Intel bridges the U.2 gap with an M.2 cable for its 750 Series SSD

— 5:17 PM on June 7, 2016

Intel recently sent us a 400GB, 2.5" version of its 750 Series SSD as part of its Broadwell-E review kit. We didn't think much of it at the time, but it turns out the drive we received is a little special. To make this formerly-U.2-cabled drive more accessible to system builders, Intel will soon be offering a version of the 2.5" 750 Series SSD with the M.2 adapter cable you see below.

The adapter basically grafts the U.2 cable we examined in our original 750 Series review onto an M.2 2280 card that can slip into the much more common M.2 slot on modern motherboards. Builders will still need to hook up the SATA power connector toward the business end of the drive to get it fully up and running.

With this move, the blue team's storage division appears to be positioning the 2.5" 750 Series drive as an alternative to M.2 NVMe SSDs. That's not an entirely crazy notion. The folks over at Puget Systems published an analysis of M.2 NVMe SSD throttling today, and only the remotely-mounted 2.5" 750 Series drive completely avoided thermal throttling during Puget's testing. It's worth noting that Puget's tests simulate an extreme scenario that many users are unlikely to encounter in regular use, but if you know you need your NVMe drive to perform up to its maximum potential all of the time, a remotely-mountable 2.5" drive with a beefy heatsink like this 750 Series SSD could be the right choice.

Either way, expect a lineup of 2.5" 750 Series SSDs with the M.2 adapter to hit the market soon. They'll be sold in tandem with the U.2-cabled versions already on the market. Buyers will need to make sure they're selecting the 750 Series drive with the cable they want from here on out.

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