Asus is prepping a GeForce RTX 4060 Ti with a built-in SSD slot

Shawn Knight

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In brief: Asus is reportedly preparing to launch a graphics card with an integrated storage solution. Over the summer, Asus demonstrated a prototype RTX 4060 Ti graphics card sporting an M.2 2280 SSD slot on the rear. The presentation was in Chinese which makes translation difficult but according to VideoCardz, Asus figured out how to allocate some unused PCIe lanes for SSD support.

Per the publication, the design allows the solid-state drive to leverage the GPU's heatsink and fan array for improved cooling – convenient considering modern SSDs can get quite toasty and are susceptible to thermal throttling. The demo showed the GPU's cooler was able to lower the SSD's operating temperature by 10 degrees C, presumably compared to a drive plugged into a motherboard slot with no added cooling.

VideoCardz believes Asus is prepping two versions of the RTX 4060 Ti DUAL: one sporting standard clock speeds and another that will be factory overclocked. No word yet on when they might be ready to launch, which regions (besides Russia) might get them first, or how much they will cost. It's also unclear if the card will have the SSD slot on the front or the rear (or maybe it'll have dual ports, hence the dual name?).

It is an interesting concept for sure, but is it poised to be the next big thing in GPU technology?

Some may argue that Asus' solution does not really solve a problem or meet a need. Motherboards already have SSD ports, so why not just utilize them as intended? Why complicate things with unnecessary complexity? What happens if you change video cards – can you simply move the SSD from the video card to a traditional port without issue, or will you face potential data corruption? Will the solution work on any modern motherboard or will compatibility be limited to Asus boards?

Something else to consider is the fact that adding an SSD to the video card is going to heighten its power draw (not by much, mind you, but it is still something to be aware of).

Image credit: Behnam Norouzi

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Neat idea for ITX builds, but only on a 4060? Kinda lame NGL.
Will these use extra PCI lanes for the SSD?
Or will they use the lanes that already exist on the 4060Ti.
Since the 4060Ti only has 8X PCIe lanes, this would hurt performance.
I assume it will use bifurcation to share the x8 lane. Going higher then x8 would require a new controller on the card.
 
It is an interesting concept for sure, but is it poised to be the next big thing in GPU technology? Some may argue that Asus' solution does not really solve a problem or meet a need. Motherboards already have SSD ports, so why not just utilize them as intended?

This premise is not accurate all of the time: mini itx motherboards very rarely have more than one m.2 slot and almost never the reasonable priced ones (a.k.a. I'm not paying 500 USD for the super deluxe mitx boards just to get another couple m.2 slots)


Since the 4060Ti only has 8X PCIe lanes, this would hurt performance.

The reference design has 8x lanes but if Asus was smart about it, they'll route the rest of the lanes on the PCB to that m.2 slot instead: Hard to tell from just a few pictures that might be prototypes but it looks to be the case that all 16 lanes are enabled whereas other 8x cards you can physically see only half the pins routed and such so it might actually be taking advantage of Nvidia's bandwidth shenanigans.
 
The reference design has 8x lanes but if Asus was smart about it, they'll route the rest of the lanes on the PCB to that m.2 slot instead: Hard to tell from just a few pictures that might be prototypes but it looks to be the case that all 16 lanes are enabled whereas other 8x cards you can physically see only half the pins routed and such so it might actually be taking advantage of Nvidia's bandwidth shenanigans.

I think you are right, and it got me thinking that is what AMD should have done with the 6500XT to try and sprinkle some silver lining on its PCI-E x4 lane shenanigans. Sell it as a beastly 3x m.2 nvme and cooling solution with a bonus GPU feature. Missed opportunity there.
 
Will these use extra PCI lanes for the SSD?
Or will they use the lanes that already exist on the 4060Ti.
Since the 4060Ti only has 8X PCIe lanes, this would hurt performance.

I would assume the card uses a separate set of traces that don't exist on a normal 4060 Ti. There looks to be ~15 traces running to the pins instead of the 9 that can be seen in DerBauer's video. Four of those traces are clearly coming from the end of the card that the SSD resides in and are absent in the card he disassembled.

I would expect this to be a solution for a SFF build that doesn't have room for more than a mITX board as Dimitriid surmised, though I don't know who has been voicing interest in a product like this. It may be something brought about by Asus' taking over the NUC line from Intel.
 
Déjà vu - a glitch in the matrix! Didn’t Asus announce this way back in July?

A clever solution especially for those hotter-running SSDs where a dedicated heat sink won’t fit for whatever reason. I wonder if there might be potential PCIe bifurcation compatibility issues on some motherboards though.
Something else to consider is the fact that adding an SSD to the video card is going to heighten its power draw
Apparently the SSD interfaces will be slot powered whilst the GPU draws off the 8-pin.
4060ti - 160W max draw
2x m.2 - 2x 10W max draw
8-pin - 150W max supply
Bus power - 75W max supply
Will these use extra PCI lanes for the SSD?
It's not stated in the Techspot article (which IMO could have been more informative), but Videocardz etc outline how the m.2 slots are routed to the unused 8 lanes remaining in the x16 slot - which is the whole point of this design.
 
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