The PCI-Express slot is your motherboard's interface with its graphics card. The speed of this interface can significantly impair graphics performance if the version of the card and slot are out-of-sync. For instance, even if you have the latest model of graphics card, you won't gain the full benefits of this card if your PCI-E slot is outdated. As of 2010, the industry standard for graphics cards is PCI-E 2.0. Although you'll usually be able to use these cards in a PCI-E 1.0 or 1.1 slot, they won't perform at their full capacity. In some cases, they might not work at all.
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Things you need
- PC Wizard 2010
Download and install PC Wizard 2010. This program will analyse your hardware to find out your system specifications, including whether or not you have a PCI-E 2.0 slot. It is entirely free of charge with no hidden expenses or spyware.
Run PC Wizard. It will take a moment to load as it scans your hardware.
Click the "Mainboard" icon and then "Bus PCI-Express." The program will display information about your PCI-E slot at the bottom of the screen, including its "Version." Using this, you can tell if your card is 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, or later.
Tips and warnings
- As a general rule of thumb, motherboards manufactured before 2007 use PCI-E 1.0 technology.
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