PCI paves the way
What it means to be I/O
There isn't really a problem with PCI. In fact, PCI works very well and has been doing so ever since its conception. The problem is that hardware devices today are advancing quickly in speed and bandwidth needs, but PCI, the fabric that grips everything together, isn't. It's essentially the same as it's always been. This of course, is inherent and by design of any I/O bus. Can you imagine what things would be like if I/O buses like PCI changed as rapidly as graphics cards do? We'd be in utter chaos and there wouldn't be a standard at all.
Try stuffing all 6 of them
Because PCI was designed to handle a large number of devices, it must be able to stand the test of time. When it was designed some 12 years ago, PCI was armed with specifications that would ensure its longevity in computer systems for years to come. First introduced in 486 and early Pentium motherboards, PCI revolutionized the way we use our computers.
We saw the first incarnations of true multimedia computers with the introduction of PCI video cards that accelerated high and true colors graphics and could overlay motion video in real-time. While graphics wasn't pixel-shaded and full-scene anti-aliased, it was a huge step up from the dithered days of 256 colors, and a marginal improvement over the latest generation of VESA VLB cards.
It took a year or two before we saw more devices take advantage of PCI, but once developers realized the potential of PCI, we saw a transformation of the computer and the IT world was shaken from its ISA foundation. Computers went from being underpowered, hard to configure clunks of metal, to self-managed, plug & play (pray at the time) gaming machines. Corporate machines saw immediate integration of PCI and high-bandwidth data servers became much more economical. Accelerated graphics was an artist's dreams come true. Intel even demoed a PCI sound card back then, but at the time, accelerated audio never caught anyone's eye.
As the years went by, more and more devices migrated from the older ISA/EISA platform to the more relaxing and speedier PCI platform. Networks became phenomenally faster and storage device controllers shattered all previous speed records. It was good to be alive!
Fast forward to 2001: New devices are still breaking speed records everyday - except for PCI, which is still chugging along at 33MHz and gagging on just 133MB of data.