There are several ways to connect a desktop computer to a local network.
These include Ethernet cables (the most traditional and robust type of connection), wireless adapters and wireless PCI cards. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages, but today we will look at PCI and PCIE wireless cards.
So let’s take a look at the best Wi-Fi card for your PC.
First selection: PCIWireless Adapter Cards
You can learn more about these wireless cards below, or click on the links above to go directly to the product on Amazon.
9 Best PCI-E Wireless Adapter Cards for your PC
1. Asus Dual Band Wireless AC1900 PCE-AC68 adapter card (Best Universal)
This is a super fast adapter (with an 802.11ac chipset) that can deliver data rates up to 1.3 Gbps. It is dual-band, ideal for playing online games or streaming HD video, and has fully flexible external antennas so you can maintain a constant connection and adapt it to the aesthetics of your home.
If your computer is not located near a router or wireless access point, this card also has a retractable external antenna (to maximize wireless line of sight), which can be ideal if you have problems making good connections with other cards.
It is best to have your antennas as far away from the back of your PC as possible.
Contains a heat sink to distribute high temperatures.
2. TP-Link Archer TX3000E AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 cards (best PCIE card for wireless AX)
This TP-Link Archer also uses the new 802.11ax (wifi 6) wireless standard, which means that you can theoretically reach up to 3 Gbps (on the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless range) with this adapter. Online gamers and HD video addicts are happy!
It also uses Bluetooth 5.0, which can be useful for all gaming devices such as headsets.
In fact, it is an excellent PCI card for those who want to take full advantage of their Wi-Fi 6 router. It is also backwards compatible with AC and N wireless networks if you have a very old router!
Also includes a cooler for cooling.
3. Gigabyte GC-Wbax200 2×2 802.11AX Dual Band Card
This AX Wireless Dual Band Adapter uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to give you a theoretical speed of 2.4 Gbps. Of course it is compatible with standard AC routers/access points and wireless N.
This is another card that supports Bluetooth 5.0.
This 2×2 MU MIMO card also has a detachable antenna, allowing you to easily pick up the strongest Wi-Fi signal in your home.
4. Asus PCE-AX58BT (AX3000) Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Card AX
This wireless card from Rosewill is another high-tech product that uses the Wi-Fi 800.11ax standard. It thus offers a theoretical speed of up to 2400 Mbit/s in the 5 GHz band and 570 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz band.
OFDMA and MU MIMO technologies help you get the most out of your AX Wireless Router.
This is another card that supports Bluetooth 5.0 and allows you to connect your headset, speakers, etc. with better coverage.
The PCE-AX58BT also works with older network technologies (AC & N).
5. TP-Link-Archer T6E AC1300 Wireless PCI-E Card
This map is less powerful than many of the above (we’ll come back to wireless climate maps later), but it still offers some good features that can make it a solid purchase if you have a limited budget.
With a theoretical maximum speed of 1.3 Gbps (over two ranges) it’s still decent.
The antennas are detachable and have a 2-year warranty, so you can relax.
Oh, and there’s a heat sink to keep the temperature down.
6. Asus PCE-AC88 4×4 Wireless PCIe AC3100 Adapter
The Asus PCE-AC88 has become the flagship of the Asus Desktop Card and is based on the earlier, very reliable PCE-AC68, which was introduced above. We left the AC68 in the first place because it is still a reliable Wi-Fi card, but now the costs are even higher because of the lower price.
This 4×4 adapter (there are 4 receivers on 4 antennas) is for those who pay any price, the last and the biggest. The antennas are adjustable and connected via a cable, which gives more flexibility in the correct positioning to obtain the optimal signal.
This card supports MU-MIMO, allowing you to have up to 4 Wi-Fi streams at the same time (provided your router supports it). This contributes to the reliability of the connection and you should see an increase in data throughput. How cute!
Like components (and peripherals), overheating can be a problem… which can lead to bottlenecks and possible system failures. In case the PCE-AC88 is clogged, Asus turned on its individual radiator to keep it cool.
