Computers & Electronics

MOBO WIFI VS PCI WIFI VS USB WIFI??

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[OP]
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Dec 16, 2004
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Toronto

MOBO WIFI VS PCI WIFI VS USB WIFI??

Building my son a gaming computer and wondering what I should do regarding wifi? Is it best to buy a motherboard that has it built in or get a PCI card wifi adapter or USB adapter? Last motherboard I bought was the Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro wifi and at the time it was cheaper to get a mobo with it built in than buying a separate PCI card. I don’t imagine USB is the best solution. Thoughts?
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Dec 1, 2010
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dishguy1977 wrote: Building my son a gaming computer and wondering what I should do regarding wifi? Is it best to buy a motherboard that has it built in or get a PCI card wifi adapter or USB adapter? Last motherboard I bought was the Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro wifi and at the time it was cheaper to get a mobo with it built in than buying a separate PCI card. I don’t imagine USB is the best solution. Thoughts?
USB is the worst solution to go to. Range is poor, overheats and speeds are sub-par for wifi performance. Either get a motherboard that has wireless ac already on the board (they usually give a bluetooth 4.2 or 5.0 combo now) or get an aftermarket pci-e card. Either option is good. Skip USB completely.
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Apr 16, 2001
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dishguy1977 wrote: Building my son a gaming computer and wondering what I should do regarding wifi? Is it best to buy a motherboard that has it built in or get a PCI card wifi adapter or USB adapter? Last motherboard I bought was the Gigabyte Aorus B450 Pro wifi and at the time it was cheaper to get a mobo with it built in than buying a separate PCI card. I don’t imagine USB is the best solution. Thoughts?
Motherboard WiFi can't be upgraded. So unless it has WiFi 6, you might be buying a new card anyway one day.
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Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Get one with onboard WiFi, by the time you need something better, it would be time to upgrade

If you want a PCIe WiFi, I have a brand new one I can sell you cheap.
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Jun 27, 2004
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Vancouver.bc.ca
Yeah, skip the USB option.

Between the other two, go with the cheaper option that works for you. Not being able to upgrade onboard WiFi isn't entirely accurate, since you can always disable the onboard and add a PCIe card (assuming you've got an available slot).
Member
Jun 9, 2012
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Vancouver
USB is bad indeed. The only exception I would say is if you could get a usb dock or usb extender so that it has more room to obtain the radio frequency.
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Jul 26, 2004
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some newer motherboard uses a small M.2 slot for its wifi card, could be hidden within a shell of some sort but beneath it, it's a m2 wifi card.
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May 11, 2009
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PCIe is best in terms of upgradability and antenna configuration, though mobo integrated wifi should be okay.

If you value absolute performance, USB should be a last resort option , such as if you have no free pcie slots etc. Depends on your adapter and the drivers, you may not notice much difference in general use, though you can expect shorter range and there will always be th4 added overhead of the usb bus between the card and system.
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