Everyone has spare NVMe SSDs, right? Or perhaps users want to buy four of them? Intel was on a big push recently with its newest 380 GB Intel Optane 905P SSD, with most of the main motherboard and system vendors showing them in action. To date we have seen both ASUS and ASRock show off their 4-in-1 M.2 to PCIe add-in cards, both of which should now be easily available, leaving GIGABYTE and MSI to come up with their own. Well in order to show off the Optane drives, GIGABYTE put together a quick something that they're calling the Aorus PCIe x16 M.2.

Currently standing at revision 0.1, GIGABYTE was being coy about whether it was going to come to market. It was made specifically to run the Optane demonstrations we were told, but more time would need to be spent if it were to be a retail product.

This isn’t really that big of a news piece, especially when other PCIe add-in cards exist. What we were told however is that this add-in card works with X399 and AMD’s Threadripper motherboards.

Before the show, I was pinged by Wendell over at Level1Techs about this cards, and I took it upon myself to investigate if/when these companies would supported all HEDT platforms with the additional bifurcation and clock gens needed. The same issues occur with AMD and Intel, making it a compound issue. GIGABYTE explicitly stated that their card has no trouble working on X399 motherboards, although they did state that they had only tested one in a board at a time.

I spoke to the PM, and although it was unsaid, it was clear that they only built the product to show off the Optane drives for the show. However I did make an effort to explain that if marketed as a four-way M.2 to PCIe card that has explicit AMD X399 support, it would capture a corner of the market. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

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  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    AnandTech, fix your damn "Want to keep up to date with all of our Computex 2018 Coverage?" footer thing - the "Hardware" link goes to a 404.
  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    Thanks for the heads up. Fixed!
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    I wish I knew why none of these manufacturers use the simple space-saving expedient of putting two M.2 SSDs on either side of the card.
  • tomatotree - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    I believe that's due to height restrictions on the back of the card -- there's not enough room to put M.2 connectors there without encroaching on the space of the next slot, and they would rather keep it single width.
  • Billy Tallis - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    Exactly. Amfeltec makes some adapters that have an offset edge connector so they have clearance on both sides of the card, but that's basically the only way to put M.2 connectors on both sides.
  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    would make sense to me, at least if the m.2 card sit "flat" it should not encroach on any gpu or whatever above or below the card, hell IMO it would make perfect sense so that whatever m.2 cards are in there if the heatsink was properly attached it would allow them to "breath" better, how many gpu were released that are 2-3.5 card width, thi likely would only end up being at most like 1-1.5 card "thickness" last I checked m.2 drives are quite small, especially the ones that do not use any heatsink of their own.

    hell even 2 m.2 on one side of the card and 2 on the other so that whatever heatpipes, air circulation etc can be used more effectively.

    I looked at the picture of the asus one someone else listed and that is a cruddy small probably very loud fan compared to what it could have been ^.^
  • Hul8 - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    If the PCB is at the normal position (i.e. not offset to make room in the back), there is no room above the card - absolutely anything will encroach on the above slot's space. This is the case for GPU backplates, for instance.
  • CheapSushi - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    Would love a card that also has a switch, so you don't need a board that does bufrication. The only one I know of is from Aplicata but it's x8 (although still quad NVMe M.2).
  • davegraham - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    just got this card in the mail today from Aplicata. looks like a solid piece of kit.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, June 15, 2018 - link

    That's some expensive piece of equiment you need. For that kind of money, wouldn't a platform with bifurcation support make more sense? :)

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