Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) is a communication protocol of sorts that allows various PC parts – graphics card, storage, additional cards – to communicate with one another. The specifications and naming scheme are determined by the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG), and every time there’s an update they give it its own generation number – so we’ve had PCIe 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, etcetera. As always, new iterations of the standard work perfectly well with older ones; you won’t have any problems if you’re using something designed for an earlier version of PCIe along side the latest iteration of the technology.
5.0 vs 4.0 – What are the Benefits?
Every new generation of PCIe doubles the bandwidth of its predecessor, which is exactly what Gen 5.0 does
PCI-Express 5.0 vs. 4.0 Speeds
|PCIe 4.0||PCIe 5.0|
|x1 Bandwidth||2 GB/s||4 GB/s|
|x2 Bandwidth||4 GB/s||8 GB/s|
|x4 Bandwidth||8 GB/s||16 GB/s|
|x8 Bandwidth||16 GB/s||32 GB/s|
|x16 Bandwidth||32 GB/s||64 GB/s|
This additional bandwidth means that devices are capable of achieving the same throughput with less number of lanes. For example, a graphics card which requires 16 lanes to run at full speed can now achieve this goal with just 8 lanes, thus freeing up all those other 8 lanes for use.
What does this mean? For one, storage devices will be able to read and write files at twice the speed of earlier generations. This means they could reach up to 14000 megabytes per second (MB/s). Nowadays, regular SATA SSDs only work up to 500 megabytes per second (MB/s), which may seem quick but might not meet some people’s needs.
When Will PCIe 5.0 Be Available?
Most Intel Z690 chipset motherboards, including the Raptor Z55 model, support PCIe 5.0 NOW. While AMD has yet to announce when their next Ryzen refresh will come out, they did confirm it would be released in 2022 and also supported PCIe 5.0 technology.
At the time of writing, no devices supporting 5.0 are available… but we expect them soon! Word around the rumor mill is that NVIDIA’s newest Geforce RTX 4000 series will take advantage of 5.0 to greater degrees than previous models – although the extent of its capability and performance are still up in the air. Nonetheless, we anticipate NVMe storage drives running on 5.0 within the next few months; hope it’s sooner rather than later!