One of the driving features of performance in the high-end desktop space is the creator community: the need for fast CPUs and fast storage is strong, regardless of cost. Rendering video, requiring large 8K datasets, and being able to mix and match the hardware to meet the required performance is in-of-itself an exciting area to delve into. In order to meet the needs of the most demanding creators, ASUS is upgrading its quad M.2 card it put into the market last year to now support PCIe 4.0 SSDs for the latest AMD systems.

The card is essentially a mounting point to take a full x16 PCIe slot and bifurcate it into four separate PCIe 4.0 x4 links, which is each paired with an M.2 connector. Thus each drive should be able to achieve full speed – in order to ensure this, the drive also comes with a full aluminium heatsink and fan, which operates at a reasonably low RPM. The fan can be enabled or disabled via a switch on the PCIe bracket, and the bracket also has four activity LEDs for each of the drives.

One of the big issues with the older PCIe 3.0 version was the support of the card on different systems. The card worked well on AMD systems, but had issue with Intel systems, because Intel’s PCIe solution did not support multiple endpoints in the same way. With this new solution, that problem ultimately disappears, because Intel has no PCIe 4.0 solution right now.

We expect the Hyper M.2 x16 Gen 4 card to be available soon, focused mainly for Threadripper and EPYC systems. Pricing should be equivalent to the PCIe 3.0 version.

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  • yeeeeman - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    "One of the big issues with the older PCIe 3.0 version was the support of the card on different systems. The card worked well on AMD systems, but had issue with Intel systems, because Intel’s PCIe solution did not support multiple endpoints in the same way. With this new solution, that problem ultimately disappears, because Intel has no PCIe 4.0 solution right now" - do I sense a bit of irony here? Reply
  • MenhirMike - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    Also curious what "support multiple endpoints in the same way" actually means - isn't bifurcation just splitting a PCIe slot? What are the actual technical differences between AMD and Intel here? Reply
  • Valantar - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    ... that Intel isn't enabling bifurcation in most cases (at least beyond splitting an x16 into 2x x8 for GPUs on select platforms). Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    Not to worry - the problem's disappearance is only temporary, and will be resolved the moment Intel comes out with its own PCIe4 chipsets. Reply
  • RogerAndOut - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    Don't they first have to manage to come out with some PCIe4 CPUs :) Reply
  • Santoval - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    Noone how "temporary" it's going to be though. When is Intel going to introduce PCIe 4.0 in the desktop, with Rocket Lake? If so, when is Rocket Lake going to be released, in late 2020 or 2021? Its Ice Lake laptops do not support PCIe 4.0, though even if they did it would be wasted in a laptop.

    The same applies to their Tiger Lake based laptops which were supposed to be released in 2H 2020 but due to Intel's delays in deploying Ice Lake for laptops Q1 2021 looks more likely. Ice Lake for desktop (and probably HEDT as well) appears to have been canned, and the same is going to happen with Tiger Lake because *all* Intel's 10nm node variants have crappy yields at high clocks and/or large dies. Intel has not yet fixed their shit, and I don't think they will until they deploy 7nm in high volume.
    Reply
  • Santoval - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    "Noone *knows* how..." Reply
  • eek2121 - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    The burn is real. Reply
  • Santoval - Friday, January 10, 2020 - link

    While it's subtle I also sense it. Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Thursday, January 9, 2020 - link

    I like the comment about compatibility problems on intel platforms is now solved simply due to intel not actually having advanced enough platforms to even fully utilize the card. Reply

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