You Must Adapt!
Akasa M.2 SSD to PCIe Adapter Card with Heatsink Cooler
Review by: Jennifer Griffiths
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths
Most of us are no strangers to having to adapt to situations. In the tech industry, we use adapters for many situations. Be it lights, fans, monitors, etc it is quite common to need an adapter. Now Akasa have produced a crafty little adapter for us to use on our M.2 drives. This will allow us to use an M.2 in an unused PCIe slot on the board. How clever!
I really am anxious to see just how well this gem works. Also, I am keen to see how much bother it is, if at all to install. I also want to know if there is a difference in performance!!!
For this little experiment we will be using the build from an earlier review of the Akasa Addressable RGB frame kit and ThermalTake Level 20 VT case. *both available on the TFT website and YouTube*.
So, off we go to test!
Designed forM.2 PCIe "M Key" SSD
Supports 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110 size PCIe SSD
Material Metal bracket, printed circuit board, exposed copper, aluminium heatsink
Dimensions 148(L) x 120(W) x 21.7(H) mm
The Akasa M.2 SSD to PCI Adapter Card with Heatsink Cooler (Product Code AK-PCCM2P-02) adapter kit allows DIY enthusiasts to add and utilize the performance of M.2 PCIe SSDs inducing NVMe into any system via an available PCIe slot. Akasa have combined an exposed copper PCB design on the PCIe adapter card with a thermal cooler kit to cool both sides of the SSD for optimum heat dissipation, maximizing performance. the kit consists of a M.2 SSD to PCIe adapter card, aluminum heatsink and thermal pad.
About Akasa :
Established in 1997, Akasa has become a leading global supplier that designs and manufactures small form factor fan-less chassis, thermal and hardware peripheral solutions - including coolers, fans, card readers, hubs and cables - for PC and specialist applications. Akasa have an extensive design and development capability worldwide to ensure when new advance technology arrives, Akasa have the products and expertise to make it work for our customers. We never compromise product quality and all our products are manufactured under strict quality control standards.
The packaging is very nice and with a hanger for those that want to hang it on the wall. It will look very attractive in your store. This is something that Akasa are known for, their nice looking products with a cool picture and all of the relevant information presented crystal clear. The Akasa logo is proudly displayed in red on the upper right side. The QR is on the bottom right. I can't say enough about packaging with actual pictures of products like they have done here. This looks classy!
Inside we find an instruction leaflet, low profile IO plate, heat sink, thermal pad, 3 black screws (that's nice to see), and the adapter. Everything was nicely packed.
Installation was easy, all you need to do is put the backing thermal pad onto the M.2 SSD. Then screw the M.2 SSD onto the adapter (with the small screw provided). Apply the thermal pads to the back of the heatsink. Then stick it to the top of the SSD. Slot it into the appropriate PCIe socket. Screw into the IO slot. It was amazingly simple and easy.
The SSD picked up in the computer just like if you had plugged it into a M.2 slot. No configuration, software or drivers needed for installation. We had no issue installing Windows on the SSD. It ran as it should as if it was plugged into the board itself.
We tested the SSD with ATTO (4.00.0f2) and CrystalDisk Mark (6.0.2 x64). We monitored the temperature using HWiNFO64 v5.82-3410. All testing was done with the cooling running on passive mode. So, the fans would not affect the cooling of the SSD.
We did four tests. One with the SSD in the M.2 socket, one with the SSD in the M.2 Socket plus the heatsink, one on the adapter and one on the adapter with the heat sink. The write speeds we found did not change much whether connected to the M.2 socket or the adapter with or without the heatsink.
Using CrystalDisk Mark, Wright spped stayed around 1,600 MB/ps. The read speed was a different matter. The read speed when plugged into the M.2 socket on the Motherboard without the heatsink was 2,815.9 MB/s. With the heatsink, the average speed went up to 2,848 MB/ps which is a speed increase of around 1%. Now the big change comes when you have the SSD plugged into the adapter. The read speed without the heat sink hit 3,030.7 MB/ps. With the heatsink the speed increased to 3,097.6 MB/ps. This a difference of 281.7 MB difference. This means the speed increased by a dramatic 9%.
The speed results in ATTO were even more drastically different. The write speed without the heatsink in the M.2 socket maxed out at 1,490 MB/ps. With the heatsink the speed increased slightly to 1,500. In the adapter with and without the heatsink, the speed hit 1,500 MB/ps but ran more consistently throughout the test. The read speeds in ATTO connected to the M.2 socket, maxed out at 2,330 MB/ps. With the heatsink it increased to 2,350 MB/ps. When in the adapter we got similar results with or without the heatsink. We managed to get a consistent 2,900 MB/ps. This is 550 MB/ps faster than in the M.2 socket. That's an amazing 19% faster!
*We re-ran each test three times after a fresh reboot to be sure things were correct*
M.2 no heatsink ---58°C
M.2 with heatsink---45°C
Adapter without heatsink---56°C
Adapter with heatsink---45°C
So, overall, from the tests we ran on the equipment we used we managed to find that we were able to increase the speed of the SSD up to 19% and reduce the temperature by about 13°C. So, not only do you get a faster and more consistant speed, you potentially increasing the life of the SSD.
Our Rig Specs:
Thermaltake Level 20 VT case
Gigabyte B360M AORUS Gaming 3 RGB
Intel I3 8100
Patriot RGB Viper Series 16GB DDR4
WD Black 250GB M.2 PCIe NVMe v2 3D SSD (3000mbps)
RX570 4gb Power Cooler Red Devil
With the increase of performance as well as the decrease of temperature I am well impressed with the product. I can see it being an asset to have in that it may prolong the life of the SSD by taking the temperatures down a bit. I also like that I can get more for my money out of my SSD with the speed. It's a win win. I intend to get one for myself. I would go so far to say it's a MUST have for anyone with an M.2 SSD. --- Jenni
The Akasa M.2 Adapter is a nice piece of tech. Akasa have brought together two good products to make one amazing product. It was able to speed up our M.2 SSD and keep it running a lot cooler at the same time! While it may not be needed by everyone, its a must-have for anyone who wants to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their computer that they can. It is an amazing product at an amazingly good price. This is as close as you get to overclocking your SSD. - Phil
Stand out point: Speed and Cooling
High read speeds
More consistent speeds
Possible longevity of the M.2 SSD due to cooling
Nice black finish and will fit in with most designs.
No change in write speed
The only thing about it being black is if have a white case and white board it may clash depending on your setup.
They got a Hell Yeah! Award for this product.