In the realm of graphics cards, where differentiation often relies on a splash of RGB or a factory overclock, Asus has introduced a groundbreaking addition that answers a question many never considered. The new Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti by Asus boasts an integrated PCIe M.2 SSD slot, a feature that could reshape the landscape of GPU technology.
Previously showcased, this innovative card is now making its way into the inventory of select European retailers. As anticipated, the model equipped with the SSD slot commands a higher price compared to its non-SSD counterpart. With a price tag of €559, as opposed to €470 for the standard Dual RTX 4060 Ti 8GB, this edition introduces a premium, but one that holds significant promise.
RTX + SSD pic.twitter.com/8zP6zt5B5t— 188号 (@momomo_us) October 27, 2023
The Multitronic listing offers more than just pricing details. It boldly claims that the slot is “capable of PCIe 5.0 speeds.” However, it’s worth noting that the RTX 4060 Ti only supports PCIe 4.0, warranting a measure of skepticism towards this assertion. Additionally, the slot incorporates Asus’ Q-Latch mechanism, a user-friendly feature that simplifies installation.
Turning to the GPU itself, the RTX 4060 Ti is a familiar contender, not necessarily for its groundbreaking performance, but for its efficiency and mid-range capabilities. It seamlessly integrates Nvidia technologies, including DLSS 3 and frame generation, positioning it as a reliable choice for discerning gamers.
The incorporation of an M.2 slot into a graphics card might initially seem like a solution in search of a problem. However, it presents a compelling case for several reasons. Firstly, the RTX 4060 Ti employs a PCIe x8 interface, making the addition of an M.2 slot a clever utilization of otherwise unused PCIe lanes that occur when using an x8 card in an x16 slot.
Another significant advantage pertains to cooling. Placing an SSD directly on top of the graphics card creates an opportunity for efficient cooling, as the drive intercepts the front-to-back case airflow. While this may not be a game-changer for motherboards with primary M.2 slots situated above the graphics card, it could prove invaluable for those with slots positioned beneath. Such configurations often suffer from suboptimal airflow, potentially acting as heat sinks due to the emanating heat from the GPU during intense gaming sessions.
Accessibility is also a key consideration in this design. Installing SSDs, notorious for their small, fiddly screws, can be a frustrating endeavor, especially when it requires the removal of the graphics card. The inclusion of an easily accessible SSD slot is a welcome enhancement, streamlining the PC-building experience.
While the performance and cooling capabilities of this innovative SSD integration remain untested, it undeniably represents a thought-provoking implementation. Should it prove effective in practice, it could signal a new era in graphics card design, potentially paving the way for a wave of similarly innovative solutions in the future. Asus’ Dual RTX 4060 Ti with an integrated M.2 SSD slot stands as a testament to the boundless potential for innovation in the ever-evolving world of GPU technology.