Since its implementation, advances in PCI Express technology were closely associated with gaming products, mainly video cards. The GPU business lead the charge for increasing bandwidth for the PCIe bus, but advances in storage technology, mainly through solid state drives, has turned the tide. Storage, once a fairly boring topic, has become the hot button issue for computer technology in a relatively short period of time. Still the slowest component in computers, any performance increases coming from the storage subsystem has a dramatic effect on the way a computer performs, both in day to day activity in desktops and intensive tasks taken on in enterprise.
After several delays the first PCIe 3.0 video card launched January 9th 2012, AMD's Radeon 7970. Just like the move from PCIe 1.0 to 2.0, the move to 3.0 saw little improvement in the initial products released because the bottlenecks were located elsewhere. The video card market was not ready for a massive increase of bandwidth.
The storage market on the other hand is enjoying their moment under the spotlight. Solid state drives made storage exciting and the technology quickly pushed PCIe 2.0 to its limits. The move to PCIe 3.0 was the logical step to increase performance. LSI was the first out of the gate with a PCIe 3.0 controller, Paul reviewed the new LSI 9207-8i HBA just days ago, but we've yet to see a hardware RAID product from LSI in our lab, although they have been announced.
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