ASUS has just outed its new Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card, which is capable of taking on 4 x M.2 SSDs that will use the total bandwidth provided by the super-fast Gen5 x16 slot on your compatible motherboard. It boasts a boatload of speed, and it’s cheap as chips.
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The new ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card can handle up to 512Gbps (64GB/sec) of bandwidth when the 4 x M.2 SSDs are installed into the expansion card, and you’ve got RAID0 enabled. You can’t get this speed with any old drives, as you’ll need next-gen M.2 SSDs that are capable of pumping out 16GB/sec through each drive… see, we told you this wasn’t going to be easy.
However, ASUS is making its new Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card compatible with multiple M.2 form factors including 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110. It’s also backward compatible, meaning you can chuck PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs into it, or you can wait for those next-gen PCIe 5.0 M.2 SSDs that crank up to 16GB/sec each so you can meet that juicy maximum bandwidth of 64GB/sec. Not that you’d need that in a gaming system, that is.
All of that speed comes at a cost: you’ll need an external 6-pin PCIe power connector to power all 4 of the SSDs that you’d install. Each of the individual drives is then capable of taking 14W of power, says ASUS. You also don’t need to use them in RAID0, RAID1, or any RAID array… you can just install them to operate separately if that’s what you need.
ASUS is using an active cooling system inside of its new Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card, with the cooling system itself covering the entire board, all while keeping it in a thin single-slot design. ASUS even provides a button on the rear of the Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card, so that you can disable the active fan if you want silent operation.
As we said before, this isn’t for a gaming PC… first off, you’d need to have a spare PCIe 5.0 x16 slot to utilize the full 64GB/sec of bandwidth — as well as some not-yet-released Gen5 SSDs capable of pumping 16GB/sec per SSD — but, for workstation and HEDT systems, the new Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card is quite the buy. Especially when it’s just $79.
For users of HEDT (high-end desktop) systems, including the AMD TRX40 and X299 systems, as well as the Intel W690, Z790, W790, or even the gaming-focused AMD X670 and B650 motherboards, the new ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card could catch your eye.
Note: the new ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card on an Intel Z690 or Intel Z790 motherboard only supports 2 x drives when installed, but the AMD X670 can handle the full 4 x SSDs when placed into the Hyper M.2 x16 Gen5 expansion card. If you’re after a full list of ASUS motherboards that are compatible, check this link out.