So we reach 3.1 Gbps. Note that it is cumulative on both bands (2.1 Gbps on the 802.11ac at 5 GHz and 1 Gbps on the Wireless N at 2.4 GHz). And yes, even that’s theoretical… but if your office is in the optimal position in relation to the router and you have installed the external antennas correctly, you should be able to enjoy a reasonable wireless connection speed. Come on! Come on!
7. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wireless AC-PCI-E Adapter with Bluetooth 4.2connection
GC-WB867D-I of a giant motherboard, 802.11ac Okay, not as high as the Asus AC cards, but still quite powerful, with a theoretical speed of up to 867 Mbps. It is a dual-band card (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).
This card, like some of the others in our list, has detachable antennas (2×2) that are attached with a cable, so that you can place the antennas in the best position for the aesthetics of your home.
It is also possible to connect via Bluetooth (4.2) for those who want to. Desktops that do have the Bluetooth option usually have a relatively short range. I hope this will change things in this department.
8. Pink RNX-AC1300PCE 802.11acWi-Fi Adapter
Another dual-band radio card, and it’s from Roseville again.
This is also a wireless AC (Broadcom chipset), but with a total speed of 1.3 Gbps (867 Mbps at 5 GHz and another 400 Mbps at 2.4 GHz), so slower than the RNX-AC1900PCE AC1900 above. It also features blasting technology to improve coverage.
Please note that the antennas are attached to the card, so unfortunately there is no way to place them in the best position for your PC. However, the antennas are adjustable.
9. Asus PCE-N15 802.11NWireless adapter card
Well, finally we have the Asus basic adapter. A small wireless N card that connects you. Don’t expect the magic (online gamers, look away!) – like the other Asus cards above. PCE-N15 is essentially an impeccable board that enables a network connection at incredible speeds.
The antennas can be configured as desired and you can use the WPS connection option for wireless pairing. although we do not recommend this method if you are sure…
Although the card is quite old, it is supported by Windows 10 and offers easy installation.
What are wireless PCI cards?
Wireless PCI cards are devices installed in a computer housing via an available PCI expansion slot that allow you to connect to a nearby Wi-Fi wireless network.
Since Wi-Fi is the most common way to connect to the Internet (via your router) nowadays, it is usually very important that your computer is equipped with Wi-Fi. So a wireless PCI card is a way to connect a computer that does not yet have a wireless connection to the Internet.
Why use a wireless NIC?
The most obvious reason to use a wireless network card is to connect a PC that does not yet have a wireless connection.
Although an Ethernet cable is a reliable way to connect to a local network and in some cases, such as high intensity online gaming, it is often impractical to run cables around the house.
However, with a wireless network card you can connect wirelessly to a network anywhere within range of the wireless router.
However, sometimes the use of a wireless card is not the best solution. For example, if your computer is a laptop. The reason for this is that laptops cannot connect to a wireless card (at least one connected card), or even if they do, the size and antennae of the wireless card can ruin the laptop’s portability.
Of course, your desktop computer can already be equipped with WiFi technology. But if the radio is not very powerful, if the radio is a bit older by default, or if the antennas are buried in a suitcase, you might not get the best Wi-Fi experience.
One option is to use an available PCI slot on your mobile phone (mobo – short for motherboard – which every man knows) for a Wi-Fi card that runs on AC wireless and has fully adjustable antennas with an extension cable for more location options.
And don’t worry, we’ll show you how to operate them for easy installation.
Wireless card vs. USB adapter – Is a PCI-WiFi card better than a USB adapter?
Both wireless cards and USB adapters have their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s take a look at the USB adapters first. If you need the simplest way to connect a wireless computer to a wireless network (or to upgrade devices on the wireless network), a wireless adapter is certainly the easiest option.
The only setting is usually to connect the adapter to the computer (in one of the free USB slots). Your computer then needs to be connected and all the necessary files installed, and you can usually connect to a wireless network within seconds of connecting the device.
