How to Enable a PCI Express Card Slot

By Ruri Ranbe

Video cards were once independent of the motherboard and connected to an expansion slot, enabling a PC to output graphics. Most modern PCs, however, include an onboard graphics chip that renders video at a lower cost. Businesses that use video-intensive software and need to increase the graphics capabilities of a workstation can install a dedicated card to one of the peripheral component interconnect express (PCI Express) slots on the motherboard. Before using the card, however, you must switch the system settings to use PCIe as opposed to the onboard video.

Reboot the computer and then press "Pause Break" when the boot screen appears.

Check the screen for instructions describing how to access setup, sometimes referred to as the BIOS.

Press "Pause Break" to unfreeze the PC and then push the appropriate key -- before the Windows loading screen appears -- to access the BIOS.

Select "Advanced," "Advanced BIOS Features," "Advanced Chipset Setup" or "Integrated Peripherals" from the options. Press "Enter," if applicable, to open the menu.

Choose "Internal Graphics," "North Bridge Chipset Configuration" or a similar option, if available, and then press "Enter" to open the submenu.

Select "Initiate Graphics Mode," "Primary Video Adapter" or similar setting. Press "+" or "-" to choose "PEG" from the options.

Press "F10" or "Esc" to return to the main menu and then select "Exit" from the options. Highlight the option to save and quit and then press "Enter."


The steps to enable PCIe on your motherboard will vary depending on the make and model of your computer product.