ASRock's Blazing Quad M.2 Card Runs Four PCIe 5.0 SSDs For Supercharged PC Storage

blazing quad m2 card
ASRock's new Blazing Quad M.2 card is the newest in its series of Quad M.2 cards, starting with the PCIe 3.0 "Ultra" and continuing with the PCIe 4.0 "Hyper" card. The latest version supports four M.2 SSDs up to 110mm in length, and it can run all four at the peak PCIe 5.0 x4 rate of 16 GB/sec—assuming your host CPU actually has 64GB of data to blast across the bus, anyway.

bare blazing quad m2 card

This speed is achieved through PCIe bifurcation. In other words, there's no processor onboard this card; it's just a plate full of wires and connectors. Because of that, your motherboard has to support PCIe bifurcation for its primary slot, but that's a pretty common feature these days, at least on higher-end motherboards. Obviously, this card makes the most sense in HEDT systems with scads of spare PCIe lanes.

Just as Phison cautioned awhile back, PCIe 5.0 SSDs are power-thirsty and run hot compared to prior generations, so ASRock's new Blazing Quad M.2 card has thermal pads for both the bottom and top of your M.2 SSDs. It also includes a 6-pin PCIe power connector because the 75W power delivery of a PCIe x16 slot may not be enough to support four PCIe 5.0 SSDs going full throttle. The card also has a pair of small fans to cool off the toasty drives.

asrock w790 ws
The ASRock W790-WS motherboard includes the Blazing Quad M.2 card.

If you want one of these, the easiest way to get one is to buy a motherboard that includes it. For now, that's limited to the new W790-WS motherboard for Intel's new 4th-gen Xeon W processors that just came out, but it might find its way to other models. You'll also be able to buy it separately, but ASRock hasn't supplied pricing or availability information for it yet.