Having seen both ASUS and ASRock’s PCIe cards that support four M.2 NVMe drives each at a x4 connection at CES, and then GIGABYTE’s prototype card at Computex, there was only one company left to actually show one. MSI might be the fourth out of the four, but the design we saw goes above and beyond, perhaps to excess. If you ever wanted to crush an egg with a Buick, this is it.

On the face of it, MSI’s variant looks very similar to the others. A simple PCIe 3.0 x16 card with four M.2 slots and some minor circuitry and everything follows the status quo. If you didn’t look closely enough, then the fact that the card had a double slot back plate might have passed you by, and it’s at that point that the MSI Aero fan comes into view. Yes, that’s right: MSI is pairing its four-way M.2 PCIe card with one of its styled GPU coolers.

This means that if you have that specific workload that causes four high-end NVMe drives to start thermally throttling, MSI has you covered, and then some. This cooler should be easily capable of 50W+ of cooling, if not more, and the PCIe card even has a 6-pin connector in play, should 75W+ be needed.

MSI stated that they will be shipping this card in the same box as their new Threadripper X399 MEG Creation motherboard, which is part of the X399 motherboard refreshes for Threadripper 2. Beyond that, MSI expects to sell the card individually at retail at some point over the next few months.

Want to keep up to date with all of our Computex 2018 Coverage?
Follow AnandTech's breaking news here!



View All Comments

  • DanNeely - Friday, June 22, 2018 - link

    Confusion about slot vs cable power I think. The 8 pin cable allowed 150W vs the 75W from the 6 pin one. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Thus the egg and Buick point made in the article. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    The PCIe power connector is overkill, but not the heatsink and fan.

    All M.2 drives get hot enough to throttle by varying amounts when sustaining full load, compound that x4 and you definitely need cooling in that compact space.
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Yeah, the cooling is fine, just the PCIe connector Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    I vaguely recall seeing a few 1xm.2 to PCIe adapters using an external power cable because the DC direct from the PSU was more stable than what you get via the mobo and doing the power conversion from that resulted in more stable output voltages going into the ssds themselves.

    Assuming the mobo itself was in spec though, I suspect it actually improves performance and reliability about as much as the frag harder lights on all your new PC components help you win at Fortnight or PUBG.
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Yeah, that wouldn't actually provide a noticeable boost to anything Reply
  • LauRoman - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    If it keeps things cooler and does not add too much to the noise, why would it hurt? Reply
  • FullmetalTitan - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Best case it would reduce potential wear to power distribution circuitry, but whether you have 1% voltage ripple or 0.5% isn't going to affect device performance. Reply
  • eek2121 - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    The connector is likely to ensure there is enough power for both the fan and all 4 drivers. I actually don't see an issue with this. Reply
  • eek2121 - Thursday, June 21, 2018 - link

    Oh and you also have to realize that the entire PCIE bus has a max power limit. By using this connector, this allows the card, other PCIE devices can be used as well. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now