after I opened the package and saw the product for the first time! They have created a style of their own and it’s getting more and more unique. In the lower right corner, the diamond-shaped latticework with “Republic of Gamers” in cursive writing is totally brilliant, giving the motherboard a different look. In addition, the motherboard takes into account the high temperature of Gen 11 CPUs and Gen4x4 SSDs, therefore the design has especially focused on cooling efficiency. I tested the pre-installed heat sinks and they really do have a high heat dissipation effect. ROG STRIX Z590-F GAMING WIFI: https://rog.asus.com/us/motherboards/rog-strix/rog-strix-z590-i-gaming-wifi-model/   B. CPU To get the full performance of the Z590, we pick the 11th generation INTEL i9-11900K for the CPU. I have to remind you: “The Z590 motherboard requires a Gen 11 CPU to support the GEN4x4 SSD!” Although the Z590 is also compatible with Gen 10 CPU, however, it is not as powerful as the Gen 11 when it comes to memory overclocking or SSD interface support, so it is recommended that you get the latest one to avoid additional trouble. Intel i9-11900K: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/212325/intel-core-i9-11900k-processor-16m-cache-up-to-5-30-ghz.html   C. CPU cooler Since the processing speed and the compatibility of the Gen 11 CPU are both enhanced, the heat generated under the actual test is also relatively higher than before. This time, I recommend using water cooling to replace air cooling, so the cooling capability will be relatively stable. Then, of course, the T-FORCE GAMING BUILD should use its own T-FORCE SIREN AIO Cooler! The product name is taken from Scandinavian sirens, with magical meaning. That ARGB water block with mirror finish is so cool that if you use a glass side panel, the water block with a magical mirror finish will definitely catch everyone’s eyes. In addition, unlike other common water coolers, the pump of the T-FORCE SIREN AIO Cooler is placed inside the radiator instead of the water block. This special and thoughtful design can prevent the CPU from being affected by the heat of the pump. It is highly recommended to choose this type of water cooler.   D. Memory Memory has always been the main product of T-FORCE. This time we chose the white version of XTREEM ARGB that won the Red Dot Design Award. The snowy white preset lighting effect really stands out in this black-oriented PC build. The RGB can be controlled by software to display different lighting effects. It’s like love at first sight for me and I bought four of them already. For the specification, we chose 8GBx4 3600MHz. T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB WHITE: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/xtreem-argb-white-ddr4   E. Graphics card Currently, it is not easy to buy good graphics cards on the market because a large number of graphics cards are out of stock due to the mining boom. I recommend EVGA’s RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING, which has outstanding specifications (8704 CUDA Cores, 10GB DDR6X, 19000MHz). Currently, I think it is your best choice. In addition, EVGA’s exclusive patented iCX3 technology can control the fan and allow the high-temperature 3080 to dissipate heat in the most efficient way. During testing, it was obvious that only the high load operation made a slight fan sound, and it was very quiet under normal use. EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING: https://www.evga.com/products/product.aspx?pn=10G-P5-3897-KR F. SSD Since we are using a Z590 chipset with Gen 11 INTEL CPU, we have to go with a Gen4x4 M.2 PCIe SSD. You must install two SSDs since most games nowadays have huge file sizes, one is not enough! Plus, T-FORCE is best known for its memory and SSD, so I definitely recommend both the CARDEA ZERO Z440 2TB and CARDEA A440 2TB. With both installed, the available capacity is up to 4TB! In addition, the speed of A440 reaches 7000 MB/s, which is the top standard of GEN4x4. Moreover, you have graphene and aluminum fin type heat sinks to choose from to match with different designs of motherboards, satisfying consumers’ different needs. However, with the booming of cryptocurrency, SSDs are becoming increasingly difficult to buy, so you have to hurry up and get them fast!!! T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/cardea-zero-z440 T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO A440 M.2 PCIe SSD: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/cardea-a440   G. Power supply When choosing the power supply, I must remind you to pay special attention to the level of the parts you use. Buying one with a low wattage rating might result in your system shutting down prematurely.  According to our configuration this time, the CPU is 11900K and the graphics card is 3080, both of which are very high-end. So, relatively, our power supply has to keep up with the wattage. According to personal experience, it is necessary to use a minimum of 850W of power supply to be sufficient. This time, we chose COOLER MASTER’s V1000 PLATINUM, which is a fully modular 80 PLUS platinum level power supply with a 10-year warranty. It is a good choice for saving money and having stability! COOLER MASTER V1000 PLATINUM: https://www.coolermaster.com/us/en-us/catalog/power-supplies/v-series/v1000-platinum/   By the way, what does 80 PLUS platinum level stand for? It is actually a standard defined for the energy conversion efficiency of the power supply. 80 PLUS means the conversion efficiency is over 80%. The platinum level means that the conversion efficiency can be as high as 90% or more. The better the conversion efficiency is, the more power can be saved under the same conditions.   H. Case Since it is a T-FORCE Gaming Build, we definitely choose our own coolest T-FORCE LARES CASE. The name is taken from Roman mythology, which means guardian god, hoping that this case can safely protect the internal parts. The case is basically selected on two major things: heat dissipation and appearance. In the order of priority of my own purchase, heat dissipation first, followed by the appearance. If you can, you may consider the weight as well. The T-FORCE case puts primary focus on heat dissipation. It pays special attention to the design of the airflow path and the detailed position of the fan. The appearance is also different from some designs with strong light pollution. The ARGB side light is used on the front, which is simple and elegant. I personally recommend you to buy this case. The introduction of each item ends here. Are you eager to build a gaming PC? Check out the T-FORCE time-lapse build video!    

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  • How to Choose a PCIe 4.0 SSD That Suits Me?

