Figuring out the type(s) of PC card slots your computer is equipped with can help you avoid buying the wrong type of card. Determining your card type can also help you choose the best type of card for the job in cases where you have more than one type of card slot available–and in all likelihood, you will. And when it comes to determining your computer’s card slot type(s), there’s more than one way to do it.
1. Use a system information tool like Astra32 or SIW (System Information for Windows) to find out what type of PC card slots your computer’s motherboard is equipped with. A system information utility will scan your computer and generate a list of every hardware component in your system. Simply launch the utility, and locate the “Slot” specifications from the system report to get information on the type(s) of slots available.
2. Run your computer’s model number through a search engine like Bing or Google to locate a specification sheet for your computer. Once you’ve located the specs sheet, you can use the information to find out what type of card slots are available on your computer’s motherboard.
3. Compare the physical differences between the card slots on your computer to a chart of the mainstream PC card types, such as AGP, PCI and PCI-Express. Comparing the card slots on your computer’s motherboard is made easy because the lengths of PC card slots vary between types. And the spacing of the contacts on PC cards–as well as the lengths of their groupings–will also vary between types, meaning the dividers that section off the grooves inside each card slot type will differ.