PC assembly - Inserting expansion cards

Inserting expansion cards

Expansion cards are plugged into expansion slots. There are several types of slots:

  • ISA slots run at 16 bits. Few computers still use this type of slot as the bus runs at a relatively slow speed.
  • PCI slots run at 32 bits. This slot is used for most types of expansion cards with the exception of the latest generation of graphic cards.
  • AGP slots run at 32 bits. This fast bus is exclusively used for graphic cards and is generally distinguished by its brown color.
  • PCI Express slots run at 32 bits. This is a very fast bus, used for graphic cards, and spotted by its brown color.

There is no need to be afraid of inserting the wrong card in the wrong slot as this is impossible because each card type has its own slot size.

Inserting an expansion card in an AGP, PCI or ISA slot.

To insert an expansion card, just remove the corresponding blank plate on the PC case, then slide the rear of the card into the slot, gently pushing in the front end, then finally screw it into place.

Wherever possible it is advisable to leave an empty slot between cards to allow for improved air flow.

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