Originally Posted by Completely Bonkers
PCIe cards are much safer in this respect... since all at the same voltage. And in the extreme case, if one lane gets damaged... in theory, the rest of the card/slot should work fine. Just like putting a PCIex16 GPU in a PCIEx8 slot... it works fine.
That is all fine and good if you kill a data-lane. All of the power provided by PCI-E is provided in the first 11 pins (either side) of a PCI-E slot. Everything after the PCI-E key is only PCI-E data, clocks, and grounds. I also don't think that PCI-E is as resilient as you are describing. If you fry a lane there is a good bet there is more damage to the PCI-E controller as well. PCI-E also uses 12v and 3.3v.