Top Uses Of The PCIe x1 Slot On Your Motherboard

If you prefer to or not, it’s abundantly clear that building a PC yourself is better than getting a pre-built PC. Pre-built PCs often focus on the main components of the PC (the GPU and the CPU), and cheap out on components like the motherboard, or even the PSU. People who build their own PCs often wonder what they can use their PCIe x1 slot for, and what advantage it can provide them with.

In this article, we’ll go through a few of the top uses of the PCI-E 1x slot with a few honorable mentions. Keep in mind that the uses mentioned below can be accomplished by using 8x or 16x slots as well. So without further ado, here are some of the best uses of the PCI-E 1x slot.

pcie x1

Port Expansion Cards:

This may very well be the most common use of the PCI-E 1x slot. People use it to increase the initial number of slots on their PC (all versions of USB included). By using the port expansion card, you can expand the number of internal drives (Using SATA), and even use the port to connect video tools like cameras.

Take a USB 3.0, for example. You can expand the port to connect a USB 3.1 to allow you to connect devices that require a USB 3.1 port. By doing that, you’ll be able to take advantage of faster data transfer rates, quick charging, e.t.c. 

Oftentimes, you’ll find that your MOBO doesn’t come with a USB 3.1 header. In cases like these, a PCI-E 1x slot comes in the clutch, and you can use it to connect a USB 3.1 port. You can also use the port expansion card to increase the number of SATA ports (Used to connect hard drives and optical drives). 

The PCI-E 1x slot can even be used to increase the number of SATA ports on your computer. A port expansion card also includes an eSATA port on the outside (to connect external hard drives). But not all of these cards include that function.

NVMe (M.2) Drive Slots:

NVMe drives are much better than normal hard drives, or normal SSDs, for that matter. They provide a huge leap in speed when compared to normal HDDs and SSDs. For example, the transfer rate of a hard drive is 120-180MB/s, while an NVMe drive has a transfer rate of up to +3,200 MB/s. 

It’s no surprise that NVMe drives are replacing normal HDDs and SSDs, but normal hard drives are still applicable since NVMe drives aren’t cheap, and not everyone can afford one. With an NVMe drive, your system boots in less than 10 seconds, while on a hard drive, it’ll take minutes to boot up. 

Now the problem here is (like mentioned in the heading), you need an M.2 slot to connect an NVMe drive. You don’t have to worry if your motherboard doesn’t come with one, you can just use a PCI-E expansion card. You can connect one to a PCIe x1 slot, and you’ll be able to connect NVMe drives to your computer.

TV Tuner:

If you want to enjoy live TC on your PC, you can do so by connecting a TV Tuner card to your motherboard. We’d recommend having a dual, or even a triple-monitor setup to enjoy the full benefits of live TV while multitasking. 

Not every person wants to connect a TV Tuner card, but if you want to, you can use a PCI-E 1x slot to connect one of these.

Video Capture:

It’s sort of an expansion of the previous use (TV Tuner card). You can use video capture to connect any video tools like cameras or even external drives (a DVD player for example) to your TV. 

Newer models of video capture cards even include HDMI ports, and you can even buy adapters to convert HDMI to any input type you want (DisplayPort, SVGA, and SDI, for example).

Honorable Mentions:

A PCI-E 1x slot can also be used to connect the following:

  • A sound card.
  • Modems, Network cards (wired and wireless).
  • Video Card.


And there you have it, some of the tops uses of the PCIe x1 slot on your motherboard. We hope this article helps you figure out what you want to use that PCI-E 1x slot on your motherboard for (all uses have been explained in detail, except for the “honorable mentions”).

If you have any further queries or would like to change/add something to this article, feel free to leave a comment down below, and we’ll try our best to respond to as many comments/queries as we can!

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Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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About the Author: Jason

Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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