News Posts matching "M.2"

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper Motherboards to be Showcased on July 25th

AMD is organizing the "Meet the Experts" webinar, which will focus on AMD's pcoming Ryzen Threadripper motherboard designs and offerings from AMD partners. As we inch closer to AMD's HEDT X399 platform launch, we've gotten confirmation from AMD on Threadripper's specs and pricing. However, the actual motherboards where you're expected to sit your awe-inducing 12 and 16-core processors have largely been absent from the show.

And since AMD knows that processors without a motherboard don't really equate to anything much, the company has invited ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock to detail at least some of their X399 motherboards. So far, the motherboards we have some info are the GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7 (which has 5x PCIe x16 slots, no PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots in an ATX form-factor); the ASUS X399 ROG ZENITH EXTREME (EATX, 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 2x M.2 slots); the ASROCK X399 Professional Gaming (ATX, 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots); and finally, the ASROCK X399 TAICHI, which counts with the usual ATX form-factor, and offers 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots. All of these seem to be marketed toward gamer enthusiasts, though we'll see some increasingly workstation-geared motherboards closer to or after the launch.

Source: Videocardz

Alphacool Intros Eisblock HDX 2 and HDX 3 M.2 SSD Coolers

After developing the compact, very successful Alphacool HDX M.2 SSD cooler, Alphacool is now expanding its product range with the Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 coolers. Both coolers come with a 4x PCIe card, on which the cooler and SSD are mounted. This has many advantages over mounting directly to the motherboard.

Cooling can be difficult on a motherboard due to space constraints and the location of the graphics card, which is often mounted directly above or beside the motherboard. A PCIe card and cooler give you lots of room to set up a good cooling solution. But why do you need to cool your M.2 SSD? When an M.2 SSD is used continuously and for substantial data transfers, it can heat up so strongly that the drive slows itself down and decreases its performance significantly. This can happen after even a few seconds. The only way to solve this problem is with a good cooling solution.

ADATA Releases XPG GAMMIX Line with S10 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD and D10 DDR4

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched its XPG GAMMIX product series, first shown at Computex 2017. The debut consists of the GAMMIX S10 PCIe3x4 NVMe 1.2 M.2 2280 SSD, capable of 1800 MB/s read and 850MB/s write thanks to premium 3D NAND in up to 1TB capacity. The S10 features a stylish heatsink for expedited heat dissipation. It is joined by GAMMIX D10 DDR4 memory modules, which likewise boast a custom heatshield to ensure lower temperatures and more stable performance. They are offed in black and red colors, and in up to 3000 MHz factory speeds with a starting speed of 2666MHz on new Intel X299 motherboards. The GAMMIX line provides gamers, PC DIY enthusiasts, and overclockers with additional options that combine performance and design, stemming from the core XPG mission statement of ensuring better experiences.

MSI Announces X299 XPOWER Gaming AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce its newest X299 flagship motherboard, the X299 XPOWER GAMING AC. Designed for PC enthusiasts and overclockers who love sheer performance, the new XPOWER features an incredible 14 phase (12+1+1) DigitALL premium power design with Loadline Calibration to harness even the most powerful Intel Core X-Series processors. With the addition of MSI's Turbo Socket and External Clock Gen, powered by top quality components from Military Class 6, such as Titanium Choke II for higher efficiency and power delivery, even the most demanding overclockers are being challenged to push the new XPOWER to its limits.

ADATA Launches the IM2P3388 Industrial-Grade PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade IM2P3388 PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive. It employs 3D MLC NAND Flash and an SMI controller to deliver performance several times faster than SATA III SSDs, with read up to 2500MB/s and write reaching 1100MB/s. The M.2 2280 form factor fits easily in the IT setup of industrial and enterprise users, while the IM2P3388 can withstand a wide temperature range, shocks, and vibration. The IM2P3388 is offered in up to 1TB and supports a range of features such as S.M.A.R.T, TRIM, power fail protection, and secure erase.

The IM2P3388 complies with NVMe 1.2 specifications to provide performance optimized for low latency, big bandwidth PCI Express 3.0 x4 (four lanes). Users tap up to 2500MB/s read and 1100MB/s write, greatly accelerating data transfers to help increase productivity and efficiency. ADATA is offering the IM2P3388 in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. All models carry premium 3D MLC NAND that has been carefully sorted, tested, and verified to the highest standards. SLC and DRAM caching provide speed boosts for sustained performance during even the most intense activity sessions, preventing bandwidth or IOPS drop offs.

