thanks to the tweet @momomo_us, We take a first closer look at Asus’ brand new ROG Gen-Z.2 M.2 riser card that comes with the new AM5 ROG Crosshair X670E Extreme (opens in new tab) motherboard. What makes the new card special is the added support for PCIe Gen 5 SSDs.
Gen-Z.2 is a proprietary PCIe card designed to be inserted into supported Asus motherboards. The card features two M.2 slots on each side, one supporting Gen 4 speeds and one supporting Gen 5 speeds. Both slots support SSDs up to 110mm in length, but the Gen 5 slot features its own dedicated passive heatsink cooler to aid cooling. Gen 5 SSDs consume more power.
The card has an all-black finish that matches the color scheme of Asus’ ROG Crosshair motherboards, and sits perpendicular to the DDR5 slot on the right side of the motherboard where it’s supported when installed. The Gen-Z.2’s stealthy color scheme should aid users looking for a streamlined aesthetic, where the DDR5 modules stand out from the somewhat bulkier M.2 cards.
The added heatsink also greatly improves the cooling performance of the M.2 SSD in the primary Gen 5 slot compared to the SSD inside the motherboard. The integrated heatsink has direct access to the airflow from the computer case’s front intake fans, assisted by the exhaust airflow from the CPU tower cooler.
The GenZ.2 card also significantly improves the X670E Crosshair Extreme’s M.2 storage capacity, doubling the board’s M.2 slot capacity from 2 to 4. Three of them support PCIe Gen 5. This goes without saying. An additional PCIe 5.0 M.2 card included with the Extreme further increases the board’s M.2 capacity.
PCIe Gen 5 SSDs are coming soon, with some drives launching as early as October. But don’t get your hopes up just yet. These Gen 1 variants are unable to saturate the full bandwidth of the four PCIe 5.0 lanes and are limited to just 10GBps to 12.4GBps. Still, these first-generation drives are significantly faster than the best PCIe Gen 4 drives on the market today. Even faster PCIe 5 SSDs are coming in 2023.