UL Benchmarks has published its new PCIe 4.0 bandwidth benchmark for 3DMark. The new 3DMark PCI Express test measures the total bandwidth available to your graphics card over your PC’s PCIe interface. In theory, this should inform you whether your performance is any way bottlenecked by your PCI Express speed.
For the uninitiated, we’ve got a Hardware Guide detailing exactly what the new PCIe 4.0 standard is and why it could be important for PC gaming.
In a nutshell, though, PCIe 4.0 allows for high-bandwidth communication between devices (such as your GPU) with your computer. PCIe 4.0 is double the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, opening the door to larger data transfers which can reduce loading times on M.2 SSDs as well as support more complex scenes.
In order to take advantage of PCIe 4.0 you’ll need compatible motherboards and graphics cards, the first of which are due to arrive next fortnight with the launch of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series, the X570 chipset, and the Radeon RX 5700 series.
When it comes to real-world performance, it’s practically impossible for a graphics card to be bottlenecked by current-gen PCIe 3.0. However, this test is designed in such a way that a large amount of vertex and texture data must be uploaded to the GPU for each frame.
And look, at the very least it’s kind of mesmerising to just look at. I got sucked into rewatching the video about four times. I can’t tell if it looks like a very comfortable place to lie down or an extremely elaborate Bloodborne boss. Time will tell.
If you want to try out the PCI Express benchmark for yourself, it’s included in both 3DMark Advanced Edition and 3DMark Professional Edition. The Steam Summer Sale is running right now, which means 3DMark is 85% off for a limited time. That brings the price down to just £3.44 here in the UK, which seems very reasonable.