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Which is Faster PCI or PCI Express? Compare
Which Should I Use, PCI or PCI Express? Compare
Different PCI, PCI Express slots as they would appear on
|PCI Express 1x
|PCI Express 4x
|PCI Express 8x
|PCI Express 16x
Compare PCI vs PCI Express
The slots shown above represent the slots on a computer
motherboard that a video card would be mounted into. To compare,
PCI Express is a serial
based technology, data can be sent over the bus in two
directions at once.
Normal PCI is Parallel, and as such all data
goes in one direction. Hence PCI Express will provide
much faster video than the older PCI. (See more port types at
the bottom of this page).
Each 1x lane in PCI Express can transmit in
both directions at once. Also please note that in PCI Express bandwidth is not shared the
same way as in PCI, so there is less congestion on the bus.
The "x" in an
"x16" connection is typically represented as "by" (by 1 [x1]
, by 16 [x16] etc). PCIe connections are scalable by one, by
two, by four, and so on.
When the computer
starts up, PCIe determines which devices are plugged into the motherboard.
It then identifies the links between the devices, creating a map of where
traffic will go and negotiating the width of each link.
What is PCI Express?
Each lane of a PCI
Express connection contains two pairs of wires -- one to send and one to
receive. Packets of data move across the lane at a rate of one bit per
A x1 connection, the smallest PCIe connection, has one lane made up
of four wires. It carries one bit per cycle in each direction. A x4 link transmits
four lanes, and so on.
What is PCI?
PCI is short for Peripheral
Component Interconnect. The PCI slot is a local system bus standard that was
introduced by the Intel Corporation, however, it is not exclusive to any
form of processors and PCI slots are found in both Windows PCs and Macs.
slots allow numerous different types of expansion cards to be connected
inside a computer to extend the computers functionality. Examples of PCI
expansion cards are network cards, graphics cards and sound cards.
Although the bus speed is slightly slower than PCI Express, the PCI slots
are the most common type of slot and found on most motherboards today. If
you are installing a new video card and you are unsure about the
slots, stick with the PCI version of this card it will always work.
Compare PCI and PCI Express
The 32-bit PCI bus has a
maximum speed of 33 MHz, which allows a maximum of 133 MB of data to pass
through the bus per second. Different PCI Express specifications allow
different rates of data transfer, anywhere from 400 MB to 8000 MB of data per
second and beyond. (see table at top of page)
PCI, PCI-X and PCI Express are all compatible, all three can coexist if the
operating system allows it. As of 2011, the PCIe format is the most common
type of video adapters by far and now considered the standard.
Network and sound adapters, as well as other peripherals, have
been slower in development to adapt to PCI Express but it is coming. Since PCIe is compatible with current
operating systems and can provide faster speeds, it will
eventually replace PCI as a PC standard. Gradually, PCI-based cards will
Windows 7 for
example requires a PCI Express video card, older PCI express cards will not
work, not well anyway.
to HowStuffWorks, answers.com and Directron for assistance in this article.)
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How Fast is USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0
Click here for even more Details on PCI Express
is faster? Serial, Parallel, USB, Firewire, or SCSI?
bits = 1 Byte, Kb = thousand bits, KB = thousand Bytes, Mb =
Million bits, 1MB = Million Bytes.
- Serial: 115Kb/sec (0.115Mb/sec)
- Standard Parallel: 115KB/sec (0.115MB/sec)
- USB: 12Mb/sec (1.5MB/sec)
- ECP/EPP Parallel: 3MB/sec
- IDE: 3.3 to 16.7MB/sec
- SCSI-1: 5MB/sec
- SCSI-2 (Fast SCSI, Fast Narrow SCSI): 10MB/sec
- Fast Wide SCSI (Wide SCSI): 20MB/sec
- Ultra SCSI (SCSI-3, Fast-20, Ultra Narrow):
- UltraIDE: 33MB/sec
- Wide Ultra SCSI (Fast Wide 20): 40MB/sec
- Ultra2 SCSI: 40MB/sec
- IEEE-1394 Firewire: 400Mb/sec (12.5 to
- USB 2.0: 480Mbps
- Ultra ATA66 IDE: 66MB/sec
- Wide Ultra2 SCSI: 80MB/sec
- Ultra3 SCSI: 80MB/sec
- Wide Ultra3 SCSI: 160MB/sec
- FC-AL Fiber Channel: 100 to 400MB/sec