PCI Express 3.0 backward compatible with earlier standard

Owners of computer components that use the PCI Express 2.0 standard will be pleased to hear that their existing hardware will still work once motherboards switch to the PCI Express 3.0 standard.  At a recent press conference discussing the interface, SIG chairman Al Yanes disclosed more details about the upcoming connector, which has previously been quoted as managing 8.0 gigatransfers per second.

Yanes confirmed that the only difference expected between PCI Express 2.0 and 3.0 is with regards the electrical specifications.  The actual hardware itself will stay the same, with PCs using one socket and servers two. 

The 3.0 standard is not expected to be fully decided until late 2009, with testing scheduled for the second half of 2010.  Then, of course, manufacturers actually have to start using it.  Still, this is good news for anyone considering a big component upgrade over the next couple of years, but wanting their purchase to fit future motherboards.