    Following the last article “What SSD Should I Use for Intel Z590?”, we will now introduce the PCIe 4.0 SSDs with different heat sinks and what situations they are suitable for. There are currently three PCIe 4.0 SSDs from T-FORCE, CARDEA A440, CARDEA Ceramic C440, and CARDEA ZERO Z440. As for how to choose? I will provide recommendations on the suitable PCIe 4.0 SSD for you under four considerations: motherboard type, heat dissipation, speed, and color theme.   A. Motherboard type  (1) Motherboard has an M.2 heat sink In fact, most motherboards that support PCIe 4.0 are equipped with M.2 heat sinks. In order to reserve space for the M.2 heat sink on the motherboard, a thin SSD heat spreader with a thickness of only 1mm is required, including ceramic and graphene heat spreaders. Among the T-FORCE PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the CARDEA A440 and the CARDEA ZERO Z440 both have graphene heat spreaders, while the CARDEA Ceramic C440 has a ceramic heat spreader. (2) Motherboard does not have an M.2 heat sink, or not sure if your motherboard has an M.2 heat sink Without the space occupied by the motherboard M.2 heat sink, there is no limit to the choice of SSD heat sink! Whether it is an aluminum fin type heat sink, ceramic heat spreader or graphene heat spreader, you are free to choose! Except for the SSDs with graphene and ceramic heat spreaders mentioned above, among the T-FORCE PCIe 4.0 SSDs, only the CARDEA A440 uses an aluminum fin-type heat sink.   I would also like to mention that the CARDEA A440 PCIe SSD is the first in the industry to offer two types of heat sinks, aluminum fin type heat sink, and graphene heat spreader. So, if you have multiple motherboards and you like to assemble and upgrade various parts by yourself, or are not sure if your motherboard has an M.2 heat sink, choose a CARDEA A440 to have both heat sinks at once! Why choose just one if you can have them both! It is important to note that you can only assemble one type of heat sinks at a time, so do not assemble them all together, as the heat dissipation will not be better.   B. Heat dissipation The PCIe 4.0 high-speed interface will cause higher temperatures for the computer’s operation, so the choice of the heat sink is particularly important. These PCIe 4.0 SSDs uses three patented designs of the heat sink, which are aluminum fin type heat sink, ceramic heat spreader and graphene heat spreader:  (1) Aluminum fin-type heat sink The aluminum fin type heat sink has a special design for heat conduction which can effectively reduce the temperature by up to 15%.  (2) Ceramic heat spreader With a thickness of only 1mm, the ceramic heat spreader made of aerospace ceramic material can achieve a 10% of cooling effect.  (3) Graphene heat spreader It is also a thin heat spreader with a thickness of only 1mm. The graphene heat spreader can achieve a 9% of cooling effect.   The CARDEA A440 uses two types of heat sinks, aluminum fin type heat sink and graphene heat spreader. The CARDEA Ceramic C440, as the name suggests, uses a ceramic heat spreader, and the CARDEA ZERO Z440 uses a graphene heat spreader. In fact, all heat sinks of the three PCIe 4.0 SSDs are made with specially selected materials that provide better heat dissipation. Furthermore, although the heat dissipation of the thin heat spreader is less effective than the aluminum fin type heat sink in figures, if it is complemented by the motherboard’s own M.2 heat sink, it will help the overall heat dissipation of the entire unit regardless of which SSD is used.   C. Speed They both are PCIe 4.0 interfaces, and if you have different needs for read/write speed, there are different options available here. (1) Up to 7,000MB/s If you are looking for the fastest performance and you have no price consideration, don’t hesitate to choose the CARDEA A440 M.2 PCIe SSD! According to T-FORCE’s internal laboratory test results, the CARDEA A440 M.2 PCIe SSD can reach 7,000/5,500 MB/s of read/write speed for 1TB, and 7,000/6,900 MB/s of read/write speed for 2TB in the CDM benchmark software. (2) Up to 5,000MB/s For those who want to go with motherboard PCIe 4.0 interface and can accept PCIe 4.0’s average read/write speed, pick the CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD and the CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD. According to T-FORCE’s internal laboratory test results, the read and write speeds of both 1TB and 2TB have reached 5,000/4,400 MB/s. With the average read/write speed of PCIe 4.0, the performance is more than capable to satisfy most users with PCIe 4.0 supported motherboard platforms.   D. Color theme People who like to DIY and assemble their own computers will definitely pay special attention to the appearance of the product itself. The suggestions here are distinguished by the color, which is very simple and intuitive: (1) Black If you like black gaming style PC, both CARDEA A440 and CARDEA ZERO Z440 with black aluminum fin type heat sink or black graphene heat spreader are very suitable for you! (2) White If you want to have a unique white theme, the CARDEA Ceramic C440 heat spreader is your best choice!   Conclusion In summary, the motherboard type has the greatest impact overall. Before you purchase T-FORCE PCIe 4.0, don’t forget to check which type of motherboard you have first!      

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  • What SSD Should I Use for Intel Z590?

    Speaking of M.2 PCIe SSD, the latest version on the market today is the Gen4. In fact,  Gen4 was defined by PCI Express as early as 2017, but at that time, it was not the best choice in terms of motherboard support or manufacturing cost. It wasn’t until the AMD X570 series motherboards were launched in 2019, with the focus on supporting ultra-high-speed Gen4 x4 interface, that consumers began to experience the ultra-fast transfer speed of M.2 Gen4 x4 PCIe SSD. The AMD B550 series that launched in 2020 also has the same Gen4 x4 interface. At that time, if you wanted to experience a PCIe 4.0 SSD, you would have to buy either of these two series of AMD motherboards. I originally speculated that Intel may not want to compete in the Gen4 market with AMD, and jump straight to Gen5. As a result, the Intel Z590 series launched in early 2021, each motherboard manufacturer made some smart changes to the motherboard layout directly. Based on the premise that the 11th Intel CPU itself can support 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, the lanes on some motherboards that originally belonged to the graphics cards are removed for M.2 SSDs, and consumers have a new choice of PCIe 4.0 SSD in addition to AMD X570 and B550. So, if you want to experience ultra-high transfer speeds, what are the recommendations? For PC enthusiasts who have multiple motherboards on hand, you can choose the CARDEA A440 PCIe SSD which the heat spreader can be assembled by yourself. You can have the patented aluminum fin-type heat sink and the patented ultra-thin graphene heat spreader both at once. T-FORCE CARDEA A440 M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD If you are not sure whether your existing motherboard has a M.2 heat sink, you can simply choose the CARDEA Ceramic C440 PCIe with the white ceramic heat spreader, or the CARDEA ZERO Z440 PCIe SSD with black ultra-thin graphene heat spreader, offering you different colors of gaming experience. T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD Let us take a look at the speed that I have tested with these SSDs on the MSI Z590 ACE motherboard using CDM and TxBENCH! A. CARDEA A440 M.2 PCIe SSD T-FORCE CARDEA A440 M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD First, let’s take a look at the CDI CDM speed test TxBENCH speed test The A440 is one of the top SSDs in R/W on the market today. With its read/write speed, I can save a lot of my time when handling some of my 100GB video files! B. CARDEA CERAMIC C440 M.2 PCIe SSD T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD Let’s also take a look at the CDI first CDM speed test TxBENCH speed test The R/W of the C440 is considered to be the mainstream speed of Gen4x4. The actual test result is very close to the official specifications, which shows that T-FORCE has good quality control. C. CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD Take a look at the CDI first as well CDM speed test TxBENCH speed test With mainstream R/W speed, the Z440’s actual test also has a similar read/write speed, the difference is that this model uses graphene as the cooling material. The appearance is in contrast with the ceramic C440, which is the natural black of graphene. So which style do you prefer? Conclusion For this, I mainly want to share with you that if you buy the latest generation of Intel Z590 series motherboard, what kind of SSD should be used to give you full performance. However, I want to remind you that you must use the 11th generation Intel CPU to utilize PCIe 4.0! If you don’t use an 11th generation CPU, some motherboards may even fail to read the PCIe 4.0 SSD, so be sure to check the specifications of the platform you are using before choosing the right SSD.