Plextor Intros the S3 Series Value SATA SSDs

Plextor today introduced the S3 series value SATA SSDs. The series has two main variants based on form-factor, the S3C built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface; and the S3G series, built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, featuring SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Both drives combine Silicon Motion SMI2254 controllers with SK Hynix planar TLC NAND flash memory. The S3C comes in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB capacities, while the S3G comes in only 128 GB and 256 GB.

All capacities of the S3C and S3G series offer sequential reads of up to 550 MB/s, while sequential writes are rated at up to 500 MB/s, 510 MB/s, and 520 MB/s, for the 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB variants, respectively. 4K random read performance is rated at up to 72,000 IOPS, 90,000 IOPS, and 92,000 IOPS, respectively; and 4K random write performance at up to 57,000 IOPS, 71,000 IOPS, and 72,000 IOPS, respectively. Endurance is rated at 35 TBW for the 128 GB variant, and 70 TBW for the 256 GB and 512 GB variants. Available now in the EU, the 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB variants are priced at 62€, 106€, and 213€, respectively (including taxes).

Intel Intros SSD DC P4501 Series Based on 3D NAND Flash

Intel introduced the SSD DC P4501 series enterprise solid-state drives based on its latest-generation 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drives are available in 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with 32 Gb/s U.2 interface, and the M.2-2280 form-factor with 32 Gb/s interface. It takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 with the NVMe 1.2 protocol.

Available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB capacities, the drives offer sequential transfer rates of up to 3,200 MB/s reads, with up to 900 MB/s writes. Their 4K random-read performance is rated at up to 360,000 IOPS, with up to 46,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Their endurance is rated at up to 1 DWPD (random) and up to 3 DWPD (mostly sequential). Both form-factor variants of the drives feature power-loss imminent protection, where a bank of capacitors gives the drives just enough power to finish its outstanding write operations in the event of a power-failure, to mitigate data-loss. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

Teamgroup Exhibit Their DDR4, SSD Portfolio at Computex 2017

At Computex 2017, Teamgroup put on a show with their products, hoping to place itself in consumers' eyes as having all the latest technologies they could possibly want. Starting with their SSD, there's the heatspreader-equipped M.2 NVMe SSD T-Force Cardea, an MLC SSD (so, a dying breed) with either 240 or 480 GB capacity, which includes a beefy red heatsink to reduce throttling possibilities.

Patriot Showcases Their Scorch M.2 NVMe SSDs at Computex 2017

At Computex 2017, Patriot put on a scorching show with their high-speed M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs, the Patriot Scorch. These leverage a Phison 5008-E8 controller to deliver up to 1200 MB/s reads and 800 MB/s writes at a 240 GB capacity. This controller is one of the only budget solutions to include a multi-core processor at its heart, which bodes well to the Scorch's rated speeds. MTBF operation is rated at over 2,000,000 hours, which is more than you'll ever need in your lifetime (and if it isn't, you really have to tell me your secret.) The Scorch will utilize Toshiba's 64-layer BiCS FLASH with 3-bits per cell (TLC) memory, which should decrease their cost, which should help Patriot release these Scorch SSDs on Q3 of this year, with a touted "attractive, budget" pricing.

GeIL Shuttle Series M.2 NVMe SSD Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of GeIL Shuttle series SSDs. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, the drives take advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol, and are characterized by a prominent aluminium heatsink over the controller, DRAM, and NAND flash chips, which keeps temperatures of these chips below 38°C in a common work environment. The GeIL Shuttle series drives combine a Silicon Machines SM2260 controller with 3D MLC NAND flash (G2 variant) and 3D TLC NAND flash (G1 variant). The drives offer sequential performance of up to 2,000 MB/s reads, with up to 1,000 MB/s writes.

QNAP Unveils World's First Ryzen-based NAS at Computex 2017

Amidst the cutting-edge innovations in NAS, networking, and IoT presented by QNAP Systems, Inc. at COMPUTEX 2017, the announcement of the world's first AMD Ryzen-based NAS took center stage and underlined QNAP's commitment to push the boundaries of NAS performance and functionality.

