MSI has unveiled a new U.2 host card for use with SATA-Express SSDs such as the 2.5-inch Intel 750 that can deliver up to 2400MB/s transfer speeds. While we have seen such adapters bundled with a few selected top motherboards before, MSI’s stands out a bit.
The SATA-Express connector stands a bit out in this world where all technology keeps getting smaller and smaller. It’s quite a large one. This is where the U.2 connector comes in, as it’s basically a cabled version of the M.2. It allows the same great bandwidth up to 32 GB/s on a PCIe x4 connection.
MSI added a little twist to their version that I don’t think that we have seen before. They added what they call the U.2 redriver and it is a kind of amplifier that helps maintain the best transfer signal strength possible, and thereby the best possible transfer speeds.
MSI also made sure that the U.2 Host adapter supports PCIe RAID, allowing you to use two of these on motherboards that support it. In return, you can RAID your brand new NVMe SSDs for impressive speeds up to 3500MB/s read and 2000MB/s write.
MSI will without a doubt bundle this adapter with some of their flagship motherboards, but the packaging also suggests that it will be sold as separate add-on.
Supports U.2 interface SSD with NVMe driver
U.2 redriver: The signal amplifier for better performance
The best compatibility: Compatible for all M.2 slot in PCI-E mode
Maximum Bandwidth: PCI-E 3.0 x4 (up to 32 Gb/s)
Input Interface: M.2 (Key M)
Output Interface: U.2 Host Connector up to 32 Gb/s
ASUS has shown off their newest consumer flagship motherboard ahead of the official launch, the ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard. The new Maximus VIII Extreme is naturally built for Skylake and the LGA 1151 socket and comes with Intel’s Z170 chipset. The ROG colour scheme has been changed from the old black and red into the new orange, silver and black theme that we’ve already seen on the ROG Matrix GTX 980Ti Platinum graphics card.
The new ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard should provide everything an enthusiast wants. You get four PCIe Gen 3 x16 slots where three are wired to the CPU and the last is wired to the PCH. The ATX sized motherboard comes with the usual four memory slots and requires almost normal power connectivity. You’ll need a 24-pin ATX, an 8-pin, and a 4-pin EPS connector to hook up this beauty.
The motherboard doesn’t lack anything in the area of storage or connectivity. Besides the eight SATA3 ports, you also get an SFF-8639 U.2 connector for NVMe drives with up to 32Gbps, an M.2 32Gbps slot, and two SATA-Express 16Gbps connectors. Onboard is also Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 ac WLAN, and Bluetooth 4.0 for you to connect to the world with.
One shouldn’t forget the onboard sound either, as it isn’t a low-budget one on this board. ASUS added the SupremeFX audio solution that comes with a front-panel unit for easy access and connectivity.
Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Toshiba announced three new families of solid state drives that are fitted with high.speed PCIe interfaces that provide high.bandwidth point-to-point links with the processor and reduce system bottlenecks. That is thanks to the use of the NVMe protocol and they come for various systems. All versions are built with Toshiba’s own MLC NAND flash memory.
We’ve previously seen the PX4P family that is designed for server applications in its 2.5-inch form factor, but the M.2 drives are new. Most newer motherboards feature an M.2 connector and the drives are also used in netbooks and ultrabooks thanks to the small form factor.
The XG3 family is the one aimed at the broader audience and it is an impressive drive. It is an M.2 Type 2280 drive and comes with the industries highest capacity of up to 1TB. It supports up to four PCIe 3.1 lanes and a maximum bandwidth that is six times that of the SATA3 interface. There will also be a 2.5-inch SATA-Express version of this drive. The XG3 series is equipped with Toshiba’s QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error-correction technology and also features lower power state modes. It is also the first Toshiba product to support the Trusted Computing Group security specification, Pyrite (TCG Pyrite).
The second M.2 type drive that Toshiba Announced, is the BG1 SSD family, the world’s smallest NVMe SSD. It measures just 16 by 20 mm thanks to the M.2 Type 1620 form factor and will also be available as a Type 2230 removable module with up to 256GB capacity. This drive is designed for thin notebooks and 2-in1 systems that are naturally limited in physical space. The BG1 series also supports the TCG Pyrite and features the low power state modes that the larger XG3 family has.
Along with these information, we also learned that the PX04P series, with its incredible low 18 watts max power draw, also will be available as HHHL (half-height half-length) add-in card next to the SFF-8639 12Gbps connector. Samples of the new drives are expected in Q4 2015, so expect the actual drives sometime during the start of 2016.