There is no denying that the PCI-E hype train is not something that is going to die any time soon. After all, this is one of the most common interfaces that is being used, and without it, we will be deprived of so many connectivity options, and that is what we are trying to avoid, to begin with.
With that said, PCI-Express 4.0 is the latest generation and it definitely is something that you should be concerned about as it is slowly making the waves in the market, and is working wonders, too. For starters, it is great for a lot of purposes, and it is only going to get better.
However, PCI-Express 4.0 is still relatively new, which means that a lot of people have zero information on this new generation. That is why we have decided to bring you this guide that will help you understand what PCI-Express 4.0 is all about and how it can help you in your future builds.
What the Hype is All About
Before you go ahead and spend all your money on a new motherboard and CPU, it is important to understand what the hype is all about. After all, there is no point in buying something that is not going to give you a good performance overall and we are here to avoid that, in the first place.
The PCI-Express 4.0 is a lot faster than its predecessor, and we are going to tell you just how fast.
|Raw Bit Rate||Link BW||BW/Lane/Way||Total BW x16|
|PCI-E 1.x||2.5 GT/s||2 Gb/s||250 MB/s||8 GB/s|
|PCI-E 2.x||5.0 GT/s||4 Gb/s||500 MB/s||16 GB/s|
|PCI-E 3.x||8.0 GT/s||8 Gb/s||~1 GB/s||~32 GB/s|
|PCI-E 4.x||16 GT/s||16 Gb/s||~ 2 GB/s||~ 64 GB/s|
Just by looking at the chart above, you can tell that the PCI-Express 4.0 is a lot faster, and it is fast in every single way. However, you have to understand that just because the new generation is faster does not mean that you are going to say the same results across the board.
Is PCI-Express 4.0 Worth it in Gaming?
This is not the first time we are asking this question. The same question has been repeated in the past when people talked about PCI-Express 3.0 when it first came out, and now this is being presented again. So, is PCI-Express 4.0 better in gaming?
Well, not really. The new generation does scale, but the difference is within the margin of error. This means that if you are jumping platforms and spending more money for the sake of getting more frames that are not going to happen.
I am using RTX 3080 with Intel Core i7 8700K, and the difference has been minimal when comparing with a Ryzen 7 3600X with PCI-Express 4.0 support. I ran a slew of games to see whether there is a difference or not. Sadly, the difference is not there, or at least to an extent where it could make a difference.
Storage is a Different Story Altogether
We are already aware of the fact that when you are talking about gaming, the performance difference is not there. However, that does not mean that PCI-Express 4.0 is useless. The real difference it makes is in the case of storage where it shines and outperforms everything that we have seen before.
Take the Samsung 980 Pro as an example, this NVMe PCI-Express 4.0 SSD is capable of delivering up to 7,000 MB/s of transfer rate, which is an insane achievement considering how the PCI-Express 3.0 used to go as high as 3,500 MB/s. You are seeing double the performance here.
Again, for a lot of people, this difference is not going to be noticeable immediately, but if you are someone who has a lot of workflow revolving around data transfer, loading, and dumping, you are at the right place, as this is something that is needed.
I understand that every time there is a new generation, these articles become relevant again. There is no denying that PCI-Express 4.0 is amazing in terms of storage performance but if you are looking for a reason to upgrade just for the sake of gaming, you might want to wait for newer generations or something else altogether because of the performance difference here is non-existent.