Skip to content

How many PCIe slots do I need? [ANSWERED]

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on October 6, 2022
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    If you’re a gamer, then you know how important your graphics card is. You want the best one that will last for a long time and allow you to play all those new games as they come out. But a lot of people don’t know how many 16x PCIe slots they need, It can be hard to figure out if you have enough slots for your gaming needs – but we have some tips!

    This blog post will walk through how much space on your motherboard you should allocate for graphics cards, how many different types of graphics cards there are, and the number of PCIe lanes each type requires. So if this is something that has been keeping you up at night – don’t worry anymore! We’ve got all the answers here!

    What are PCIe Slots?

    PCIe slots are the ports on your motherboard that your graphics card plugs into. These slots come in different sizes, depending on how many lanes the slot has. A lane is basically a data pathway between the processor and devices like storage or graphics cards.

    Most motherboards these days come with at least one PCI-e x16 slot, but if you’re looking to use multiple high-end graphics cards then you may need more than just one. The good news is that there are now plenty of motherboards available with two or even four PCI-e x16 slots!

    How many PCIe slots do I need?

    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on your specific needs. However, we can give you some general guidelines to help you make the best decision for yourself.

    The first thing you need to consider is how many graphics cards you want to use. Some motherboards come with two or more PCIe x16 slots, while others have just one. If you’re only using a single card, then any motherboard should work fine. But if you want to use multiple cards, then you’ll need a board that has at least two PCIe x16 slots.

    Another thing to keep in mind is the type of graphics card(s) you’re using. Not all graphics cards are created equal – some require more lanes than others. For example, a high-end graphics card like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 3080 requires x16 PCIe lanes for optimum performance. So if you’re using multiple high-end cards, you’ll need a motherboard with at least 16 available lanes.

    On the other hand, if you’re only using lower-powered graphics cards, then a motherboard with fewer PCI-e lanes should be sufficient. Most mid- to low-level graphics cards only use four or eight lanes.

    So how do you know the number of PCIe slots your motherboard has?

    It can be tricky to figure out, but there are a few ways to do it. One is to check the specs of your motherboard online – most motherboard manufacturers will list the quantity PCI-e slots are available. Another way is to open up your computer and look for the motherboard chipset. The chipset will be a small square or rectangle chip that’s located near the CPU. If you see a number like “x16/x0,” then that means the motherboard has at least 1 x16 PCI-e slot.

    So now that you know how to figure out the amount of PCIe lanes your motherboard has, what do you do with that information? Well, it all depends on what kind of gamer you are!

    If you’re a hardcore PC gamer who wants the best performance possible, then you’ll want to use a motherboard with as many lanes as possible. This will allow you to use multiple high-end graphics cards, without experiencing any bottlenecking.

    On the other hand, if you’re a casual gamer who just wants to be able to play games every now and then – a single 16 PCI-e lane or less than 16 PCI-e lanes should be fine for your needs if you have a lower-end graphics card. You can still use multiple lower-end graphics cards with this amount of space on the motherboard; however, they may not perform as well as high-end cards would. But at least you’ll have enough power to get by!

    What to do with extra Slots?

    Now that you know the number of slots your motherboard has, what do you do with the extra ones? Well, there are a few things you can do.

    One thing you can use them for is an additional graphics card. If your motherboard comes with two or more PCI-e x16 slots, then you have the option to get a second graphics card and use both of them for extra performance.

    You can also use it for a USB Header Expansion or even for a new Audio Card, although generally the motherboard audio is good enough for 99.9% of us.

    Alternatively, you can also use it for a WiFi or Bluetooth card so you have access to both utilities.

    Hope our article helped you in some way and that you now have a better understanding of this subject! Thanks for reading.