Difference Between PCI and PCI-Express

by on July 13, 2006

PCI-Express is the new standard for faster video cards. Most new video cards coming out today are designed for PCI-Express as most new motherboards and computers being made today are supporting this new connection.

A PCI-Express video card is NOT backwards compatible with PCI. So what you need to determine is if your computer is PCI-Express. A Sony Vaio from 2 years ago will most likely have either PCI or AGP connection. The order of video card types (listed slowest to fastest) is:

  • PCI
  • AGP
  • PCI-Express

To see if you have AGP, take a look at System Properties in your Control Panel and click on Hardware tab, then Device Manager. Look to see if you have an AGP controller under Display Adapters. If you just see PCI, then you only have a PCI connection, in which case you are limited to a PCI-only video card.

Decent video cards can range from $150 all the way up to $500. Odds are you have an AGP connection, and luckily they’re still producing plenty of AGP video cards. Just be sure to check the documentation of the video card you’re interested in before purchasing.