Teamgroup Z540 Review: A Strong Competitor for SSD Performance Crown

This PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD can handle heavy workloads without breaking the bank (relatively speaking).

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Pros:

  • PCIe 5.0
  • Up to 4TB capacity (impressive)
  • Overall the second-fastest SSD we’ve tested

Cons:

  • Not particularly cheap

Our Verdict:

The Teamgroup Z540 is a formidable competitor for the PCIe 5.0 performance crown. While it’s not the most budget-friendly option, its speed is exceptional.

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The Teamgroup Z540 SSD nearly clinches the top spot in PCIe 5.0 NVMe hard drive performance. Its price is also highly competitive compared to PCIe 5.0 competitors. Overall, it’s a strong contender for your storage needs.

Further Reading: Check out our overview of the best SSDs for competitive products.

What Features Does the Teamgroup Z540 Have?

The T-Force Z540 (T-Force TM8FF1002T) is a 2280 (22mm wide, 80mm long) form factor, NVMe 1.4, four-lane (x4) PCIe 5.0 SSD. It utilizes the Phison PS5026-E26-52 controller to move data in and out of its 232-layer 3D NAND with 2GB DRAM cache per TB NAND.

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The back of the Teamgroup Z540 is adorned with a sticker containing a wealth of information.


Teamgroup offers a five-year warranty or 600TBW (terabytes written) warranty for the Z540, whichever comes first. This is roughly in line with the current average for high-end NVMe SSDs.

How much does the Teamgroup Z540 cost?

The 1TB version of the Z540 retails for $150. The 2TB version is priced at $260. The 4TB version is priced at $470.

How fast is the Teamgroup Z540?

In short, very fast. However, overall, it only trails behind the Crucial T705, but when you look at the chart below, you won’t notice much of a difference. This is also true for similarly powerful drives like the Adata Legend 970 and Corsair MP700 Pro.

Although the Z540’s sequential speeds are very fast in CrystalDiskMark 8 tests, its lag is most noticeable compared to the Crucial T705 when it comes to involving queues. Note that there aren’t many software applications (including Windows) that utilize queues, so single-queue testing is more significant.

Teamgroup-Z540-CDM-seq

The Z540’s random 4K performance is on par with modern PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSDs, only significantly lagging behind the Adata Legend 970 in 32-queue writes—the fastest queue writing drive we’ve tested to date.

Teamgroup-Z540-CDM-4K

 

The Z540 performs exceptionally well in 48GB transfers, although it’s not the best among the four drives. It’s worth noting that, for some reason, the cheaper Host Memory Buffer (HMB) drives seem to be better suited for our real-world transfers.

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There isn’t much variation in the scores among the four drives compared in terms of the 450GB write volume. The actual recorded time for this test is 133 seconds, achieved by the Crucial Intel T500, which is a much cheaper drive. Go figure.

Teamgroup-Z540-450GB

I noticed the only delay was formatting the Z540. For some reason, it was quite slow, taking up to 20 seconds. Yes, that’s our point of contention — a 20-second format is the cause for complaint. How things have changed in my ten years.

Overall, the Z540 (I’ve always wanted to say Datsun or Nissan – LMK if you get it) is a stellar performance car, and if speed rather than price is paramount, it’s worth having on your shortlist.

Should you buy the Teamgroup Z540?

The Teamgroup T-Force Z540 delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price (for a PCIe 5.0 SSD). Give it a try unless you find significantly lower prices for similarly performing competitors.

How we tested

The road test is currently performed on a Windows 11 64-bit system, running on an X790 (PCIe 4.0/5.0) motherboard with an i5-12400 CPU, and equipped with two Kingston Fury 32GB DDR5 4800MHz modules (total 64GB of memory). 20Gbps USB and Thunderbolt 4 are integrated into the rear panel, and an Intel CPU/GPU is used. The 48GB transfer test uses an ImDisk RAM disk occupying 58GB out of a total of 64GB of memory. The 450GB files are transferred from a 2TB Samsung 990 Pro running the same operating system.

Each test was performed on a freshly formatted NTFS drive with TRIM enabled, ensuring optimal results. Please note that in typical usage, performance may degrade as the drive fills up due to less NAND available for caching and other factors. This factor may be less significant for SSDs with faster new-generation NAND.

Note: The performance data shown is specific to the drives we shipped and the tested capacity. SSD performance may vary with different capacities, depending on the number of chips available for read/write and the amount of NAND available for secondary caching. Vendors may also swap components at times.

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