Pimoroni launches a new add-on for the Raspberry Pi 5- Aims to beat Raspberry Pi’s own M.2 HAT+ in both performance and availability

Pimoroni launches a new add-on for the Raspberry Pi 5- Aims to beat Raspberry Pi’s own M.2 HAT+ in both performance and availability

Pimoroni just launched the NVMe Base, a new add-on for the Raspberry Pi 5. It boosts storage and speed by connecting with NVMe SSDs (those in sizes 2230 to 2280). PCIe 3.0, promises faster boot times and quick access to storage. The NVMe Base is straightforward, making your Raspberry Pi 5 work better and look sleek. It’s practical for various uses, especially when you need speedy and reliable project storage.

Moreover, the NVMe Base comes with an extra power connector, handy for users needing more power for their NVMe SSDs. Yet, Pimoroni has observed that the provided flat flex cable works well for a neat and effective x1 connection, even with drives achieving speeds exceeding 800MB/s.


On Pimoroni’s product page, it’s noted that most modern PCIe 3 NVMe drives typically benchmark in the range of 600-800MB/s. They also highlight that for users following the Raspberry Pi 5‘s official PCIe 2 specifications, the speed would be roughly half of that, influenced by the SSD’s internal caching and wear-leveling capabilities.


A notable aspect of the Raspberry Pi 5’s release earlier this year was the introduction of a user-accessible PCI Express Gen. 2 lane, marking a first for a mainline Raspberry Pi board. However, this lane is exposed through a custom flat flexible circuit (FFC) cable connector, and the Raspberry Pi hardware team has recently shared its specifications. Pimoroni wants to reassure customers that, while there might be a few tweaks in the final design and hardware, the NVMe Base will still deliver on its promised performance. A preview image provides a glimpse of what the end product will look like.

Responding to questions on Twitter, Pimoroni clarified that there aren’t immediate plans for a dedicated case. Instead, they suggest that the NVMe Base pairs well with the Active Cooler, offering a practical solution. Addressing concerns about power, Pimoroni assured users that the included cable can handle the power needs of various drives, even those with a 3A@3V3 rating.

NVMe Base for the Raspberry Pi 5 is competitively priced at  £13.50. Although currently out of stock, customers can sign up to receive notifications about its availability. Additionally, Pineberry Pi introduced a similar expansion board for the Raspberry Pi 5 a few weeks ago. It expands upon the top variant by accommodating larger M.2 format sizes, including the 2280. This capability is crucial for applications that necessitate high-volume data storage.

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