PCI Express 3.0 is officially out to members of the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG); the group has listed the specifications on its website. With the specifications officially available, we should soon see the next generation of motherboards and GPUs featuring the high-speed interface make their way into the market.
Under the new specifications, devices equipped with PCIe 3.0 will be able to transfer data at speeds of nearly 1GB/sec. This is double of the existing transfer rates under PCIe 2.0. No doubt the transfer rate is for a single lane in a single direction, but with a 16-lance connection, this would translate into a bandwidth that is almost 32GB/sec.
Alongside the higher data transfer rates, the PCI-SIG has also cleared a new 128b/130b encoding scheme that makes PCIe 3.0 nearly 25 per cent more efficient than the existing specification. So while data-rate has only gone from 5GT/sec to 8GT/sec, the effective bandwidth has doubled.
The best part about PCIe 3.0 however is that if the fully backward compatible with all existing standards. This means most existing and older GPUs will work just as smoothly with new motherboards sporting the new specifications. Perhaps the only drawback or perhaps shortfall for PCIe 3.0 is its release timing – both Intel and AMD have already announced their complete new series of chips and will still carry PCIe 3.0. So it might be some time before the new specifications come into regular use.
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