PCI vs PCI Express

by on May 9, 2007

Q: What is the difference between a PCI card and PCI Express?

A: Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) and PCI Express are both types of PC expansion slots. PCI was created by Intel in 1993, and became very popular on the PC platform. Many different types of cards were created in the PCI format including network, sound and video cards. PCI cards have a peak transfer rate of 133MB/s (on a 32MB bus).

As the data throughput rates of computer components continued to increase, the slower data transfer rates of PCI cards started to hinder the performance of newer computer systems. PCI Express was created in 2004 to replace PCI. There are different PCI Express specifications and the data transfer rates have been increased to 16GB/s with the newest specification released early this year.

PCI slots and PCI Express slots are not compatible; therefore you should not try to interchange cards between these two slot types. Since there are several different PCI Express card speeds, you should make sure that your motherboard can take advantage of the data transfer speed your card is capable of.

If you would like more specific information and photographs of the different card types, Directron.com has a great article explaining the differences among PCI, PCI Express, and AGP.

One Response to “PCI vs PCI Express”

    Thank you. That helps a lot.