What do you get when you combine the lightning speed of PCIe 5.0, a ton of expensive flash storage, and an absolutely madlad tool that puts all of it together? The answer probably looks a lot like Gigabyte’s latest niche performance storage device. Dubbed the “Aorus Gen5 AIC Adaptor,” it’s a PCIe 5.0 expansion slot that builds in four, count ’em, four M.2 slots, supporting a maximum of 16 terabytes of lightning-fast storage ready to be built into a RAID array.
If all of that is alphabet soup to you, here’s the bottom line: You can use this thing to have a lot of really fast storage connected to just one PCIe expansion slot, or you can have a smaller amount of storage go insanely ridiculously stupendously fast by having all the drives pool their efforts together. Gigabyte claims that in a properly configured RAID array, the adapter combines its signal stabilizing controller and built-in heat sensors and active cooling fan to reach maximum read/write speeds of 60 gigabytes per second. Whoa.
For context, we described the recently-reviewed Western Digital Black SN850X PCIe 4.0 SSD as “face-meltingly fast” at around one-tenth that speed. You’ll need brand-new hardware that can support both PCIe 5.0 and enough lanes to actually move all that data around (as noted by Tom’s Hardware), but for those who do, the performance possibilities of this gadget are simply mind-boggling.
Frankly it’s hard to imagine what kind of end user really needs that sort of ludicrous speed. Someone trying to render several Pixar movies at once, perhaps? But I’d love to see their hardware setup. Whatever their needs, this theoretical customer will have a little time to save up their pennies. Gigabyte didn’t give a price or release date for the adaptor.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.