What Is a PCI Device?

What Is a PCI Device

A PCI device is any piece of hardware that plugs directly into a PCI slot on a computer system’s motherboard. PCI, which represents Peripheral Part Interconnect, was presented to personal computers by the Intel Corporation in 1993. The technology to operate PCI is incorporated into the motherboard of nearly every desktop computer manufactured because 1995. A PCI connection on a motherboard can be determined as a long strip of raised copper connectors enclosed in plastic. This long strip of connectors is usually called a bus.

PCI Devices: List and Definition

What Is a PCI Device


Generally, every desktop computer has two primary buses, which are connected to the main processing unit. The system bus, which is likewise the fastest, connects primary memory, or RAM, to the CPU. The PCI bus is not as quick as the system bus. Its main purpose is to help with communication of hardware devices of all types such as audio, video, network or graphics with the microprocessor.

Network Cards

A network interface card is one example of a PCI device. It’s about the very same thickness as a credit card, with a line of metal adapters on one edge that suit the motherboard’s PCI bus. The network interface card works the same method as a USB network adapter, except that it links inside the computer directly on the motherboard. There are many PCI network adapters from which to choose. The two most popular are the small PCI and wireless adapter cards. Wireless network cards are integrated into the motherboard of home computer. The small PCI is the device that is preinstalled in the majority of laptops. It allows you to establish a wireless connection to a computer system network with your notebook computer.

Sound Cards

Another frequently used PCI device is the audio card, or sound card. It is a mix of software and hardware used to produce sound. Some sound cards might have their own microprocessors and RAM, as well as the standard input/output, such as microphone and speaker, connections that are on all sound cards. Software embedded within the hardware enables the PCI sound card to communicate with other programs and the computer system’s operating system.

PCI Express

The most recent PCI device for video, graphics and video-editing is the PCI Express. It’s the most current standard for the PCI bus, which works with almost any os and has more bandwidth than the original PCI technology.


Plug and Play helped to catapult the PCI device into the forefront in computing. The PnP technology is a function that allows the user to just insert the PCI card into the computer slot, and everything had to connect the hardware to the system occurs immediately. This advance was cooperation in between the Intel Corporation, who absorbed the PCI and PnP innovation and the Microsoft Corporation supplying the structure needed in the operating system. The PCI device you connect to your computer system needs to be compatible with your system. The computer’s case needs to be opened up in order to plug the device into the designated slot.


USB is another option for adapters that include functionality to a PC or laptop, such as wireless adapters. USB offers basic plug-in convenience, but is less effective than PCI for wireless connectivity, inning accordance with a 2011 PC World post. If you have the choice of both and performance is an issue, you may wish to stick with PCI.

Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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