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Extend Your Computer's USB Slots with an Internal Port Expansion Card for PCI

Do you ever find yourself wishing there was some way to expand your computer's functionality because you have more USB devices than USB ports to plug everything into? PCI expansion cards solve this issue because they allow you to upgrade your computer and install extra slots. Once you finish putting a PCI or PCI Express card (PCIe) in your computer, you can hook even more devices and cables into your computer at one time.

What's the difference between PCI and PCIe?

These two types of expansion cards have essentially the same function. However, a PCI can only transmit data in a single direction while the PCIe can transmit data in two directions at once. This means that a PCI bus has a maximum speed of 133MB of data per second while a PCI Express can transmit up to 8,000MB of data per second. The PCIe interface may be combined with SATA power connectors to create SATA Express interfaces. The different cards are compatible in many cases, but some operating systems may not allow the use of multiple card types.

How do you use an expansion card?

Almost all PCI and PCI Express cards work the same way. This basic installation method is used for most types of cards.

  1. Power down the computer and open it to expose the motherboard.
  2. Take off the metal bay cover on the PCI slot and insert the expansion card into the PCI slot gently.
  3. Screw the PCI into the slot firmly.
  4. Close up the computer, reconnect all cables, and turn the computer on.
  5. Install any necessary drivers to make the card work properly.
Will USB 3.0 work with a 2.0 expansion card?

If you purchase a PCI card with slots for USB 2.0 connectors, it will work most effectively with a USB 2.0. However, USB 3.0 devices are all backward-compatible. This means that you can use a USB 3.0 flash drive or cable in a slot intended for a 2.0 connector. However, the device will not transfer data at 3.0 superspeeds. Instead, it will essentially function like a USB 2.0 device.

How do you select an expansion card?
  • Number of ports: Decide how many USB ports you want to add to your computer.
  • OS compatibility: Make sure you get a card that is compatible with the operating system on your computer.
  • Interface type: Some cards may include a wide range of PCI, PCIe, and SATA options.
  • Power supply: You can get options that require external power or ones that do not need any sort of additional connection to a power supply.
  • Type of ports: If you have USB 3.0 devices, it might be helpful to get an option with both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
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