[Updated on February 11 at 5:28 PM ET] – This article has been updated to correct an inaccuracy with PCIe 5.0 compatibility for some Z690 motherboards. PCIe 5.0 SSD support is currently available, though only on certain high end motherboard models.
Now that PCIe 4.0 SSDs are fully compatible with today’s CPUs and motherboard platforms, and even consoles for that matter, the next obvious step is to push onward to the PCIe 5.0 standard. Teamgroup entered the spotlight to preview what it will bring to the table in the near future, and the specs are astounding compared to what was considered “fast storage” just a few years ago. The PCIe 5.0 NVME SSD from Teamgroup, known as the T-Force Cardea, will reach blistering sequential read speeds over 13,000MB/s with sequential write speeds up to 12,000MB/s. It will also come with a stout aluminum heatsink for improved cooling.
The company teased the product in a blog post that contained basic details about what we can expect from the upcoming flagship SSD. The news is certainly welcome, though the Teamgroup Cardea PCIe 5.0 SSDs will only be of interest to elite PC builders for the time being. Seeing as only certain motherboards on Intel’s flagship Z690 platform feature support for PCIe 5.0 SSDs, few will even be able to use these. Mainstream B660, and H-600 Series platforms only support PCIe 4.0, with the same going for AMD’s older, yet still premium X570 platform. Still, it does show a glimpse at what the near future will hold for more PC gamers.
PCIe 5.0 SSDs already?
We can take some pretty good educated guesses, though. Seeing as how Intel Alder Lake CPUs support PCIe 5.0 in the CPU, support could be extended to the chipset in the 13th gen Z790 motherboards that are expected to launch in as little as seven months. That’s around the same time AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs should arrive with the new AM5 motherboard platform. See where we’re going with this?
If you’re thinking, “but I don’t even have a PCIe 4.0 drive yet,” well, you’re not alone. The high product costs and lack of support from Intel until the Rocket Lake generation in spring of 2021 led to a weird situation where even the storage specs for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles actually got ahead of all but Ryzen owners. Seeing as that doesn’t lend well to the whole PC Master Race narrative, it’s likely we’re about to move on from the short-lived PCIe 4.0 generation to something greater.
So for the million dollar question, will your gaming experience benefit from this new and likely very expensive new technology? Probably not in most cases for several more years. It will depend on when more game developers begin to optimize for the already generous in-game asset streaming capabilities allotted by PCIe 4.0 drives. Seeing as the consoles also now have parity with PCIe 4.0, we could begin to see some more games in the next year or two that truly benefit from these insane new specs. The result will be smooth loading transitions in open-world games and pretty much the end of loading screens. For instance, Cyberpunk 2077 already loads saves in about five seconds on our 7,000MB/s WD Black SN850 PCIe 4.0 SSD.
Overall, this is exciting news to know that Teamgroup and other manufacturers are prepping PCIe 5.0 SSDs for consumer systems and we look forward to seeing game developers take advantage of the new capabilities afforded by these zippy new technologies.