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What is a PCI card slot

What is a PCI card slot

A PCI card slot (Peripheral component interconnection) is a hardware component for connecting additional expansion cards to a computer. These can be: sound cards, audio cards, TV tuners, modems … Their use began to spread with the advent of Intel Pentium II, which significantly improved the performance of the motherboard, although the most widespread today is PCI Express , substantially improving data transfer. What are the main features of these slots?

Types of PCI slots

There are three different types of motherboard connector, with another type of slot and features for connecting a device in the system.

64-bit PCI

This slot is practically out of use today. Slot 64-bit PCI, is a bus that can be found in this type of slot on Macintosh G4 and G3 computers. This version consists of 3 segments, the shortest of which is located in the center.

32-bit PCI and PCI-X

These types of slots can still be found on various computers. Between the two types of slots, the only difference is the length of the middle slot. Another peculiarity of both slots is that a card 32-bit PCI will work in a slot PCI-X, but this will not happen if we insert a PCI-X card into a 32-bit PCI slot.

PCI Express

PCI Express the most common type of bus or slot in modern equipment. The PCI Express bus has the feature that the length of the slots can vary and are identified by adding a number followed by an x ​​(8x, 16x …) These types of slots are small compared to the previous ones, and you will find it in a space further of the motherboard. They work faster, speeding up the transfer of data and therefore information.

The main uses and advantages of PCI slots

PCI slots, especially in the case of PCI Express, they are an excellent option to add expansion cards, this being their main function. Thus, you can improve the performance of your computer by improving its features, for example by inserting a sound card or graphics card.

This way, you won’t have to upgrade your motherboard from 0, you’ll just have to sign in expansion card on a PCI slot and even getting multiple cards to work simultaneously, which will greatly improve the speed of the components and the functionality of the motherboard.

On the other hand, using these cards is much cheaper, as you will only need to purchase a high-quality graphics card or any other type of peripheral to improve a specific function and improve performance. PCI Express, mainly transfer data much faster, which translates into a significant improvement in the execution of programs or games at a higher speed, for example.


Don’t stop using this type of slots for improve your computer’s performance and features. It will be much cheaper than buying superior equipment, as peripherals will help you get more out of it and extend the useful life of your computer thanks to these connection systems or buses.

Did you know …

When connecting a PCI card, it is very important to do it in the correct slot type, because if the card does not match the type of connector, the equipment may be damaged.

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