The MSI Gaming Storage card may look like a graphics card with a fancy cooler shroud but, as its name suggest, it’s actually a PCB that’s designed to accommodate two M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration.
The card, which even comes with its own blower-style fan, was showcased during an MSI live event in the Netherlands. MSI says that the card was designed for consumers on the Intel Z370 platform to who wants their SSDs to interface directly with a CPU’s PCIe lanes instead of the motherboard’s Platform Controller Hub (PCH).
To be fair, this isn’t the first time that MSI has debuted this card; the card first made a quiet appearance during COMPUTEX 2017 last year. Back then, the component was merely a prototype, and therefore was technically not ready for production.
In a live demo, the Gaming Storage card was fitted with dual Samsung SM961 SSDs; the configuration saw the SSDs achieving speeds as high as 6.6GB/s in sequential read speeds and close to 3GB/s in sequential write speeds.
To translate those speeds in real-world applications; loading a 48GB 4K video file on a single M.2 PCIe SSD takes five minutes and 40 seconds. With the Gaming Storage card, that process was cut down to just one minute and 59 seconds.
Unfortunately, MSI has no plans on selling the card on its own; the Gaming Storage card will only be available in selected Aegis 3 and Aegis Ti desktops. In regards to latter desktop model; MSI’s last configuration of the Aegis Ti featured an Intel Skylake CPU inside of it, so this announcement could possibly be interpreted as MSI updating the desktop to the latest components.