The GTX 680 limited to PCI-E 2.0 on X79 until the next driver update
Andy Ruffell / 5 years ago
Those who were hoping to jump on Kepler with their brand new Sandy Bridge-E systems to get the best of the best will have to wait, as the GeForce GTX 680 graphics card has been limited for the time being to PCI-Express 2.0 speeds on the X79 chipset.
This news was broken in the fine print of the specification page where you can read:
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.
This limitation is only applied with the launch driver, pre-launch drivers didn’t limit this, however Nvidia has installed this limitation due to the X79 system natively being Gen2 platform. However, as you may know, some manufacturers have already installed Gen3 on some of their motherboards, yet this won’t change anything if the chipset is still X79.
However, Nvidia was quick in responding to the news that popped up on various parts of the internet stating that the GTX 680 does fully support PCI Express 3.0 and has been validated as such, however due to the various differences between motherboards and chipset, Nvidia is working on validating the faster speeds on the Sandy Bridge-E platform.
As for the upcoming Ivy Bridge platform, being native Gen3 chipset, even with the launch drivers, the GTX 680 will run at full speeds.
In comparison, even though proving to be slightly slower on some benchmarks, AMD’s Southern Islands GPUs have supported PCI Express 3.0 since the day of release.
For those waiting on unlocking the full bandwidth, you’ll have to wait for the next driver update removing the limitation.