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Add ultra-fast SSD storage to your system with our top recommendation for the best U.2 SSD PCIe Cards. These PCIe adapters will let you connect U.2 NVMe SSD drives to your desktop, server, or workstation that does not support U.2 drives natively. A PCIe x4 (or higher) expansion slot is required.

U.2 NVMe solid-state drives deliver more storage capacity and super high transfer speeds for your PC. They are great for enterprises and professionals who demand higher bandwidth with high read and write IOPS performance to store and transfer large files like raw photos, ultra-high definition videos, and other heavy workloads.

U.2 NVMe SSDs are popular in enterprise systems and servers but not in client systems. However, some motherboards still come with one or two U.2 connectors. The good news is you can add U.2 NVMe SSDs to any motherboard that has a PCIe x4 expansion slot using a U.2 SSD PCIe Card.

Choosing the Best U.2 SSD PCIe Cards

U.2 drives were formally known as SFF-8639 drives before they were renamed to U.2 (easy to remember). SFF-8639 is the connector used by U.2 drives, but you will find some U.2 SSD PCIe Cards with an SFF-8643 connector. Both connectors offer the same performance, but there are minor differences.

U.2 SSD PCIe Cards with an SFF-8643 connector requires an SFF-8643 to U.2 (SFF-8639) cable to connect the U.2 SSD. That means you’ve to do some cable management and find 2.5-inch drive bays in the system to mount your SSD.

SFF-8639 U.2 SSD PCIe Cards, on the other hand, don’t require cables or drive bays. These adapters have the SFF-8639 connector and mounting holes on the board, so you just slide your SSD in the connector, screw it in place, and attach it to your PCIe expansion slot. They are the best if you want a clean and clutter-free desktop.

Apart from the two connectors, choosing the best U.2 SSD PCIe card will depend on your needs, such as budget and number of drives you want to mount. Most U.2 NVMe drives will perform the same across different adapters. This roundup includes the top U.2 SSD PCIe Cards, budget options, and multi-port adapters.

Which is Best? U.2, M.2, or SATA

U.2 drives are similar to 2.5-inch SATA drives in shape. They have the same dimensions, same mounting screw hole pattern but different connectors. Unlike SATA SSDs, U.2 NVMe SSDs use PCIe 3.0 X4 (four PCIe lanes) interface that delivers a theoretical bandwidth of 32 Gbps (4 GBps). Thus, U.2 drives are much faster than SATA SSDs, which are limited to 6 Gbps bandwidth.

Current PCIe 3.0 U.2 SSDs, such as Micron 9300 SSD, consistently deliver sequential read/write speed of up to 3500 MBps, which is 7x the speed of the fastest SATA drives.

There is no much performance difference between U.2 and M.2 drives. Both use the same PCIe x4 interface and have the same type of flash memory storage, so they are capable of similar transfer speeds. The only difference may arise from their electrical design.

But U.2 drives have more advantages in the enterprise market than M.2. With their 2.5-inch form factor, U.2 drives can stack more flash-memory chips, which means higher storage capacity. Also, these drives are designed with their outer casing acting like heatsinks for better heat dissipation. They can run at incredible speeds without heatsinks or fans, unlike M.2 drives.

The largest M.2 capacity available is 4TB, while you can find U.2 NVMe drives with higher capacities up to 16TB, such as the Micron 9300 Pro.

However, if you prefer the small form factor of M.2 drives, we have roundups of the best M.2 SSDs and best NVMe PCIe adapters if your motherboard does not have an M.2 slot.

The Best U.2 SSD PCIe Cards Available Now

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
StarTech U.2 to PCIe Adapter on Amazon
StarTech U.2 to PCIe AdapterInterface: SFF-8639 (SFF-8643 available)
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x4
No of Drives: 1
SATA Port: No
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Ableconn PEXU2-131 on Amazon
Ableconn PEXU2-131Interface: SFF-8643
PCIe Interface: PCIe 4.0 x4
No of Drives: 1
SATA Port: No
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MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card on Amazon
MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion CardInterface: SFF-8639
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x4
No of Drives: 1
SATA Port: Yes, 1 Port.
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Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 on Amazon
Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2Interface: SFF-8639
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x16 (PCIEX8)
No of Drives: 2
SATA Port: No
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DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I on Amazon
DiLiVing LRNV9324-4IInterface: SFF-8643
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x8
No of Drives: 4
SATA Port: No
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DiLiVing LRNV9349-8I on Amazon
DiLiVing LRNV9349-8IInterface: SFF-8643
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x16
No of Drives: 8
SATA Port: No
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IO CREST SI-PEX40151 on Amazon
IO CREST SI-PEX40151Interface: SFF-8643
PCIe Interface: PCIe 3.0 x8
No of Drives: 2
SATA Port: No
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1. StarTech U.2 to PCIe Adapter – Best U.2 SSD PCIe Card

