Aorus PCIe Gen4 SSD Reaches 15 GB/s

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AMD’s imminent launch of its third-generation Ryzen processors and X570 chipset marks the start for the PCI Express 4.0 interface in the consumer market. Gigabyte/Aorus is looking to take full advantage of the new interface by launching an add-in card solid state drive that reaches incredible speeds.

PCI Express 4.0 arrives along with the third-generation Ryzen processors that AMD releases in July along with the new X570 chipset. As the interface now becomes available to consumers, manufacturers are hard at work to launch components that can benefit from what PCI Express 4.0 offers compared to current PCI Express 3.0. PCIe 4.0 effectively doubles bandwidth and theoretical performance compared to the predecessor, from 1 GB/s per lane to 2 GB/s.

The first SSDs that use the PCI Express 4.0 interface were consequently major attractions at Computex 2019, with Gigabyte (which owns the Aorus brand) aiming to have PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the market from day one. The manufacturer is not only launching new M.2 PCIe drives, but also an add-in card that can take advantage of additional PCI Express lanes.

It’s clear that Gigabyte Aorus’ AIC Gen4 SSD is attempting to take maximum advantage of the new interface, by offering sequential read and write speeds of no less than 15.5 GB/s – yes, that’s gigabytes per second. This can be compared to today’s high-end varieties that reach 3-4 GB/s over the PCI Express 3.0 interface.

It is also clear that Gigabyte’s drive will be a premium device that will only find its way into the most expensive systems. It currently only exists in an 8TB capacity that outshines even today’s largest SSDs

Dual M.2 Units in RAID 0

Both performance and storage capacity stems from the fact that it is not actually a single SSD, but four M.2 units mounted on the same PCB and running in RAID. This also means that it’s a physically large card. It’s about the same size as a graphics card and requires an x16 slot. Also like a graphics card, it comes with a fan to keep the drives from throttling at high temperatures.

Pricing and availability are still unknown. However, Gigabyte aims to have other PCI Gen4 devices ready already in July, in the M.2 form factor. This is a major advantage for Gigabyte, as most other manufacturers are not expected to launch PCIe 4.0 SSDs until late 2019 at the earliest.

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