Posted on April 07, 2016
Answering the request from our customers... you can now get ultra fast NVMe SSDs using the PCIe interface with our Ultimate Fanless PCs.
Although the Z170i motherboard does have a PCIe M.2 slot for SSDs, this is on the underside of the motherboard. So any SSD installed there would need to be added before the assembly into the case. And it would be permanently "locked in", requiring the complete disassembly of heatpipes and motherboard in the future if it was to be replaced.
The solution we now have is to use the PCI express slot on the motherboard, with a small daughterboard, connected with a sheilded flexible cable. This enables full PCIe 4x speed from the NVMe SSDs.
When in future NVMe SSDs are even faster, or larger, or cheaper, you now have the ability to quite easily replace the SSD by simply sliding off the lid and removing a few screws that hold it in place.
Another benefit of this solution is that a thermal pad is used between the SSD and the chassis enabling heat to be taken away from the SSD during very intense data transfers, stopping any throttling of performance.
The basic configuration has 128GB SSD, with options for the Samsung 950 PRO 256GB and 512GB. See the new PC here.