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  • Does the Memory Capacity Affect the Game’s FPS? 4 Games Tested

    Previously we tested the effect of memory frequencies versus FPS of some games, but this time let’s find out the effects of memory capacity versus FPS! Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Games Tested (Part One) Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Games Tested (Part Two) The games we picked for testing this time are a bit different from the previous ones, these four games are Assassin’s Creed Origins, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. You may wonder, is it better to compare the memory capacity difference between these games? Actually, no.  Assassin’s Creed Origins, Horizon Zero Dawn and Red Dead Redemption 2, all three games have built-in benchmarks and they are also popular choices in PC single-player games. Let’s take a look at the results of these four game tests! This time we use the legendary “water-cooling graphics card”!!! ROG-STRIX-LC-RX6800XT-O16G-GAMING The RGB fins on the top left side of the graphics card and the Eye of Faith are a perfect match! Considering the high computing power of the current RDNA2 architecture graphics cards, which also generate more heat, ASUS has launched this water-cooling solution in the hope that this graphics card can maintain high-speed processing for a long time without slowing down or lagging due to heat problems. Let’s get to the point. The main purpose is to understand the effect of memory capacity on the FPS of the game, so let’s take a look at the performance of each game in different capacities. We use T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory for the game tests. A. At 8GBx4 (32GB) capacity Start with T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 8GBx4(32GB) With all high graphic settings turned on, Assassin’s Creed Origins scored 8,851 on the built-in benchmark, with a surprisingly high average FPS of 69. With full high graphic settings turned on as well, Horizon Zero Dawn scored 10,718 in its built-in benchmark, with an average FPS of 59, a maximum FPS of 93, and a minimum of 43. The benchmark test results screen of Red Dead Redemption 2 is relatively plain, with the average FPS also at about 59, but with a maximum of about 66 and a minimum of 35. Finally, since Cyberpunk 2077 does not have a built-in benchmark, I used MSI Afterburner with the built-in RTSS to monitor the hardware status, and the FPS was around 38 in the city with brighter shadows and lots of people. Summary: It seems that the 8GBx4 memory performs very well and can basically run all big games with full graphic settings on. B. At 16GBx4 (64GB) capacity Let’s take a look at the performance of T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 16GBx4(64GB) With full graphics on, Assassin’s Creed Origins scored 8,392 in its built-in benchmark test, with the average FPS at 67, which is surprisingly worse than the 8GBx4 test result? Horizon Zero Dawn has a slight improvement of 10,750, the average FPS is 59 which is the same as the previous one, but with a maximum of 120 and a minimum of 1. The average FPS of Red Dead Redemption 2 is also about 59, but the maximum came to 75, and the minimum was 35 as well. For Cyberpunk 2077, I specifically ran to the same place, and the FPS was higher by 1… to 39. Summary: The 16GBx4 memory is not as much of an improvement over the 8GBx4 one. C. At 32GBx4 (128GB) capacity Finally, let’s take a look at the performance of T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 32GBx4(128GB) which is currently the capacity limit of the single stick. Assassin’s Creed Origins got a score of 8,449, with an average FPS of 68, which is still lower than the 8GBx4. Horizon Zero Dawn had a new record low of 10,713, with an average FPS of 59. The maximum was 80 and the minimum was 48. The average FPS of Red Dead Redemption 2 is still at 59, with a maximum of 66 and a minimum of 35. Cyberpunk 2077 at the same spot. The FPS was about 37, which was another record low. Summary: The performance of large-capacity memory is not particularly impressive, and the benefits seem to be lower compared to high-frequency memory. Here is a chart to give you a quick comparison: We can see that the increase in memory capacity has almost zero effect on FPS. Conclusion As the memory capacity increases, “multitasking” should have a greater impact. The larger the capacity, the more the computer can load to run multiple programs at the same time, such as running live streaming software, voice software, video editing software, and gaming software at the same time. The larger the memory capacity, the more easily it is to handle the large amount of temporary data sent by the CPU. Because this time I only want to focus on the effect of memory capacity on FPS, I don’t want to increase the variables too much, so I didn’t test the part of multitasking. Thus, if you want to significantly improve the performance of the game, you should not only focus on upgrading the graphics card, but also increase the memory frequency to make an obvious difference. You can refer to our previous articles: Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Games Tested (Part One) Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Games Tested (Part Two) It’s also worth mentioning that AMD has an AMD SAM technology for the 6000 series graphics cards. This time I didn’t want to add variables, so I only tested it without AMD SAM turned on. If there is a chance in the future, I will give you a hands-on look at what AMD SAM technology can do for your CPU, memory, and graphics card. The result of this test show that each component has it’s division of responsibility, so buying the best components does not mean that you can bring amazing changes to the game. If you have any test results, you’re welcome to share your experience with us!

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  • Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Game Tested (Part Two)

    As mentioned in the previous paragraph, with the difficulty of replacing graphics card today, we need to explore whether the frequency adjustment on the “gaming” memory will affect the FPS? And how wide is the impact? Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? (Part I) (Read More) TEST 3: In “Shadow of The Tomb Raider” Next are the results of our test on “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” using another platform. Using the second platform configuration as an example to test the game: Note: Different platforms might have different testing results. In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, we gradually increased the T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB memory frequency from 3000Mhz to 3200Mhz, 3600Mhz, and up to 4000Mhz. We also turned on and off the ray tracing function to test and compare. T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB DDR4 32GB (Learn More), Where to Buy A. Memory frequency at 3000Mhz: Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, we tried turning off the ray tracing first and the test frame rate was 158FPS. Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider And with the ray tracing on, the frame rate was down to 121FPS reasonably. B. Memory frequency at 3200Mhz: Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, we also turned off the ray tracing first, and the test frame rate was slightly increased from 158FPS to 162FPS. Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider The frame rate changed from 121FPS to 122FPS after the ray tracing was turned on, which was the least improvement. C. Memory frequency at 3600Mhz: Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, the frame rate reached 168FPS after the ray tracing was turned off, which was a steady improvement compared to 3200Mhz. Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider After turning on the ray tracing, it was found that the frame rate was the same as the frame rate at 3200Mhz. The increase of frequency in ray tracing mode hasn’t improved much in FPS, therefore it still relied on the performance of the graphics card mostly. D. Memory frequency at 4000Mhz: Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, the frame rate was also improved even when the ray tracing was turned off. It reached 170FPS which was the highest in the test. Source: Screenshot in Shadow of the Tomb Raider And with the ray tracing on, it only improved by 1 as expected, reaching 123FPS, but it was also the highest in the test. This is the end of the platform test and here is the short conclusion. We can see that when the memory frequency is gradually increased, the higher the frequency will still have a certain effect on the increase of the frame rate of the game (FPS), but the impact is not as high as that brought by the graphics card. The above tests are conducted in 2K resolution, the effect will be more obvious if it is in 1080P. Conclusion Here is the introduction about the effect of the memory frequency on the frame rate of the game (FPS). Basically, when the memory frequency is gradually increased, the higher the frequency will still have an impact on the increase of the frame rate of the game (FPS). T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB DDR4 3200MHz 8GBx2 (Where to Buy) However, the difference in platforms still brings different test results. High-frequency memory is only an aid, one of many factors that might affect the result. Do not have the misconception that “Other hardware doesn’t matter as long as I have a high-frequency memory”! I hope this article can bring some help to people who want to get a memory.