The new TS-x77 series leverages the incredible power of Ryzen, featuring processors with up to 8-cores/16-threads with Turbo Core up to 3.7 GHz to greatly boost virtualization performance. The TS-x77 is designed as a high-performance, highly-capable tiered storage geared for I/O intensive and virtualization applications, and also supports AMD Radeon and NVIDIA graphics cards to satisfy resource-demanding video editing and playback.

Team Group Cardea-Z M.2 NVMe SSD Pictured

Team Group earned acclaimed for getting M.2 SSD cooling right, with its Cardea M.2 NVMe SSD. A chunky aluminium heatsink cools the controller and MLC NAND flash chips, to help the drive churn out some of the highest sustained performance figures in its segment. Team Group designed its notebook/SFF friendly variant, the Cardea-Z (or Cardea Zero).

The Cardea-Z features the same PCB, same controller, and same NAND flash as the original Cardea, but replaces the chunky heatsink with an aluminium heatspreader, which is just a thin sheet of metal. This makes the drive fit into notebooks and certain SFF desktops. Its controller takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol, and is mated with MLC NAND flash memory. It comes in capacities of 240 GB and 480 GB, churning out the same rated performance figures as the original - up to 2,600 MB/s reads with up to 1,400 MB/s writes for the 240 GB variant, and up to 2,650 MB/s reads, with up to 1,450 MB/s writes for the 480 GB variant. Both variants offer over 180,000 IOPS 4K random access speeds.

Three More GIGABYTE X299 Motherboards Pictured

Two days ago, we brought you a sneak peek of the X299 Aorus Gaming 9 flagship motherboard by GIGABYTE. Here are the other three boards, the X299 Aorus Gaming 7, the X299 Aorus Gaming 3, and the X299 Ultra Gaming. The Gaming 7 is positioned a notch below the Gaming 9, yet is based on the same PCB. You lose out on two out of three the M.2 heatsinks, and the PCIe add-on card with additional M.2 slots. That's pretty much all that set the two apart.

Next up, is the X299 Aorus Gaming 3, which could be one of GIGABYTE's cheaper LGA2066 motherboards. This board, based on a simpler PCB, does away with much of the paraphernalia of its bigger siblings. It draws power from just a single 8-pin EPS power connector besides 24-pin ATX; has just two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and a simpler onboard audio solution with ALC1220 CODEC instead of the ESS Sabre chips on the higher models. Then there's the Z299 Ultra Gaming, positioned between the Gaming 3 and Gaming 7. This board too is based on the same PCB as the Gaming 7 and Gaming 9, but features simpler onboard connectivity features.

ADATA Unveils a Pair of Mainstream M.2 NVMe SSDs

ADATA showed off a pair of mainstream M.2 PCI-Express SSDs, which could form the gateway to M.2 drives for those wanting a little more than SATA drives, and a price slightly above the fastest SATA solutions. The lineup consists of the XPG SX6000 and the XPG SX7000. The XPG SX6000 is based on a Realtek RTS5760 DRAM-less controller, mated to 3D TLC NAND flash. Available in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the drive serves up sequential speeds of up to 850 MB/s reads, with up to 850 MB/s writes, which is still higher than the fastest SATA drives, and its 570-ish MB/s rated speed. Add to this, the drive supports the NVMe protocol, and takes advantage of its huge command-queue depth.

The XPG SX7000 is positioned above the SX6000, and features Silicon Motion SMI2262G controller with a DRAM cache, mated with 3D TLC NAND flash. Available in the same capacities as the SX6000, the drive serves up over double its read performance, with up to 1,800 MB/s reads, yet the same 850 MB/s writes. ADATA had a live CDM session in its booth, and visitors could ask them to run the benchmark live, as you could see the drives in an open-air bench.

MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon, Gaming M7, SLI Plus, and Tomahawk Pictured

MSI showed off three of its premium-segment socket LGA2066 motherboards, the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon, X299 Gaming M7, X299 SLI Plus, and X299 Tomahawk. All four boards are based on a common PCB, with subtle variations to the designs of the PCH/VRM heatsinks, I/O shroud, and PCB paintjobs, besides some included accessories. Kudos to MSI engineers for minimizing R&D costs, let's just hope that these boards are priced within 10 percent of each other.

