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The 4 Best PCIe Wi-Fi Cards For Gaming In 2020

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Over the past couple of decades, the technology industry has gone a bit bonkers for wireless compatibility. We’re seeing more wireless mice, headsets, and keyboards than ever before, mainly thanks to new, more cost-effective ways of removing the hassle of cables.

With that being the case, it’s no surprise that more and more people are now wanting to remove the hassle of cables when it comes to their internet needs as well. PCIe Wi-Fi cards have been growing in popularity exponentially over the past could of years, with the marketplace now offering a sea of affordable options for all levels of performance. That makes choosing the best PCI-e Wi-Fi card for gaming all the more difficult.

Fear not though, here at WePC we like to lend a helping hand – do some of the hard work for you, if you will. We’ve got our hands on some of the best Wi-Fi adapters out there, and we’re gonna put them through their paces to see which is best for gaming.

In the following article, we’ll be exploring signal strength, signal distance, speeds, reliability, heatsinks, and everything else that comes with a PCIe Wi-Fi card purchase. We’ll be concluding with our four best PCIe Wi-Fi cards and why we think they’re worth your consideration.

So, with all that in mind, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!

 

Best PCIe Wi-Fi Cards In 2020

Editors Choice

ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter

ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter

Best PCIe Wi-Fi Card For Gaming

Our number one pick goes to the ASUS PCE AC56 for a number of different reasons. It’s not only one of the best looking Wi-Fi adapters in this guide, but it’s also one of the most powerful too. A great choice for all gamers.

With speeds of up to 876Mbps in 5.0GHz range and 400Mbps in 2.4GHz range, the PCE AC56 is more than equipped to handle your gaming/web browsing needs.

With a nicely designed heatsink and great compatibility, this Wi-Fi card pretty much does it all.

TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wifi Card

TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wifi Card

Best PCIe Wi-Fi Card For Gaming Runner Up

TP-Link is one of the biggest names in the networking sector, bringing high-performance, affordable offerings to the marketplace.

For that reason, and others which we’ll touch upon shortly, we’ve given their AC1300 our second spot in this best-of guide. It is one of the best value for money products in this list, providing great performance for your wireless needs.

Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi Card

Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi Card

Best PCIe Wi-Fi Card With BlueTooth

Gigabyte probably isn’t the first name you think of when considering Wi-Fi adapter cards. However, here we are recommending one for our best PCIe Wi-FI guide.

This Wi-Fi card not only offers good speeds, strong signal strength, and the reliability that comes with buying Gigabyte products. It also comes equipped with a cabled antenna system, alongside strong BlueTooth connectivity too.

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

Honourable mention

Lastly, we have the Rosewill AC1900PCE Wi-Fi card. This handy all-rounder provides plenty of performance for the budding gamer – albeit not as cost-effective as the above options.

This nicely designed Wi-Fi card looks very similar to our top pick. However, looks aren’t the only place this one excels. It also provides strong signal strength, great coverage, and a heatsink that is more than equipped to keep thermals at manageable levels.

How We Choose

Whether we’re reviewing the best PCIe Wi-Fi cards for gaming or the best GPU on the market, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.

It requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and reviewing user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion on what to recommend.

If you aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to put the time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a PCIe Wi-Fi card that isn’t right for your bespoke requirements.

Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of research away, transforming the whole process into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide. That’s right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work for you!

Things to Consider Before Buying A PCIe Wi-Fi Card For Gaming

Like all hardware components, choosing the best PCIe Wi-Fi card for gaming requires certain levels of consideration to ensure you choose the right one. As the market is currently flooded with a sea of options, it can sometimes be difficult choosing the one that best suits your set up.

For that reason, we’ve put together the main aspects of a Wi-Fi card that should always be considered prior to purchase. These will cover the main factors that affect you from a performance and gaming standpoint.

Data Transfer Speed And Bandwidth

Data transfer speed and bandwidth is a hugely important aspect when it comes to gaming, especially those that like to play more competitive titles. The speed and bandwidth of your Wi-Fi card will dictate how quickly you’ll receive your internet connection. For gamers, you want to be choosing a data transfer speed that covers the speed of your internet.

The speed of your Wi-Fi card is a combination of several factors working together, but ultimately all comes down to the demands of your network. A Wi-Fi card that works well for your work colleague might not work as efficiently for you.