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  • Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? 3 Games Tested (Part I)

    During this period, the prices of various computer components have skyrocketed. Especially for the graphics card, the price is amazingly high and is not always available for purchase. Since it is difficult to replace the graphics card, we can only find another way to improve the gaming experience. Many people have thought that we are constantly adjusting the frequency of the “gaming” memory, but does the memory frequency really affect the FPS of the game? And how wide is the impact? For this test, we select 3 widely known games “Shadow of The Tomb Raider”, “Cyberpunk 2077”, “World of Warcraft”; the first two games are the most discussed single-player games in the past two years, and the last one is the most classic online role-playing game for more than ten years. We will introduce the test result of “Cyberpunk 2077” and “World of Warcraft” using the first platform in “Part One”. In “Part Two”, we will change to another platform and present the test result of “Shadow of The Tomb Raider". We begin by using the first platform configuration as an example to test the game:Note: Different platforms might have different testing results. This time, we pick two T-FORCE gaming products for comparison. One is the entry-level T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4, while the other one is the T-FORCE DARK Z FPS DDR4, which can effectively increase the FPS of the game. T-FORCE DARK Z FPS DDR4 4000MHz 16GB (Learn more), Where to Buy T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 2666MHz 16GB (Learn more), Where to Buy TEST 1. In "World of Warcraft" In “World of Warcraft”, we test the frame rate of the game in four scenes, including a sparsely populated town, a crowded major city, a distant view, and the cluttered screen in a world boss fight. There is no built-in data testing tool for online games after all, so the tool we used this time is MSI Afterburner. Source: Screenshot in World of Warcraft The data obtained are as follows: In different scenes, the frame rate of the game will change in real time, so there is no way to perform with a fixed value, but basically, we can see that as the memory frequency increases, the frame rate of the game will also increase. The DARK Z FPS is set to 4000Mhz CL16, which is scary high. It can reach a high frequency of 4000Mhz and still maintain a low latency of CL16, which I think is no less than the 4800Mhz memory!   TEST 2. In "Cyberpunk 2077" Next, “Cyberpunk 2077”, the game that everyone on the Internet has been talking about a lot. People were looking forward to it but also got disappointed by its bugs. Nonetheless, the theme of the game is really unique, and it paints a picture of the future world for a lot of people. Source: Screenshot in Cyberpunk 2077 Let’s look at the test data below: I used 1080P resolution, plus ray tracing, plus DLSS Quality and tested in the crowded city and open areas. Although the FPS difference is quite large, it is still very obvious that DARK Z FPS 4000MHz is significantly better than the entry-level DELTA RGB 266MHz. To maintain the quality of the picture at all times, high frequency memory is still useful to a certain extent. T-FORCE DARK Z FPS DDR4 4000MHz 16GB (Where to Buy) Conclusion The above is the test results of “Cyberpunk 2077” and “World of Warcraft” using the first platform configuration. We can see that when the memory frequency is gradually increased, the higher frequency will still have a certain impact on the game frame rate (FPS), but the impact is not as high as the graphics cards. Different platforms may have different test results. In the next article, we will use the second platform configuration to test in “Shadow of The Tomb Raider”. Does the Memory Frequency Affect the Game’s FPS? (Part Two) (Read More)

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  • Which TEAMGROUP M.2 PCIe SSD Is Suitable for You

    As the price of M.2 PCIe becomes more affordable, there is now a variety of M.2 solid state drives on the market. The rise of AMD has also accelerated the popularity of the high-end Gen4x4. What are the differences between these various M.2 PCIe SSDs? How should we pick the most suitable SSD? Today, I will introduce the various M.2 PCIe SSDs released by TEAMGROUP, which currently has the largest variety of SSD heat sinks. 1. Without heat sink The most common M.2 SSDs are bare chips, which means they have no heat sinks. Without the cost of a heat sink, this type of product focuses on basic differences such as specifications and durability, which makes it a real bargain. Learn more about TEAMGROUP M.2 PCIe SSD Frankly, whoever uses better materials and cheaper prices will be the biggest winner. It is a very realistic market and the customer base is also more consumer oriented; the downside is that there is little choice in appearance and limited cooling capacity. If you are concerned about the look or using SSD frequently for a long time, it is recommended to choose a product with a heat sink. 2. With heat sink Now let’s talk about the ones with heat sinks. TEAMGROUP’s T-FORCE offers very comprehensive solutions for gamers to choose from, including graphene, ceramic, water cooling, and aluminum fins, which can be adapted to different usage environment and appearance requirements. Learn more about T-FORCE M.2 PCIe SSD The main function of the heat sink is to maintain the high-speed operation of the M.2 PCIe SSD and avoid activating the speed reduction protection mechanism due to high temperature. I personally also choose the product with a heat sink. TEAMGROUP’s T-FORCE M.2 PCIe SSDs have a rule of naming. A single word is used in the front to distinguish different types of heat sinks, and the number at the back to represent PCIe version and bandwidth. For example, 340 represents Gen3x4, so now you can follow this logic to get an SSD!     A. Graphene heat sinks: If you see Z at the beginning of a T-FORCE SSD model, it means the heat sink is built by graphene. For instance, Z330, Z340, Z440, etc. are all made of graphene as the base material, and different styles are designed at the top to make product differences. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z330 M.2 PCIe SSD, Where to Buy Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z340 M.2 PCIe SSD, Where to Buy Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD, Where to Buy According to the test result on the official website, the cooling effect is more than 9% higher than the SSD without the heat sink. It is because the laminated glue between graphene and copper foil is also heat dissipative. This cooling solution has also obtained a Taiwan invention patent. Another advantage is that the overall thickness of the heat sink is less than 1mm, so you don’t have to worry about the structural problems between different components. After installation, it is just like installing a product without a heat sink. It is so thin and still has a powerful cooling capability, and that’s what makes this patent so amazing! B. Ceramic heat sinks: The letter C at the beginning of a T-FORCE SSD model means the heat sink is built by ceramic. Currently, there is a C440, which is very unique and designed with white and gold, is now available. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe SSD , Where to Buy The ceramic material itself has the characteristics of high heat dissipation wattage and no heat storage. However, during TEAMGROUP’s test, we found that the cooling effect of the case with a fan was as high as 18% while the case without a fan, which is less common in the market, was only 2%. This difference is quite consistent with the characteristics of ceramic itself that its thermal conductivity is better than thermal dissipation. The two heat sinks above are generally heat stinks with a better thermal conductivity than heat dissipation. In other words, if there is a fan that brings air convection into the case, and with the heat conducted from these two materials, a powerful cooling effect can be archived. C. Water cooling heat sinks: T-FORCE CARDEA LIQUID is a product that has been widely discussed since its release. The main reason is that the liquid in this SSD is not flowing like the CPU water cooling, which has led many people to question the heat dissipation capacity of this water cooling. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA LIQUID, Where to Buy This type of water cooling is really not as good as CPU water cooling. After all, CPU water cooling not only convects water, but also dissipates heat with a fan. But in fact, Gen3x4 SSD does not generate heat as much as CPU. Relatively speaking, it does not require such a powerful cooling device to cool it down, but we just collectively call it “water cooling”. So what is the cooling capacity of this product: According to the test, there is no big difference between whether there is a fan or not, and they can both reach around 13% of cooling effect, which means the effect is not bad. By the way, this product has a big feature. Many gamers pay attention to the integration of the PC build, therefore T-FORCE offers a variety of different colors of water cooling liquid. The amazing thing is that this water cooling liquid can also be mixed with each other to create special colors, which is simply a gospel for PC DIY enthusiasts. Learn more about CK5 Coolant Kit Some gamers mentioned that if the water cooling liquid gets too hot, will it boil and burst? The boiling point of the water cooling liquid inside is 187℃, which is not that easy to make the water cooling liquid boil, so don’t worry about it. D. Aluminum fin heat sinks: CARDEA II has the most powerful cooling effect in the series. The design of this model can be said is the pioneer of various SDD heat sinks on the market. It is made of common aluminum with special structural design on top to enhance heat dissipation. This cooling solution has also obtained a Taiwan patent. Learn more about T-FORCE CARDEA II M.2 PCIe SSD, Where to Buy The current test can achieve a cooling effect of up to 21% in a case with a fan. The 15% indicated on the official website seems to be a conservative estimation, because it has a stronger cooling capacity than previous models. However, it should be noted that the height of this heat sink is relatively high. If it is installed in the PCIe slot closest to the CPU, due to the height, a larger graphics card may be stuck when it is plugged in. It is recommended to change the graphics card to an upright position, which is less likely to damage the pin. You can also install the SSD in the next slot to avoid the above problem. 3. Specification Next is the specification. Now the market is generally divided into Gen3 and Gen4 specifications, which refers to the PCIe version. As for the Gen3x4 we often refer to, the x4 in the back represents the number of channels. The specific choice of which M.2 PCIe SSD to use depends on the compatibility of your motherboard and CPU, which we can find out from the SPEC of your motherboard. Source: https://rog.asus.com/motherboards/rog-crosshair/rog-crosshair-viii-dark-hero-model/spec/ Currently, AMD’s X570 and B550 two chipsets can support Gen4 M.2 PCIe SSD. INTEL is open on some of the Z490 chipset motherboards, and it is expected to be generally open after Z590. If the motherboard is not one of the above chipsets, just remember to buy the Gen3x4 at most. It is not worth it if you buy a Gen4x4 SSD in pursuit of maximum speed and end up with no support.

