How To Check The PCIe Version And Speed?


Understanding the PCIe version and speed is vital, especially if you are about to make some purchase like a new motherboard or a new PCIe component. This will make sure that it adheres to the latest PCIe protocol.

If you check the PCIe versions, you will get to know that each newer version doubles the per-lane throughput rate. So, if the version of PCIe is 4.0, you can assume that it has double the speed of version 3.0. Note that a Gen 4 SSD would require a PCIe 4.0v slot to work at its maximum speed. A gen 3 SSD will work at only half the speed.

Even if you own a gen 4 SSD, if it is inserted into a PCIe 3.0v slot, the speed again becomes half. So, it becomes necessary to know the PCIe version to buy the right SSD for your system.

Image: GPU-Z Shows that the graphics card is connected to PCIe version 3.0 – Source

Checking The PCIe Slot Version

The PCIe slot version can be checked by any following four methods.

HOW TO CHECK THE PCI EXPRESS SLOT VERSION?

Check the motherboard manually

This method of checking the PCIe version can be used by experts in opening their computers. Different components of the motherboard are given labels identifying what they are. The PCIe version can also be found labeled on the motherboard. So knowing the version is just a matter of opening the PC and looking at the motherboard. You are lucky if the version is visible through the side panel so you can avoid opening the PC.

The disadvantage of this method is that some motherboards have a number of PCIe slots having different versions. Some boards don’t even specify the PCIe version in the label. In such cases, it is better to find the motherboard’s model number and search for its information elsewhere.   

Find out from the user manual

As you guessed, the easiest way of finding the PCIe version is by checking the user manual. If you have recently bought the motherboard, the user manual is likely intact, so you can have a look at it. It contains all the details and specifications of the motherboard, including the PCIe version. In case you have misplaced the manual, there is no other way than to rely on the other methods discussed.

Check with the manufacturer

This is the best method recommended by the experts to check the PCIe version. Checking in the manufacturer’s website will give you a detailed idea of the PCIe version of the slots of the motherboard. The first step is to find out the make and model by checking the labels on the motherboard. This can also be done by accessing System Information. For this, press the Windows button and type msinfo64.exe in the search bar.

Once you get the model number of your motherboard, type the model number in Google and hit search. You will land the manufacturer’s product page, where you can find the relevant specification sheet page for your motherboard. This is the place where you will get detailed information about the PCIe slots and the versions of each of them. There will be other details listed, including the generation.   

Use some third-party software

For users who have no habit of opening their PCs, using some third-party software to check the version of PCIe will be a wise option. The advantage is that most software allows users to use them for free. 

One such free tool is GPU-Z, which gives information about your graphics card, including the PCIe slot and its version. First, install the software and run it so that it gathers all the data. A window will then be opened showing different tabs, including the Graphics card tab. This specific tab has all the information about your GPU.

You will have to look at the field named Bus Interface to know more about the PCIe connection. Ensure that you have selected the right graphics card from the drop-down menu to get the right PCIe version.  

But this is a not a great method to find the version of PCIe if you have an integrated graphics card installed. In that case, the free software cannot show details of the Bus Interface section when the integrated graphics card is selected. 

Checking The PCIe Speed

Checking the PCIe speed uses the same method as discussed in the last method for checking the PCIe version. Using a free tool like GPU-Z is ideal for checking memory clock, validation, and temperatures. Once the software is run, a window opens that shows a lot of details about the graphics card.

Go to the Bus Interface section to get the information about the interface and bandwidth. For example, if the Bus Interface section shows PCIe x16 3.0 @ x16, you can be sure that it runs at maximum speed. If this value ends at x8, it means that it runs at half the speed.

Interestingly, most GPUs work at lower speeds when the load is light. To check if the speed increases with increased load, you can run a stress test. For this, click on the question mark icon seen on the right of the Bus Interface section, which will run a render test on a separate window. For testing, the GPU usage is taken as 99 or 100 percent. When the test is run, the value x8 changes to x16 which means you are good to go. If this does not happen, you will have to dig deep into what causes the problem.  

If you are planning to have a new graphics card installed, make certain that you first check the PCIe version beforehand so that there are no compatibility issues later. The methods discussed above are all good to check for the required information. We would recommend checking the specifications sheet of your motherboard if you are not a technical expert.

Q&A

How do I know my PCIe speed?

PCIe Speed

The speed is measured in GT/s which stands for “billion transactions per second”. Together with the PCIe width, the maximal PCIe bandwidth is determined (speed * width). In order to verify PCIe speed, the command lspc may be used.

How do I know my PCIe generation?

The by far easiest way to check what PCIe generation on my motherboard is would be to simply look up the motherboard model. Once you find the manufacturer’s official website, you go to the specifications and look for “Expansion slots“. The PCIe generation will be written there.

How do I know if PCIe 4 is working?

What you do is:

  1. Take the card that you know for sure works from the suspected faulty PCIe slot.
  2. Insert it into another PCIe slot.
  3. If the problem persists, then the issues lies with card.
  4. If the problem resolves and the card is operating fine, then the issues lies with the PCIe slot.

What does PCIe 4.0 mean?

PCIe 4.0 is the fourth generation of the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) motherboard interface and will double the bandwidth available to graphics cards, hard drives, SSDs, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet cards.

How fast is PCIe 3.0 X16?

