WHQL-Certified GTX 680 Drivers Limit Sandy Bridge-E To PCI-E 2.0 Speeds

Brad Chacos

If you've dropped the dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Sandy Bridge-E processor, you may decide to drop a corresponding level of dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Nvidia HTX 680 graphics card. (If so, we salute your Maximum-ness.) There's just one little caveat you should be aware of, however; Nvidia's initial WHQL drivers for the GTX 680 nerfs data transfer levels to slower PCI-E 2.0 speeds, rather than the blazing fast enthusiast-level PCI-E 3.0 x16 speeds the X79 chipset is capable of.

Hopefully it's just a short-term bump in the road due to software validation issues rather than a long-term hassle. Nvidia owns up to the slowed speeds on its specification page for the graphics card :

GeForce GTX 680 supports PCI Express 3.0. The Intel X79/SNB-E PCI Express 2.0 platform is only currently supported up to 5GT/s (PCIE 2.0) bus speeds even though some motherboard manufacturers have enabled higher 8GT/s speeds .

There is some good news, however: TechPowerUp reports that the pre-launch drivers shipped on the disc that comes with the GTX 680 enable PCI-E 3.0 on compatible Sandy Bridge-E systems. Basically, if you're a SB-E owner who feels the need for that extra data transfer speed, you can stick with the included pre-launch drivers for now and hold off on any new drivers updates until Nvidia comes up with a fix.

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