Have you ever found the need for some rapid-fast NVMe SSD transfer speeds on a NAS or PC with a free PCIe slot? QNAP has an answer with its newly released QM2 PCIe expansion cards. The new QM2-2P-344A and QM2-2P-384A can be installed in compatible QNAP NAS or a PC, adding two M.2 NVMe Gen 3.0 SSD slots.
They’re not simply expansion cards with two M.2 slots. QNAP actually put some effort into adding some additional functionality to the QM2-2P-344A and QM2-2P-384A, including thermal sensors for live temperature monitoring and a cooling solution in the form of a beefy heatsink and small fan.
The two slots can prove useful for SSD caching for IOPS-demanding applications or enable tiered storage in QNAP NAS for optimized storage utilization. We’ve rounded up the best SSD for NAS and the best M.2 NVMe SSD for NAS caching to help you buy the correct drives. You should also consider whether you actually require SSD caching.
The expansion cards have a PCIe switch that manages the two PCIe 3.0 channels, effectively splitting the PCIe slot in half. The difference between the QM2-2P-344A and QM2-2P-384A is bandwidth, as illustrated below:
- QM2-2P-344A: PCIe Gen 3 x4 (32 Gb/s)
- QM2-2P-384A: PCIe Gen 3 x8 (64 Gb/s)
But as aforementioned, it’s not just QNAP NAS that can take full advantage of these slots. If you want to plan and build your own DIY NAS or have a PC ready to go, both the QM2-2P-344A and QM2-2P-384A would make for excellent storage expansion solutions.
QNAP has other expansion cards already available, such as the QNAP QM2-4P-384A, but they’re more expensive thanks to the addition of four M.2 NVMe SSD slots. The new QM2-2P-344A and QM2-2P-384A are available directly from QNAP for $149 and $169, respectively.