USB Type-C port is slowly but surely becoming a standard. We are already seeing laptops and smartphones that are using this type of port instead of the old one.
If you want to use USB-C on your PC, today we’re going to show you some of the best USB-C PCI cards for your Windows 10 computer.
Before we start we need to quickly explain what is USB-C port and how does it work.
Most computers use a regular USB-A port while devices such as smartphones or tablets use the USB mini connector for charging and data transfer.
The new USB-C port has a similar size to USB mini, and in the future, we’ll see the same port on PCs and mobile devices.
It’s also worth mentioning that USB-C port allows you to connect your device or USB cable in any position, which is not the case with current USB-A devices.
Although USB-C port sounds great, it has few limitations. Due to its small size, you won’t be able to connect your old USB devices that have Type-A connector directly to your PC.
Fortunately, this limitation can be fixed by using the appropriate adapter.
The USB-C port usually comes with USB 3.1 standard, and thanks to corresponding adapters you can get an extra Ethernet port or connect your device to the external display by using the USB-C port.
USB-C port has great potential, and if you don’t have a PC or a laptop with a built-in USB-C port, you might be interested in these USB-C PCI cards.
What are the best USB-C PCI cards for your Windows 10 PC?
- Compatible with PCIe x4, PCIe x8, and PCIe x16 slots
- 10 Gbps bandwidth for real 3.1 transfer for both ports
- No need for extra power
- Built-in overcurrent protection
- Black bracket
As we already mentioned, USB-C connectors usually use the latest USB 3.1 standard that is two times faster than USB 3.0.
In theory, USB 3.1 provides up to 10 Gbps transfer speed, but this depends on the computer it’s installed on.
In order to install this device, you need to use any PCIe slot. The device works with PCIe x4, x8, and x16 slots. This device is simple to install, and it comes with a single USB-C port.
Although this card offers amazing speed, you’ll need to purchase an adapter if you want to connect standard USB-A devices to the USB-C port.
This is a simple USB-C PCI card, but before you purchase it, be sure to check if it’s compatible with your PC. Regarding the price, this card is available for a price that goes around the $30 price tag.
- 2 USB 3.1 ports for up to 10 Gbps transfer speed
- Small form-factor
- SATA power connector
- Low profile bracket
- The second port is internal
USB-C ports are great, but if you’re going to use a USB-C port with a device that has a USB-A connector, you’ll need to purchase an adapter. StarTech 2-Port USB 3.1 Card fixes this limitation and it comes with USB-C and USB-A ports.
Regarding the speed, this device offers up to 10Gbps transfer speed which should be enough for most users. We have to mention that USB-C port works with Thunderbolt 3 devices, but you’ll be limited to 10Gbps transfer speed.
In addition to USB-C and USB-A connectors, there’s also a SATA Power 15pin plug for high-consumption devices.
The biggest problem with USB-C ports is that you can’t use them with regular USB-A devices unless you purchase an adapter, but since this card has a USB-A port available you won’t have any compatibility issues.
Regarding the compatibility, this device is fully compatible with older USB standards and all USB devices.
StarTech 2-Port USB 3.1 Card is an amazing device and with USB-A and USB-C ports available you won’t have any compatibility issues.
We also have to mention that there are several models available, and you can get a model with only two USB Type-C ports if you like. There’s also a model that has two A-Type ports, one C-Type port, and two internal ports.
If you decide to purchase this device, be sure that your motherboard has Generation 3 PCIe slots. This card will work with older generation slots, but you won’t achieve 10Gbps transfer speed.
- Asmedia Chipset
- Up to 10 Gbps transfer speed
- Plug & play and hot swapping capability
- Low-profile bracket
- No USB Type A ports included
Unlike the previous entry on our list, this card has two USB Type-C ports available. Although these ports use USB 3.1 standard, they are fully compatible with USB 3.0 and older stands. Regarding the speed, this card offers up to 10Gbps transfer speed.
The card works with PCI-E x4, x8 and x16 slots, so you can easily install it on your PC. Regarding compatibility, the device works on Windows and Linux devices.
Few users reported some minor issues with Windows 10, but that can be fixed by downloading the latest driver.
We also have to mention that this card has 15-pin SATA power connector available that you can use for high-consumption peripherals such as 3.5-inch hard drives.
AUKEY USB-C PCI Express Card sounds like an amazing device. It offers great transfer speed, and it has two USB-C ports. The device offers full compatibility with all your USB devices, as long as you have an appropriate adapter.
- Dual USB Type-A and Type-C ports
- Compatible with x4, x8, or x16 PCI Express Slots
- Transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps
- ASRock Full Spike Protection
- No additional power port
This is another USB-C PCI card, and it comes with USB-C and USB-A ports. This device works the PCI-E x4, x8, and x16 slots, and it’s compatible with PCI-e 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0 standards.
This card can provide up to 10Gbps transfer speed, but in order to achieve the maximum performance, you need to have PCI-E 3.0 slot available. The device will work with older standards, but you won’t achieve the maximum transfer speed.
Since this card comes with USB-A port, you can easily use it without any adapters and connect any USB device to it. Regarding the compatibility, older USB standards are fully supported.
Of course, you can still connect devices to USB-C port, but you’ll need USB-A to USB-C adapter.
ASRock Model USB 3.1/A+C Card is a solid device, and with USB-C and USB-A port you’ll ensure that your PC is compatible with both old and new USB devices.
- Up to 40 Gbps transfer speeds
- One Type-C port supports Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2
- Includes secondary USB 3.1 Type-A port
- 36 W maximum charging
- More expensive than other products
Although most USB Type-C ports work with USB 3.1 standard, some work with Thunderbolt 3. USB 3.1 standard offers 10Gbps transfer speed while Thunderbolt 3 offers amazing 40Gbps transfer speed. This card has a Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port, a single USB 3.1 Type-A port and a Mini Displayport In.
The card can work with external displays, and it supports 4K resolution. In addition, there’s support for USB Power Delivery that provides charging power up to 36W. This means that you can connect six devices in a daisy-chain and charge them simultaneously from a single port.
To use this card you simply need to connect it to PCI-E 3.0 x4 slot on your motherboard. After that, you need to connect the card to the Thunderbolt header on your motherboard. Lastly, you need to connect the DisplayPort cable to your card and to the onboard DisplayPort port.
This is an amazing device since it allows you to use a single USB-C port to connect Thunderbolt 3 devices, USB 3.1 devices, and DisplayPort 1.2 devices. Of course, there’s a USB-A port available for all standard USB devices.
ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 Card is probably one of the best USB-C PCI cards, and you can get it on Amazon. Before purchasing this card be sure to check if it’s fully compatible with your motherboard.
FAQ: Learn more about PCI cards
- What is a PCI card used for?
- Do you need a PCI card?
If you own a PCI-based board, you might find it useful. Check out these best USB-C PCI cards for inspiration.
- What goes in PCI slots?
Editor’s note: This article continues on the next page. Feel free to explore more products in our Network and Connectivity Hub.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.