In a new Tweet by @momomo_us, (opens in new tab) Gigabyte shows off two brand new motherboard fasteners for M.2 slots and PCIe slots, making system maintenance and system upgrades a whole lot more convenient. The new features will debut on the brand's X670 motherboards to accommodate next-generation AMD Ryzen 7000 processors with the Zen 4 microarchitecture.
The M.2 slot demoed by Gigabyte features a pressurized latch system, allowing an M.2 drive to be instantly "snapped" into place by installing.. then pressing the drive gently towards the mainboard. In addition, you can turn the latch clockwise to unlatch the drive for uninstallation purposes.
The latchless PCIe mechanism Gigabyte developed is just as fantastic, featuring a physical button towards the edge of the motherboard. The button sits next to the DIMM slots to unlatch graphics cards from the system. This way, you can easily access the latching mechanism even if you have fat fingers, preventing them from getting stuck between DIMM slots or motherboard heatsinks -- which can be a common issue with traditional PCIe latches. In addition, sometimes, the graphics card and towering CPU air cooler are so huge that it's hard to reach the PCIe latch without a screwdriver. Gigabyte's one-click button solves this issue.
These changes represent some excellent quality of life updates for the standard ATX motherboard, which was initially released in 1995. For example, you'll no longer need to screw in an M.2 SSD, which can triple the time it takes to install, if not more, compared to a screwless mechanism. In addition, you no longer have to worry about losing those small M.2 screws. On the other hand, the PCIe button release mechanism is also very friendly and allows motherboard makers to jam pack the primary PCIe slots next to other tall components.
Hopefully, these changes will become the standard for Gigabyte motherboards going forward, regardless of the chipset. Asus and MSI are already onboard with similar features for the M.2 slot. So it shouldn't take long before all motherboard manufacturers get these quality-of-life updates into all motherboard designs in the future.