That said, any PCIe Wi-Fi card worth its weight will provide adequate speeds for a gamer and their household. As a base figure, gamers should be looking for at least one Gigabit of data throughput. This is more than enough speed to accommodate your gaming/browsing needs. However, for those looking to achieve the highest levels of wireless connectivity, two and three Gigabit Wi-Fi cards are available.

Number & Quality Of Antennas

The antennas that come attached to your Wi-Fi card are probably much more important than you would initially think. Firstly, the antennas are the feature of a Wi-Fi card that transmits and receives the data given out by your wireless router. That makes them hugely important in the greater scheme of things. Whilst the quality of the antenna is extremely important, so are the number of antennas that your Wi-Fi card accommodates.

Each of the antenna on your Wi-Fi card can transmit and receive data. So, having more antenna theoretically means you can receive more data. Furthermore, positioning your antenna in different directions can increase the coverage of your wireless connection.

However, it isn’t all about quantity – we’ve also got to consider quality. The marketplace is a sea of Wi-Fi card options, many of which try to claim your cash by offering ‘bang for your buck’ price tags – achieved by reducing the quality of certain features. That said, if you are serious about wireless gaming, you must factor in the quality of your antennas.

The quality of your antennas will dictate certain characteristics of your Wi-Fi card, including signal strength, signal distance, speed, bandwidth, and overall coverage.

When purchasing a Wi-Fi card, try and discover what antenna the manufacturers have used. If they’re unimpressive stock antennas, you might want to consider replacing that.

Thermals

Like most PC components, thermals and cooling are some of the most important things to consider when it comes to gaming. If thermals start to increase, you see a rapid decline in the efficiency of that hardware component. The same can most definitely be said for Wi-Fi cards – the main reason why you’ll often see them equipped with fair large heatsinks.

Ultimately, if you want the best Wi-Fi experience, look for an adapter which comes equipped with a fairly good sized heatsink. This will ensure that your Wi-Fi card is running in optimal conditions.

Size

Whilst the size of your Wi-Fi card doesn’t actually have a direct correlation with gaming performance, it can affect you in other ways. For example, if your Wi-Fi card is too large, you might end up blocking other more important hardware components – such as the GPU.

Just keep in mind how much available space you have to play with when purchasing a Wi-Fi card. The last thing you want to be doing is sending stuff back and restarting your search.

Our 4 Best PCIe Wi-Fi Card For Gaming

Product Details
ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter

ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter

  • standard: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • frequencies: 2.4Ghz or 5GHz
  • connection: PCIe
Check Current Price
TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wifi Card

TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wifi Card

  • standard: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • frequencies: 2.4GHz 5GHz
  • connection: PCIe
Check Current Price
Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi Card

Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi Card

  • standard: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • frequencies: 2.4Ghz or 5.8GHz
  • connection: PCIe
Check Current Price
Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

  • standard: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • frequencies: Dual band (2.4Ghz or 5GHz)
  • connection: PCIe
Check Current Price

The Best PCIe Wi-Fi Cards For Gaming

#1

ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter

The ASUS PCE-AC56 gets the number one spot for PCIe Wi-Fi card for gaming and it’s easy to see why. The AC56, as we’ll call it, not only provides excellent speeds and overall performance, it also brings a ton of reliability to the table as well.

The ASUS PCE-AC56 offers dual-band operations and supports transfer speeds up to 876Mbps (5GHz) or 400Mbps (2.4GHz). Alongside this, ASUS has equipped it with various modulation technologies, including OFDM, DQPSK, CCK, DBPSK, 64QAM, and 16QAM, all helping to improve the performance whilst allowing for data transfer prioritization.

Thanks to the two external antennae, locating the perfect position from your laptop/PC to your router couldn’t be easier. Pairing this with the wide-range the AC56 supports and you can pretty much put your computer wherever you want.

The easy to install AC56 is compatible with most versions of Windows and adds a certain level of aesthetic appeal to your build. Take all these factors into consideration, alongside the powerful heatsink it comes equipped with, and you have a superb little PCIe Wi-Fi card for your next build.

#2

TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wifi Card

If you’re looking for wide coverage, solid signal strength, and an affordable price tag, look no further. The TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wi-Fi card is a well-balanced mix of all three, bringing the reliability of TP-Link’s name with it.

