Are you wondering what is PCIe 4.0 which is being mentioned recently on SSDs, GPUs, and other PC hardware’s feature list? Then you are in the right place as this article will discuss what is PCIe 4.0 actually and does it affects the gaming performance of your system. OR is PCIe 4.0 just a gimmick to make you buy newer hardware?
Just continue reading this article till last and you will get answer to all of these questions. And then you will be able to make a decision about weather you need to buy that latest hardware or not.
What is PCIe 4.0, PCI Express 4.0, PCIe Gen 4?
If we put in simple words PCIe 4.0 has double the throughput of PCIe 3.0. Now since you might be looking about what exactly is PCIe 4.0. It is fourth generation of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) interface.
Which means it will double the bandwidth available to graphics card, HDDs, SSDs, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet Cards(Only if your Processor and Motherboard also supports PCIe 4.0). Although Courtesy of AMD every latest Ryzen Processor already supports PCIe 4.0.
PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 are structurally very similar, with the key difference being the transfer rate which has increased in PCIe 4.0. Although sometimes there is also a difference in materials used to achieve this higher bandwidth.
This PCIe standard is how expansion cards communicate with your PC. And this higher bandwidth will allow a higher amount of data to be transferred within a given time. This means your devices will work faster compared to the PCIe 3.0(Only if your device supports PCIe 4.0). This will be especially beneficial for devices that need to transfer data at a very high speed like SSDs, GPUs, and Ethernet Cards.
How does PCIe 4.0 affects my current SSD or GPU?
PCIe 4.0 is backward compatible which means you can use a PCIe 4.0 GPU in a PCIe 3.0 motherboard, however, its capabilities will be limited by PCIe 3.0 slot. Conversely, you can also use a PCIe 3.0 GPU with a PCIe 4.0 motherboard but again the capabilities will be limited by PCIe 3.0 of GPU.
So if you have an older PCIe 3.0 GPU or SSD or any other device you don’t need to worry you can use it in your upgraded PCIe 4.0 motherboard. However, if you want to use the full capabilities of PCIe 4.0 you will need CPU, Motherboard, GPU, and SSD all PCIe 4.0 compatible.
Knowing that PCIe 4.0 supports faster data transfer speeds will it benefit gaming is a question a lot of you might be facing? So let’s see that.
Can PCIe 4.0 affect the Gaming Performance of a PC?
Yes PCIe 4.0 affect gaming performance compared to PCIe 3.0. But the performance difference is very small and almost none in most of the games as of now. Because as of now PCIe Bandwidth is not the bottleneck in gaming performance.
Most of the games even today doesn’t even have a performance difference even when played on PCIe 4.0 hardware. So if you are planning to get complete hardware PCIe 4.0 compatible just to get better performance in gaming, its not worth right now.
In the future, games might need higher bandwidth transfer than you might PCIe 4.0 for better performance but it’s not that worth it. That’s why I would not advise upgrading a PC. So who should get PCIe 4.0 compatible hardware?
Who Should get PCIe 4.0 Hardware?
Right now if your work needs faster data transfer from SSDs then PCIe 4.0 can really be a nice upgrade for you. Since a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD like Corsair MP600 has read speeds of nearly 5000 Megabytes per second(MBps). This is much faster than most high-performing PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD which hits around 3500 MBps.
This will be really beneficial for tasks like video editing which require faster data storage devices. And in SSD you can actually feel the performance difference. This will also improve your system’s boot time. But if your expecting this to affect gaming performance, then there will be a very small or no difference at all. Since most of the games don’t rely on fast drive speeds for performance. Although you should see games and in-game animations loading faster.
Is PCIe 4.0 just a gimmic?
No PCIe 4.0 is not a gimmick, since in the future it can be really helpful. When games will be bottlenecked by the bandwidth of PCIe, but since right now this is not the case this can be counted as a feature of the future. But if you are building a new gaming PC right now you can consider getting PCIe 4.0 compatible hardware. Since it will be future proof to meet the rise in hardware demands of games.
And right now prices of PCIe 4.0 compatible hardware have also fallen. Thanks to AMD every new Ryzen processor is PCIe 4.0 compatible. And Gigabyte also enabled PCIe 4.0 in older PCIe 3.0 motherboards via software update (Only selected motherboards). This ensures you can get most of the PCIe compatible hardware without spending much extra.
And your current investment might give you some good returns in the future when this becomes necessary. As games are becoming more resource-demanding day by day. And in the future games will need more powerful hardware and higher bandwidth.
Should I buy PCIe 4.0 compaitable Hardware Right now?
PCIe 4.0 hardware is getting cheaper day by day. And mainly all latest and powerful computer hardware is becoming PCIe 4.0 compatible. Specially Ryzen processors and their compatible motherboards. Now as almost every manufacturer is adopting PCIe 4.0, its sure thing that is will become mainstream in near future.
And considering there isn’t much price difference in the PCIe 4.0 motherboard and PCIe 3.0 (Especially in motherboard and Processor). Then it’s better to buy Motherboard and Processor which is PCIe 4.0 compatible.
Although While choosing GPU, SSD, or any other thing this relation might not work. Because the PCIe 4.0 compatible options in these things are still limited and even the price difference is high. This makes buying a PCIe 4.0 GPU or SSD not worth it. Since the price difference you pay might not give you the performance difference that you should get.
Unless you specifically need that faster bandwidth it might not be worth spending that money right now. And if you are buying a CPU and motherboard which is PCIe 4.0 compatible you can upgrade the GPU in the future. When the cost of PCIe 4.0 GPUs is low and there is an actual performance benefit in upgrading to those.
At last, it’s all up to you what to buy and what not to. But for my advice, I would suggest you do get a PCIe 4.0 compatible processor and motherboard now. And only buy other hardware like GPUs or SSDs if you really need that extra bandwidth. Else as your motherboard and processor are compatible you can always upgrade to them in the future when you actually need them.
I hope you like this article and thanks for reading till last.