Friday, June 6th 2014

ASUS Unveils Hyper M.2 X4 Adapter

For all those without M.2 slots on their motherboards, and want to buy some of the new-generation SSDs that offer transfer rates as high as 1.8 GB/s, ASUS unveiled a cost-effective new way, with its ASUS Hyper M.2 X4 adapter. It's a simple half-height add-on card, which converts PCI-Express 2.0/3.0 x4 to M.2, with gen 2.0/3.0 x4 wiring, so not only can you install current-generation M.2 SSDs with PCIe 2.0 x2 link layer, but also certain upcoming ones based on SandForce 3700 series processors, that feature PCIe 2.0 x4 link layer, offering stellar 1.8 GB/s sequential transfers. The card is also future-proof against an M.2 standard that makes use of PCI-Express gen 3.0. In addition to the M.2 slot, which can seat drives as long as 12 cm, the card also features some basic electrical circuitry, and M.2 SSD link/activity LEDs. For use on older (pre-M.2 motherboards), you may need BIOS support and/or F6 drivers from the SSD manufacturer, this card is merely an adapter, of the kind Plextor bundles with its M6e SSDs.
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35 Comments on ASUS Unveils Hyper M.2 X4 Adapter

#1
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
So when did M.2 get this big? A couple of months ago I had never heard of it, now everyone everywhere talks about it.
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#2
TheLostSwede
by: Frick
So when did M.2 get this big? A couple of months ago I had never heard of it, now everyone everywhere talks about it.
Just now, hence why it hasn't been a big deal so far. It's a fairly new form factor and it allows the SSD makers to make the same SSD's for notebooks and desktops. It's a shame most of the really fast PCIe based ones aren't bootable unless some additional UEFI code is added to the BIOS.
M.2 is set to replace mini PCIe longer term, but that'll most likely take a year or two.

Do note that M.2 SSD's are keyed, so some x2 drives can go in x4 slots, but not the other way around - http://rog.asus.com/313352014/labels/guides/buying-an-m-2-ssd-how-to-tell-which-is-which/
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#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Frick
So when did M.2 get this big? A couple of months ago I had never heard of it, now everyone everywhere talks about it.
When SATA-Express turned out to be an ugly connector not much smaller than IDE.
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#5
Baum
and they put the ssd downwards... just to get the air stuck... nice guys i like my new ssd toasty as hell
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#6
bpgt64
The M.2 sata standard was in the late 2013 Macbook pro lineup, I am surprised it has taken this long to get it into the PC side of things.
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#7
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: Frick
So when did M.2 get this big? A couple of months ago I had never heard of it, now everyone everywhere talks about it.
When everybody decided to limit themselves on how many PCI-E lanes they have available. The X2 m.2's are pointless in comparison to SATA 6Gbps, and the x4 ones are great, except of course they steal your precious PCI-E lanes from the other slots. If you want to run dual cards and maybe a sound card, prepare to have your lanes boned by a m.2 SSD.

Overall I don't care much for m.2, because the motherboards that have the slot are all X2 apart from one single ASRock one, making it no faster than a normal SSD. Hurray for desperately attempting to make people buy a new motherboard for features we don't yet need/aren't refined enough yet - While we're at it, let's slap on USB 3.1 and DDR3.5.
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#8
Ferrum Master
This should cost 5 bucks max...

@RCoon

It may be interesting for non intel or X58 and older users....
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#9
HisDivineOrder
by: btarunr
When SATA-Express turned out to be an ugly connector not much smaller than IDE.
IDE is making a comeback, baby! The people are tired of flimsy, easily-broken SATA connections are demanding a standard with a bigger, fatter, more case-dominating form factor that can fill up every airway with MORE cable. They want them cables to be less flexible and more restrictive, but with cable connectors that really, firmly attach to your motherboard and will just rip the whole thing off the case mounts when pulled.

You don't want the connectors giving. You want the case giving. Soon, it won't be IDE reborn.

It'll be SCSI reborn. Let's hope we get to the point where we need adapters and other crap to really get our SCSI Reborn dream going.

SCSI Reborn. Complication makes it great and exclusive. Only the elite should be able to sort out how to set your drives up.
Posted on Reply
#10
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: HisDivineOrder
IDE is making a comeback, baby! The people are tired of flimsy, easily-broken SATA connections are demanding a standard with a bigger, fatter, more case-dominating form factor that can fill up every airway with MORE cable. They want them cables to be less flexible and more restrictive, but with cable connectors that really, firmly attach to your motherboard and will just rip the whole thing off the case mounts when pulled.

You don't want the connectors giving. You want the case giving. Soon, it won't be IDE reborn.

It'll be SCSI reborn. Let's hope we get to the point where we need adapters and other crap to really get our SCSI Reborn dream going.

