How many SSDs does it take to saturate PCIe Gen 3? Would you believe 16 drives?

It’s now possible to conduct some interesting performance tests on real PCIe Gen 3 products and the video below shows you a PCIe Gen 3 RAID card talking to 16 SSDs, which is the number of drives needed to saturate a setup based on an Intel Sandy Bridge processor and chip set. The result is 6600 Mbytes/sec of throughput—about 90% of the theoretical maximum [for an 8-lane implementation of the PCIe Gen 3 protocol]. With tweaking, that number might go up to 95%. Just watch the video.

For information on the PCIe Gen 3 IP used in the creation of the Adaptec RAID SoC, click here.

If you’d like to see this demo LIVE, sign up for this month’s Flash Memory Summit, but hurry, the online discount’s going away soon.

About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
This entry was posted in PCIe, SSD, Storage and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How many SSDs does it take to saturate PCIe Gen 3? Would you believe 16 drives?

  1. rektide says:

    PCIe 3.0 at 16x wide is ~16GB/s, not 8GB/s.

    • Ashwin Matta says:

      Your point is well taken. The demo system uses a PCIe Gen3 X8 (8 lanes) controller on an Adaptec RAID controller card which is controlling16 SSD drives. The X8 piece of information is missing in the blog text but covered in the video. Hope you liked the demo and agree with the conclusions given that this is an X8 controller.

  2. rektide says:

    Agreed, still a great demo and I did enjoy it. Wonderful seeing PCIe 3 in such an awesome in-the-field application.

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