Motherboard Slots

Slot Types

One of the best features of the traditional desktop PC is its flexibility. On every desktop motherboard you will find a range of different expansion slots. These slots allow you to insert a huge range of expansion cards, from a super-fast graphics card to a card that can control specialized equipment.

Below if a brief list of common slot types which you may come across.

PCI Express (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)

32 bit slot

PCI Express slots are commonly used for graphics cards. They are available in different sizes each capable of offering more bandwidth. These slots range from x2 to x4, x8, and x16 with the x16 as the most common slot.

PCIe Slot x16

PCIe x16 Slot

PCIe Slot x1

PCeI x1 Slot

PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)

32 bit / 64bit

The PCI slot has proven to be a very flexible slot, but is slowly becoming less common. Popular PCI expansion cards which you my come across are sound cards, network cards and modems.

PCI Slot

AGP (Advanced Graphics Port)

32 bit

Once a very popular slot designed for advanced 3D graphics, it has been phased out by PCI Express.

AGP Slot


32 bit

EISA was a expansion on ISA and was not common in the desktop market, it became superseded by VESA and PCI.


Image Credit: Appaloosa

ISA (Industry Standard Architecture)

16 bit/8 Bit

ISA was a very popular flexible slot in its time. It offered support for a large range of expansion cards. You will no longer see this slot unless in specialized situations.

ISA Slot

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Liftarn


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