Why do some motherboards come with a extra M.2 screws? Because you’re almost guaranteed to lose one of the microscopic-sized retention screws while installing your SSD.
Major motherboard maker Asus, however, apparently got sick of dropping yet another metal screw into the bowels of a new PC and has brought in a simple plastic retention clip to hold a drive in place.
The retention clip looks to be integrated into standard M.2 mounts, but rather than using a jeweler’s screwdriver to carefully install it, you simply flip a plastic latch to lock the drive in place. You can see the clips below or to see it in action, visit the Asus ROG Twitter feed.
Let’s just say the change is welcome, as trying to install that M.2 mount with dry-chapped fingers and four cups of coffee almost always results in playing hide-and-seek with the screw. The video showing off the new retention system was part of the company’s Z590 board launch so we’ll likely see it there first, but we’d expect it to roll out other boards too.
Plastic M.2 retention clips aren’t actually new, and OEMs have done this for years. Asus itself has used a plastic zip-tie like mount on its vertical-mount M.2 slots. In any case, this is a welcome change for its ROG line of motherboards, and we hope other motherboard makers adopt similar approaches to mounting M.2 drives.
The only thing that could make installing an M.2 less annoying is to stop hiding every drive under an aluminum cover that requires you to disassemble half your system just to access the drive.