The prototype PCIe 5.0 SSD is already twice as fast as today’s best drives
Kioxia gave us a glimpse into the future of SSDs, and it’s blazingly fast. With a prototype using the upcoming PCIe 5.0 protocol, the company managed to explode into the stratosphere with sequential read speeds of up to 14,000MB / s.
Kioxia compares its prototype to a PCIe 4.0 drive, the Kioxia CM6. This gets about 6,900MB / s sequential read and 4200MB / s sequential write, which is easily overwritten by the 14,000MB / s sequential read and 7,000MB / s sequential write of the prototype PCIe 5.0. The same goes for random read / write performance, which is important for fast PC performance, where the PCIe 5.0 prototype manages 2,500,000 IOPS out of the 1,400 of the PCIe 4.0 drive.
Latency is also reduced to 70 s read and 10 s write with the fastest prototype. Which means it’s generally faster in all areas.
So PCIe 5.0 is another huge performance milestone, although I guess that goes without saying given that the new standard doubles the maximum bandwidth of PCIe 4.0. This means that the higher PCIe 5.0 drive could, in theory, hit just under 16 GB / s.
And it is quite an achievement for even a first prototype (via WCCFTech) to approach the maximum bandwidth offered for PCIe 5.0 disks.
As is usually the case, we’ll see these fast drives making their way into the enterprise and data center markets before hitting our gaming PCs. But that’s probably not a big deal for PC gaming, because we haven’t seen a single PCIe 5.0 compatible processor or chipset yet.
These will appear first with Intel’s Alder Lake over the next few months, and you can bet the drives that are fast enough won’t be long after that.
You could argue that the initial impact of high-speed SSDs won’t be particularly pronounced in gaming workloads, but could increase as new technologies are released, such as DirectStorage.
For just about everything else, however, a faster SSD is a treat. And it won’t just be Kioxia with all-new drives, other manufacturers will follow suit once controllers that are fast enough go into mass production.