The Raspberry Pi 5 is the first single-board computer from Raspberry Pi to feature a PCIe interface for high-speed connections to SSDs and other peripherals. And the Raspberry Pi team is working on an official HAT that will make it easy for users to connect a PCIe NVMe SSD to the little computer.
But several other companies have beat Raspberry Pi to the punch by launching third-party solutions. Waveshare is the latest company to get in on the action, and the company’s new $9 PCIe to M.2 adapter for the Raspberry Pi 5 is the cheapest option yet.
The adapter measures 65 x 56.6mm and is designed to sit atop a Raspberry Pi 5 and connect to the little computer via a short ribbon cable that plugs into the Raspberry Pi 5’s single-lane PCIe 2.0 interface.
You can use the adapter with an M.2 2230 or M.2242 SSD thanks to screw holes in two different positions, allowing you to securely fasten drives of either size.
And since the board covers the 40-pin GPIO interface, it’s also designed to act as an extender, with a connector on the bottom of the board that extends the pins upward through the top.
Waveshare notes that you can also use the board on a Raspberry Pi 5 that’s been equipped with a fan or an active heat sink, but you’ll need to use the optional header extender that’s included in the kit to make that work.
Other features include power and activity LED, a power monitoring chip, and an EEPROM for storing the HAT ID and product information.
But those are priced at about $22, $28, and $15, respectively. And that makes the Waveshare adapter the most affordable option to date for adding a PCIe NVMe SSD to a Raspberry Pi 5.