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
TRWOV
Yeah, I concur on that RAID 0 over SATA would offer better throughput.

I won't get excited for M2 until I see a remarkable improvement on random access.
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#2
KevinCobley
Can't figure why they just didn't use a standard already developed and in production PCIe x4 mounted sideways on the back of the board, instead of these absurd numbers of odd slots M.2, PCIe, MSATA, SATA Express. Simple slender ribbon cable to device. Too many differing standards of devices leads to increased costs for consumers and development costs for manufacturers.
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#3
AsRock
TPU addict
by: KevinCobley
Can't figure why they just didn't use a standard already developed and in production PCIe x4 mounted sideways on the back of the board, instead of these absurd numbers of odd slots M.2, PCIe, MSATA, SATA Express. Simple slender ribbon cable to device. Too many differing standards of devices leads to increased costs for consumers and development costs for manufacturers.
Money, make progress as slow as possible..

It's SATA at fault they seen this happening before it did, surly they could boost the speeds of that and not some 6Gbs BS..
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#4
t_ski
Former Staff
by: KevinCobley
Can't figure why they just didn't use a standard already developed and in production PCIe x4 mounted sideways on the back of the board, instead of these absurd numbers of odd slots M.2, PCIe, MSATA, SATA Express. Simple slender ribbon cable to device. Too many differing standards of devices leads to increased costs for consumers and development costs for manufacturers.
How the hell are they going to come up with a standard for a drive interface when they can't even settle on a pin-out for the motherboard header that goes to the case switches and LEDs?
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#5
Hood
by: RCoon
I wasn't aware of a forum user with more cynical sarcasm than I.
That was sheer poetry to my eyes.
Many of us aspire to your level of sarcastic greatness, RCoon, but none have toppled the master so far. Hmmmm....maybe I should drink more beer, that always helps...
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#6
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: Hood
Many of us aspire to your level of sarcastic greatness, RCoon, but none have toppled the master so far. Hmmmm....maybe I should drink more beer, that always helps...
Can't tell if disgruntled sarcasm, or just drunk ;D

Interestingly enough I did actually make a speech in front of 700 or so students on sarcasm and the lowest forms of humour. I even won a competition with it!
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#7
Hood
by: RCoon
Can't tell if disgruntled sarcasm, or just drunk ;D

Interestingly enough I did actually make a speech in front of 700 or so students on sarcasm and the lowest forms of humour. I even won a competition with it!
I'm not surprised; as I said, you're the master. My sarcastic comments are either too subtle to be noticed, or too strong and they get mad. Yours have that delicate balance required to keep them wondering...
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#8
techtony
by: AsRock
Depends on price to remember it maybe cheaper to buy 2 sata 3 SSD's then you be looking at 900 +MBs.
One may have limited space for drives, e.g., a small form factor PC, and not have a high budget, but needs a large amount of secondary storage, so then the space available for drives would be used for one or more high-capacity, low-cost mechanical drives with the m.2 slot being used as an OS and caching disk.
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#9
AsRock
TPU addict
Then ya should should of got a size worthy case for your needs lol.. Those small ass cases often cost more than bigger one's.
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#10
techtony
by: AsRock
Then ya should should of got a size worthy case for your needs lol.. Those small ass cases often cost more than bigger one's.
It depends on what one values or what the requirements are. In the scenario I gave, "obviously" I was suggesting that smaller was better for the hypothetical build. Another thing though, reserving the RAID capability for the storage drives may be desirable. With 10 Gb/s m.2 (20 Gb/s x4 cards in the near future), not need to mess with RAID just to get performance (if the theoretical bandwidth is approachable in practice). When I said one may not have a high budget, I was thinking about the high cost of SSDs vs. 2.5" mechanical drives:

1 TB, 2.5", SATA III, mechanical drive: $80 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145875&cm_re=0303563-_-22-145-875-_-Product)

1 TB, 2.5", SSD: $440 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA29P1EC5324)

So if you want RAID 0 or 1 using the above drives, the 2 SSDs will cost 5X as much.

m.2 as an OS/program/caching drive seems to be a good solution to what I have been wanting for many years: a separation of system bits and data. (I think caching data on the "system drive" may still need to be addressed by the industry from a security perspective, though).
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