ASUS’s unique Dual RTX 4060 Ti GPU featuring an M.2 SSD slot is finally available for sale and the company has demoed it with some of the fastest Gen5 storage devices and even ran an RTX 4090 off of it which was being run as an eGPU.
ASUS’s Dual RTX 4060 Ti With M.2 Slots Gives Users A Range of Options To Convert Unused PCIe Lanes Into Additional Connectivity Options
ASUS’s General Manager, Tony Yu, who is also famously known as Uncle Tony for his online presence at Bilbili has demonstrated the latest GPU offering which packs a lot of interesting capabilities if you think slightly out of the box.
Back in July, ASUS revealed a concept model of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti GPU which offered an M.2 port that could be used to operate a storage device from the GPU. The company had done that by utilizing the unused PCIe lanes, since the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics cards with AD106 GPUs only utilize 8 PCIe lanes which means that AIBs using a full x16 slot have an additional x8 lanes. M.2 SSDs utilize the PCIe x4 interface and it makes perfect sense to put up SSD slots on the PCB of the card.
You might wonder about the potential benefits of a dedicated PCIe slot on the GPU. Well, who doesn’t like using more storage devices for your PC, plus it allows you to swap out SSDs more easily if you have mounted them on the GPU.
Moreover, the initial testing revealed by ASUS shows that by using your SSD on the GPU itself, there isn’t any sort of performance degradation and thermal dissipation also seems to be very decent with even Gen5 SSDs sustaining around 50C temps under full load which shows that the idea is market-ready, and now it will be interesting to see how the average consumer reacts to it.
Apart from the idea of mounting an SSD, Tony went one step ahead to attach a full-on GPU to the M.2 slot. The GPU connected was none other than ASUS’s Evangelion GeForce RTX 4090, one of the most powerful and unique 4090 variants in the market, but to our surprise, it worked out just fine. The reason for that is because the 4060 Ti’s M.2 slot was able to convert the x8 lanes into a Gen5 x4 link and since the 40 series is only Gen 4.0 compliant, even high-end cards should mostly work fine under a Gen4 x8 (Gen5 x4) link.
This was just a fun little demonstration by Tony for users who may want to use the extra lanes as an extended eGPU or riser slot for a separate card on an open-air SFF custom-build project. Plus, you aren’t bound to use just GPUs as one can equip other AICs too.
While the concept behind having an M.2 slot within a GPU looks exciting on paper, it does come at a slight premium with the ASUS RTX 4060 Ti M.2 Dual being offered for around $500-$550 US which is $100-$150 US more than the 4060 Ti 8 GB variant. With that said, we hope to see more practices being standardized in future products as that would ultimately lead to lower costs and hopefully, a higher adoption rate.
News Source: Bilibili