Asus Flaunts GeForce RTX 4060 Ti with M.2 Slots for SSDs

Asus
(Image credit: Olrak29_/Twitter)

Tony Yu, general manager of Asus China, has demonstrated a prototype of a GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics card that not only processes graphics but can also carry two M.2-2280 SSDs. The product will be handy for inexpensive PCs with insufficient M.2 slots for SSDs. However, it is only a prototype for now.

In addition to Nvidia's AD102 GPU with 4352 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, the prototype Asus GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics card has two M.2-2280 slots with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface for SSDs, one on the front and one of the back side of the PCB. The card has a simplistic (and presumably inexpensive) PCIe switch, so the GPU (with a PCIe x8 interface) and drives (two drives with a PCIe x4 interface) get all the bandwidth they need to operate at their maximum throughput.

The performance of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is high enough to make the prototype one of the best graphics cards available. Adding two M.2-2280 slots will surely make it one of the most useful graphics boards.

(Image credit: Tony Yu)

An avid enthusiast would ask legitimate questions about cooling and supplying power for both the GPU and the drives since the card only has one eight-pin auxiliary PCIe power connector, which can officially provide up to 150W of power — the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is rated for 160W. As it turns out, the drives can fetch the power from the slot. As for the cooling system, it appears to be architected so that it could cool down both the GPU and the drives.

Like many other midrange GPUs these days, Nvidia's AD106 graphics processor only has eight PCIe 4.0 lanes since 15.754 GB/s raw bandwidth provided by eight PCIe lanes is enough for modern GPUs, and eight extra PCIe lanes take too much precious die space. Some may consider such implementation a drawback, but Asus saw an opportunity to add value to a potential product.

(Image credit: Tony Yu)

While adding two M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 x4 slots to any system seems plausible, it should be noted that the card is not going to be more expensive than other GeForce RTX 4060 Ti offerings. The board uses a unique PCB, and PCIe 4.0 switches are not exactly cheap. Yet, before drawing any conclusions, we should wait for Asus to launch its GeForce RTX 4060 Ti with two M.2-2280 slots and see how much it will actually cost.

(Image credit: Tony Yu)
Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • InvalidError
    "PCIe switches are not cheap."

    Good thing they aren't needed here since the 4060 leaves x8 lanes unused that can be permanently routed to the 4.0x4 NVMe slots instead of using any switches.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    In addition to Nvidia's AD102 GPU with 4352 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, the prototype Asus GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics card has two M.2-2280 slots with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface for SSDs, one on the front and one of the back side of the PCB.

    Er, typo ? It's AD106 GPU, not 102.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    At first glance this seems to be an odd pairing, but then I realized this is a really good place for a PCIe SSD because the companies who make those things want to put heatsinks on them that are like over 90 inches tall.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    BTW, AMD actually also made a similar approach with its Radeon SSG graphics cards, but rather than utilizing the additional SSDs for traditional storage, the SSG made use of the NVMe storage to boost bandwidth and transfer rates for the GPU itself.

    The tech allowed AMD to feature large flash memory (M.2) on the graphics board, 2TB, along with the local memory that the GPU can send large data sets to directly rather than having it sent over the system memory which has slower processing capabilities. Sounds familiar ?

    https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/radeon-pro-ssg.c2998
    https://i.imgur.com/HdxUe8C.jpg
    Reply
  • Roland Of Gilead
    Would there be any benefit for Direct Storage, given the ssd's are on the card?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Roland Of Gilead said:
    Would there be any benefit for Direct Storage, given the ssd's are on the card?
    No, because the SSDs are connected to the otherwise unused PCIe lanes on the x16 slot and still have to go through the CPU to reach the GPU despite being on the same physical card.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    Roland Of Gilead said:
    Would there be any benefit for Direct Storage, given the ssd's are on the card?

    Nope.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    An avid enthusiast would ask legitimate questions about cooling and supplying power for both the GPU and the drives since the card only has one eight-pin auxiliary PCIe power connector, which can officially provide up to 150W of power — the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is rated for 160W. As it turns out, the drives can fetch the power from the slot.

    Really? I'd say a novice would ask those questions, anyone calling themselves and enthusiast already knows the answers to those questions.
    Reply
  • Roland Of Gilead
    InvalidError said:
    No, because the SSDs are connected to the otherwise unused PCIe lanes on the x16 slot and still have to go through the CPU to reach the GPU despite being on the same physical card.

    Metal Messiah. said:
    Nope.
    Ah, okay. Makes sense.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    Really? I'd say a novice would ask those questions, anyone calling themselves and enthusiast already knows the answers to those questions.

    Yes the pcie slot provides 75 watts of power, the eight pin 150W and you have the card eating 160W ...leaving an eye watering 65W by ssd standards. More than enough power to run 6 M.2 drives at full tilt (assuming max 10W on writes) if there had been enough PCIe lanes left to use that excess wattage. But not everyone identifying as an enthusiast is going to know all those exact numbers off the top of their head...though they should have some guesstimates in the ball park to be fair. Yet that's also not including those readers who aren't enthusiasts and don't know any better. Point being I'd say its a fair call on the author's part to include such language all things considered. But I do get where you're coming from don't get me wrong.

    That said, its not a very interesting product imo. Something with a direct connection to the the GPU would have perked my ears but this is just adding an extra m.2 slot by leeching of the vacant lanes left from a overly gimped gpu. Niche at best and some what of a curiosity therefore but there's not much interesting beyond that. To be fair though we'd need Nvidia involved directly to get something like a direct GPU to onboard m.2 slot/ssd interface, not just an AIB partner.
    Reply