A group of reviewers and storage enthusiasts on Facebook like to play show and tell with new review samples. Charles “Fugger” Wirth of Xtreme System’s fame gave us the first look of a final Asus Hyper M.2 x16 card today. The new adapter appears very similar to what Asus showed media at Computex this past June. This is the first time the card has been in a third party’s hands since the trade show.
It’s designed to work with Intel’s vROC (Virtual RAID on CPU) technology found on the new X299 and Xeon W workstation platforms. vROC allows users to take advantage of the available PCI Express lanes by using the CPU as a virtual raid controller that’s capable of booting the system with up to twenty NVMe SSDs in a RAID 0, 1, or 5 array.
The advanced RAID classes will require you to purchase a dongle key from Intel to enable the feature. RAID 0 comes enabled from the factory, RAID 1 comes with the standard key, and RAID 5 comes with the premium key. A stock X299 platform can build RAID 0 arrays that are bootable through the new VMD technology but limits users to Intel SSDs. Intel’s website states that some third-party SSDs will gain support in vROC, but it refers readers to a nonexistent white paper for more information.
Images Courtesy of Charles Wirth of Xtreme Systems
The Hyper M.2 x16 is now up to revision 1.01 and features a metal cooler for the full-height, half-length adapter. The card uses active air cooling from a small fan that hides under the heatsink. On the outside edge of the card, sticking out from the backplate, is a switch that allows users to engage the fan or power it off.
We don’t have confirmation that the Asus Hyper adapter only works with Asus motherboards. In June we talked about MSI’s version that adds hybrid support by merging flash and disk technology.
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