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PSA: PCI-E 4.0 to M.2 nVME adapters (like the Gigabyte GC-4XM2G4) are rebadged PCI-E 3.0 cards, don't waste your money

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hello,

if you are absolutely insane like me, you may have considered a triple or quad PCI-E 4.0 nVME M.2 RAID 0 set up via a PCI-E to M.2 adapter such as the asus hyper m.2 card or gigabyte 4xm2g4 card.

i got my paws on a gigabyte PCI-E "4.0" quad M.2 adapter (costs $130+). also picked up an asus Hyper M.2 on amazon while it was on sale for $35 (currently listed at $55), because why not. decided to bench my Corsair MP600 SSDs on the asus 3.0 card and gigabyte 4.0 card. results are pretty much identical. getting just a little over 5000MB/s sequential writes, and 4300MB/s sequential reads. PCBs look mostly the same. there is some power circuitry by no controllers of any kind. the cards just pass the PCI-E lanes in groups of 4x to each M.2 slot.

i have some pictures and screen grabs that i can post if you guys would like, but long story short don't both with the far more expensive 4.0 cards unless you really have to burn your cash. the gigabyte card is already packed up to go back to amazon.
 
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quick point summary:
-SSD is 4.0
-motherboard/CPU is 4.0
-PCI-E to M.2 adapter doesn't make a difference. all it's doing is splitting the 16 lanes of the PCI-E slot into 4 and channeling them to each M.2 slot. "PCI-E 3.0" and "PCI-E 4.0" is just marketing BS for the PCI-E to M.2 adapter
 
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3.94 GB/s is max of gen3 x4 throughput. Not even worth explaining the relevance to op.
again,
-SSD is 4.0
-motherboard/CPU is 4.0
-PCI-E to M.2 adapter doesn't make a difference. all it's doing is splitting the 16 lanes of the PCI-E slot into 4 and channeling them to each M.2 slot. "PCI-E 3.0" and "PCI-E 4.0" is just marketing BS for the PCI-E to M.2 adapter

no I didn't
@thesmokingman apparently does
ah, i see what happened.
 
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hello,

if you are absolutely insane like me, you may have considered a triple or quad PCI-E 4.0 nVME M.2 RAID 0 set up via a PCI-E to M.2 adapter such as the asus hyper m.2 card or gigabyte 4xm2g4 card.

i got my paws on a gigabyte PCI-E "4.0" quad M.2 adapter (costs $130+). also picked up an asus Hyper M.2 on amazon while it was on sale for $35 (currently listed at $55), because why not. decided to bench my Corsair MP600 SSDs on the asus 3.0 card and gigabyte 4.0 card. results are pretty much identical. getting just a little over 5000MB/s sequential writes, and 4300MB/s sequential reads. PCBs look mostly the same. there is some power circuitry by no controllers of any kind. the cards just pass the PCI-E lanes in groups of 4x to each M.2 slot.

i have some pictures and screen grabs that i can post if you guys would like, but long story short don't both with the far more expensive 4.0 cards unless you really have to burn your cash. the gigabyte card is already packed up to go back to amazon.
Well, as long as the trace layout is good and the PCB is well made there's no reason for them to be different. I guess they could stick some redrivers on the 4.0 one, but they might just be an unnecessary addition to the BOM. Of course then there shouldn't be any price difference either. Have you checked the actual interface speed of your drives when using the 3.0 adapter? They might still be running at 4.0 speeds. Also, which motherboard slot is the adapter installed in? Trace length matters a lot for PCIe 4.0, so closer to the CPU might perform better.
 
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these cards are cheap because they are a simple riser card for 4 nvme drives, all depends on mobo and it's bios to support pci-e buriffication to support 4 drives in one pci-e x16 slot, that's all, there is no extra pci-e controller on board...
 
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Since, as you said, there is no active circuitry on the board the board itself does not do much.
The difference is that if the board should malfunction with PCIe 4.0 somehow (dropping to 3.0, random issues, slow speeds) you can beat the seller/manufacturer for it :)
 
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Been there, done that.....

It seems that you currently have 2 options in this scenario:

A) Get a uppoer-tier mobo that specifically supports splitting the lanes, which from my understanding, will only work in a 16x slot (mostly Z390-series or better, maybe a few others)...

B) Fork out ALOT moar $$ for a card that has a chip onboard to handle the splitting...

Otherwise, you are SOL & just wasting your money on the budget cards, and you WILL be severely disappointed like I was...

If anyone knows of another proven solution, please elaborate...
 

bug

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quick point summary:
-SSD is 4.0
-motherboard/CPU is 4.0
-PCI-E to M.2 adapter doesn't make a difference. all it's doing is splitting the 16 lanes of the PCI-E slot into 4 and channeling them to each M.2 slot. "PCI-E 3.0" and "PCI-E 4.0" is just marketing BS for the PCI-E to M.2 adapter
What do you mean it doesn't make a difference? Where would you stick 3 NVMe drives without it?
 
