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PCI bus

PCI bus

(also Peripheral Component Interconnect bus)

Peripheral Component Interconnect bus definition

The PCI bus is a rapid hardware interface that facilitates the attachment of diverse peripheral components to a computer’s motherboard. Launched in 1992, the PCI bus emerged as the standard method for connecting expansion cards, including graphics cards, network cards, and sound cards. This interface offers plug-and-play capabilities and allows for concurrent data transmission among several devices.

Peripheral Component Interconnect bus examples

  • Graphics card: A hardware component that processes and renders images, videos, and animations for display on a monitor. The PCI bus allows the graphics card to communicate with the CPU and other system components quickly and efficiently.
  • Network card: A hardware device that connects a computer to a network, enabling data transfer and communication with other devices. The PCI bus ensures fast and reliable communication between the network card and the computer’s system.

Comparing the PCI bus to other similar terms

PCI Express (PCIe): A more recent and advanced version of the PCI bus, offering higher data transfer rates and greater flexibility in device configurations. PCIe is designed to eventually replace the traditional PCI bus.

PCI bus pros and cons


  • High-speed data transfer.
  • Compatibility with a wide range of hardware devices.
  • Easy to install and configure.


  • Limited data transfer rates compared to newer technologies like PCIe.
  • Declining support in modern computer systems.

Tips for using a PCI bus

Ensure that the hardware devices you connect to the PCI bus are compatible with your computer’s system and that the bus itself is in good condition. Regularly update device drivers to maintain optimal performance.

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