Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A PCI card can have a length, height and depth. This diagram shows a 2D image of a full size PCI card:

enter image description here

The length of a full size PCI card is given as 312mm. However what are the other dimensions? Is the dimension given as 106.68 normally referred to as the height or the depth? What is the other dimension usually referred to as?

Note: I am not looking for measurements. I just want to know what PCI height usually refers to, and what the other dimension should be called.

share|improve this question
If you are using this as a refence to desingin something.. it is a rally really reallllly bad sketch to use.. it is missing the front plate, missing the mini sized sizes.. i dont know my self if 106.8 is what is that? the front plate or the card.. find another source.. or get your own card.. Usually the PCB it self can be different heights. PS i dont long PCI card are in use anymore... Unless in servers – ppumkin Dec 19 '11 at 10:36
No it is not to design anything. I just figured that having a picture is better than not. And this is the best I could find. – Rory Dec 19 '11 at 10:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I doubt the PCI specifications provide definitions of common English language words like length, breadth, width, depth or height.

Height would be the vertical dimension. Obviously which dimension of the board this refers to depends on the board's orientation with respect to the nearest or dominant source of gravity! For what it is worth I personally would say that 106.68 is the height of the (front edge of) the card. This is largely because the earliest computers with add-in cards that I encountered were Apple IIe computers where the motherboard was horizontal and the daughter-boards were oriented vertically. If the earliest computers had motherboards oriented vertically as in popular tower-cases, I might have been conditioned to refer to that dimension of the plug-in cards as their width.

The dimension perpendicular to the plane of your drawing I would describe as width. But under other circumstances I might well use another word. In a notebook PC we might refer to it as height (for the equivalent plug-in card type).

I would not be at all surprised if different manufacturers used different triplets of terms, nor would I be surprised if their choice of terms was capricious and varied arbitrarily between marketing or technical documents and across time.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.