ASRock has recently introduced an AIC (add-in-card) named the Blazing Quad M.2 Card, which enables the user to install up to four top-performing SSDs on a single board. This add-in-card lives up to its name by accommodating four PCIe 5.0 SSDs that offer exceptional speed.
ASRock has been manufacturing AICs for M.2 SSDs for a considerable period of time. The company had previously launched the Ultra Quad M.2 Card for PCIe 3.0 SSDs and the Hyper Quad M.2 Card for PCIe 4.0 SSDs. However, with the advent of the PCIe 5.0 interface, the company has introduced the Blazing Quad M.2 Card, which required some modifications to the previous AICs.
Consequently, the Blazing Quad M.2 Card is the most extensive M.2 AIC created by ASRock thus far. Despite retaining a single-slot design, it is 13% larger than its forerunners, measuring 4.97 inches in width. Based on its appearance, it seems that the expanded size is to accommodate the larger cooling fans.
To utilize the Blazing Quad M.2 Card, you must insert it into the PCIe 5.0 x16 expansion slot. It contains four M.2 slots for SSDs with a maximum length of 110mm, each with a PCIe 5.0 x4 connection. ASRock has positioned the M.2 slots at a 45-degree angle to minimize signal traces, enhance performance, and promote signal integrity.
Furthermore, the M.2 slots have thermal pads to offer passive cooling to the SSDs, which is crucial since PCIe 5.0 SSDs tend to generate a lot of heat. Two small aluminum cooling fans are in place to provide active cooling. These fans are PWM fans, so the Blazing Quad M.2 Card comes equipped with a four-pin fan cable that you must connect to a corresponding fan connector on your motherboard.
Similar to its forerunners, the Blazing Quad M.2 Card necessitates an external power supply since it cannot receive sufficient power from the expansion slot. Therefore, the AIC employs ASRock’s 6-pin PCIe power connector, which is identical to the one used on the company’s other AICs. Consequently, you’ll need to connect at least two cables to the Blazing Quad M.2 Card. ASRock has also integrated four status LEDs on the AIC, allowing users to monitor the read or write status of each SSD.
ASRock bundles the Blazing Quad M.2 Card with its latest W790 WS motherboard for Intel Xeon W Sapphire Rapids processors. While the AIC is also available as a separate accessory, it is not currently available globally. Hence, the Blazing Quad M.2 Card’s pricing and availability remain unknown.