Our top recommendation for the best U.2 SSD PCIe Card comes from StarTech, one of the companies making top-of-the-line PC accessories and gadgets. The company has been around for a while, so expect better build quality and reliability than the cheaper offerings.

StarTech has both SFF-8639 and SFF-8643 U.2 SSD PCIe Cards (available on the same Amazon link). The SFF-8639 is ideal if you don’t want extra cable dangling in your system. The SSD connects directly to the adapter, with no cables needed. No added latency. The SFF-8643, however, is cheaper yet delivers almost the same read/write speeds.

StarTech U.2 to PCIe Adapters are compatible with most U.2 2.5″ NVMe SSDs and PCIe 3.0 motherboards. You can also add PCIe NVMe U.2 SSD to your aging PCIe 2.0 or 1.0 motherboard. Installation is easy. Slide the SSD directly to the SFF-8639 model, or use the provided SFF-8643 to U.2 cable. Connect the adapter to your system via a PCIe x4 (or x8/x16) expansion slot. The adapters are plug and play on both Mac and PC.

OUR TAKE
StarTech U.2 to PCIe Adapter provides an easy way to add enterprise-class PCIe NVMe U.2 SSDs to boost system speed and performance. The StarTech adapters are reliable and plug-and-play on most systems. Unless you’re on a tight budget, these are the best U.2 SSD PCIe cards that we recommend.
PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Low-profile bracket included
  • Backward compatible with PCIe 2.0 and 1.0 motherboards
  • Plug and play
  • Hassle-free setup
CONS

  • There are cheaper alternatives

2. Ableconn PEXU2-131 – Cheapest SFF-8643 U.2 SSD PCIe Card

Ableconn PEXU2-131 is the best cheap U.2 SSD PCIe Card for PC and servers. It comes with an SFF-8643 form factor, so you need a cable to connect a U.2 solid-state drive. Surprisingly, Ableconn does not ship this adapter with the SFF-8643 to U.2 cable, and getting one means extra costs. The adapter comes with a low profile bracket installed and a regular profile PCIe bracket included in the box.

The adapter has a PCI Express 4.0 x4 interface and one SFF-8643 port for your SSD. It works with the latest PCIe 4.0 motherboards and last-gen PCI Express mobos. Like the StarTech, the Ableconn PEXU2-131 adapter is plug-and-play on all operating systems with no drivers required. There is no substantial performance difference between this adapter and the more expensive StarTech adapter. Only the build quality is in question.

OUR TAKE
Don’t spend much if you just want a functioning U.2 SSD PCIe adapter. The Ableconn PEXU2-131 provides everything you need to add a high-performance U.2 SSD to your desktop or server without costing a premium. However, you will still have to buy the SFF-8643 to U.2 cable to connect your SSD. Overall, this is a great affordable U.2 to PCIe adapter that works.
PROS

  • Cheap
  • Supports PCI Express 4.0
  • Backward compatible with PCIe 3.0
  • Plug and play
  • Regular and low-profile bracket included
CONS

  • SFF-8643 to U.2 cable not included

3. MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card – Cheapest SFF-8639 U.2 SSD PCIe Card

MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card is another cheap U.2 to PCIe adapter, but with an SFF-8639 connector. It’s a great budget alternative if you want a clean and clutter-free desktop. Again, only the build quality and overall reliability may not match the top recommendation, but this adapter is as good as the premium ones in terms of performance. Ensure to pair it with the best U.2 NVMe SSD.

One of the best features of the MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card is the additional SATA connector. This card supports both U.2 SSDs and SATA SSDs.

