With AMD's Ryzen 3000-series CPUs set to support the PCI Express (PCIe) 4.0 interface, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) today announced an upcoming addition this summer to its 3DMark testing suite with a PCI Express Feature Test. The new test is designed to measure the bandwidth available to your graphics card over the PCIe interface and can help users compare bandwidth across multiple PCIe generations within a canned benchmark.
The new benchmark will arrive as a free update for 3DMark Advanced Edition and for 3DMark Professional Edition clients with a valid annual license. The new features tests are specialized for the specific technologies and will come to 3DMark this summer.
Other than that, few details about the benchmark were given; however, we do have a picture of the benchmark in action.
The benefits of PCIe 4.0 and its increased bandwidth (64 GBps versus 32 GBps for PCIe 3.0) have yet to be thoroughly benchmarked, but it's not expected to have a large impact on gaming. That will likely change as more powerful GPUs hit the market over the coming years and developers utilize the available bandwidth and can support additional data transfers.
Of course, it's not all about gaming. The additional bandwidth can also be used for M.2-based storage that use the PCIe 4.0 protocols. Currently, some of the fastest PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives, like the Samsung 970 Pro SSD, are already hitting the upper limit of PCIe 3.0 bandwidth. The expansion to more lanes will allow for faster drives to hit the market, like the one we saw at the Computex trade show in May from Gigabyte, Patriot and Corsair impressively reaching 5 GBps reads and over 4 GBps writes.