Argon40's Latest Argon ONE Case Packs a Raspberry Pi 5, M.2 NVMe Slot, and Even Analog Audio

Latest revision of the iconic Argon ONE case design includes a wealth of improvements, from a new cooling fan to M.2 support.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoHW101

Raspberry Pi accessory maker Argon40 has launched a new variant of its Argon ONE case, built specifically for the Raspberry Pi 5 — and featuring an adapter board to slide a high-speed M.2 Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) drive into its base.

"Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVME Case further expands your Raspberry Pi 5 potential with included M.2 NVME Expansion Board support," Argon40 writes of its latest launch. "Boot your Raspberry Pi 5 from an NVME M.2 drive. Versatile M.2 NVME support compatible with any M.2 NVME with M-Key up to 2280 size."

The new case is a return to form for Argon40, after it branched out from its core ONE design to deliver the Argon EON — an unusual prism-shaped housing that turned a Raspberry Pi 4 into a four-bay network-attached storage (NAS) device. The Argon ONE V3, by contrast, uses the company's iconic wedge-shaped design — though hides an M.2 PCI Express slot at the bottom.

The Argon ONE V3 accepts any model of Raspberry Pi 5 and brings its Ethernet and USB ports out to the rear. A bundled adapter board converts the two micro-HDMI ports into full-size versions and routes those to the same place, along with the USB Type-C power connector and a 3.5mm audio jack — unusable unless you pick up the company's optional analog audio accessory. Finally, there's a power button that provides power-on and soft-off functionality.

The Raspberry Pi's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header is brought out at the top of the case, hidden — as is usual for the Argon ONE family — under a magnetic cover. A plastic section at the front hides an infrared receiver, but it's the underside where the real interest lies: a removable metal heatsink covering an M.2 slot, connecting to the Raspberry Pi 5's new PCI Express lane for high-speed storage — or, should you wish, the installation of an accelerator for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) workloads.

The M.2 drive is cooled passively by the metal heatsink, while the Raspberry Pi 5's system-on-chip and power management circuitry are connected to the upper chassis to bleed off their own heat — and a built-in 30mm blower-type fan, with pulse-width modulation (PWM) for speed control, can kick in if things start to get toasty.

The Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVMe case is listed on Argon40's store at $49 including the M.2 adapter board, though at the time of writing was out of stock; the "BLSTR DAC" add-on to enable the 3.5mm analog audio jack is an additional $25. For those who don't need M.2 support, a cheaper version of the Argon ONE V3 is listed at $30 without M.2 adapter board.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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