PCI USB 3.0 Computer Port Expansion Cards

USB 3.0 Internal Port Expansion Cards for PCI

Never run out of SuperSpeed USB ports again. Just add more external ports with a USB card you attach to your motherboard. This solution does not just add more ports but provides support for more USB devices, data bandwidth, and power throughput.

What is a USB 3.0 expansion card?

USB 3.0 is a major revision to the Universal Serial Bus standard that provides SuperSpeed performance, which translates to a data transfer rate up to 5 GB per second. Your desktop computer may have no USB 3.0 ports, or not enough. These PCI cards let you add on the SuperSpeed USB ports you need and generally provides access to these ports via the back of the case.

What is PCI?

The acronym stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect. These interfaces are often referred to as expansion slots. Most PC motherboards will feature one or more of these expansion slots so that you can expand the functionality of your computer beyond what is provided out of the box. Most internal peripherals such as graphics adapters and USB cards are sold as PCI cards, and that standard has had a number of different iterations, which include

  • PCI.
  • PCI-X.
  • PCI Express.
Are most USB 3.0 adapter cards PCI Express?

Yes. PCI Express, which is often abbreviated PCI-e and PCIe, has largely outmoded the original Peripheral Component Interconnect standard. Not only is PCI Express more prevalent, but it fully supports the maximum USB 3.0 data transfer rates and meets all necessary power requirements. Each PCI Express slot provides a certain number of lanes, and a particular USB PCI Express card may require a certain number of lanes. The lanes for Express cards and ports are expressed as

  • PCI Express x1.
  • PCI-e x4.
  • PCI-e x8.
  • PCI-e x16.
Which lane size should be used?

Generally, you want to use the smallest lane size available that your USB adapter card supports. Many USB 3.0 adapters only require PCI Express x1. In doing so, you leave open a larger number of lanes for peripherals such as graphics adapters.

Will a USB 3.0 expansion card require a bracket?

Generally, no. Brackets are usually reserved for heavy Express cards that could otherwise damage the slot, warp the mainboard, and so forth. Most internal USB adapters are quite light.

Does a PCI Express card require SATA power?

Some cards do require SATA power or another separate power source. Even though the PCI Express standard is designed to deliver its own power to the card, cards with many ports and that support charging USB devices such as smartphones, will often require additional power.

Are Type C ports available?

Yes. There are USB expansion cards available with Type C ports. These connectors are rotationally symmetrical in order to make insertion easier, and they support the older connectors as well.