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  • Tutorial of SSD Unboxing – The 6 Things You Should Do After Buying a New SSD

    Previously, we talked about what you should be aware of after getting a new memory: "Tutorial of Memory Unboxing – The 5 Things You Should Do After Buying a New Memory". Today, we’ll talk about SSD, which is a very big portion of products that are used when installing or upgrading computers. For those who are not familiar with it, you may be afraid to pick an SSD or install it yourself. In fact, it’s not that scary at all. After reading this article, you will feel much more confident about it! 1. Keep the proof of purchase Generally speaking, SSDs are covered by a 3 to 5 year warranty from the date of purchase. Since it’s not like the way of logging in and uploading an invoice from motherboard or video card manufacturers to prolong the warranty, it is very important to keep the proof of purchase (invoices, receipts, electronic invoices, etc.). If the proof of purchase is lost, the warranty period will be advanced to ex-factory date, which may loss more than a week of the original warranty period. Don’t forget to protect your rights and interests. 2. Unpack the package of the SSD Unpacking an SSD package requires a few tips. Usually both 2.5” SATA and M.2 PCIe are protected inside a blister, especially M.2 SSD, which is thinner and more fragile than the memory, and may break in two if you unpack too violently. It is recommended that you push the SSD out of the blister instead of pulling it hard. 2.5” SATA SSDs are usually covered with a tamper sticker on the outside of the case, try not to remove it. If the temper sticker is broken, the warranty of the manufacturer will be void. The M.2 SSD comes with similar warranty terms, the warranty will be void if the tamper sticker is removed! Demo SSD: T-OFRCE CARDEA LIQUID M.2 PCIe SSD 3. Verify the installation location The interfaces of 2.5” SSD and M.2 PCIe are completely different, and the corresponding connection locations on the motherboard are different as well. The supported interface of 2.5” SSD is SATA and requires separate power and SATA cables. The detailed location is as shown (Motherboard SATA location) (Power cable) (two ports of the 2.5” SSD) There’s nothing more annoying than having more and more cables in your PC, so the M.2 is simply a blessing to me, the editor. M.2 reduces two cables at a time, just need to plug and lock the M.2 onto the motherboard. The detail of the ports is as shown below. (Location of the M.2 on motherboard, lock using screws) 4. Using as system drive First, plug the UFD with Windows installation software into the computer and press DELETE to enter the BIOS. Make sure that the computer recognizes the newly installed SSD and UFD. (BIOS screenshot) Then go to BOOT, move the UFD to the first position, and adjust the newly installed hard drive to the second position, press F10 to save the changes and leave the BIOS. If the adjustments are made according to the above sequence, the computer should automatically reboot after leaving the BIOS and enter the Ready to install Windows screen. Format the SSD before installing Windows. After formatting, you can choose whether to split the capacity. Local drive (C:) and Local drive (D:) are what comes out the after partitioning, commonly known as C drive and D drive. If you have limited budget, you can setup a C drive with smaller capacity and a D drive with larger capacity, and try to install most of your applications in D drive. The simpler the C drive, the better. However, the downside of a single hard drive is that data may disappear if the hard drive is broken, so be sure to do an online cloud backup! If your budget is sufficient, it is recommended to buy a smaller capacity SSD as a boot drive (C:) and a larger capacity SSD as a data drive (D:). This way, there is no need for partitioning, you can have two hard drives in different drives. You don’t have to worry about the data on the data drive being affected if the boot drive is not working properly. 5. Using purely as data drive If you just want to expand a hard drive to store data, you can ski the previous step. However, you should pay attention that after installing and booting into Windows, you still can’t see the new drive because the hard drive has not been formatted and can’t be used directly Now, please move your mouse cursor to the Windows icon on the lower left and right click on the mouse Next, select Disk Management. The SSD originally installed with Windows should be displayed as “Disk 0”, and your newly installed SSD will be displayed as “Disk 1”, as shown below Please right click on the area of Disk 1 and select format. Usually the default NTFS format is used. Then press OK, the system will automatically start to format for you, and when the formatting is complete, you can see your new drive in the local machine! 6. Verify if the speed is up to the standard Nowadays, manufacturers in the market put the read/write speed of the SSD on the website and on the package. There is an unwritten rule that the speed manufacturers labeled is actually the higher value of the data they can actually measure. If you have average luck, the data you get from your home test will be slightly lower than indicated but not far off. If you are lucky, you might also get a faster SSD! After all, even the same controller with the same Flash IC may not have the same result. The following software is commonly used to test SSDs. The first thing you should do is to see if the Sequential speed (Sequential read/write speed) is the same as indicated. First let’s take a look at the CrystalDiskMark (CDM) which is the most commonly used software. The speed test of this software is quite accurate, so it is a software used commonly by both manufacturers and reviewers, and it’s also pretty fast in updating content. Just click All on the upper left to use it Next is the AS SSD Benchmark, which is commonly seen in reviews In addition to testing the read/write speed, this one can also switch to IOPS data from the View on the upper location, which is quite a unique function. Just press Start at the bottom and wait for a while, it is very easy to use. There are a lot of speed software available online, so if you are interested in, you can download them and try them for fun! In fact, the advanced application of SSD also includes different types of RAID methods, which will be explained later. I’ll end today’s introduction here, and I hope it can help those who are not familiar with how to operate the internal parts of the computer. After reading this article, you can bravely take your first step towards DIY a PC!  

