ASRock has announced its Ultra M.2 Gen3 x4 socket, touted to be three times as fast the current PCIe x2 M.2 interface. This new socket from ASRock is also versatile as it is able to accommodate M.2 devices of various lengths.
ASRock has announced its Ultra M.2 socket, touted to be three times as fast the current PCIe x2 M.2 interface. This new socket from ASRock is also versatile as it is compatible with all existing M.2 devices and can accommodate various lengths of M.2 devices with accordance to the official specifications. What has changed is how ASRock has implemented the data path of the Ultra M.2 socket:-
By increasing the bandwidth, and changing the layout of its bus lanes to bypass the Z97 PCH, ASRock’s Ultra M.2 socket connects the M.2 device directly to the CPU to reduce latency. Tapping on the CPU's speedier PCIe 3.0 connection and using a wider x4 interface, the theoretical speed of Ultra M.2 socket is 32Gb/s, six times faster than PCIe x1 M.2 (5Gb/s), and three times faster than PCIe x2 M.2 (10Gb/s). For now, the new Ultra M.2 socket is only featured on the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard. This board is part of the new slew of Intel series 9 offerings from ASRock.