What is PCIe 5.0?

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PCIe 5.0 is the fifth and latest generation of the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) interface technology, the widely used standard that allows peripherals and components including solid state hard drives to connect to a computer’s motherboard and communicate with the central processing unit (CPU). It promises to meet the growing need for faster and more efficient data storage and transfer solutions by doubling speed and bandwidth, reducing latency, and cutting down on boot and processing times.

This article delves into how PCIe 5.0 storage works, its advantages, and whether it’s a good investment to upgrade from its predecessor.

What Is PCIe 5.0?

The first generation of PCIe was introduced in 2003. PCIe 5.0 was introduced as a direct successor to PCIe 4.0 and is quickly becoming an popular alternative. It is both backward- and forward-compatible, meaning it will work with devices using past generations of PCIe as well as any future versions.

Because it supports 400 gigabit Ethernet and can handle nearly double the throughput of PCIe 4.0, it allows for high-speed networking and is mostly used by enterprise businesses and data centers that handle large amounts of data rather than individual users.

How Does PCIe 5.0 Affect SSD Storage?

Solid state hard drives (SSDs) are one of the computer components that benefit most from the higher speed capabilities of PCIe 5.0. With a data transfer rate of 64 GB/s, PCIe 5.0 allows for shorter boot times and faster application launches in addition to overall system performance improvements.

It also provides reliable high-speed data processing for such tasks as video editing and 3D rendering of large files. The effects of this increased speed are most notable when PCIe 5.0 drives are paired with other same-generation hardware components, such as high-performance graphics cards, as part of a harmonized ecosystem.

Both ends need to support the PCIe 5.0 standard to take advantage of it, so a PCIe 5.0 device connected to a motherboard that only supports PCIe 4.0 will be limited to the earlier standard’s speeds. As of mid 2023, very few PCIe 5.0 devices have launched, but SSDs are among those that have, with more coming onto the market all the time.

Benefits of Upgrading to PCIe 5.0

Upgrading to new PCIe 5.0 hardware can present numerous benefits over early versions, especially when combined with other high-speed data transfer and processing components.

Higher Bandwidth

PCIe 5.0 offers double the data transfer bandwidth of the previous version, allowing up to 400 GE/s per lane. The higher bandwidth results in faster data flow and higher rates of communication between the computer’s primary components and other hardware elements.

Faster Read/Write Speeds

Increased bandwidth also means faster read/write times for SSD storage, allowing for considerably faster file transfer and drastically reduced loading times.

Reduced Latency

Faster data transfer rates lead to a reduction in data latency, providing a more responsive and smoother user experience. This is particularly noticeable in data-intensive tasks such as gaming, video editing, 3D rendering, or pulling data from a data center.

Enhanced Performance for Data-Intensive Workloads

PCIe 5.0 interfaces enhance the performance of data-intensive frameworks and algorithms, such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and high-performance computing, all of which require high bandwidths to work optimally.


While still relatively new and exceeding the expectations of data centers and processing capabilities, upgrading to PCIe 5.0 prepares systems for the increased demands of higher data speeds, larger bandwidth, and less latency.

Cost of PCIe 5.0 SSDs

The average cost of a PCIe 5.0 SSD varies greatly depending on manufacturer and storage capacity, but are considerably higher than fourth generation devices. A June 2023 survey of drives revealed an average cost-per-terabyte (TB) of about $200. Expect the cost to drop and average drive capacities to climb as adoption and production increase and the technology becomes more mainstream.

Until then, PCIe 5.0 SSDs are a better fit for enterprise business with the budget and need to improve processing and data transfer speeds, and for professional individuals in need of smaller data storage quantities for their own use.

Bottom Line: PCIe 5.0 Storage

While PCIe 5.0 standard is still relatively new, with limited availability of components supporting it, it has pushed the boundaries of data processing and storage technology by providing reduced latency and higher bandwidth and transfer speeds. With its noticeable improvements over PCIe 4.0, it can prove a worthwhile investment for individual professionals and data-reliant corporations, despite a relatively steep price tag. As the technology becomes more widespread and easier to build, specs will continue to improve and prices will drop as availability and market choices grow.

Anina Ot
Anina Ot
Anina Ot is a contributor to Enterprise Storage Forum and Datamation. She worked in online tech support before becoming a technology writer, and has authored more than 400 articles about cybersecurity, privacy, cloud computing, data science, and other topics. Anina is a digital nomad currently based in Turkey.

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