Asus Intros GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Video Card With Integrated M.2 SSD Slotby Anton Shilov on November 24, 2023 4:00 PM EST
Asus this week formally introduced its ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD OC Edition 8 GB graphics card, an unusual video card that also offers an M.2 SSD slot. First showcased earlier this year, the card is aimed at small form factor systems, giving system builders access to a full-bandwidth M.2 slot for additional storage without having to occupy a second PCIe slot.
Just like other GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics cards, the Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD is based on NVIDIA's AD106 GPU with 4352 CUDA cores (that can operate at up to 2595 MHz). As AD106 only has 8 PCIe lanes out of the gate, regular RTX 4060 Ti cards do not use the other 8 lanes supplied by a PCIe x16 slot. However for their special SSD card, Asus is taking a different tack, using PCIe bifurcation to directly wire up 4 of the remaining 8 lanes to an M.2 slot (no bridges or switch chips required). The end result being that the GPU gets its usual PCIe 4.0 x8 interface while also giving the M.2 slot a PCIe 5.0 x4 interface.
An M.2 2280 slot is located on the backside of the card and can be easily accessed by the user. The cooling system of the graphics card can contact the SSD using a thermal pad, so the cooler of the Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD can cool down the drive to ensure its consistent performance even under high loads.
Compared to a prototype board that Asus demonstrated back in June, Asus has simplified the final product. Specifically, whereas the prototype featured two M.2 slots – one of which required removal of the cooling system – the commercial product only has one M.2 slot on the back that is easy to access.
Internally, the use of PCIe bifurcation does present some additional complications. The host needs to support bifurcation of a single PCIe x16 link down to x8 + x8, which virtually all modern AMD and Intel platforms do (and indeed, this is how most of these systems drive multiple x16 slots). But there are the rare exceptions, particularly with entry-level platforms. And even then, bifurcation at the device level isn't something commonly used in consumer hardware, which is to say it's not always well-tested. To that end, Asus offers a list of its own motherboards that are guaranteed to support its Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD graphics card.
Otherwise, the Dual GeForce RTX 4060 Ti SSD OC Edition 8GB is a fairly typical RTX 4060 Ti card. Additional power is supplied via an 8-pin PCIe power connector, and Asus offers the standard 3x DisplayPort 1.4a + 1x HDMI 2.1b video outputs. Meanwhile, cooling for the 2.5-slot wide card is provided by a pair of axial fans.
At this point, Asus has not announced a release date or a suggest price for the card. So it remains to be seen when it will become available.