GPU based renderers like OctaneRender and Redshift make use of the video cards in a computer to process ray tracing and other calculations in order to create photo-realistic images and videos. The performance of an individual video card, or GPU, is known to impact rendering speed – as is the number of video cards installed in a single computer. But what about the connection between each video card and the rest of the system? This interconnect is called PCI Express and comes in a variety of speeds. In this article, we will look at how benchmarks for these programs perform across PCI-E 3.0 and 2.0 with x1, x4, x8, and x16 lanes.
Many hardware sites have shown in the past that video cards do not show any performance decrease by running in x8 mode and cannot utilize the larger bandwidth provided by the latest Gen3 specification. However, video cards are getting faster and faster so we felt it this is still true. Also, with the gaining popularity of 4k displays, we also felt it was important to see if the PCI-E revision/speed would affect a video card’s performance at the much more demanding 4k resolution.