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  • Tutorial of Memory Unboxing – The 5 Things You Should Do After Buying a New Memory

    After using the computer for some time, many people want to upgrade their computers when they start to experience lag and slowdown. Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is to upgrade the SSD and the memory. Here are the 5 things you should do after you get a new memory. 1. Open the package of the memory There are a few things to pay attention to on the packaging as well! The mainstream memory packaging on the market is divided into blister and carton sleeve packaging. The label information on the packaging is particularly important. On the packaging of TEAMGROUP’s memory, the product specifications, features, ICON introduction are clearly labelled, making it easy to understand at a glance. T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 Where to buy Don’t be too violent when you open the outer packaging and take out the memory. The gold contacts and IC are very fragile. 2. General visual inspection of the entire memory Major inspection item: Are the gold contacts brand new, no scratches or oxidation? Is the PCB intact, no breakage, burrs? The next is to see if the heat spreader is flat. However, I have never encountered any of these problems, so just think of it as a routine checkup. *Please avoid squeezing the IC when holding the memory. In addition, there is a product serial number sticker on every memory that you buy. Do not remove this sticker. You have to keep the sticker in order to have valid lifetime warranty. 3. Plug it onto the motherboard The memory is designed to be error-proof. The left and right sides of the middle notch are different in length. Please pay attention to the direction you insert it, otherwise the gold contacts may break if you force plugging it in! The wiring method of each motherboard is slightly different. Please refer to the user manual of the motherboard to make sure the location of the dual-channel when plugging in two memory sticks. The following image is an explanation in the ASUS motherboard user manual. The memory installation methods has been explained in “The process to handle memory errors”. Reminder: Make sure to turn off the power supply before installing or uninstalling the memory, otherwise the memory may be damaged if the power is still on! 4. BIOS setting After plugging it in, make sure there are no problems with other components first, and then boot the computer. However, please check the status of the memory in BIOS before entering Windows. Please press the DELETE button in the first screen after you press the boot button, or press DELETE like crazy after you press the boot button to enter the BIOS. There are some basic information after entering the easy mode screen of BIOS, but there’s not much that can be adjusted. You can adjust more with the memory after entering the advanced mode. Since different motherboard manufacturers have different hotkeys, you can refer to the description on the screen. The memory with frequency above 3200MHz on the market is dominated by overclocking memory. Only a few meet the native JEDEC 3200MHz specification, not to mention that high frequency such as 3600MHz, 4500MHz which require BIOS settings. Next, I’ll show you how to reach the overclocking frequency that the manufacturer claimed, so don’t ask again why only 2666MHz is displayed when you buy a 3600MHz one. Currently, there are four major motherboard manufacturers and they are divided into INTEL and AMD. For more details, please refer to: "How to overclock your RAM?" Take INTEL series of ASUS motherboard for example: After entering the advanced mode, press the right arrow key on the keyboard to move to “Extreme Tweaker” Next, press enter to select “Ai Overclock Tuner” and change to XMP, then you can press F10 to save and leave BIOS. This is a way to simply turn on XMP to read the content of the SPD in the memory. It is simple and easy for rookies, and you can correctly overclock to the frequency indicated in the memory by the following steps. If you want to adjust the frequency manually, here is a brief introduction to manual overclocking, but the matching of values and some more detailed adjustments require experience accumulation. In the same way, on the “Extreme Tweaker” page, please go to “DRAM Frequency” and press Enter to select the frequency. After selecting the frequency and press Enter to confirm, scroll down to “DRAM Timing Control” and press Enter, then you will see “DRAM CAS# Latency” which is the CL value. The next three cells of CL need to be adjusted accordingly, then try again on your own. After adjusting the CL value, voltage is the next to be considered. Press the left arrow key to go back to the previous page of the CL setting, go down to the “DRAM Voltage” and input voltage. It also requires experience to determine how much voltage is sufficient to support the set frequency. Reminder: It is recommended to increase the voltage little by little Setting too high at a time may cause memory damage! New gamers may not be able to get into Windows, and keep entering BIOS automatically due to incompatible values or settings that exceed the highest frequency supported by the motherboard and CPU. Now adjust the values again, or press the shortcut to restore all settings to default factory values, then you can enter Windows again! 5. Check the overclocking information At this point, the preparation is basically done. Don’t rush to play the game just yet, make sure that the content you just adjusted is actually working. Check the operation status of the memory by using the CPU-Z software. After downloading and running the software, click on the “Memory” at the top, and then look at the DRAM Frequency at the bottom. The displayed value multiplied by 2 is the frequency in the actual operation. CPU-Z download Why multiply it by two? The full name of DDR4 is Double Data Rate, therefore we need Double to calculate the frequency. Beneath the frequency, you can also see the CL value in operation. Conclusion That’s it for the basic introduction to memory. Now you can also buy components to upgrade your computer, or install it yourself!

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  • Unboxing the All New T-FORCE x TUF Gaming Alliance Series

