What is the main difference between PCI and PCIe?
We should know that there are several slots available in a motherboard. For example, PCI, PCIe, AGP, ISA, etc. Today, we will be focusing on the differences between PCI and PCIe.
Lately, we have seen a surge in the use of connecting slots, also known as expansion slots, as everyone expands their resources by default. We mainly see this trend among gamers.
These expansion slots present in the motherboard of a computer system, help upgrade your existing system so you can always stay a step ahead.
What is PCI?
PCI is the abbreviation of PC peripheral component interconnect. It was initially used in servers and was developed by Intel in 1990. It is used in a motherboard to expand the capabilities of the connecting device like NIC card, graphics card, and sound card.
What is PCIe?
PCIe is the shorthand for peripheral component interconnect express. Intel rolled out the PCIe as a successor to PCI. It offers more compatibility than the PCI and can work as an expansion card like a PCIe Ethernet card.
PCI vs. PCIs: The Differences
It’s now time to look into the differences between PCI and PCIe. Although both of them are expansion slots, they differ significantly.
Both slots are present in the motherboard. But they differ in the interface. PCI is a parallel interface, while PCIe is a serial interface. Devices connected to the PCI connect directly to their bus. PCIe, on the other hand, handles data from multiple sources.
Bandwidth and Speed
The speeds of both PCI and PCIe slots vary significantly. The default widths of PCI are 32-bit and 64-bit at 33 MHz or 66MHz. When we calculate, the speeds of PCI range between 133 MB/s and 532 MB/s. The speed of PCIe varies with card sizes and versions. The bandwidths of PCIe thus vary between 250 MB/s and 16 GB/s.
The PCI generally has two types. Firstly, a 32-bit slot with 124 pins, and secondly, a 64-bit slot with 188 pins. And when we take the PCIe slot, we see that it has seven versions. These versions are x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, and x32 corresponding to 1/2/4/8/12/16/32 lanes.
PCIe x1 has 36 pins and is usually helpful for independent networks, sound cards, etc.
PCIe x4 contains 64 pins and mainly supports NVMe M.2 SSDs.
PCIe x8 and PCIe x16 have 98 and 164 pins, respectively, for installing graphics cards like NVIDIA RTX4080.
Another difference you can notice between PCI and PCIe is the availability of the swapping feature. PCI slots may or may not provide a swapping feature, but PCIe comes with a built-in swapping feature.
We saw that there are several changes between PCI and PCIe. The latter has a significant upper hand in every field. PCIe’s data speed and compatibility make it a better option among users. Therefore PCIe is an upgrade that you should consider.
No, Since PCI and PCIe are incompatible due to their configuration, it is impossible to plug them into a PCI.
We generally use PCIe slots as an extension for GPUs, WiFi cards, SSD cards, etc.
The graphics card should be generally installed in PCIe x16 slots for faster processing.