PC Gear Lab

How to Check PCI Express Slot Version? – 4 Methods

Knowing how to check PCI Express slot version is important. This information can come in handy if you’re planning on getting a new board or are thinking of enhancing your computer’s features with expansion cards.

There are various ways to check this. The easiest is to use manufacturer-provided or third-party computer profiling software. Some of these are free to use. Or, you can do it manually by scanning, which may take some time and may require some technical know-how.

Regardless of the method you choose, you can get very accurate information about your computer.

Using software provides a faster alternative to scouring the web for information about your board which can be difficult without knowing a few things about the board itself.

How to Check PCI Express Slot Version?

Users have different reasons for wanting to know the PCIe slot capabilities of a computer. Sometimes it helps with decision-making, especially when getting a new motherboard whose feature set is specific to particular needs.

One very important reason to check the PCIe version is to check the transfer rate of the PCIe lanes. This becomes important when installing a graphics card or an SSD.

How Many PCIe Lanes Does M.2 Slot Use
Source: Wikipedia

You have several options in figuring out the version of the PCie slot you have. Some are easy, others are a bit more complex. The method you choose would depend on your expertise as well as the time you have on your hands. There might be some cost factors associated as well.

Also Read: How to Tell if Motherboard is Dead?

1. The Easy Way: Use a Software

This is the ideal way to check a PCI Express slot version for most users. It will provide a lot of information even for those who are not used to digging into their computers for information.

Different applications offer this service, and some do it at no cost to the user.

Using Third-Party Software like CPU-Z

How to Check PCI Express Slot Version
Image Source: Techpowerup

CPU-Z is a profiling tool that you can use to get information about various hardware on your computer.

When you first run it, it does an analysis of your system and the best part is it displays this information in different subsections, allowing you to check out exactly what you need.

Furthermore, the software is free to download.

Once installed, you will need to run it and let it collect the data it needs. It will then open into a window that shows you various tabs, indicating the different subsection into which the collected information is organized.

You will need to find the Mainboard tab at the top. This one will contain various information about your motherboard and its connected hardware. Under this tab, at the bottom is a section titled “Graphics Interface”.

Here you will see information about your PCIe connection. It will give you data about the PCIe version, and its Transfer rate which will paint a good picture of your PCIe slot version.

Also Read: What should I set PCIe Frequency When Overclocking?

Other Software

Various other software packages cater to how to check PCI Express slot version. It’s a matter of finding one that works and provides you with the information you need.

Drawbacks

This method introduces some challenges. One is the cost. Some applications that run checks on your system may require some form of subscription and may require payment.

Also, when getting these programs, it’s crucial to download them from their official websites. Failing to do so may expose your computer to malware.

2. User Guide / Technical Manual

If it’s a new motherboard, you will likely get a user’s guide along with the packaging.

his document will contain important information about your motherboard, and you may even find information about the version of the PCI Express slots available.

Of course, if you have misplaced the manual, like most user do, and you do not recall the make and model of your motherboard, then you will have to follow different methods.

Also, just as an FYI, you can figure out the make and model of your motherboard by either looking for a physical label on the motherboard or by accessing System information by pressing Windows button and typing “msinfo64.exe”.

3. Manually Checking the Motherboard

This method can be a little tricky for most users. Instead of looking at the slots, you should check and see if the slots have been labeled.

This method only makes sense if you have misplaced the manual or the technical guide of your motherboard.

Many manufacturers label different components on the motherboard, to make it easier for users who will be installing components or doing some form of servicing on the board.

What you need to do is open up your PC, and take a peek at the motherboard. If you have a clear side panel you may even do this without necessarily having to open it up – as long as your view isn’t obstructed.

Check for labeling if they are available.

Demerits

The reason this method may cause issues for some users is because of physical slot configurations. Sometimes, manufacturers install larger slots but with fewer lane counts.

A Physical X16 slot may function electrically as an X8 slot and thus, just looking at the slot itself might not yield accurate results.

On top of that, some motherboard have a combination of different PCIe version. One slot may be operating at V3.0 while the other at V2.0.

Nevertheless, the board may not have any labeling for the PCIe slots. If this is the case, you can take this opportunity to find the board’s model number for the next step.

4. Checking with the Manufacturer

pcie version
Asus X570 Tuf PCIe Version. Source: ASUS

Finally, you can check the PCIe version by visiting the manufacturer website. You will need to know the make and model of your motherboard.

As mentioned above, you can find out make and model by accessing System Information (type msinfo64.exe in the search bar after pressing Windows button) or by physically checking the motherboard for the model label.

With the model number, finding your board on the manufacturer’s product page should be fairly easy.

There, you will find information about the PCIe slots and versions on your motherboard. You will also get to their generations along with other important information.

This method provides a lot of accuracy for users as long as the information you’re getting is from the manufacturer or a reputable source.

Also Read: Best Budget Desktops for Video Editing

Conclusion

Before installing new expansion cards on a motherboard, knowing how to check PCI Express Slot version will be crucial.

There are many ways to do this and the amount of information you get depends on the method you choose. That said, you can use third-party applications to get information about PCIe versions on your computer.

You may even do it yourself by opening it up, and checking for any labeling on the board, or visiting the manufacturer’s website if you’re unsure and searching for your board there.

All in all, getting this information shouldn’t be much of a hassle.

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