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Regardless of what people are saying the OP should be seeing much higher sequential speeds using a PCI E4.0 Riser card vs a PCI 3.0 riser card. On TR4 all of the PCI-E lanes are connected to the CPU. The speeds the OP reported seem low to me if he is using 2 NVME drives that are 4.0 he should be in the 8000-9000 sequential range. I am on X399 and get over 7000 with 4 Intel 660Ps and over 6000 with 2 Adata Sx8200s Pro. Both of those are in Asus PCI 3.0 M2 riser cards.
 

bug

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Regardless of what people are saying the OP should be seeing much higher sequential speeds using a PCI E4.0 Riser card vs a PCI 3.0 riser card. On TR4 all of the PCI-E lanes are connected to the CPU. The speeds the OP reported seem low to me if he is using 2 NVME drives that are 4.0 he should be in the 8000-9000 sequential range. I am on X399 and get over 7000 with 4 Intel 660Ps and over 6000 with 2 Adata Sx8200s Pro. Both of those are in Asus PCI 3.0 M2 riser cards.
Yes, but his problem can be caused by a number of things, you can't just single out the adapters.
 
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Why do high end x470/370 boards get no pci-e gen4 then?
 
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bug

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Why do high end x470/370 boards get no pci-e gen4 then? Dick move.
Oh, come on. Even this hadn't been discussed to death already, it's still off-topic.
 
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Oh, come on. Even this hadn't been discussed to death already, it's still off-topic.
not off topic if it follows.
a basic m.2 card is good enough to pass 4.0 signal,but a $250 board isn't.
it has been discussed and the excuse has always been "circuitry not good enough"
 
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Yes, but his problem can be caused by a number of things, you can't just single out the adapters.
Indeed it could be that. I would suggest that the OP tries the same thing with his M2s in the M2 slots on the board and compare the differences vs the Riser cards.
 

bug

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not off topic if it follows.
a basic m.2 card is good enough to pass 4.0 signal,but a $250 board isn't.
it has been discussed and the excuse has always been "circuitry not good enough"
We can't settle this here. Read a bit about signal integrity, that'll help you understand the official explanations better. And please refrain from further posts on the subject until you do.
 
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We can't settle this here. Read a bit about signal integrity, that'll help you understand the official explanations better. And please refrain from further posts on the subject until you do.
excuses,excuses.
mb manufacturers wanted to,amd denied their good will.
 
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There are some adapters that actually multiplex lanes, however adapters that are just bare PCBs do nothing.
 
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excuses,excuses.
mb manufacturers wanted to,amd denied their good will.
Manufacturers wanted to*

*without any form of testing or verification (as this costs R&D money, which they don't want to spend on already existing products), which would inevitably lead to bugs and compatibility issues, which would then mostly lead to people complaining that AMD is falsely advertising PCIe 4.0 capabilities as that's how PCMR logic works. While I would have liked to see this enabled as a beta, caveat-laden, try-at-your-own-risk, separate BIOS install, AMD still did the right thing disabling it in the official AGESAs. It's not like you're losing anything anyhow, the sequential speeds of PCIe 4.0 drives pretty much only happen in benchmarks for the average user. Other than that you need some very specific workloads to hit >PCIe 3.0 speeds in the real world.
 

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Original Topic, gentlefolk. Find it, stay on it, please.
 
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Indeed it could be that. I would suggest that the OP tries the same thing with his M2s in the M2 slots on the board and compare the differences vs the Riser cards.
i ran the crystaldisk benches on my TRX40 motherboard's own M.2 slot (which is where i used this SSD for a few months now, see my signature for cpu-z validation), the asus "3.0" adapter and the gigabyte "4.0" adapter. results basically identical. 5020-5060 read, ~4300 writes.

you don't have to take my word for it. if anyone wants to buy the pci 4.0 nvme adapters for $130-$150, they can. i don't benefit from it either way. this was just a curiosity experiment that worked out better than i thought and if someone wants to save enough cash to buy a whole extra SSD, they can

There are some adapters that actually multiplex lanes, however adapters that are just bare PCBs do nothing.
not sure how to understand that. the adapter converts the motherboard's power from 12V to whatever it is that M.2 SSDs use (3.3V?). but i'm looking at the data PCB traces now, and the ones going from the data portion of the PCI-E slot are going straight to the M.2 slots with no ICs in between.
 

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as i saidm just a riser card for 4 nvme's. Speed transfer only depends on ssd drive you use and motherboard....
 
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as i saidm just a riser card for 4 nvme's. Speed transfer only depends on ssd drive you use and motherboard....
His Op said the same, don't buy gigabytes version, it's no better but much dearer for nothing.
The Op was advisory , it's others derailer attempts that make it seam otherwise.
 
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Well i dont know about this, i had my pause after getting 6000mb reads on Dell Samsung PM1725a PCI express x8 3.2tb card.
 
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