Catching Up With TEAM GROUP At Computex 2024

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅13.06.2024 14:57:11

Taipei-based TEAM GROUP are on home turf for every Computex, giving them ample opportunity to bring their best to the tech. sector's most meaningful annual expo. The memory specialists once again emphasised their competence in the field of DRAM while also showcasing new storage solutions, but they still sprang a couple of surprises which will have an impact in the very near future.

Let's begin with TEAM GROUP's bread and butter, RAM. With a new high performance packaging standard for DDR5 DRAM - CAMM2 - just around the corner you'd be forgiven for assuming that traditional DIMMs would be somewhat neglected. TEAM GROUP's T-FORCE brand swiftly dispelled that notion with a selection of products that will make attractive additions to showcase systems.

Most eye-catching was the T-FORCE XTREEM ARGB, a kit of DDR5 DRAM with ARGB edge lighting that tops out at an outstanding speed of DDR5-8200. These attractive components are tailor-made for high performance systems that need to be seen to be truly appreciated, and they arrive in kits as capacious as 96GB.

Those with more refined tastes can instead opt for full-colour DRAM kits without ARGB. Shown in Black, White and a particularly attractive Diamond Rose which will match well with a pastel-themed interior, these T-FORCE DIMMs are rated up-to DDR5-7600 and also ship in kits as capacious as 96GB.

Temperature is often a concern for memory on the bleeding edge of the performance envelope, particularly if incidental air flow inside a PC chassis isn't high. With this in mind TEAM GROUP are also presenting the DARK AirFlow D5, a dual-fan clip-on solution for top-down cooling of DDR5 DIMMs. Featuring two 40mm fans and a mounting system supporting directional airflow, they're optimised for low noise despite a 7000 RPM maximum. It mounts to ATX motherboard standoff positions and stands approx. 10cm over the motherboard PCB (with plenty of space for even tall DIMMs).

Pivoting to storage, T-FORCE also subtly promoted their Z-series NVMe SSDs. Their Z4-series solutions, including the Z445A we recently reviewed, were joined by premium Z5-series models that support PCIe Gen5 signalling over M.2 and variable bandwidth up-to 12.4GB/s (depending on model). It's good to see T-FORCE make the speed differential between the Z5-Series models more explicit by adding the 'LITE' suffix where appropriate, that's a good nomenclature upgrade over their slower Z4 siblines.

That being said, the SSDs were really present as an accompaniment to the next showcase: a full selection of M.2 SSD coolers. Operating temperatures for NVMe drives will ever be a contentious issue, particularly while motherboard designers stubbornly place high-speed M.2 slots near the hottest of system components. These coolers from T-FORCE address the issue in various novel ways.

The designs include tall 'blow-over' models AF03, AF04 and AF-05 resembling a very thin CPU tower cooler (or, for the really old among us, the slot-based CPU + cooler designs of the Pentium era) complete with heatpipes and dense fin stack. The 'blow-through' AF06 meanwhile is very squat with dual-heatpipes and a small fan that blows air through the entire fin stack length-ways. The most complex solution however is the WF01, a compact water-based design with micropumps and a blower fan to maximise cooling potential.

An issue with M.2 cooling is clearance above and around the slot, and by providing a wide range of solutions T-FORCE maximise the chances that one will be compatible with your setup.

TEAM GROUP have also been exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their products while increasing the use of recycled materials. Their ECO component lineup, comprised of both thumb drives and now DRAM DIMMS, utilises high quantities of post-consumer plastics (PCPs, including plastic bags, straws and bottles) and recycled aluminium to reduce their overall carbon footprint by over 50% in a drive towards net-zero carbon emissions.

Next up, T-CREATE were showcasing an array of portable storage solutions for creatives. They included the routine, such as the CinemaPr R41 USB 4.0 card reader, to the reliable Expert P32 Portable SSD supporting USB 3.2 Gen2x2, to the high performance Classic P51 ThunderBolt 5 Portable SSD boasting ThunderBolt 5 Type-C and read/write speeds up-to 6000MB/s.

Joining them was the T-CREATE P34F, a compact Bluetooth-enabled USB storage drive tag with position tracking via an app. Displayed alongside is it was the P35, a USB Gen2x1 SSD with integrated hardware AES-256 encryption.

No Computex 2024 stand would be complete without a range of 'AI'-branded products and TEAM GROUP is no exception. In additional to high performance, high reliability variants of established T-CREATE models, the Empower AI lineup also introduces upcoming memory based on the CAMM2 standard. We may see isolated usage of this new memory type in workstations upon the release of AMD and Intel's next generation platforms but realistically it's probably a year or two before they're a commonplace alternatives to DIMMs.

And to close out our coverage, here's a shot of the No Limits Build, assembled to showcase each of their mainstream and performance solution categories in one place to fully contextualise them.

Our thanks to TEAM GROUP for answering our questions on their Computex 2024 lineup. Expect to see more of them later this year with some big launches alongside their partners.

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