Friday, June 6th 2014
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.