The false good idea? Asus adds an SSD to… a graphics card

An executive from Asus showed off an amazing RTX 4060 Ti on video. The latter exploits the full potential of its PCIe 4.0 connector to embed a functional M.2 slot, on which you can connect an SSD.

In a video shared on Bilibili (a Chinese VoD platform), one of the Asus executives, Tony Yu, unveiled a concept RTX 4060 Ti tackling the paradox of some GPUs on the market today: their ultimately very partial use of the PCIe standard. As VideoCardz points out, most entry-level and mid-range models are limited to just 8 of the 16 lanes offered by the PCIe Gen 4 standard. Some models, like AMD’s Radeon RX 7600 or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 thus have a full-size PCIe 4.0 connector, but only half of the lines are powered.

With its RTX 4060 Ti Dual concept, Asus wants to do better, by activating all 16 available lines and using them wisely. This model therefore uses 8 lines for the GPU and activates the others to allow the integration of an M.2 SSD slot on the back of the graphics card.

A first on the market? Not really…

As part of the demonstration made by Asus, a 2 TB Samsung 980 PRO SSD is used. From its atypical M.2 slot, the latter manages to deliver respectable transfer speeds, with just over 6.8 GB/s in reading and almost 5 GB/s in writing… all at a temperature of just over more than 40 degrees at this M.2 bar. Asus explains, however, that this installation can be impacted by heat. To avoid it as much as possible, the brand has made sure that this M.2 SSD can benefit from a small part of the airflow coming from the GPU dissipation system.

Source: Tony Yu for Asus

Still, if the idea of ​​Asus is excellent on paper, it is inspired a lot by a concept already seen elsewhere. In 2017, AMD launched a certain Radeon Pro SSG which already allowed an SSD to be loaded through an integrated M.2 slot. Based on the Vega architecture, this card was nevertheless dedicated only to the professional sector and its M.2 slot proved to be much less easy to access than that imagined by Asus.

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