Teamgroup MP44 2TB Review: Best DRAM-less SSD Yet
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Easily the fastest DRAM-less SSD we've tested to date.
- Excellent perfomance
- Available in 8TB capacity
- Phenomenal endurance rating
- Higher capacities are a bit too pricey
Teamgoup offers a full range of M.2 SSDs, with the T-Force series being the most prominent in gaming and enthusiast circles. The MP lineup is a bit more anonymous as it caters to the mainstream market with more modest performance claims.
As for the MP44, this drive mostly stands out by being available in a massive 8TB capacity. However, the most appealing cost/GB at the time of writing (late 2023) is found in the 2TB variant that we will be looking at here.
Drive Details & Specifications
|Teamgroup MP44 Specifications||512GB||1TB||2TB||4TB||8TB|
|Form Factor||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280||M.2 2280|
|Interface / Protocol||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 2.0||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 2.0||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 2.0||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 2.0||PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 2.0|
|Controller||Maxio MAP1602-C||Maxio MAP1602-C||Maxio MAP1602-C||Maxio MAP1602-C||Maxio MAP1602-C|
|Memory||232L TLC||232L TLC||232L TLC||232L TLC||232L TLC|
|Sequential Read||7,300 MB/s||7,400 MB/s||7,400 MB/s||7,400 MB/s||7,200 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||4,500 MB/s||6,500 MB/s||7,000 MB/s||6,900 MB/s||6,000 MB/s|
|Endurance||700 TBW||1,450 TBW||2,500 TBW||3,000 TBW||6,000 TBW|
|Warranty||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years|
Even though it is a DRAM-less mainstream SSD, the MP44 clearly brings a lot more performance to the table than entry-level drives like the Kingston NV2 or Adata Legend 800. As far as sequential performance goes, it seems to run circles around other mid-range DRAM-less competitors like the WD Black SN770.
In fact, the MP44 can come quite close to maxing out the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface and theoretically compete with high-end models, although its random performance trails class leaders like the 990 Pro and SN850X.
All in all, however, the spec sheet is very impressive for a drive without DRAM and this is apparently thanks to high-end TLC NAND and the novel Maxio (or MaxioTech) MAP1602 controller. This chip, which offers four channels for NAND up to 2,400 MT/s, is not particularly common at this point but we will likely see more of it in the future.
Interestingly, the 2TB version of the Teamgroup MP44 is the fastest of the bunch according to the specs, although the 4TB and 8TB models are unlikely to be far behind.
Another noteworthy part of the spec sheet is the endurance ratings. 2,500 TBW for the 2TB capacity is outstanding and more than 2x the industry standard (an expected rating would be 1,200 TBW).
Teamgroup MP44 2TB Benchmarks
Test setup: Intel Core i7-13700KF, MSI Z790 Carbon, 32 GB DDR5-6000 CL36.
Sequential and Random Performance
Sequential performance in AS SSD is always a fair bit lower than the maximums seen in the specifications. But surprisingly, the Teamgroup MP44 is not at all where I had expected to see it, which is alongside Samsung’s Gen4 class leader, the 990 PRO.
The CrystalDiskMark result is not much different, with Teamgroup’s DRAM-less drive still being comparable to the high-end Samsung as well as the Kingston Fury Renegade and WD Black 850X. In terms of sequential throughput, it is obviously far ahead of the similarly-priced WD Black SN770 – our former DRAM-less champion.
Random performance at the minimum queue depth is an important metric for real-world performance in everyday scenarios. It is also an area where more affordable drives tend to fall behind. The Teamgroup MP44 shows no such signs, however.
Response Times/Latency (Anvil’s Storage Utilities)
Lower is better in this chart, but the rankings are largely unchanged and the MP44 keeps challenging the flagship SSDs. Full result from Anvil’s Storage Utilities:
Real-World Performance (FF IIV, PCMark, 3DMark)
The fastest DRAM-less drive in the Final Fantasy XIV benchmark is however Addlink’s Phison E21-powered S90 Lite, which uses slightly less time to load the five different levels/scenes from FF XIV.
App start-up times in PCMark 10 are quite minuscule regardless of the SSD used but the Teamgroup MP44 can easily compete with the best.
UL’s 3DMark Storage Benchmark is essentially the first sign that the 2TB MP44 is not a high-end Gen4 SSD. It comes in behind the DRAM-equipped drives, indicating that it can’t quite keep up in some of the tests (which include installing, moving, loading, recording, and saving games). A closer look at the sub-scores points at recording and installing being two of its main weaknesses. The MP44 nevertheless remains faster than all other DRAM-less drives we’ve tested.
Conclusion: Mid-Range Value/Performance Leader
It’s not often you come across something genuinely surprising in the SSD space these days. Most drives, or at the very least their individual components, have been thoroughly tested and you have an idea of what to expect.
The Teamgroup MP44 does indeed have something out of the ordinary to offer and that is the interesting new MaxioTech controller in combination with comparatively high-end NAND. We will almost certainly see more of it in the future, but so far it is quite rare to my knowledge.
Since Teamgroup sells the MP44 in capacities all the way up to 8TB, they apparently trust the hardware and that trust seems well-placed. As far as the 2TB capacity goes, the performance metrics are formidable for a mid-range Gen4 drive without onboard DRAM. It is usually ahead of drives like the popular WD Black SN770 and the sequential transfer rates are on par with the class leaders.