Wednesday, November 30th 2016
MSI unveiled a unique new feature it is introducing with its next-generation socket LGA1151 motherboards, called the M.2 Shield. This is an aluminium heatspreader that acts as a full-length cover over the motherboard's M.2-2280 slots, hinged near the M.2 interface. The heatspreader has non-conductive thermal padding on the inside, letting it make contact with the drive's hot components (controller, NAND-flash chips, etc), and pushing heat over to the heatspreader. MSI claims that this lowers temperatures, and reduces throttling on some of the high-performance M.2 PCIe SSDs. Some of the faster M.2 SSDs such as the Samsung 950 Pro have indeed earned the notoriety of heating up to levels that reduce performance. It remains to be seen how much a thin sheet of aluminium changes that.