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High-performance systems are undergoing a major shift as commodity multi-core systems become increasingly prevalent. As the number of processes per compute node increase, the other parts of the system must also scale appropriately to maintain a balanced system. In the area of high-performance computing, one very important element of the overall system is the network interconnect that connects compute nodes in the system. InfiniBand is a popular interconnect for high- performance clusters. Unfortunately, due to limited bandwidth of the PCI-Express fabric, InfiniBand performance has remained limited. PCI-Express (PCIe) 2.0 has become available and has doubled the transfer rates available. This additional I/O bandwidth balances the system and makes higher data rates for external interconnects such as InfiniBand feasible. As a result, InfiniBand quad-data rate (QDR) mode has become available on the Mellanox InfiniBand host channel adapter (HCA) with a 40 Gb/sec signaling rate. In this paper we perform an in-depth performance analysis of PCIe 2.0 and the effect of increased InfiniBand signaling rates. We show that even using the double data rate (DDR) interface, PCIe 2.0 enables a 25% improvement in NAS parallel benchmark IS performance. Furthermore, we show that when using QDR on PCIe 2.0, network loopback can outperform a shared memory message passing implementation. We show that increased interconnection bandwidth significantly improves the overall system balance by lowering latency and increasing bandwidth.