The board draws power from 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX (on some of the higher-end models). A 9-phase VRM conditions power for the CPU. Eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots are wired to the CPU. Three 32 Gb/s M.2 and one 32 Gb/s U.2 are common across all boards. Also common here is the Audio Boost IV onboard audio solution, with a 120 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade capacitors, and OPAMP. Some of the models feature just the one GbE interface driven by i219-V controller, some feature two; and some of the higher-end models such as the Gaming M7 and Gaming Pro Carbon even feature Killer 802.11ac+BT4.1 WLAN cards. The higher-end boards also feature a bigger spread of RGB LEDs. Pricing-wise, one can expect the X299 SLI Plus to be the cheapest, followed by the X299 Tomahawk, X299 Gaming Pro Carbon, and the X299 Gaming M7. We wonder why.

MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of MSI's flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC. It features a polarizing silvery/white design, which you'll either love or hate. Built in the ATX form-factor (well, midway between ATX and E-ATX), the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 4-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and an optional 4-pin Molex. A 14-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU, which is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8).

Can you imagine five M.2 SSDs in your rig? MSI can, and besides three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots on the board (two 110 mm and one 80 mm), an included PCIe 3.0 x8 riser card gives you two additional 110 mm 32 Gb/s slots. Other storage options include a 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and ten SATA 6 Gb/s. The board supports NVMe RAID and Optane. Networking is care of two Intel i219-V driven GbE interfaces, and an Intel-driven 802.11ac WLAN with Bluetooth 4.1 connection. MSI Mystic Light RGB software marshals not just a splattering of RGB LEDs all over the board, but also an "art in motion" LED ornament on the PCH heatsink.

Toshiba Unveils the XG 5 M.2 Performance NVMe SSD

Toshiba today unveiled the XG 5 series performance-segment SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. These drives take advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, and the NVMe 1.2 protocol. At the heart of these drives is Toshiba's 64-layer BiCS Flash (3D TLC NAND flash) memory. Available in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the drive offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 3,000 MB/s reads, with up to 2,100 MB/s writes. The drive features an SLC-cache feature, in which the drive treats a small portion of the TLC NAND flash as SLC NAND, by storing just 1 bit per cell, hot data is juggled in and out of this portion. The drives will go on sale in the first week of June.

ASRock X299 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i9 and X299 Killer SLI/ac Detailed

ASRock showed off its premium gaming-grade X299 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i9 and X299 Killer SLI/ac motherboards. The two boards are based on a common PCB, but differ with the former featuring 10 GbE network connectivity and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema audio DSP, while the latter lacks them. If you want the feature-set of the X299 Killer SLI/ac but the white+black color scheme isn't rubbing of on you, ASRock has you covered with the X299 Fatal1ty Gaming K6. Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, the boards employ a 14-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU, which is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16.

Storage connectivity on the boards includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Both boards further feature two USB 3.1 ports (of which one is type-C), about 8 USB 3.0 ports, and network connectivity that includes 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.1, and at least one gigabit Ethernet connection driven by an Intel i219-V controller. The Fatal1ty Gaming i9 tops this with Aquantia AQC107 controller-driven 10 GbE. The two feature Aura Sync RGB headers.

ASUS TUF X299 Mark 2 Motherboard Pictured

ASUS returned to its extremely durable TUF (The Ultimate Force) line of motherboards with the TUF X299 Mark 2. You'll notice that it dropped the "Sabertooth" moniker. This LGA2066 motherboard covers all the feature-set checkboxes of a premium motherboard plus the military-grade durability people have come to expect of the TUF series. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 4-pin ATX, and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it using an 8-phase VRM.

The TUF X299 Mark 2 features eight DDR4 DIMM slots, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8), an open-ended x4, and two x1 slots completing the expansion area. Storage features include two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots (of which one is perpendicular), and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (one each type-A and type-C), and eight USB 3.0. 8-channel HD audio driven by a Realtek ALC1220A CODEC, and a single gigabit Ethernet connection, powered by Intel i219-V make for the rest of it.

ASRock X299 OC Formula by Nick Shih Pictured

Professional overclocker Nick Shih has led ASRock design teams through some of the most well laid-out motherboards for enthusiasts. His latest creation is the ASRock X299 OC Formula. This board gets down to the brass-tacks of overclocking-grade motherboards with a simple layout that's stripped of everything unnecessary. It draws power from a 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, a 6-pin PCIe, and 4-pin ATX. The CPU is powered by a 14-phase VRM, and wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. A PCIe 3.0 x4 makes for the rest of the expansion. Overclocking features include ultra fine-grained voltage control using onboard controls, and an OC Formula kit. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2-22110, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s. 802.11ac WLAN, and gigabit Ethernet, besides ASRock's top of the line onboard audio make for the rest of it.

