What Are PCIe x1 Slots Used for?

PCIe x1 slots are mainly used for network cards, USB port expansions, SATA expansion cards, and PCIe riser cards. Like the rest of the PCIe slots, this is an expansion. The lowest-powered one is the PCIe x1 slot. 

I have been in the IT industry for a few years. I will share my knowledge here today so you can learn more about the most undersized PCIe slot at your disposal. 

PCIe slots are for expansions to your computer. You are most likely familiar with the PCIE x16 slot, which houses our graphics cards. The unsung hero of the PCIE slots is the x1 slot, which is small in stature, but large in its amount of uses. 

What is a PCIE x1 Slot?

The PCIE or (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) x1 slot has only one lane, and you can use it for numerous peripheral cards. There are commonly four different PCIE lanes for you to use.

If you have one, the PCIE x16 is the largest one and is where the GPU will be put in. Though PCIE slots are expansions, the x16 seems almost necessary to be put in use if you plan on doing any type of gaming. 

The PCIE x1 slot is solely a small expansionary lane that is used to power many kinds of smaller expansion cards, such as:

Network Cards

  • If your device does not natively come with a wifi card in the motherboard, a network card is one solution. A network card is designed to allow your computer to gain access to and communicate over the internet. 
  • The TP-Link WiFi 6E AXE5400 PCIe WiFi Card is an excellent wifi expansion card with speeds up to 2.4Gbps.

SATA Expansion Card

  • SATA ports are used for your hard drives or SSDs. Motherboards only come with a certain amount, and once they are all used up, that is it. Fortunately, you can use the PCIE x1 slot to give yourself some more SATA ports to continue expanding your drive space. 
  • The 10-port SATA expansion card gives you access to even more drive space, supplying you with the necessary cables as well.

Sound Card

Most modern motherboards come with built-in sound cards, and this is not really necessary. But for those with the keenest ears or a knack for getting the best audio, sound cards can improve the sound quality and give you more accurate sound.

USB Port Expansion Card

  • USB Expansion cards add even more USB ports for you to use. If you are a person who uses more peripherals than your computer can accommodate, this is the expansion card for you. 
  • The PCIE to USB 3.0 7 Port Expansion Card will add five more USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB-C ports for you to use. 

Final Thoughts

PCIE Slots are all, in essence, expansion slots, some able to accommodate higher powered cards than others, the PCIE x1 being the smallest in size and power of them all. There are plenty of various uses for the PCIE x1 slot that can help expand your computer.

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