MSI showcases new PCIe 5.0 SSD expansion card
Recently, in an official event, MSI, in addition to confirming the existence of two different chips in Alder Lake-S, also introduced a new PCIe 5.0 SSD expansion card called M.2 Expander-Z Gen5. This SSD expansion card looks very similar to the previous generation product. It is equipped with a heat sink and a fan to enhance the heat dissipation effect. It needs to be connected to the PCIe 5.0 x16 slot to run.
MSI did not specify whether it will be included with some flagship motherboards, or whether it will be sold separately, and the release time of the product. Since Alder Lake’s direct-connect M.2 slot does not support PCIe 5.0, if users are equipped with PCIe 5.0-based SSDs in the future, they will need this SSD expansion card. Earlier, when Sebastien Jean, CTO of Phison Electronics, talked about PCIe 5.0, he has been said that SSDs based on PCIe 5.0 must be equipped with a heat sink, so it is not surprising to see the active cooling method on this product, but the fan can be turned off.
Although the physical interface is PCIe 5.0 x16, it actually only runs on PCIe 5.0 x8. M.2 Expander-Z Gen5 will be used on the second PCIe 5.0 x16 slot of the Z690 motherboard, which means that the 16 PCIe 5.0 lanes of Alder Lake will need to be allocated as 8+8.
Recently MSI also released a number of Z690 motherboards, including products equipped with DDR4 or DDR5 memory, including the MEG series of ACE, UNIFY and UNIFY-X, CARBON, and FORCE of MPG series, TORPEDO, and TOMAHAWK of the MAG series, and Z690-A of the PRO series.
According to the past situation, SSD expansion cards like M.2 Expander-Z Gen5 may be included with the GODLIKE motherboards of the MEG series. However, this motherboard is not included in the first batch of MSI Z690 motherboards, and the specific release time has not yet been determined.