PCI-E 3.0 has been with us for six long years and while this standard still does a great job, its successor – PCI-E 4.0 – is around the corner. While you may wonder if an upgrade is worth it, PCI-E 4.0 does come with at least two new great features that may urge you to make the move when the right time comes.
According to some preliminary information PCI-E 4.0 will double the available bandwidth compared to PCI-E 3.0. The new standard will provide bandwidth of 16 GT/sec per lane. This means that x1 devices will get 1.97 GB/sec of bandwidth, x4 devices will enjoy 7.87 GB/sec, x8 devices 15.75 GB/sec and x16 devices will have access to 31.5 GB/sec of data. What’s even better is that PCI-E 4.0 will quadruple the power provided by the PCI-E slot. PCI-E 3.0 provides 75W of power and this means that PCI-E 4.0 will offer 300W of power just through the slot. If this is true then most current and future video cards will not need an additional power connector. Unfortunately here we may encounter some incompatibility issues with older video cards but we hope than motherboard makers will figure a way out of this.
The final PCI-E 4.0 specs are expected later this year.