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What Does PCI Slots Mean?


Definition – What does PCI slot mean?

A PCI slot is a slot built into the device that allows the connection of various hardware components such as network cards, graphics cards, modems, sound card disk controllers, and other peripherals.


It was often a component in designing traditional do-it-yourself desktops (DIY).


Nowadays the PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot is largely obsolete. First new standards have emerged for creating actual device connections and second new protocols have replaced some of the traditional ones for connecting to the modern bus.



Over time the new PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot or PCI-e bus model replaced the traditional PCI port. In that sense, it’s outdated to talk about PCI slots. Newer devices have a PCI-e slot instead.


Desktop to Laptop

Another important change in hardware and devices was the shift in markets from traditional desktops to laptops. In the days of the traditional PCI expansion slot desktops were the only option and then the dominant choice in purchase.


Now laptops have become much more of an accepted model for computing and few have any traditional PCI express 3.0 x16 slot at least one that is easily accessible to the user.


Using a PCI (e-PCI) slot on a laptop is often much more difficult than it would be with a traditional desktop design that had dedicated PCI slots built into it. On laptops, users face various challenges in using the available PCI or PCI-e slot.


First, there is a diagnostic where the user needs to run software to see if a PCI or PCI-e slot is available or not. Then they will usually have to open the frame of the laptop PC to install a device in a PCI port or PCI-e slot.


After all that has been done and a device has successfully connected it is likely that users will face various issues with proper power and cooling. 


Unlike traditional desktop designs, laptops are not manufactured with a lot of free space which means more challenges in incorporating new hardware within the framework. Especially in newer designs, this task has gone from impractical to impossible.


While some small cooling devices can be added to support the processing power needed for additional devices connected to PCI express 2.0 x16 expansion slot and PCI-e these are not the norm in the world of computer manufacturing today.


NVM standard

The transition from traditional hardware using PCI bus design to new hardware is also evident in new protocols that replace the PCI-e protocol for connecting devices to the PCI-e bus.


A protocol called non-volatile express memory or NVMe takes over the PCI-e protocol model. It is specifically designed to work with solid-state drives for example many of these devices will use NAND flash memory design.


Experts point out that NVMe should take advantage of the low latency and internal reception of solid-state drive models.


All of these changes have made the conventional PCI slots quite outdated.


DIY builders can still use this type of technology on previous or retro generation equipment but if we have ahead new types of connectivity and device care will replace some of those traditional models and sound power and further processing are much more likely to build within device design than users add themselves along the way. Any aftermarket.