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Conclusions

This whole “PCI Gen 3 Ready” messaging can be considered a marketing gimmick because while you are technically getting to use your new PCI Express Gen 3 peripherals (read: ensuring compatibility), you are only able to utilize half of the theoretical bandwidth. Adding to the confusion is a lack of benchmarking data available, meaning users are being divided with even more ambiguous information from what is considered “true” Gen 3.

Trying to keep up with the latest technology always seems like a futile effort, but nobody wants to feel buyer’s remorse from having missed out on the possibility of significant upgrades by not waiting. The methodology behind pushing PCI-E 3 was more to grab the mainstream market to “buy now” instead of waiting, but it seems we are still waiting for PCI-E 3 to show up on graphics cards and PCI-E SSDs. We can definitely hope that once they come to the market, the blistering fast speeds we were promised will show up as well.

As more boards are touting the Gen 3 readiness and support, just make sure you are at least going with a board that has the proper switch chips ready for you to take advantage of it when you can.

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Rajiv Kothari is an industry insider who moonlights as a computer enthusiast, providing a different perspective and insight to new technologies.