PCIe 7: A major bandwidth upgrade for your PC

PCIexpress 7, or PCIe 7, is the next (next) generation of PCI Express technology that will increase the available bandwidth for all add-in cards on your desktop PC. I know, I know — you may still be working on upgrading to PCIe 5. Don’t worry, this one’s at least a couple of years away.

But when it does land, it promises to unlock the potential for even greater graphics performance, and open up future generation NVMe SSDs for even faster read and write speeds. In total, it’ll quadruple the available bandwidth over existing PCIe 5 slots, along with making improvements to efficiency and latency. Here’s everything we know about PCI Express 7 so far.

MSI MEG X670E Godlike motherboard.

What is PCIe 7?

PCI Express 7 is an upcoming generation of expansion port for computer motherboards. It’s an advanced version of existing PCI Express connectors that allow graphics cards and other add-in cards, like USB hubs and high-speed network cards, to connect to the computer.

The latest publicly available generation of PCI Express technology at the time of writing is PCIe 5. It’s found on some motherboards and there is a limited range of NVMe SSDs which can utilize its high-bandwidth connection. Modern graphics cards are compatible with PCIe 5, but they do not require it to run at peak performance.

The next-generation of PCI Express will be PCIe 6, with PCIe 7 set to follow it sometime later.

PCI SIG PCIe speed chart.

How fast is PCIe 7?

PCIexpress 7’s has a per lane transfer rate of 128 Gbps. That’s double that of PCIe 6, and quadruple that of PCIe 5.

In a standard graphics card x16 slot, this would work out to a total bandwidth of 512 GBps. The PCI SIG interest group that defines and develops PCIe technology, claims that PCIe 7 will also benefit from reduced latency and improved power efficiency. It will also be backward compatible with all previous generations of PCIe technology.

PCI SIG believes that PCIe 7 will be utilized for high-end graphics cards, but also for enabling up to 800 Gbps Ethernet connections, and artificial intelligence calculations.

A big benefit of this high per-lane data rate, however, will be in enabling higher-speed connections in smaller PCIe slots. A PCIe 7 x1 slot will offer the same bandwidth as a PCIe 4 x16 slot, making it possible for high-speed drives and even graphics cards to utilize smaller PCIe connections for more compact computing.

When will PCIe 7 be available?

PCIe 6 was announced in 2022 and will see the first products and devices that support its debut towards the end of 2023. PCIe 7 is currently slated for a 2025 debut, so it may not be until 2026 that we see the first PCIe 7 supporting products launch.

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