This particular adapter offers up speeds of 867Mbps in 5GHz range and 400Mbps in 2.4GHz range, putting it bang in line with the top performers in this guide. Speeds of this height are going to be more than enough to play most gaming scenarios, alongside excellent streaming and browsing results too.

Whilst the two external antennas aren’t the best in the world, they do provide adequate range reception for your Wi-Fi – allowing you more freedom when choosing a location to game. The heatsink on the AC1300 is up there with the best in this guide, providing excellent thermal dissipation whilst in use.

This model supports most versions of Windows – including Windows 10. However, that being said, it, unfortunately, does not cover Linux. Overall, it’s still one of the best Wi-Fi cards in today’s market – and a damn good value one too.

#3

Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi Card

Gigabyte’s GC-WB867D-I Wi-Fi card offers up a combination of high transfer speeds and a lag-free experience, making it a fine choice for gamers of all genres. It is also the only card in this list that comes equipped with a cabled antenna system, giving it a slight edge in the range department.

The WB867D comes equipped with two detachable antennas that connect to the Wi-Fi card via cables. This allows users to re-position the antennas around their gaming space to increase the quality of the Wi-Fi signal. The base of the antenna has also been fitted with a mild magnet to help secure it in place – nice touch.

Users are offered a dual-band frequency with the Gigabyte WB867D, providing around 875Mbps in 5.0GHz range and 433Mbps in 2.4GHz – both of which are ample to support most gaming needs. Furthermore, this Wi-Fi card comes with a BlueTooth 4.2 connection, allowing you to easily connect to compatible devices if you wish.

Overall, when you consider all the factors involved, we consider the Gigabyte WB867D to be fantastic value for money – easily one of our top picks in this category.

#4

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

If you’re looking for is a fast-performing PCIe Wi-Fi card but don’t have the cash to splash out one of the premium offerings, fear not, Rosewill has you covered. This, their RNX-AC1900PCE, is a superb combination of performance and affordability. It’ll provide you with all the speed you require to run games efficiently, alongside a wide-range and good quality antennae.

As far as speeds go, the AC1900 provides a handsome 1300Mbps on 5GHz range and 600Mbps on 2.4GHz – both extremely good for the price point. The AC1900 comes equipped with three detachable, omnidirectional antennas that are one of the main factors that contribute to its great performance. They make finding a clean, strong, and interrupt-free location for your PC/laptop very easy indeed.

As far as support goes, the AC1900 was extremely easy to install and worked with most Windows-based systems. That being said, there have been documented cases on this Wi-Fi card not working with Windows 10 systems. We, however, encountered no issues what so ever.

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it guys, our comprehensive rundown of the best PCIe Wi-Fi cards for gaming in 2020. We hope this article has shed a little light on a topic that is sometimes overlooked. We’ve tried to break the technology side of things down into easy-to-digest pieces of info which could actually aid you in your next Wi-Fi purchase.

That said, here’s our final rundown of the best PCIe Wi-Fi cards for gaming in short:

#1 Best PCIe Wi-Fi card for gaming

ASUS are no strangers when it comes to designing quality hardware – the PCE AC56 is absolutely no different. Great range, solid coverage, and a well-designed heatsink are all factors that make this the best for gaming.

#2 Best PCIe Wi-Fi card for gaming: Runner Up

The TP-Link gets our runner up spot and for good reason. Whilst it might not be the most expensive in this list, it certainly offers some of the best value for money – especially when you consider the performance it provides.

#3 Best PCIe Wi-Fi card with BlueTooth

When we think of Gigabyte, we usually think of high-end GPUs or motherboards. However, their impressive WB867D Wi-Fi card offers up some cool features that none of the others in this guide do.

#4 Honourable Mention

Last but not least, we have the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE. This Wi-Fi card offers up good speeds, great reliability, and comes with a heatsink more than equipped for the job. It’s a great little all-round Wi-Fi adapter and should not be overlooked.

Let us know which Wi-Fi adapter you’re most likely to choose by dropping us a comment in the section below. Better still, you can now head on over to our WePC Community where you can discuss everything PC related with like-minded individuals.

The post The 4 Best PCIe Wi-Fi Cards For Gaming In 2020 appeared first on WePC | Let’s build your dream gaming PC.

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