In Which PCIe Slots of My Motherboard Can I Place My NI PCIe Card?

Updated May 23, 2019

Reported In


  • Multifunction I/O Device



Issue Details

  • I have an NI PCIe (PCI Express) card and I want to know how many bus lanes it uses.
  • In my Development PC, I have a few PCIe slots: x1, x4, x8, x16. Some of them are taken.  How can I check if my card is compatible with these interfaces?
  • My motherboard contains multiple slots of different length and shape. I'm not sure if the card will fit.


The slots on your PC's motherboard adhere to either the PCIe or PCI standard. Most recent motherboards have PCIe slots for PCIe cards. You can know your device's PCIe lanes in the following ways:

  • By checking the Specification Sheet of the device, and looking under the Bus Interface section.
  • By checking the connector size of the card in its product page.
For example, the PCIe-6509 showcases an x1 connector form factor.

Ensure the number of PCIe lanes used by the PCIe device is less than or equal to that supported by the PCIe slot on your motherboard. For example, a device requiring a single PCIe lane is denoted x1 PCIe. This will work on a motherboard PCIe slot that is denoted x1, x4, x8 or x16. The device specification sheet for the PCIe device also includes a Bus Interface section, which will go over slot compatibility.

PCIe cards are not compatible with the older PCI slot standard. The PCI physical slot will not allow for the insertion of the PCIe card.

Additional Information

The peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) is a universal interface standard for computers. Motherboards have a number of PCIe slots you can use to add peripheral devices such as GPUs, Wi-Fi cards or, in this case, National Instruments data acquisition devices.