The installation process is straightforward. Slide and secure your 2.5″ U.2 SSD to the adapter and connect the adapter to a PCIe x4 slot or higher. If using a SATA drive, the adapter ships with a SATA cable to connect the motherboard SATA port. MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card works on both Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Windows 7 users need to install drivers. To get the best performance from your U.2 SSD, ensure the motherboard supports NVMe.

OUR TAKE
The MZHOU U.2 PCI-E Expansion Card is another cheap U.2 SSD PCIe card to add a high-performance U.2 drive to a desktop, server, or workstation. Unlike other cheap adapters, you’re getting a SATA port for SATA SSDs, providing even better value for your money. It’s the most affordable way to add U.2 drives and maintain your systems cable management.
PROS

  • Cheap
  • Supports U.2 SSDs and SATA drives
  • Clean installation with no cable requires
  • Plug and play
CONS

  • No low-profile bracket included

4. Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 – Dual U.2 SSD PCIe Card

Do you have a 2019 Mac Pro? This Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 SSD PCIe card lets you add up to 32TB of SSD storage with twice the speeds of the 2019 Mac Pro’s SSD storage. It is also compatible with Windows/Linux desktop systems and Thunderbolt to PCIe expansion systems. The adapter supports two U.2 NVMe SSDs with a total capacity of up to 32TB.

The Sonnet U.2 SSD PCIe card may be expensive for a two-port adapter, but you’re getting excellent build quality worthy of the price. It has the best aesthetics, especially if using it with a Mac Pro. There are two SFF-8639 connectors onboard, so no cables or drive bays are required to mount your U.2 SSDs. This adapter uses a full PCIe x16 interface running at x8, four lanes dedicated to each U.2 SSD, ensuring the best read/write speeds possible.

One of the best features of the Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 is RAID support. Sonnet claims the adapter can deliver up to 6,250MBps sustained data transfer speeds with RAID 0 setup or configure RAID 1 for fault tolerance and redundancy.

The Sonnet adapter is by far the most feature-packed. It supports multiple RAID arrays, supports booting from a single SSD (macOS only), and it is compatible with Thunderbolt 3 PCIe expansion enclosures, like the new Sonnet Echo 3 Desktop. If you want the best U.2 SSD PCIe card with no compromises, we recommend the Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2.

OUR TAKE
The Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 is the best U.2 SSD PCIe card that you can buy right now. But its steep price means it is not an option for everyone. We recommend this card for all Mac Pro users and professional users ready to pay a premium to get those higher read/write speeds, more storage capacity, and very reliable build quality. If you have a Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe expansion enclosure, the Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 is your best option.
PROS

  • Supports two U.2 NVMe SSDs
  • Clean and clutter-free setup
  • Supports RAID 0/1 arrays
  • Great aesthetics
  • macOS boot support
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 3 expansion systems
  • PCIe bifurcation not required
CONS

  • Not the best value

5. DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I – 4 Port U.2 SSD PCIe Card

DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I is a great U.2 SSD PCIe card that supports up to four U.2 drives through SFF-8643 connectors. It’s great for users who demand more storage space and faster transfer speeds like professional photographers, creative pros, and enterprises. The DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I adapter has the same price range as the Sonnet Fusion Dual U.2 yet provides two more U.2 ports. But there is a trade-off.

This adapter uses a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface, meaning you only get four PCIe lanes with two U.2 drives attached. When all ports are populated, each drive gets only two PCIe lanes, limiting the transfer speeds.

DiLiVing offers another 4 Port U.2 SSD PCIe Card with a PCIe x16 interface. We will update the article once the adapter is available for shipping. This specific model comes with SFF-8643 connectors, which need SFF-8643 to U.2 cables to connect SSDs. There is a small heatsink attached to prevent overheating problems, which may cause bottlenecks. The adapter includes a low-profile bracket for small form factor systems.

