Speed demon: Samsung and Intel demo PCIe gen 5 SSD setup

PCIe gen 5, quadruple PCIe 3.1’s interface speed, looks set to near revolutionise database, AI and analytics performance.

PCIe generation speeds.

Intel has released a video for CES showing how Samsung’s PCIe gen 5.0-using PM1743 SSD performs when hooked up to a server host powered by Intel’s Core i9-12900K CPU. The demo bod showed a PCIe gen 4 SSD delivering 7GB/sec of throughput while Sammy’s PM1743 pumped out 13.8GB/sec, nearly double.

Intel CES video

It’s early days and we have four PCIe gen 5 SSD suppliers in our files:

The IO rates from these SSDs will be up to 14GB/sec for reads and 12GB/sec for writes – phenomenally fast. Kioxia’s CD7 seems slow and, we think, its performance will get uprated pretty quickly.

Micron, SK hynix and its Solidigm subsidiary, and Western Digital have yet to show their PCIe gen 5 hands and, when they do, the prospect of having storage arrays and server storage boxes filled with PCIe gen 5 drives is mouth-watering in terms of IO. We are facing a dramatic uplift from today’s PCIe gen 3.1 SSDs with performance around the 3.5GB/sec read and 2.5GB/sec write levels to drives four times faster.

NetApp’s A900 has a 300GB/sec cluster throughput. Imagine that doubling, tripling, even quadrupling, with PCIe gen 5 drives; to an awesome 1.2TB/sec throughput. Servers are going to have to deploy massive numbers of cores and terabytes of memory to be able to handle these extraordinary data delivery rates. Think what the public cloud suppliers could do with these drives.

The potential dramatic IO rate increases of databases, machine learning models and analytic data sets could realise wholly new levels of transaction, AI and analytics performance as we progress through to 2025.