Wireless USB adapters are also very suitable for laptops. These small laptops don’t have the space or the functionality to install a PCI card (well, the one we’re talking about today), so a wireless adapter is often the solution. On some laptops you can update the internal card. We wrote an article about it here.
Recommended USB adapter: Power supply AC1200 A6210
In some cases, however, wireless cards are the best choice. If your computer z. For example, if the router is a bit further away and you have problems getting a serial signal, you often get a much stronger signal because of the extra antennas on the PCI card, which can increase the range.
Of course you also benefit from the advantages of an extra USB port if you use a wireless card.
Also the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 adapters is worth mentioning. If you use a USB 2.0 adapter, the wireless card will probably give you much more bandwidth, so you should get a faster connection.
However, the difference between the latest USB 3.0 adapters and a wireless card may be less significant.
Okay, that’s great, but what about wireless cards
Well, for desktops they are often a bigger bet because they are often 100% in the same position and often in dark and far corners of the room. Yes, there is nothing wrong with using USB drives, but since computers are physically placed, the PCI expansion option is often preferred.
We’ll talk about those specific reasons later.
PCI vs. PCI-E (PCI Express), does it matter?
If you decide to use a wireless card to connect to a wireless network, you must always choose between a PCI card and a PCI-E (PCI Express) card. Sometimes referred to as Rhythm card.
PCI-E is a newer standard and if you have a recently purchased computer, you probably have room for a PCI-E lock.
PCI-E cards offer a higher bandwidth than PCI cards, so it might seem a good idea to buy one of these cards.
However, it should be noted that PCI-E cards often provide more than enough bandwidth to support the Internet speeds of most users, although vendors are currently offering Internet connection speeds that question this theory.
It may be worthwhile to purchase a PCI-E card if you do a lot of file transfers on your local network, but for a shared Internet connection, it doesn’t matter what type of card you use. Although, frankly, the vast majority of cards sold today are PCI-E, and your mafia will probably take that too – unless you’ve revived a very old computer!
PCI-E contacts, size and connector
There are three different versions of PCI-E: 1.0, 2.0 and yes, you guessed it… 3.0
Fortunately, all versions are compatible with each other, both forward and backward.
There is also the number of pins to think about and the length. You don’t have to think much about it, because they all fit in the PCI-E slot. 11. Pine is always hard and unused. After this pin, the manufacturer can add a number of pins.
The standard number of pins and their length are shown in the table below.
|PCI-E format||No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Pins.||Length|
|PCI Express 1||18||25 mm|
|PCI Express 4||39||39 mm|
|PCI Express 8||49||56 mm|
|PCI Express 16||82||89 mm|
Explanation of PCI Jargon
If you are looking for the best pacey card, you will see a lot of acronyms. What do they mean? Here’s a short list of the most common abbreviations you’ll appreciate when looking for your next wireless adapter, along with a basic explanation of what it is and what it does
PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) – old slots on the motherboard. One of the special ways to connect PCI cards for networks, USB, TV cards and everything else that was a popular connection some 10-15 years ago.
PCI-E (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) is a new version of PCI that has fewer contacts but a much higher bandwidth (bus speed). Some graphics cards have also been using PCIE for many years.
802.11ac – also known as wireless air conditioning A fairly new and fast IEEE wireless standard that uses a 5 GHz radio frequency to send and receive data. Wireless AC is backward compatible with older wireless standards, including wireless N
802.11n – also known as Wireless N. Previously a wireless standard, but uses the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands.
Dual Band – devices using 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio frequencies.
5 GHz – Wireless frequency range, within 5 GHz. Faster than 2.4 GHz and less sensitive to interference because there are many channels that do not overlap However, the range is not so good
2.4 GHz – in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. It’s still the most popular band. The range of the wireless network is better/superior to 5 GHz, but it is limited by speed and interference problems because there are only three non-overlapping channels.
Gbps (Gigabit per second) – Unit of data transmission. The more, the better.
Mbps (Megabits per second) – Same as Gbps, but slower.