OUR TAKE
The DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I is a great way to add ultra-fast and extra-large storage capacity to your old motherboard, servers, or workstation. It’s good value for the money, especially if you want to increase the storage capacity in your system. However, you may not get the best performance from your U.2 drives when all four ports are populated. Currently, it is the only option available unless you want to buy more than one adapter.
PROS

  • Supports four U.2 NVMe SSDs, more storage capacity
  • Great value
  • Low-profile bracket included
  • Built-in chipset heatsink
CONS

  • Low performance when maxed out

6. DiLiVing LRNV9349-8I – 8 Port U.2 SSD PCIe Card

If four U.2 NVMe drives are not enough, the DiLiVing LRNV9349-8I with eight U.2 connectors will surely meet your needs. It’s a great adapter for enterprises and businesses or professionals who demand more storage capacity for storing large video projects, multiple AAA games, or critical business data. With some U.2 NVMe SSDs supporting larger capacities up to 16TB, that’s a lot of storage with eight such drives.

The adapter comes with a full PCIe 3.0 interface, but it may still not deliver the best performance from your SSDs when maxed out.

Like the four-port DiLiVing LRNV9324-4I, this adapter also uses SFF-8643 connectors, which need extra cabling to connect the SSDs. With eight SSDs and cables attached, you should be good at cable management. The adapter has an active heatsink with a fan to prevent overheating and ships with a low profile bracket for SFF systems.

OUR TAKE
With eight U.2 ports, the DiLiVing LRNV9349-8I meets the needs of power users and professionals who want more storage space. It’s well designed with a fan to ensure maximum performance at lower temperatures. There are cheaper and better adapters, but we recommend this 8-port U.2 SSD PCIe card for extra-large capacity SSD storage.
PROS

  • More storage capacity with eight U.2 NVMe SSDs
  • Onboard active heatsink with a fan
  • Low profile bracket included
CONS

  • Cable management is a mess

7. IO CREST Dual U.2 Ports to PCIe 3.0 x8 Bifurcation Riser Controller Card – High-end U.2 SSD PCIe Card

IO CREST SI-PEX40151 is a dual-port U.2 SSD PCIe adapter engineered for use in almost every motherboard. Most multi-port U.2 SSD PCIe adapters require a motherboard that supports PCIe bifurcation in the BIOS to detect all the SSDs. Without PCIe bifurcation, your system may only detect one SSD, no matter how many you connect on the adapter.

The IO CREST SI-PEX40151, however, does not require PCIe bifurcation support. It uses the ASMedia ASM2824 switch to split any non-bifurcation PCIe x8 slot into x4/x4, letting you add two U.2 NVMe drives to your system.

The native PCIe bifurcation support makes the adapter compatible with most motherboards, servers, and workstations. The U.2 SSD drives achieve their full potential with four PCIe lanes each, providing faster read/write speeds.

The only downside with the IO CREST SI-PEX40151 is the SFF-8643 connectors. You’ll have to do some cable management and find extra 2.5-inch drive bays to mount the SSDs. The adapter ships with two SFF-8643 to U.2 SFF-8639 cables and a low profile bracket.

OUR TAKE
IO CREST SI-PEX40151 is a great U.2 SSD PCIe card perfect for systems that have limited Pie bifurcation capabilities. It’s a dual port U.2 PCIe adapter, supporting up to 32TB of SSD storage. It may be expensive than the recommended Sonnet dual U.2 SSD PCIe adapter, but if your systems don’t support PCIe bifurcation, the IO CREST SI-PEX40151 is the best option.
PROS

  • Supports two U.2 NVMe SSDs
  • Does not require PCIe bifurcation to detect all SSDs
  • Low profile bracket and U.2 cables included
  • Chipset heatsink to prevent thermal problems
  • Plug-and-play on Mac, Windows, and Linux
CONS

  • There are cheaper alternatives

Best U.2 SSD PCIe Cards Frequently Asked Questions

Which is faster, SATA or U.2?

U.2 NVMe SSDs are faster than SATA drives. U.2 drives can hit speeds up to 3500 MBps compared to 550 MBps of SATA SSDs.

Which is faster M.2 or U.2?

Both M.2 and U.2 NVMe drives can have the same performance since both use PCIe x4 bus. Which one is faster depends on the actual model and capacity.

Will a U.2 SSD PCIe Card work with SATA SSD?

No. SATA and U.2 SSDs may have the same design and dimensions but use different connectors. Some U.2 SSD PCIe Cards provide an additional SATA port so you can hook in SATA SSDs.

Do U.2 SSDs support NVMe?

Yes. All U.2 solid-state drives support NVMe protocol. Rest assured of the best transfer speeds compared to SATA will less power consumption.

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