    The military style, co-branded DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD(5V) and CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance SSD released by TEAMGROUP are all very representative. The former is the industry’s only 2.5” SSD with the largest luminous area, while the latter is the first M.2 SSD certified by TUF Gaming Alliance! The newly launched ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS[WI-FI] follows TUF Gaming Alliance’s black and gold color design, with the unique twill design on the I/O shield and southbridge to fully showcase TUF Gaming’s hardcore military style. Motherboard ASUS TUF Gaming Z490-PLUS[WI-FI] Unboxing Let’s take a look at the co-branded DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD(5V), and also review the previous generation, co-branded DELTA S TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD(12V). The main difference between the two is the light source connector. Since some motherboards only support 5V or 12V connectors, and TUF’s latest Z490 and B550 series motherboards already support 5V header, therefore TEAMGROUP releases the 5V version this time. In addition, the 5V version can display colorful stream of light while the 12V version can only display a single color at a time, which is caused by different light source connectors. T-FORCE DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD (5V) Packing T-FORCE DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD (5V) Unboxing T-FORCE DELTA TUF RGB SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy There’s also co-branded CARDEA II PCIe SSD available now! This CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance SSD with streamlined cooling fins is TUF Gaming Alliance’s “first” certified co-branded M.2 PCIe SSD. The T-FORCE logo in the middle is a magnificent design, and the TUF Gaming Alliance x CAREDEA II names at the bottom will get you very excited! T-FORCE CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance M.2 PCIe SSD Packing T-FORCE CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance M.2 PCIe SSD Unboxing PCIe is easy to generate heat during operating. After various experiments, the angle of this cooling fin is designed to provide the most powerful heat dissipation. T-FORCE’s design is very consumer-oriented! T-FORCE CARDEA II TUF M.2 SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy Let’s see how it actually performs. T-FORCE DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance RGB SSD, CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance M.2 PCIe SSD Installation As for the DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance(5V), if the read/write speed of 2.5” SSD can reach 500MB/s and above, it is considered to be a high quality SSD. The difference in speed between 550MB/s and 540MB/s is not that much, so we won’t test it here. However, as an M.2 PCIe SSD, it is necessary to undergo a speed test. The following CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance SSD 512GB is tested with three softwares. 1. The most common CDM (CrystalDiskMark) Considering fairness concern, we have only taken the result in the first test. The read speed of this SSD is 24MB/s less than the 3400MB/s on the official website, but the write speed is actually 439MB/s more than 2000MB/s. The overall speed performance is very satisfactory. 2. AS SSD Benchmark This test got 4178 points with CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance 512GB. It will get even higher points with the 1TB. Switching to the AS SSD Benchmark IOPS, we can see that the CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance also has excellent performance. 3. Tx Bench The performance of Seq 256K Q32T1 and CDM 1MQ8T1 are similar. In different situations, the performance of the CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance is very stable, which is a very important requirement for SSDs. Conclusion The DELTA TUF Gaming Alliance(5V) is updated with the support of TUF motherboard. The exterior design inherits the military style of TUF Gaming Alliance, and the color change has advanced from a single color to multiple colors. If you like the TUF Gaming series, you should definitely get it and match with the motherboard! The CARDEA II TUF Gaming Alliance has a black background color with a magnificent T-FORCE LOGO. Certified by ASUS TUF Gaming, the upper aluminum fin heatsink will not interfere with the components on the motherboard. It has powerful heat dissipation capability and ultra-fast computing speed. What are you waiting for? Get it home now! Learn more about TUF series co-branding: T-FORCE VULCAN TUF DDR4 Where to Buy T-FORCE DELTA TUF DDR4 Where to Buy T-FORCE DELTA TUF RGB SSD Where to Buy T-FORCE CARDEA II TUF M.2 SSD Where to Buy  

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  • Tutorial on the Use of Lighting Control Software for the Four Major Motherboard Manufacturers

    Now that there is so many software for lighting control, which one should I choose? How do I use them? Currently, the four major motherboard manufacturers are leading in software integration and can control 90% of the lighting accessories on the market. Here’s the tutorial on how to use the software of four major motherboard manufacturers.   【ASUS-AURA】 If you don’t have this software yet, please download it from this link. (Download Link) This is version 1.07.79. From this version onwards you can fully control the lighting mode of the beautiful T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB memory. T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB DDR4 (Learn More) Where to Buy After opening the software, the top left corner shows devices that are currently detected and can be connected by the software. The white ones are currently connected. It will turn red and disconnect the device while clicking it. The entire row on the left is a variety of lighting effects, please select your preferred lighting mode. In the middle, you can select the same color for all lighting parts, or you can set the light by each area individually. If you want the same color, select “Single Color”, if you want to set it by yourself, select “By areas”. Next, you can choose the location of the light on the motherboard or any light bead on the memory. It is completely self-customized, suitable for people who wants to create their own lighting style. In the end are Color(1), Hue(2), Saturation and Brightness(3) adjustments. These are supported by almost every lighting control software. Overall, ASUS’s lighting control software is full of functions, with a wide selection of lighting effects, and the ability to control the color of each light bead. Highly recommended for those who have ASUS motherboards ASUS Aura might be integrated into “Armoury Crate” integration software along with other ASUS motherboard related softwares in the future, which is the trend of motherboard manufacturers to meet the needs of gamers at this stage, but it is still in the transition period currently.   【MSI-MYSTIC LIGHT】 Please visit the download page of this software. (Download Link) The first thing you will see is “DRAGON CENTER(UWP VERSION)”, which is an integrated software that combines many MSI related softwares internally. If you are using the Windows 10 operating system, you need to download this integrated software, and then download Mystic Light within this software. If you use operating system “below Windows 10” and your motherboard matches the motherboard model supported on this page, you will need to scroll down the page to find Mystic Light 3 software to control the lighting effect. Next, follow the instructions while looking at the software: After click and open DRAGON CENTER, the internal software will be downloaded first. And when you officially enter, there is a row of software to choose from on the left side of the page, please click “Mystic Light”. After entering the software, you will see the main screen which is the location to synchronize all the RGB and Mystic Light compatible accessories. Select the LED Style on the right and the whole system will run in the same lighting effect. If you want to control T-FORCE memory individually, you can select the preferred mode and set the color by switching from the link-like logo above to the “DRAM”! Individual control not only has many effects, but you can also customize the color yourself, which can be very useful and gorgeous even when the whole system cannot be synchronized! Don’t forget to click Apply in the bottom right corner whether you are synchronizing the entire system or controlling the memory individually. If you are using an MSI motherboard, get a set of T-FORCE memory and let the memory rock along with your PC! T-FORCE memory (Learn More)   【GIGABYTE-RGB FUSION 2.0】 The download location of this software is relatively simple. (Download Link) Just click the Download button as shown below. After opening the software, you will see the motherboard’s lighting effect control screen. The upper left corner will automatically show the motherboard you are using. The screen is divided into three areas, first you have to choose which light you want to control in area 1, and then area 2, 3 will light up for operating. Area 2 is for selecting the effect, and area 3 is for selecting your preferred color, speed, brightness, etc. Remember to click APPLY after you finished selecting. To operate the T-FORCE memory, first, click the memory logo under the motherboard on the left side, you will see a similar UI as the motherboard control screen, except that there is no light selection. The next steps are similar as well, including the adjustment for lighting effect, color, speed, and brightness. It is recommended to set the speed at about half to avoid too much speed or too bright for your eyes.   【ASROCK- Polychrome RGB】 Please visit ASRock’s official website for software download. From Products pages, find the motherboard you are using, scroll down and click Support and then click Download. At the bottom you will see [Beta] ASRock Polychrome RGB, this is the latest version of the lighting control software. Please notice that AMD and Intel platforms have different version numbers, so be sure to download the software under the correct motherboard model! Above is a screenshot of the Download page of the Z390 motherboard, and below is a screenshot of the X570 motherboard for reference. The setup is also divided into synchronizing the entire system’s lighting effect, and setting the T-FORCE memory individually. Let’s take a look at how to synchronize the memory and motherboard: First, select the Onboard LED page, then click the DRAM logo on the bottom left. After selecting the lighting effect synchronization of the DRAM and the motherboard, you can only select Style, which is the only major limitation of this software. But ASRock has all kinds of good looking styles built in, the auto adjustment is a great feature for gamers who want to save time. If you have more ideas about your own lighting style: Before switching to control memory individually, you need to click “DRAM” above again to unselect it, and then you can switch pages in the upper left corner! Please stop asking why “Component” can’t be clicked, it’s because the synchronization is not cancelled first! After unselecting DRAM, click “Component” on the upper left to enter the page for controlling the memory individually. You can adjust the color, brightness, style, etc., and even turn off the light of the memory alone. T-FORCE XCALIBUR Phantom Gaming RGB DDR4 (Learn More) Conclusion The functions of the lighting control software of the four motherboard manufacturers are very similar, and they are all very well integrated. You can control the motherboard, memory, SSD, keyboard, mouse and other accessories at the same time, without having to install a bunch of software to control them individually.  