SCSI Reborn. Complication makes it great and exclusive. Only the elite should be able to sort out how to set your drives up.
I wasn't aware of a forum user with more cynical sarcasm than I.
That was sheer poetry to my eyes.
Posted on Reply
#11
BorisDG
by: bpgt64
The M.2 sata standard was in the late 2013 Macbook pro lineup, I am surprised it has taken this long to get it into the PC side of things.
Even on my Lenovo laptop I have NGFF slot /have it since september 2013/.
Posted on Reply
#12
Octavean
I still want to buy a 240GB / 256GB mSATA SSD to upgrade a Core i5 tablet PC that came with a scant 64GB OEM mSATA SSD. That would leave me with an extra mSATA SSD after the upgrade,...

Unless there are some nice X99 / LGA2011-3 motherboards with M.2 support, I won't likely be using one,...
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#13
t_ski
Former Staff
I saw the name on this and got my hopes up, thinking it would take four M.2 cards. Damn :(
Posted on Reply
#14
Hilux SSRG
by: bpgt64
The M.2 sata standard was in the late 2013 Macbook pro lineup, I am surprised it has taken this long to get it into the PC side of things.
Depends on how you look at it.

It has been in some laptops since October 2013, namely the Sony Ultrabook Pro 13.

And PCs have had add in boards with the M.2 connector since Oct./Nov. 2013. The next generation batch of motherboards from AMD/Intel are now being released and support it natively.
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#15
Athlonite
I just don't see why the card has to be so huge
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#16
t_ski
Former Staff
by: Athlonite
I just don't see why the card has to be so huge
The length is justified by the mounting requirements for different M.2 drives. The big ones are about twice as long as the short ones. The height of the card is probably just to match up with the top screw of the case bracket (low-profile standard height).
Posted on Reply
#17
The Von Matrices
by: Frick
So when did M.2 get this big? A couple of months ago I had never heard of it, now everyone everywhere talks about it.
by: btarunr
When SATA-Express turned out to be an ugly connector not much smaller than IDE.
You're also forgetting that SATA express has only 1GB/s theoretical bandwidth. It's only 1.7x the bandwidth of SATA 6Gb/s.

That's the primary reason why I think M.2 x4 is becoming popular - it's double the bandwidth of SATA express (3.3x that of SATA 6Gb/s) when using PCIe 2.0 and quadruple the bandwidth of SATA Express (6.7x that of SATA 6Gb/s) when using PCIe 3.0.
Posted on Reply
#18
AsRock
TPU addict
by: HisDivineOrder
IDE is making a comeback, baby! The people are tired of flimsy, easily-broken SATA connections are demanding a standard with a bigger, fatter, more case-dominating form factor that can fill up every airway with MORE cable. They want them cables to be less flexible and more restrictive, but with cable connectors that really, firmly attach to your motherboard and will just rip the whole thing off the case mounts when pulled.

You don't want the connectors giving. You want the case giving. Soon, it won't be IDE reborn.

It'll be SCSI reborn. Let's hope we get to the point where we need adapters and other crap to really get our SCSI Reborn dream going.

SCSI Reborn. Complication makes it great and exclusive. Only the elite should be able to sort out how to set your drives up.
WD did a special connecter to solve the chance of clumsiness with SATA HDD's maybe they will do it with SSD's soon.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00012PSB8/?tag=tec06d-20
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#19
Scrizz
yeah... i'll stick to my reg Sata SSDs..

I would've preferred moving to 12Gb SAS.... instead of this M2 atrocity.
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#20
Jizzler
by: Scrizz
yeah... i'll stick to my reg Sata SSDs..

I would've preferred moving to 12Gb SAS.... instead of this M2 atrocity.
Pfffttt... Ethernet all the way. I'll scale to thousands of drives by switches alone :D



If anyone was wondering, 72 x 4TB Seagate Kinetic drives, with dual 1Gb Ethernet connections in a 4U case which is pretty much just a big switch and source of power.
Posted on Reply
#21
Scrizz
by: Jizzler
Pfffttt... Ethernet all the way. I'll scale to thousands of drives by switches alone :D



If anyone was wondering, 72 x 4TB Seagate Kinetic drives, with dual 1Gb Ethernet connections in a 4U case which is pretty much just a big switch and source of power.
ethernet? LOL

go fiber or go home!









jk
Posted on Reply
#22
Athlonite
by: t_ski
The length is justified by the mounting requirements for different M.2 drives. The big ones are about twice as long as the short ones. The height of the card is probably just to match up with the top screw of the case bracket (low-profile standard height).
So why is then that Innodisk can make it the size of an DDR3 dimm I just think asus are taking the piss this card needs not be any higher/longer than say a 1TB m2 ssd which would be half the height of the card they're offering
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#24
TRWOV
The only advantage so far that I've seen on M2 reviews is sequential speed (700-800MB/s vs 400-450 for a high end SATA 3 SSD). Random and 4K speed seems to be comparable, at least so far, and those are the biggest bottleneck in my opinion.
Posted on Reply
#25
AsRock
TPU addict
by: TRWOV
The only advantage so far that I've seen on M2 reviews is sequential speed (700-800MB/s vs 400-450 for a high end SATA 3 SSD). Random and 4K speed seems to be comparable, at least so far, and those are the biggest bottleneck in my opinion.
Depends on price to remember it maybe cheaper to buy 2 sata 3 SSD's then you be looking at 900 +MBs.
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