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NVMe Base for Raspberry Pi 5 with M-Key NVMe SSD Support

Dec 2, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,233 views

Pimoroni has just revealed a PCIe extension board tailored specifically for the Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer. This sleek accessory not only enhances the Raspberry Pi 5’s storage capacity and performance but also opens the door to a wide range of applications.

The NVMe Base’s standout feature is its ability to deliver lightning-fast storage speeds when paired with compatible NVMe SSDs (2230 to 2280). Pimoroni claims that this accessory can achieve speeds of up to PCIe 3.0, providing users with faster boot times and highly responsive storage access.

Pimoroni NVMe Base + Raspberry Pi 5
(click image to enlarge)

Additionally, the NVMe Base includes a supplementary power connector for users requiring extra power for their NVMe SSDs. However, Pimoroni has found that the included flat flex cable suffices for a clean and efficient x1 connection, even for drives reaching speeds of over 800MB/s.

Pimoroni’s product page mentions that most modern PCIe 3 NVMe drives benchmark between 600-800MB/s. Similarly, the indicate that “for those adhering to the Raspberry Pi 5’s official PCIe 2 specifications, expect approximately half that speed, depending on the SSD’s internal caching and wear-leveling capabilities.”

Pimoroni NVMe Base + Raspberry Pi 5 bottom view
(click image to enlarge)

While the final design and hardware may see some changes, Pimoroni assures customers that the product will maintain its promised performance. The image below offers a glimpse of what the final product will look like.

NVMe Base for Raspberry Pi 5
(click image to enlarge)

Pimoroni has addressed a few queries on Twitter, clarifying that there are no immediate plans for a dedicated case, as the NVMe Base pairs well with the Active Cooler, offering a convenient solution. Regarding power concerns, Pimoroni reassured users that the included flat flex cable has handled the power demands of various drives, even those with a 3A@3V3 rating.

Further information

The NVMe Base for Raspberry Pi 5 is competitively priced at £13.50. Although currently out of stock, customers can sign up for notifications to stay informed about its availability. For those interested, Pineberry Pi also recently launched a similar expansion board for the Raspberry Pi 5 covered a few weeks ago.

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