This year's Computex is close, and everyone's already tossing out tidbits of what they'll be bringing to the trade show. Gigabyte will assuredly be there with a bounty of RGB LED-encrusted hardware, though today's highlight is that it's jumping on the M.2 cooler bandwagon. The company tweeted an image of the Aorus M.2 Thermal Guard with the #seeyouatcomputex tag.
— GIGABYTE (@GIGABYTE_GBT) May 4, 2017
The need for these heatsinks has been in question since MSI first introduced its M.2 Shield. Gamers Nexus produced a controversial article that claimed that the M.2 Shield actually increased the temperatures of SSDs placed underneath. MSI called the site's methodology into question and pointed to reviews by other sites that showed the cooling efficacy of the M.2 Shield cover.
ComputerBase went one step further and tested the M.2 Shield versus a couple of specialized devices meant to keep M.2 SSDs cool: Alphacool's HDX M.2 and the Aqua Computer kryoM.2 evo. Since MSI claimed that results could vary widely depending on the design of the SSD in question, the site tested these devices with both a Samsung 950 Pro SSD and a Patriot Hellfire SSD. The site found that while the M.2 Shield didn't completely prevent thermal throttling like the kryoM.2 evo did, it staved off thermal throttling for considerably longer than using no cooler at all.
Gigabyte and MSI aren't the only companies doing these M.2 covers. Biostar offers the feature on its top-end Z270GT9 motherboard, and that Asus board from yesterday with the integrated waterblock (and eye-watering price tag) can also cool its M.2 SSDs. None of this is particularly necessary for your average user, though, and folks who are reliant on the kind of work that overheats these drives should probably consider moving up to enterprise hardware anyway. We're looking forward to seeing what else Gigabyte shows at Computex.