SilverStone has announced the new ECM23 M.2 PCIe SSD riser card. The company hasn't revealed all details about the device--pricing information still isn't available--but it's likely released just enough to pique the interest of those wanting better storage performance.
|LED indicator||PCIe M.2 SSD Read / Write LED: Blue blinking|
|Interface||PCI Express x4 via full size x16 pinout|
|SSD Interface||M.2 (NGFF)|
|Module Key||PCIe x4 NVMe-based M key|
|Operating system support||Microsoft Windows 7 (32 bit/64 bit), 8, 8.1,10 (32 bit/64 bit) or future release versions Mac OS 10.2.8 or above Linux|
|Support Length of M.2 SSD||30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm|
|Dimensions (WxHxD) and Weight||Heatsink with PCB: 4.1 x .4 x 1.7 inches (105 x 11 x 44mm), 52g|
|Operating Temperature||-40°C ~ 220°C|
|Dimensions (WxHxD) and Net Weight||Charcoal Pad：2.8 x 0.02 x 0.8 inches (70 x 0.5 x 20mm), 2g Blue Pad：2.8 x 0.04 x 0.8 inches (70 x 1 mm x 20mm), 3.6g Gray Pad：2.8 x 0.06 x 0.8 inches (70 x 1.5 x 20mm), 5.5g|
The ECM23 allows M.2 storage to run via PCIe connections, so performance chasers don't have to buy new motherboards (most probably don't mind buying new components, but the budget-constrained might like to simply buy a riser card and SSD instead of upgrading much of their system). Many motherboards are often limited to just one M.2 slot, but using a riser card like the ECM23 can help get around that limitation.
The ECM23 is compatible with AHCI over PCIe and NVMe but doesn't support plain-Jane M.2 SATA connections, according to SilverStone, which said the AHCI support is "used for PCIe SSDs and interfaced through the AHCI driver and provided PCIe lanes, providing backward compatibility with widespread SATA support in operating systems at the cost of not delivering optimal performance."
In addition to offering PCIe compatibility, the ECM23 offers a thermal pad and aluminum heat sink to improve the connected SSD's performance and help prevent it from overheating. Three pads are available: a small charcoal pad, a medium-sized blue pad and a large gray pad (good luck telling the difference between "charcoal" and "gray")that are 0.5, 1 and 1.5mm thick, respectively, and vary considerably in weight.
SilverStone's announcement comes after Gigabyte revealed two new riser cards of its own, the CMT4034 and CMT4032, in July, though neither is currently available, and their prices also have yet to be revealed. So it's clear that people interested in M.2 riser cards will soon have more options--the question is how much that extra performance will cost them.