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Asus Intros a Quad M.2 PCI-Express x16 4.0 Adapter for Very Fast NMVe Storage

(Image credit: AnandTech)

Back in October 2019, amidst the dawn of new sTRX4 motherboards, Gigabyte introduced its PCI-Express 4.0 storage adapter to turn a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot into four M.2 slots with access to four PCI-E 4.0 lanes each. Now it appears Asus must have thought that wasn't a bad idea, because it's showing off a similar device at CES 2020, as reported by AnandTech. Meet the Asus Hyper M.2 X16 GEN 4 Card.

The card doesn't appear to be much different in function from Gigabyte's unit, and will likely offer similar performance levels. (More on that in a little bit.) The unit comes in the form of a long, single-slot add-in-card.

(Image credit: AnandTech)

The card relies on a sleek brushed aluminum slab that covers its entire casing for cooling. A small blower-style fan inside the slab helps out, too, but it can be disabled for people who need total silence. (Which could be useful in scenarios where people are recording, for example, and don't want to hear a fan in the background.)

No details are available yet on the card's exact performance, though that will largely depend on the M.2 SSDs that you install inside the unit. Naturally, to get the best performance out of the unit you'll have to install it in an AMD X570 or TRX40 system, because Intel does not have a solution with PCI-Express 4.0 support yet.

There's no word on when Asus plans to release the card or how much it will cost.

  • Ncogneto
    Seems not so long ago Intel fanboys were talking about how useless PCI 4.0 was.
    Reply
  • daglesj
    Copying microfiles will still bring it to Kbps...
    Reply
  • derekullo
    Ncogneto said:
    Seems not so long ago Intel fanboys were talking about how useless PCI 4.0 was.
    Intel Fanboys: 15.75 GB/s ought to be enough for anyone.
    Reply
  • Ncogneto
    derekullo said:
    Intel Fanboys: 15.75 GB/s ought to be enough for anyone.

    LOL, thats the theoretical maximum of a 16x pic-e slot (3.0)

    The Intel i7-9700K only has 16 pci-e 3.0 slots.

    Plop one of those babies in (assuming it would work in an Intel system, it won't) and you have just saturated the entire Intel PCI-e bus. Doesn't leave much for your GPU.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    The 9700k cpu itself provides 16 lanes .

    The intel chipset provides 24, DMI3 connection to the CPU which has 3.9GB/s of bandwidth

    So ya I wouldn't be using this on an intel system amd only.
    Reply
  • mac_angel
    I'd think creating a PCIe Gen3 card to support Gen4 m.2 drives would make more sense. Have a controller on the card to be able to use 8 lanes of Gen3 PCIe (or 16 lanes for a dual card).
    Reply
  • popatim
    This adapter should work in a Gen3 slot and the gen4 M2's drives do work in an gen3 board, they downgrade to the gen3 protocol.

    The problem is where do you install this? Your GPU slot? Nobody has 32 lanes from the CPU in the consumer market...

    You could use a chipset x16 slot but then be limited to the DMI interface for any data going to/thru the CPU and that is just a pcie x4 connection so all that M2 performance goes right out the window... And even AMD's X570 boards don't typically offer one x16 slot with all 16 lanes there. If you drop it in an 8 lane slot, you lose 2 of the m2 drives...

    While benchmarks will be drool worthy for sure, I don't see a real market for this outside of serious workstations.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    popatim said:
    While benchmarks will be drool worthy for sure, I don't see a real market for this outside of serious workstations.
    My friend told me I'd get 210% more framez in Minecraft.
    Is this true?
    Reply
  • PBme
    popatim said:
    This adapter should work in a Gen3 slot and the gen4 M2's drives do work in an gen3 board, they downgrade to the gen3 protocol.

    The problem is where do you install this? Your GPU slot? Nobody has 32 lanes from the CPU in the consumer market...

    You could use a chipset x16 slot but then be limited to the DMI interface for any data going to/thru the CPU and that is just a pcie x4 connection so all that M2 performance goes right out the window... And even AMD's X570 boards don't typically offer one x16 slot with all 16 lanes there. If you drop it in an 8 lane slot, you lose 2 of the m2 drives...

    While benchmarks will be drool worthy for sure, I don't see a real market for this outside of serious workstations.
    I has to be aimed at Threadripper/TR4 crowd, especially as it is the only way to run it at 16x (if that is really needed vs 8x). But that makes sense as folks who might actually benefit from this, and has this level of money they are willing to spend on a PC, are more likely those who who are buying the new Threadrippers.
    Reply
  • popatim
    Agreed.
    Reply