Upcoming entry-level GeForce RTX 40 series cards based on AD106 and AD107 GPUs are rumoured to be hampered in terms of PCIe connectivity.
According to serial Twitter leaker @kopite7kimi, out of the five different Ada Lovelace GPU variants coming to market, AD106 and AD107 will limit support to eight PCIe lanes. This is similar to what AMD has done with its Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card, but not as low as the PCIe x4 found on RX 6500 XT cards that consequently suffered a significant performance hit when using a PCIe 3.0 slot.
Giving a card only half the available lanes is not a problem by itself, especially if installed on a motherboard supporting a PCIe 5.0 interface that offers twice the bandwidth compared to PCIe 4.0. The problem arises when using older PCIe 3.0 or sometimes even PCIe 4.0 alongside memory-intensive games like Doom Eternal, causing a potential performance drop. And all this assumes that cards based on these GPUs are packing PCIe 5.0 interfaces across the range.
AD106 and AD107 GPUs are most likely intended for GeForce RTX 4060 and RTX 4050 cards. The former is expected to feature 3,968 CUDA cores and 8GB of 17Gbps GDDR6, with a 230 to 240W power draw according to the latest rumours. This translates to ~6,500 or so points in the 3DMark Time Spy Extreme benchmark.
Users planning an upgrade to a Ryzen 7000 or Intel 12/13th Gen platform should not encounter any problems thanks to native PCIe 5.0, but those still rocking older hardware supporting only PCIe 4.0 or 3.0 may run into performance limitations if these GPUs are short on memory, leading to constant in-and-out loading of textures.
This is unfortunate since these mid- to low-end GPUs are very much targeted at users seeking an FPS boost on ageing machines. Machines that probably carry only PCIe 3.0.
Any such rumours should continue to be taken with a pinch of salt, yet if true, it will be interesting to see how a lower lane count impacts performance on these new cards.