A type of bus called PCI Express can be found on the motherboard of your computer and can be used for a lot of different things, like connecting hard drives and graphics cards.
We’re going to tell you more about PCI Express. In this lesson, we’re going to try to explain it without going on for too long and in a way that is easy to understand, so that you can quickly understand it and see the difference.
In the beginning, we’re going to explain in a simple way what PCI Express is and how it works. When you’re done with that, we will show you two tables that show you all the different types and versions of it that are out there. Each one has its own unique traits.
What is PCI-Express
Using the name PCI Express, you can say that it stands for “Component Peripheral Interconnection Express,” or “Peripheral Component Interconnect Express.” PCIe or PCI-e is another way to say it.
If you want hardware parts to communicate with each other, they need to be connected to each other by a “bus.” In computing, this is what is called a “bus.”
Intel made the PCI port in 1991. In 2004, PCI-e was made, and it is the next step in the evolution of the port. PCI Express does not connect multiple devices at the same time, but only connects two of them at a time.
In this way, these two devices will be able to exchange information at the fastest speed possible, since there won’t be any other devices using the same bandwidth and having to share it.
Add extra cards to your computer
To add extra cards to your computer, you can use PCI Express. So, on each motherboard, there will be a lot of slots of this kind.
It is not a slot that is only for one type of hardware. It is used to connect different types of expansion that we will talk about below.
This bus is made up of several lanes that go from point to point. The connection is sent through these lanes to get to the other side. These lanes work in groups, like several lanes on the same road.
They have different speed peaks based on the version of PCI-Express they are running.
Slots of different sizes are used on this bus because different types of devices can be used. There are expansion slots with 1, 4, 8, or 16 data lanes that carry information between the motherboard and the device you connect to it,
so you can add more hardware. Slot names show how many lanes there are. There are 16 lanes in a PCI-Express 16.
What is PCI Express for?
As we told you a little above, this port standard is used to connect different types of expansion cards to your computer, so that you can use them.
This means that the port only connects two hardware parts, which means that in each slot you can only have one card connected at a time. You can’t share the space with another card.
Since graphics cards need a lot of data flow for their work, they usually use the 16-lane versions of PCI-e.
It can also be used to connect other types of expansion cards, like those that make the computer more WiFi or Bluetooth-friendly, to the computer.
It can also be used for network cards, cards that add USB ports to the computer, capture cards, or sound cards, among other things. Sometimes,
they are also used in technology like Hyper Transport, which connects a lot of computers together so that their power can be scaled up or down.
They also connect some types of SSD hard drives. Use the NVMe protocol, which lets them connect to other hard drives with both PCI Express and SATA ports. Those little discs are what they are. They are shaped like cards.
Types and versions of PCI Express
The PCI Express bus can be used in slots of different sizes because they are meant for different types of expansion cards with different needs.
As we told you before, the main difference is how many data lanes they have. Each type has a different size and number of pins. The fact that a card that is just one can be used in a connector that is 16 should make you aware of this.
Only the slots that match the card can be used. There is no way around this. The card you plug in will need to use all of the lanes it needs in order to work.
Because of this, you should also know that there have been a lot of different types of PCI Express over time. Below is a list of all the different versions that have been out and what they mostly have.
PCIe versions that are used and those that will be used can be seen in the table above. This is how it works: It will depend on which of the first four you use.
The speed at which data is sent will depend on which version you use. When PCIe 5.0 first came out, it was very new. PCIe 6.0 hasn’t been finalised yet, but its first specs were revealed in 2019, giving us a sense of what to expect from it.