Having seen both ASUS and ASRock’s PCIe cards that support four M.2 NVMe drives each at a x4 connection at CES, and then GIGABYTE’s prototype card at Computex, there was only one company left to actually show one. MSI might be the fourth out of the four, but the design we saw goes above and beyond, perhaps to excess. If you ever wanted to crush an egg with a Buick, this is it.

On the face of it, MSI’s variant looks very similar to the others. A simple PCIe 3.0 x16 card with four M.2 slots and some minor circuitry and everything follows the status quo. If you didn’t look closely enough, then the fact that the card had a double slot back plate might have passed you by, and it’s at that point that the MSI Aero fan comes into view. Yes, that’s right: MSI is pairing its four-way M.2 PCIe card with one of its styled GPU coolers.

This means that if you have that specific workload that causes four high-end NVMe drives to start thermally throttling, MSI has you covered, and then some. This cooler should be easily capable of 50W+ of cooling, if not more, and the PCIe card even has a 6-pin connector in play, should 75W+ be needed.

MSI stated that they will be shipping this card in the same box as their new Threadripper X399 MEG Creation motherboard, which is part of the X399 motherboard refreshes for Threadripper 2. Beyond that, MSI expects to sell the card individually at retail at some point over the next few months.

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  • philehidiot - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Am I being an idiot here... The drives are mounted on the back with the fan on the other side?

    What's conducting the heat to the fan? The PCB?
  • FullmetalTitan - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Looked to me like the shroud is removed in that image showing the actual M.2 connectors
  • 29a - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Yes, you're being an idiot. The drives are clearly on the same side of the PCB as the fan.
  • philehidiot - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Ah yeh, you're right. The way I read the article it sounded like they were fitted on the opposite side... plus I was supposed to be with a patient when I was reading it. Ahem.

    Part of me wants one of these for ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER.

    I am an idiot.
  • LauRoman - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    The picture showing the m.2 connections has the heatsink removed.
  • eddman - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    This is going to seem nitpicky but perhaps the correct term would be graphics card or video card. A GPU is simply a chip, right?
  • jrs77 - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    And again I raise the question, if this card can be run in the PEG-slot of a mITX-board, as most cards like TV-tuners, soundcards, etc aren't running in these slots.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    I'm not sure what you're getting at but, it's a full height dual slot x16 PCIe card. You can use it any board/case combo that can fit a card that large.

    If you have a different card in the single PCIe slot on an mITX board obviously you can't plug this one in instead, otherwise just pick a case that isn't super ultra compact so the card will fit.
  • vgray35@hotmail.com - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    I would point out the iTX single x16 PCIe slot is actually a dual slot width by design, so it will fit.
  • DanNeely - Saturday, June 23, 2018 - link

    Only the slot itself is above the mobo and required. There're plenty of non-gaming mITX cases that don't extend the mobo compartment an extra half in to support a dual slot card; just as there are plenty of cases that keep it short enough to only support half height cards.

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