Lacking the PLX bridge found on the company's more expensive products, it’s impossible to populate all of the P8Z68-V Pro’s interfaces simultaneously. The second PCIe x1 slot is, for example, shared with the front-panel USB 3.0 controller and the four-lane x16-length bottom slot. When one of the two slots is filled, electronic switches disable the other two interfaces. The features get even sparser when the bottom slot's x4-mode is enabled; doing so disables the first x1 slot and the eSATA controller.
Problem 2: The Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge chips have PCIe lanes built into the chip itself. I can't find whether IB has more of these lanes than SB.
Question: If I buy a Z77 board that doesn't have a PLX chip, but plug in a Sandy Bridge processor, will it be able to power all the PCIe slots at full speed and power all the ports, simultaneously?
More about :z77 boards sandy bridge crippled pcie bandwidth