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  • There are hundreds of memories available, which one should I get?

    If you have read our article on how to choose a SSD, then we know it won’t quench your thirst for knowledge! Next, lighting or no lighting? Or born for overclocking? We will tell you which TEAMGROUP memory is perfect for a gamer like you! If you are a gamer, and you desire to build a fancy PC and are capable of playing any game! As a gamer, having great looks and inner is a must. Your computer also needs to have a great looking and powerful memory to complete the full set. Introducing you the T-FORCE RGB Memory Series, which has a clever design of appearance and light guide, and is also compatible with major motherboard manufacturers’ lighting effect control software. It is cool and can also seamlessly blend in with other parts. In terms of performance, TEAMGROUP provides very good specifications. If you are interested, please check out the webpage for more information. Recommended products: XTREEM ARGB / XCALIBUR RGB / NIGHT HAWK RGB /DELTA RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory Series T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy T-FORCE XCALIBUR DDR4 (Learn More) T-FORCE NIGHT HAWK DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy T-FORCE DELTA RGB DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy If you are a gamer who is ready to step into the gaming world, assemble a PC with a great bargain first! You probably want to buy memory with RGB just because many computer components of yours have RGB lighting effects, but this will cost you a lot of money to build a PC. If you have budget concerns, why not building a gaming PC without RGB lightings first! Therefore, the best solution is to get a memory with great performance and looks, but without the RGB lighting. Among the T-FORCE Gaming Memory Series, there are two models we recommend: VULCAN Z & DARK Z DDR4 series have beautifully designed heat spreaders with anode painting, and overclocking performance. The price is a steal. These two models are definitely your top choices if you want to build a PC with a great bargain! T-FORCE VULCAN Z DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy T-FORCE DARK Z DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy If you are an overclocker who lives by the spirit of DIY PC If you don’t need a fancy look and the price never bothers you, all you care about is how awesome the performance is! Then T-FORCE has prepared just the right things for you. After rigorous selection by the laboratory and engineers, two overclocking memories suitable for overclockers have been created: XTREEM DDR4 / DARK PRO DDR4. It possesses high frequency + low latency CL, and using selected IC chips and high-performance heat spreader. All these offer the overclockers a chance to unleash the power of the PC. T-FORCE XTREEM DDR4 (Learn More) T-FORCE DARK PRO DDR4 (Learn More) If you are a heavy creator and gamer who loves to pursuit the latest technology This year, T-FORCE released an innovative memory product that has overclocking performance and a great appearance. Redefining the RGB lighting by being the first in the industry launching the ARGB lighting effects with the low key and high-quality mirror design. Various frequency and CAS Latency are introduced to meet the needs of gamers at all levels. Introducing to you again: XTREEM ARGB DDR4! That’s right, we already mentioned XTREEM ARGB once before, so why talk about it again? It is because this product combines both the latest technology on the outside and the highest specifications on the inside. After spending years on research and development, this is the product revealing the full strength of TEAMGROUP, and it is also the most recommended product of the article! T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB DDR4 (Learn More), Where to Buy

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  • There are hundreds of SSD available, which one should I get?

    Now there are so many brands and specifications of SSD on the market, it will take a lot of time to do the research, so let’s quickly introduce which TEAMGROUP SSD can best meet your needs! If you are a “promising young person who use a computer to write reports and browse online articles” As a promising young person who often uses Office software to write reports or browse the Internet, when opening Office software, although SSD and HDD are both SATA III interface, SSD will still provide faster speed than traditional HDD! Here we recommend the price-friendly GX2 SSD, with various capacities to choose from! TEAMGROUP GX2 SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy And this VULCAN SSD from T-FORCE gaming brand has both read and write speed of over 500 MB/s. The price is reasonable and the design is stylish, which makes it perfect for you! T-FORCE VULCAN SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy The next is DELTA MAX SSD which is the RGB SSD with the largest luminous area in the industry. The ARGB lighting is smooth, meticulous and not too bright for your eyes. Even when the lighting is off, the SSD can still reflect the texture of the mirror surface. Note: Remember to pick a case with a transparent side panel, which can perfectly present the translucent mirror effect of the SSD! T-FORCE DELTA MAX RGB SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy If you are a “mild to moderate, promising gamer” Back then, when I was playing Diablo III, the game map often got stuck for a long time at the loading screen! I did use a quad-core processor and a high-end graphics card, but how come the performance is still far from good? Only to find that the map files of Diablo III were located in the hard drive, so the loading time took longer whenever the hard drive was reading the files. Therefore, I simply replaced my hard drive with a M.2 SSD and the loading time was reduced instantly! The low-price and easy to use M.2 PCI-E Gen3x4 SSD MP33 make you the coolest gamer by eliminating your waiting time in the game! T-FORCE MP33 M.2 PCIe SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy If you are a “heavy creator and gamer” Congratulations, you are a user who relies heavily on computer performance. We strongly recommend the following high performance M.2 PCI-E SSDs! First, we introduce you the MP34 which has no heat spreader and can be easily installed on any device. The difference between the MP34 and MP33 is the addition of the RAM that makes the reading speed more than 3000MB/s. No matter if you are editing large video files, or playing a game and want to live broadcasting at the same time, the experience is smooth and without any lag. TEAMGROUP MP34 M.2 PCIe SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy The next is T-FORCE CARDEA II, which has TEAMGROUP’s exclusive patented cooling fin, so you don’t have to worry about speed loss caused by overheating when using SSD for a long period of time. T-FORCE CARDEA II M.2 PCIe SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy If you are a heavy creator and gamer who “desire the latest technology” After the release of AMD’s X570 platform this year, the bandwidth of PCIe is upgraded to M.2 PCIE Gen4x4. T-FORCE releases CARDEA ZERO-Z440 to advance with the times. The read speed is up to 5000 MB/s, which guarantees to make you the coolest heavy creator. Loading graphics or converting files will all be done before your coffee gets cold! T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 M.2 PCIe SSD (Learn More) Where to Buy After introducing these various SSDs, gamers will have a better idea of which product they are getting in the future!

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