TeamGroup’s InnoGrit-Powered PCIe 5.0 SSD Scorches The Competition At A Blistering 14GB/s

TeamGroup T-Force Z54a series SSDs on a gradient background.
We're approaching the midway point of 2023 and are just now starting to see solid state drives (SSDs) equipped to cruise in the fast lane, otherwise known as PCI Express 5.0, enter the marketplace. There are still just a few options at your disposal, but they're growing, even if slowly. One that's in the pipeline is TeamGroup's T-Force Z54A series, and it's on track to be the fastest PCIe 5.0 SSD yet.

The handful of models we've seen at retail up to this point all advertise sequential performance of up to 10,000MB/s (10GB/s). That includes Corsair's recently-launched MP700 SSD, as well as Gigabyte's Aorus Gen5 and MSI's M570 models.

That said, Gigabyte demonstrated its Aorus Gen5 SSD ripping just shy of 12.5GB/s for sequential reads, while MSI showcased its M570 SSD hitting 12.35GB/s. As far as the rated specifications, though, both of those models (and also the MP700) tout reads of up to 10GB/s. There are also a few SSD models that are not yet available at retail, with speeds in the 12GB/s range.

TeamGroup T-Force Z54A series SSD next to an all-in-one CPU liquid cooler.

TeamGroup is about to kick things up a notch. Announced at Computex, the T-Force Z54A series aims to deliver rated sequential read and write speeds of up to 14GB/s and 10GB/s, respectively. And like its competitors, TeamGroup is showing off even faster reads than the rated specs call for. Specifically, it dropped a screenshot of the T-Force Z54A hitting around 14.36GB/s (14,356.51MB/s) in sequential reads, and over 11.5GB/s for sequential writes.

The secret ingredient in this recipe for incredibly fast read performance is InnoGritt's IG5666 controller. This sets the stage for a showdown with drives based on Phison's E26 hardware, which is also capable of pumping out 14GB/s reads (and up to 11.8GB/s for writes).

"This controller also has a decoder for low-power mode, which can automatically switch to the mode to extend the lifetime and sustainable data of working. The InnoGrit IG5666 controller collects the AI algorithm for temperature data developed by InnoGrit Corporation, providing extraordinary multitasking performance," TeamGroup states.

It will be interesting to see how that plays out, given that a thermal shutdown issue had affected some competing PCIe 5.0 SSDs when used without a heatsink. Phison recently said it identified the issue and is working on a firmware fix (and advises using a heatsink regardless).

The other thing to consider is that sequential performance will only take you so far. Many tasks (including gaming) are more heavily influenced by random 4K read and write performance. Regardless, it's nice to see SSD makers pushing the envelope, especially this early.

Note that modern SSDs with an NVMe interface utilize four lanes of PCI traffic. The PCIe 5.0 spec opens up 3.94GB/s of bandwidth per lane, so the theoretical maximum speed for a PCIe 5.0 SSD is right around 15.76GB/s. Overhead and other factors will prevent drives from hitting that number, but TeamGroup's T-Force Z54A comes pretty close at 14.36GB/s (or 14GB/s, if going by the advertised rating).