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PCI slots explained

Last response: in Motherboards
February 10, 2013 8:31:29 PM

Hi guys,

I am currently building my own desktop and looking for advice on PCI slots. I have always used laptops so I actually have no idea about PCI slots. Can someone please explain what they are used for and the difference between all the different types of slots is?

Here is the link to the motherboard I plan on including in my build:


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a b V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 8:42:47 PM

PCI-express is where you plug your video card into. Other components can utilize the slot as well, but usually its for your video card,
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February 10, 2013 8:51:16 PM

PCI-e X16 slots are the largest ones and are used for video cards, for the most part. They can also be used for pci ssd's, but those are extremely expensive.

PCI-e X1 slots are the ones that are about the same length as the PCI-e X16, but don't have the clip to secure the card in and have a different slot altogether. These can be used for wireless cards and fan controllers and some people even get a usb 3.0 card that you plug in and it'll give you two extra ports to use. Also forgot to mention sound cards.

Finally, plain ol' PCI slots are the tiny slots on the motherboard and these are typically aren't used much anymore. They are Legacy ports that only get populated if somebody has some really old hardware. I haven't use any of mine and I don't see me ever doing it.

Hopefully that covers what you need to know.
February 10, 2013 9:36:09 PM

Yes, although the motherboard already has 6 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Plus internal connectors to add even more usb ports if your case has them on the front. It's hard to imagine you need to add more.
February 11, 2013 12:03:29 AM

Best answer selected by ageo7836.