Having extended its ROG products family from motherboards and graphics cards to pretty much everything that could interest demanding gamers and prosumers with deep pockets, ASUS continues to find ways to further expand the ROG lineup. This week the company showcased its upcoming ROG Strix Arion enclosure for M.2 SSDs that features a USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface along with Aura Sync RGB lighting.

The ASUS ROG Strix Arion SSD chassis is compatible with all M.2-2280 (and smaller) drives featuring a PCIe 3.0 interface and do not have a pre-installed heat spreader. The SSD can be installed without using a screwdriver, so the assembly should be quite easy. The enclosure is made of aluminum and has thermal pads in a bid to ensure proper heat dissipation and consistent performance. The unit is bus powered and has a USB Type-C interface, but ASUS will ship it with a USB-C-to-USB-C as well as a USB-C-to-USB-A cable to maximize compatibility.

ASUS does not disclose which USB 3.2 Gen 2-to-PCIe Gen 3 bridge it uses, so we cannot make any assumptions regarding real-world performance of a ROG Strix Arion-enabled storage device. It's possible this is using Realtek's new RTL9210 bridge, since Realtek was showing off the RGB LED driver capabilities of that bridge recently at Flash Memory Summit. Anyhow, in the best-case scenario it will feature up to 1.25 GB/s raw throughput.

Traditionally for any Republic of Gamers product, the ROG Strix Arion features a rather unorthodox design with Mayan patterns. Meanwhile, following the latest trends, the device has RGB LEDs and supports the ASUS Aura Sync lighting and therefore can synchronize its lighting with other components from ASUS.

Considering the fact that ASUS is demonstrating the ROG Strix Arion on its YouTube channel, expect the device to be available in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, we have no idea about pricing of the unit, though without any doubts this is a premium chassis for M.2 SSDs.

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Source: ASUS (via Hermitage Akihabara)

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  • eek2121 - Sunday, September 29, 2019 - link

    It's not as dumb as it sounds, if you look at it from a different point of view. USB gets faster with every release. New features are also added that most folks don't even bother looking at. If you compare a USB 1.1 flash drive to a 3.1 flash drive for example, the USB 3.1 drive is definitely faster. Most of the decent USB 3.1 flash drives today are faster than hard drives.
  • jabber - Saturday, September 28, 2019 - link

    For my job in IT support a basic USB NVMe caddy with 500MBps would do for data retrieval and diagnostics. Cheaper please!!!
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, September 28, 2019 - link

    You can get JMicron JMS583 based M.2 NVME to USB caddies for 20€ that do about 1GB/s.
  • henkhilti - Saturday, September 28, 2019 - link

    Why is 2230 module wider in the picture than the rest (while all should be 22mm wide)
  • Flunk - Saturday, September 28, 2019 - link

    I'd guess the graphic artist messed up the scaling.
  • PixyMisa - Sunday, September 29, 2019 - link

  • Xajel - Sunday, September 29, 2019 - link

    While it looks great, being ROG and have RGB means price will be high.

    In another hand, I can see some wasted space inside making the whole enclosure big, which kinda makes the point of having a small M.2 drive pointless as it's big here, yes smaller than 2.5" but it's like twice the size of M.2.
  • Targon - Monday, September 30, 2019 - link

    It isn't about size as much as needing to deal with heat generation by the SSD itself. Small enclosure means you might see thermal throttle issues.
  • regsEx - Sunday, September 29, 2019 - link

    Why is it so huge? There are tones of compact and much cheaper M.2 aluminum enclosures on Ali.
  • regsEx - Sunday, September 29, 2019 - link

    Brand NVMe USB Gen 2x1 enclosures from Ugreen for $35. And SATA USB Gen 1x1 for $20.

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