The drive uses the M.2 2280 form factor, which makes it 22 mm wide and 80 mm long.
While most other M.2 NVMe SSDs transfer data over the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, the MSI Spatium M480 connects to the host system over a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 interface, which doubles the theoretical bandwidth.
On the PCB, you'll find the controller, eight flash chips, and two DRAM chips.
A heatsink is included in the package.
Unlike other heatsinks, which use clamping force only or rely on the stickiness of the thermal pads, MSI is using three screws on each side to firmly hold the heatsink in place—a great solution.
With the heatsink installed, the M480 looks extremely sleek.
Chip Component Analysis
The Phison PS5018-E18 is Phison's new PCI-Express 4.0 controller with eight channels. It is produced on TSMC's 12 nanometer node and uses five Arm Cortex R5 CPU cores. The E18 supports NVMe 1.4, TLC, DDR4 memory, and up to 32 dies.
The eight flash chips are Micron 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Each chip has a capacity of 256 GB.
Two Hynix DDR4-2666 chips provide 2 GB of fast DRAM storage for the controller to store the mapping tables.