The Intel Core i9-11900K isn’t great, but it does mean that faster SSDs are finally on the way

intel i9

Although Intel’s 11th-generation Rocket Lake processors aren’t very good – the Intel Core i9-11900K outperforms the i9-10900K in several tests – they do provide benefits that the entire computing world will begin to experience in the near future.

And, by far, the most important of these would be faster SSDs. Intel has finally baked PCIe 4.0 support into its desktop processors with Rocket Lake, ensuring that all current-generation mainstream desktop platforms can now take advantage of the technology. And, of course, now that the technology is widely supported, we’ll start seeing SSDs that can push it to its limits.

It isn’t just PC gamers who will profit from this. One of the key reasons the PS5 doesn’t have expandable internal SSD storage is that there aren’t enough commercially available drives that can fill the connection. Those days, however, could be drawing to a close.

intel 10th gen processor
Source: Future

What’s the snag?

PCIe 4.0 SSDs have been available for a few years, but before the Samsung 980 Pro was released in September 2020, the drives’ read speeds were limited to about 5,000MB/s, which was far below their capacity.

However, since the technology was only funded on AMD platforms, there wasn’t much of a drive to create ultra-fast SSDs that could be purchased off the shelf. According to PCGamer, Rocket Lake is the warning that many SSD manufacturers have been waiting for, with upcoming SSDs capable of speeds up to 7,500MB/s.

Even so, this is a fraction of the bandwidth that the PCIe 4.0 interface will provide. So, hopefully, within the next few years, more SSDs will be available that can exceed the theoretical maximum speed of 7,880MB/s. What’s more significant, though, are drives that can achieve these speeds while remaining affordable.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention PCIe 5.0. The next PCIe GUI is expected to be supported by Intel’s 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs, according to leaks. And, if reports are to be believed, it might happen later this year.

PCIe 3.0 NVMe and SATA SSDs have become even more affordable as PCIe 4.0 drives have become more popular. So, hopefully, the combination of PCIe 5.0 and faster cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 drives would result in a flood of new PCIe 4.0 drives hitting the market soon.

Source: Future


And they’re a little costly right now.

Right now, if you go to Newegg and just want a solid M.2 SSD, you can get the Intel 660p for just $109 – and that’s for a 1TB drive. This isn’t going to be an SSD you should put in your PS5, and it never will be because it isn’t fast enough. However, it demonstrates how wide the distance is between low-cost SSDs and the cutting-edge.

The Samsung 980 Pro is the best PCIe 4.0 SSD we’ve reviewed so far, and it’s already $199 (Approx Rs.15,000) on Newegg with a 13 percent discount. In CrystalDiskMark research, the drive only achieved read speeds of 6,783.23MB/s. And it’s currently one of the fastest drives available.

Although PCs will still be the primary market for SSDs, we believe the PS5 will serve as an interesting benchmark for the road to affordable SSDs that are actually fast. Since it appears that even though Sony allows its expandable internal storage – which it has yet to do – the drives that it supports would be prohibitively expensive at first.

PNY has just released an SSD that claims to have a transfer rate of up to 7,500MB/s, but it’s also priced at $199( approx Rs. 15,000).

We’re making progress, and soon there will be a wide range of drives to choose from that can provide the truly next-generation speeds that PC games will demand in the future.

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