Gigabyte has introduced the CMT4034 and CMT4032 M.2 PCI-Express (PCIe) riser cards for consumers who need the utmost storage performance.
M.2 solid-state drives (SSDs) are getting bigger and faster by the day. There is no denying that the M.2 form factor is the future for data storage. Unfortunately, the majority of modern motherboards only come with a single M.2 slot unless you start shopping in the really high-end section. And most budget-conscious consumers won't pay a heavy premium for an extra M.2 slot. That's where Gigabyte's CMT403x series M.2 PCIe riser cards come into play. The add-in cards allow users to use multiple M.2 SSDs with the PCIe protocol in their systems as long as there is a PCIe 3.0 x8 or x16 lane available on the motherboard. Since the both the CMT4034 and the CMT4032 lack the PCIe switching feature, the motherboard needs to support the PCIe bifurcation functionality.
The CMT403x series M.2 PCIe riser cards, with dimensions of 150 millimeters x 68.9 millimeters, respect the low-profile form factor. Nevertheless, they come with both a low-profile and full-height I/O brackets to virtually fit into any system. The riser cards possess a blue PCB complemented by a metallic black heatsink with the Gigabyte branding to provide cooling for the M.2 SSDs.
The CMT4032 accomodates up to two PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs with the 2280 or 22110 form factors. This riser card is made up of a single PCB with two M.2 M-Key slots. The CMT4032 requires a free PCIe 3.0 x8 lane to work properly.
Gigabyte also offers the CMT4034 for hardcore enthusiasts and prosumers who want to max out their systems' storage performance. The CMT4034 houses up to four PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, thanks to its dual-PCB design. Two M.2 M-Key slots are placed on each side of the primary PCB, while the secondary PCB is responsible for communicating with the PCIe 3.0 x16 lane on the motherboard.
At the time of this article, Gigabyte hasn't revealed the pricing and availability for the CMT4032 and CMT4034 M.2 PCIe riser cards.