Thought current SSDs were fast? Wait till you see PCIe 6.0 SSD speeds

How much faster can it get?

pcie 6.0 ssd speeds compatibility
Image via Explaining Computers

The latest motherboards from AMD and Intel have just started implementing the PCIe 5.0 standard, but the next-generation PCIe 6.0 is already on its way.  PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) recently announced its final specification and is in line with its roadmap to double PCIe speeds with every new generation. 

Why are PCIe speeds important?

PCIe slots are the interface between the motherboard and add-on components like GPUs, SSDs, and Wi-Fi cards. Having faster data speeds means that more information can be stored and seeked, enabling ever larger in-game worlds populated with more characters, textures, details and more. 

How fast is PCIe 6.0?

The new PCIe 6.0 standard will have data transfer rates of around 256GB/s on a 16-lane configuration. To put that into perspective, most users are still using PCIe 3.0, going up to 16GB/s, or PCIe 4.0 with speeds of up to 32GB/s. Intel’s latest 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs are the first to include PCIe 5.0, with speeds of 128GB/s, and AMD’s forthcoming Ryzen 7000 Series will follow suit later this year. 

Image: PCI Sig

PCIe 6.0 compatibility

Like the standards before it, PCIe 6.0 will be backward compatible with older equipment. While it’s possible for different generations to work together, users won’t get the best performance because the speed will be limited to the capabilities of the older device. 

When will PCIe 6.0 SSDs be available?

Considering that PCIe 5.0 was finalized way back in 2019 and is only being implemented now, there’ll be a long wait until PCIe 6.0 equipment hits the shelves. Since the technology is also used in servers and data centers that require the fastest speeds, it makes sense for them to implement PCIe 6.0 first before it trickles down to regular PCs. With PCIe 5.0 equipment only appearing now, it will probably be another couple of years until PCIe 6.0 becomes available to the public.