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:
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.