N300 / AC3100 etc. – N or AC refers to a wireless standard as explained above. The following figure shows the total theoretical baud rate for all radio transmitters.
Is there anything to think about?
Now that we know what PCI and PCIE cards are and why a wireless card has its advantages, what else should we consider?
More antennas means more potential data stream (depending on your settings and devices) and faster Wi-Fi. You want to try aligning your antennas at an angle of 45 degrees to each other. Our best article on antennas might explain it better, but if you tilt the antennas at a 45-degree angle (and if the third one is available to keep it completely vertical), the chances of covering all directions of the wireless signal increase.
Don’t forget that wireless signals can bounce off your furniture and walls. So if you adjust the angle of the antennas, you have a much better chance of capturing the Wi-Fi signal as efficiently as possible.
With most wireless cards, the antennas are screwed directly into the card. This means that it is not possible to adjust the height of the antennas. This can be a small problem, especially if your computer is hidden under the table at floor level and the back of the cabinet is pressed firmly against the wall. More often than not your wifi signals will have to go through a body, walls, a table or a combination of three!
Fortunately, some PCI-E cards have a cable that connects the antennas to the real card. This means you can raise the antennas and place them away from your PC and any furniture that may cause problems with the wifi performance.
How do I install a wireless PCIcard?
Although it’s more complicated than installing a USB adapter (you literally just plug it in and play!), installing a wireless card isn’t as complicated as you might think. So, yes, easy installation.
However, this also means that you have to open your computer. Before doing so, please check how this will affect your warranty. If you don’t know what to do, you’ll probably have to hire an expert to do it for you.
Here is the simple procedure for installing a wireless network card
1. Turn off the computer
Although it is obvious, this step is often mentioned because you can do a lot of damage to your computer and yourself if you connect to your computer without turning it off.
2. Opening the computer case
Most computers have a removable panel that can be removed to access the computer. It is worth checking your computer’s manual beforehand to make sure you are not damaging your computer.
3. Identifying the PCI/PCI ELock .
You need to install a wireless card here. If you are not sure where it is located, consult the manual again.
4. Remove cover plate.
Usually, a protective plate is installed above the PCI slot. Usually you can remove it by unscrewing the plate.
5. Align the wireless network interface card (NIC) with the PCI slot and insert thecard.
Make sure that all important elements are aligned and that the chips are oriented towards the bottom of the package. Then just insert the card into the slot.
6. Screw the wireless card back to
Use the screws on the shield plate to attach the PCIE Wireless Card in the fourth step.
There must have been some antennas on your radio card. It’s time to twist it.
Here is a handy video that shows how to install a WiFi PCI card…
8. Turn off and leave your computer!
Once your card has been successfully installed, simply shut down your computer and turn it back on. The final step is the installation of the drivers on your PC’s operating system, which runs automatically if you use Windows 8 or higher.
You may need a driver installation CD if you use Windows 7, but we would be surprised if Windows 7 does not find drivers for you You should not use Windows 7 anymore!
PCI-E Wi-Ficards: short
In short, a wireless card can be a great way to connect your desktop computer to a Wi-Fi network. They are characterized by high speed and good range and are relatively easy to assemble if you are not afraid to do a little manual work. For more flexibility in positioning, you can use an extension cord. This allows you to position the antennas in an optimal position relative to the location of your PC case.
Among the maps we looked at today, each one has its own qualities and reasons why you can buy one or the other.
If you don’t have a wireless connection on your desktop and only need normal Wi-Fi, a wireless N card will probably suit you – for example Asus PCE-N15. It will connect you and use the 2.4 GHz frequency band that has the best range.
If you want the best performance for your card, the Archer TX3000E may be the best option. It has all the necessary functions, such as 802.11ac, beamforming technology and four external retractable cable antennas. 4K video streaming and other low latency high-speed tasks should work better with it.
Don’t forget that a Wi-Fi USB adapter can be just great. Please note that you may lose one of your valuable USB ports and may not get the same wireless range that you could get with the external antenna option of a PCIE card.
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