GIGABYTE BRIX VR BNi7G6-1060 Pictured

GIGABYTE updated the BRIX UHD SFF desktop it showed off in 2016, with the new BRIX VR BNi7G6-1060, a desktop with actual gaming credentials, targeted at VR gaming. The BNi7G6-1060 is based on the same cuboidal chassis as the BRIX UHD, with updated hardware - 7th gen Core "Kaby Lake" mobile processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics (not sure if 3 GB or 6 GB), two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, two 32 Gb/s M.2-2280 slots, 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI 2.0 display output, and USB 3.1 type-C ports.

Kingston Intros the SSDNow KC1000 Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

Kingston introduced the SSDNow KC1000 line of PCI-Express SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. The drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interfaces, and take advantage of the NVMe protocol. They combine MLC NAND flash memory with Phison PS5007-E7 controller, and come in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB.

All three variants read at speeds of up to 2,700 MB/s; the 480 GB and 960 GB variants write at speeds of up to 1,600 MB/s, while the 240 GB up to 900 MB/s. 4K random read performance is rated at 290,000 IOPS for the 480 GB and 960 GB variants; and 225,000 IOPS for the 240 GB variant. 4K random writes, on the other hand, are chalked at up to 190,000 IOPS for all variants. Kingston is selling the KC1000 are both standalone M.2 drives, and in combination with a PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter add-on card. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

MSI Announces the Z270 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the all-new Z270 GOLDIKE GAMING motherboard. As the pinnacle of GAMING in terms of design, performance and features, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING raises the bar once again for motherboard development. With plenty of world's first and exclusive technologies such as Killer xTend and the new ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen2 controller, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING motherboard closely follows the GODLIKE standard.

With our continuous strive to push the gaming industry forward, we are excited to once again work close with Rivet to be world's first motherboard brand to launch Killer xTend on our new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING. With GODLIKE at the heart of a gaming rig, it allows it to act as a Killer fueled router to pass on and strengthen the internet signals, with lower latency, offering the best online experience when gaming on LAN or WIFI. Like GODLIKE GAMING, Killer's new technology is packed with new cutting-edge technologies, such as their exclusive gaming bandwidth management. The MSI and Killer gaming experience has now been expanded throughout the complete household.

ASUS Intros the ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) STRIX X370-F Gaming motherboard, positioned below its flagship ROG Crosshair VI Hero, but above its Prime X370-Pro upper mid-range motherboard. Based on the AMD X370 chipset, and ready for socket AM4 Ryzen processors, the board is characterized by its RGB LED lighting chops. The VRM and chipset heatsinks feature RGB LEDs with diffusers, the board is peppered with status LEDs, and features RGB LED headers. The included ASUS Aura Sync RGB lets you orchestrate your LED setup.

Built in the ATX form-factor, the STRIX X370-F Gaming draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. A 10-phase VRM conditions power for the AM4 SoC, which is wired to four reinforced DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and two reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 with both populated), with NVIDIA SLI support. The third x16 slot is electrical x4 and wired to the chipset. Three other x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion.

ASUS Announces a Pair of ROG STRIX Mini-ITX Motherboards: H270I and B250I

ASUS has further increased its Intel 200-series chipset-based motherboards with the addition of two Mini-ITX motherboards. The H270I and B250I join the ROG staple of motherboards from ASUS, which means these come packed with features and are being marketed for gamers. Though the features are looking a bit thin, which was to be somewhat expected given the lack of PCB real-estate to house them.

These two motherboards do not support any kind of OC, and memory speeds are thus limited to the stock Intel 2400 MHz (and further limited to two sticks of memory up to a 32 GB total.) Furthermore, there is a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, a gaping absence of PCI ports, but a saving grace of two M.2 ports in each motherboard. Which are, yes, very hard to see: one of them fits in the front of the PCB, under the double-decker heatsink design over the PCH that allows an M.2 drive to be stacked on top of it, which means the PCH and the M.2 drive are cooled by the top of the heatsink. The other, which we can't see in the pictures, is located on the back of the motherboard. Both M.2 connectors can handle full-speed PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs, as well as Intel Optane Memory, but only one of them supports SATA-based M.2 solid state drives.
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