PCIe Gen 5 SSD – Availability and Specs

We’re fortunate to work in an industry where there are always new and exciting things around the corner. From DDR5 to NVIDIA’s ADA architecture to 192 core workstations, hardware just keeps getting faster and more capable of handling extreme workloads. One highly anticipated component is the PCIe Gen 5 SSD. The first Gen 5 SSDs are hitting the market now, but how fast are they really?

PCIe Gen 5 (PCI Express Gen 5)

First, an overview. PCIe Gen 5 is the fifth generation of the PCI Express interface, which is used to connect various components like graphics cards, storage devices, and network adapters, to a computer’s motherboard. PCIe Gen 5 offers significant improvements in terms of data transfer rates over Gen 4. It doubles the maximum theoretical bandwidth per lane from 16 GT/s (gigatransfers per second) to 32 GT/s, resulting in a potential bandwidth of up to 64 GB/s for a 16-lane (x16) connection. It’s available on most current gen (Intel 700 and 600 series, AMD X670/B650) motherboards.

M.2 SSDs – Quick Review

Remember from previous posts – M.2 is a form factor for SSDs. The interface they use to connect to the board (ie PCIe or SATA) is the important spec in determining overall speed. M.2 SSDs using PCIe are also known as NVMe. Gen 4 NVMe drives have been available for a few years now, and offer 2-3x the total available speed of Gen 3 and around 10x boost over SATA. They’re very popular in our highest end builds.

Samsung SSD

PCIe Gen 5 SSD – How do they compare to Gen 4?

Now for the meat of the subject – how fast are Gen 5 drives really? As of this writing, there are only a few Gen 5 drives on the market and in stock. One of those is the Crucial T700, which we’ve qualified and tested in our Raptor Signature Edition and Raptor Z95. Let’s compare that drive to a few others:

2TB Crucial T700 (Gen 5)

2TB Samsung 990 Pro (Gen 4)

2TB Crucial P3 (Gen 3)

Sequential Read

12,400 MB/s

7,450 MB/s

3,500 MB/s

Sequential Write

11,800 MB/s

6,900 MB/s

3,000 MB/s

Random Read/Write

1500K IOPS

1400K IOPS


Endurance (TBW)

1200 TB

1200 TB

440 TB

Based on these specs, the Gen 5 T700 performs around +66% faster in terms of sequential read/writes than the fastest PCIe Gen 4 SSD and close to 3x faster than equivalent Gen 3 drive. When you keep the fact that the T700 is also first to market and that these devices will likely only get faster, the performance advantages of PCIe Gen 5 become very apparent.

It’s important to note though, that sequential read speeds are only part of the story. Random read speeds – essentially how quickly the PC finds smaller scattered data bits rather than large blocks – is an important measure of day-to-day performance. Though The Gen 5 drive still has an advantage there, the gap is much smaller, so whether you’ll be able to distinguish the speed difference depends on the specific application and usage. Just something to keep an eye on as this category matures.

Configure a PCIe Gen 5 SSD in one of our award winning Gaming PCs today!

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Josh has been with Velocity Micro since 2007 in various Marketing, PR, and Sales related roles. As the Director of Sales & Marketing, he is responsible for all Direct and Retail sales as well as Marketing activities. He enjoys Seinfeld reruns, the Atlanta Braves, and Beatles songs written by John, Paul, or George. Sorry, Ringo.

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