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Pimoroni’s NVMe Base Duo Brings New Storage Options to Raspberry Pi 5

Mar 8, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 420 views

This week, Pimoroni introduced the NVMe Base Duo, a new storage solution for Raspberry Pi 5 users. It accommodates either one or two M-key NVMe SSDs, ranging from sizes 2230 to 2280. Designed to enhance the Raspberry Pi 5, this device provides a practical method for expanding storage capacity.

Leveraging PCIe Gen 2 technology, the board is optimized for tasks that demand rapid storage access, like file servers or media centers. However, it’s important to note that while it can support PCIe Gen 3 SSDs or better, it is restricted to Gen 2 speeds, offering a total throughput of approximately 450MB/sec.

Pimoroni NVMe Base Duo bottom view
(click image to enlarge)

The NVMe Base Duo’s design allows for a compact and stable configuration, mountable above or below the Raspberry Pi and equipped with rubber feet for extra stability. It connects reliably via a ‘PCIe Flex’ cable, and Pimoroni includes a complete mounting kit for both SSD and base.

One limitation of the NVMe Base Duo is the current inability of the Raspberry Pi 5 to boot from the SSDs attached to it. This is due to firmware restrictions, which might change in future updates. Therefore, users should ensure that their Raspberry Pi OS and firmware are regularly updated to leverage all available features.

Pimoroni NVMe Base Duo side view
(click image to enlarge)

For optimal performance with the NVMe Base Duo, it’s important to power off the Raspberry Pi during installation or removal according to Pimoroni. The company also provides detailed firmware update instructions and a list of compatible SSDs on their product page for convenience.

Pimoroni NVMe Base Duo kit
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

The NVMe Base Duo is currently available for pre-order with an estimated arrival in mid-April 2024. Orders will be shipped when all items are in stock. The standalone NVMe Base Duo is priced at £30. Bundle options include the NVMe Base Duo with 500GB (2x250GB) SSD for £91.80, and the NVMe Base Duo with 1000GB (2x500GB) SSD for £115.50.

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