Programmable RGB lighting
Relatively large lighting area for an internal SSD
Short (three-year) warranty
Requires motherboard with ARGB connector for full lighting effects
Typically slow SATA performance in most benchmarks
Looking for some RGB-enabled bling to help trick out your gaming setup? The TeamGroup T-Force Delta Max White ($124.99 at Amazon) is an
internal solid-state drive
(SSD) with a relatively spacious area for a lighting display. Since it uses a SATA rather than PCI Express interface, it's by no means a speedster—its scores in our testing fell typically short of modern NVMe drives—but it did better in program-loading tests than in those that measure raw throughput. Think of the Delta Max White as a way to add a terabyte of onboard storage to your rig while helping to jazz up its light show.
Brighten Up Your Gaming Rig
TeamGroup sells two versions of the Delta Max SSD: the Aurora White model reviewed here, which comes only in a 1TB capacity for about 13 cents per gigabyte, and the glossy black Delta Max, available in 500GB and 1TB models for about 16 and 13 cents per gig respectively. The SATA III drive has a durability (terabytes written, or TBW) rating of 800TBW for the 1TB model—the manufacturer's estimate of how much data can be written to the drive before some cells begin to fail and are taken out of service. The Delta Max White's warranty is good for a relatively short three years or until you hit the rated TBW figure in writes, whichever comes first.
Clad in a translucent white chassis, the Delta Max White measures 0.4 by 3.9 by 2.8 inches, slightly shorter and thinner than the
TeamGroup T-Force Treasure Touch
external SSD that we reviewed recently. The T-Force logo and Delta Max name decorate the drive's top; the logo gently fluoresces in silver when power is applied.
On one end of the drive is a USB Type-B connector, as well as a SATA III data and power connector. The drive also includes two USB Type-B cables to connect to either a 9-pin USB header or a 5-volt, 3-pin ARGB (Addressable RGB) header on a motherboard. To get the full, controllable RGB experience, you must have a computer with a motherboard that supports ARGB and connect the drive accordingly.
Since our testbed lacks ARGB support, we got the basic lighting experience, in which the white light softly fluoresces and pulses, displaying hints of purple and green. It's a pretty display, but doubtless no match for the full-on programmable experience achievable over an ARGB connection. Thus enabled, the Delta Max White supports many popular RGB lighting-control systems, including Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light Sync, Asrock Polychrome Sync, and Biostar Advanced Vivid LED DJ. You can sync the Delta Max White with other RGB-lit accessories. Below is a glimpse of the drive with its RGB lighting in action.
Testing the Delta Max White: Decent for a SATA Drive
We test all of our Serial ATA (SATA) and PCI Express 3.0 SSDs on PC Labs' main storage testbed, which is built on an Asus Prime X299 Deluxe motherboard with an
Intel Core i9-10980XE Extreme Edition
CPU. The PC has 16GB of Corsair Dominator DDR4 memory clocked to 3,600MHz and an
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
graphics card. (See more about
how we test solid-state drives
PCMark 10 Storage Tests
The primary PCMark 10 storage test, from independent benchmark developer UL, runs a full suite of typical drive-access tasks. The Overall Storage Test scores below represent how well a drive does throughout the entire process, using the sanctioned score presented by UL's software at the end of each run.
The other PCMark 10 results are more granular measures derived from the benchmark's background "traces." These simulate how quickly a drive is capable of executing the key kinds of file reads to launch a particular program or, in the case of the Windows 10 trace, completing the operating system startup procedure.
Next comes a game-launching test set, which simulates how swiftly a drive can read shallow-depth small random 4K packages, one of the more commonly used file-block sizes for game installations. Another launch test predicts performance for Adobe creative apps; as anyone who works with video in Premiere Pro or images in Photoshop can tell you, loading these powerful programs can leave you waiting.
Finally, the PCMark 10 copy tests use additional traces. Their numbers might look low compared with the straight sequential-throughput numbers achieved in benchmarks like Crystal DiskMark 6.0 and AS-SSD (seen below), but that's due to the way scores are calculated and the nature of and differences between the source data sets.
The Delta Max White's Overall Storage score was the second lowest among the drives in our comparison group, and most of its PCMark 10 trace scores were little better, although the range of scores proved much tighter than our Crystal DiskMark results. The Delta Max White did best in the Adobe Premiere Pro launch test, landing in the middle of our test group, which included both SATA and PCIe 3.0 models.
Sequential Speed and Copy Tests
The Crystal DiskMark 6.0 sequential tests provide a more traditional measure, simulating best-case, straight-line transfers of large files. They're followed by a series of file and folder transfers using the SSD benchmarking utility AS-SSD. This trio of tests involves copying large files or folders from one location on the test drive to another.
The Delta Max White's Crystal DiskMark 6.0 scores of 565MBps read and 518MBps write came very close to its rated speeds, as well as to those of the other SATA drives (all well below the PCI Express 3.0 drive scores).
Bling for an RGB-Happy Rig
Provided you have the right (ARGB-compatible) hardware—and if you have a tricked-out gaming rig, you probably do—the TeamGroup T-Force Delta Max White can provide a much-needed terabyte of storage while providing an RGB light show. You shouldn't expect prodigious speed from this SATA drive, but its scores in our PCMark 10 program-loading tests were decent.
For not much more money, you can get the RGB-enabled
ADATA XPG Spectrix S40G
, a PCI Express 3.0
with much higher sequential-read and 4K write scores than the Delta Max White. But although the S40G's lighting is bright, the gumstick-sized drive is a product of miniaturization: the Delta Max White has about twice as large a luminous surface area on which to work its magic.