A PCIe 3.0 X16 interface offers a total bandwidth of 16 GBps, while PCIe 2.0 X16 offers 8 GBps. In contrast, a PCIe 1.1 X16 manages 4 GBps. All are vastly faster than the PCI interface’s maximum bandwidth of 532 MBps.

Can a PCIe 4.0 graphics card work on a PCIe 3.0 slot?

A PCIe 4.0 graphics card will work in a PCIe 3.0 motherboard slot at PCIe 3.0 speeds. For PCIe 4.0 graphics cards, maximum graphics throughput can only barely exceed that of PCIe 3.0. For this reason, the benefits of upgrading your motherboard to PCIe 4.0 will be minor.

How fast is PCIe x16?

Summary of PCI Express Interface Parameters:

Total Bandwidth: (x16 link): PCIe 3.0 = 32GB/s, PCIe 2.0 = 16GB/s, PCIe 1.1 = 8GB/s. Data Transfer Rate: PCIe 3.0 = 8.0GT/s, PCIe 2.0= 5.0GT/s, PCIe 1.1 = 2.5GT/s.

Do laptops have PCIe slots?

No laptops have pci or pcie. They do however have mpcie but that is not for gpus and is usually occupied by the wireless card. Laptop’s gpu slot is mxm and only high end gaming laptops will have them.

Should I upgrade to PCIe 4?

It is worth the upgrade to PCIe 4.0 for gaming if you: Use the fastest NVMe storage devices for loading games, which will make use of the speed. Have a PCIe 4.0 graphics card, which may see a slight performance improvement. Want to future-proof your system.

How do I check my PCI slots Windows 10?

Click on the “Motherboard” link located in the navigation pane. The PCI slots on your PC will display under the PCI Data group. The specific type of PCI slot is listed next to “Slot Type” with each PCI entry. For example, “Slot Type – PCI-Express” indicates that your computer uses PCI-Express slots.

How do I enable PCI in BIOS?

Enabling or disabling a PCI device

  1. From the System Utilities screen, select System Configuration > BIOS/Platform Configuration (RBSU) > PCI Device Enabled/Disable and press Enter.
  2. Select a device on the system from the list and press Enter.
  3. Select Enable or Disable and press Enter.
  4. Press F10.

How do I change PCIe settings in BIOS?

How do I change PCIe settings in BIOS?

  1. Open the BIOS menu.
  2. Select the “Advanced” tab using the left/right arrow keys.
  3. Select the “Video Configuration” option using the “Up/Down” arrow keys.
  4. Select the “PCI-Express Graphics” option and press “Enter.”
  5. Press “F10” to save the new settings.

Is PCIe 5.0 available?

The latest available version of PCI-Express is PCIe 5.0.

PCIe 5.0 CPUs are available from Intel, while AMD currently only supports PCIe 4.0. Intel’s 12th generation Core CPUs currently provide PCIe 5.0 support for CPU lanes (i.e., one x16 or two x8 PCIe slots) and PCIe 4.0/3.0 speeds for the remaining lanes.

What is PCIe 5.0 x16?

PCIe Gen 1 kicked things off with a bandwidth of 8 GB/s and a transfer rate of 2.5 GT/s (gigatransfer per second). With PCIe 5.0, we’re looking at transfer speeds that are as high as 32 GT/s and up to 128GB/s bandwidth over an x16 configuration. This should give you an idea of how much the standard has evolved.

How do I know if I have PCIe 3 or 4?

Just Google the model number and visit the relevant spec sheet page for your board. There, you will find detailed information about the PCIe slots and the version each and every slot conforms to. You will also get to know their generation along with other important information.

Is PCIe faster than SATA?

PCI Express supersedes SATA as the latest high bandwidth interface. Entry-level PCIe SSD speeds are two to three times faster than the older generation of SATA 3.0 SSDs mainly due to the number of channels contained by each to transfer data (roughly 10 for SATA and 25 for PCIe).

Is PCIe x16 better than x8?

From a quick look, there is a little below a 1% performance difference in PCI-e 3.0 x16 and PCI-e 3.0 x8 slots. The difference is not even close to perceptible and should be ignored as inconsequential to users fretting over potential slot or lane limitations.

How fast is PCIe x4?

HDD vs SATA vs. NVMe

PCIe
GenerationTransfer RateThroughput per Lane
Gen24.9 Gb/sx4: 2 GB/s
Gen37.9 Gb/sx4: 3.9 GB/s
Gen415.8 Gb/sx4: 7.8 GB/s

What is the speed of PCIe?

PCIe Speeds and Limitations

PCIe Revisionx1 Lanex2 Lanes
1.0/1.1250 MB/s500 MB/s
2.0/2.1500 MB/s1 GB/s
3.0/3.11 GB/s2 GB/s
4.02 GB/s4 GB/s

Is PCIe 4.0 worth its SSD?

Is PCIe 4.0 worth it for SSDs? If you want the absolute fastest drives available, then PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the way to go. They’re quicker than any PCIe 3.0 drive and will make large file transfers for such things as video editing lightning fast.

Does PCIe 4.0 matter for GPU?

Highlights: Newer PCIe standards let your PC use the latest GPUs and SSDs to their full potential. PCIe 4.0 doubles the bandwidth of 3.0, the current standard; 5.0 doubles the bandwidth of 4.0 again. Additional CPU PCIe lanes give both your GPU and SSD access to CPU lanes.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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