Accessories

Best PCIe WiFi Cards For Gaming in 2021 – Buying Guide

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Wi-Fi cards are included in most modern computers and laptops to connect you to the internet and other computers wirelessly. And that’s why for your buying guide we assembled the list of Best PCIe WiFi Cards.

However, in case your PC doesn’t have one, and using a cable doesn’t suit you, you can easily install a Wi-Fi card to your computer yourself. Wi-Fi cards boost your PC’s Wi-Fi signals catching capabilities and allow you to use internet without any interruptions.

Data transmission through a Wi-Fi card occurs in the form of radio waves to routers that pass it on to the modems and internal systems.

A Best PCIe WiFi Cards typically looks like a USB that can be inserted in the PCI slot inside the case of computer, in the USB slot, or into the ethernet port via the ethernet cable. The card has two or more antennas for better signal reception.

These antennas allow multiple signal transmission within the same frequency band through multiple input multiple output (MIMO) spatial multiplexing.

Although most of the Best PCIe WiFi Cards have similar features, yet it is important to take into account your requirements and whether or not your PC would be able to support it while purchasing a card.

Here is a list of some of the Top picks for Best PCIe WiFi Cards.

1. ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 4×4 802.11AC PCIe Adapter
ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: ASUS | Series: PCE-AC88 | Model number: PCE-AC88 | Operating system: Windows 7 | Wireless Type: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n | Item Weight: 4.5 ounces/ 125g | Technical Details: Dual band 4×4 AC3100 Wi-Fi cards with speeds up to 2100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps | Operating Temperature: 0ᵒ to 40ᵒ C | External magnetic antenna base for better adjustment of antennas for maximum coverage |

Pros
  • Up to 60% faster wi-fi on PC
  • Clear, fast, and strong wi-fi signal reception with the first ever 4×4 adapter
  • Antenna placement is flexible to maximize coverage
  • Improved stability and reliability for running bandwidth intensive network tasks in hot environments by custom heatsink
Cons
  • Expensive than many other cards
  • Does not have linux driver
ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter
Fast, strong wi-fi with 4×4 adapter

ASUS’s 4×4 adapter 4-transmit 4-receiver antennas boost up the Wi-Fi signal reception and let you enjoy your Wi-Fi connection to the fullest.
Check Price from Amazon

ASUS PCE-AC88 leaves behind all PCIe wi-fi cards in competition when it comes to fast internet speeds. It ranks on top of the list of Best PCIe WiFi Cards. With speeds up to 2100 Mbps (5GHz band) and 1000 Mbps (2.4GHz band) this card allows you to enjoy 60% faster internet speeds on your desktop and hence, truly manages to steal the show.

With its MU-MIMO capabilities, it supports transfer of multiple data streams within the same frequency band. Its custom heatsink protects against hot environment and thus, its extraordinary features justify the slightly higher price that the product demands as many users have also commented.

The 4×4 adapter means it has 4 transmit-4 receive antennas which dramatically enhance the Wi-Fi range to let you fully exploit your connection’s speed. Moreover, the R-SMA antenna connectors are compatible with the spare antennas that you purchase given your original ones fail to function anymore.

The magnetized antenna base has detachable antennas that can be placed in any position and allow to locate the position with the best signal quality. It comes with a 1-year warranty, supports the 64-bits versions of windows 7 and 10, and works with any wireless router.

Overall, the ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 should be your top pick when choosing a PCIe Wi-Fi card for your desktop.

2. TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wi-Fi PCIe Card
TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wi-Fi PCIe Card - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: ASUS | Series: PCE-AC88 | Model number: PCE-AC88 | Operating system: Windows 7 | Wireless Type: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n | Item Weight: 4.5 ounces/ 125g | Technical Details: Dual band 4×4 AC3100 Wi-Fi cards with speeds up to 2100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps | Operating Temperature: 0ᵒ to 40ᵒ C | External magnetic antenna base for better adjustment of antennas for maximum coverage |

Pros
  • Lightning fast speed with Dual Band
  • Heat sink technology keeps the heat away from core
  • External antennas increase Wi-Fi range
  • Easy installation with advanced security
  • Backward compatibility with 802.11 a/b/g/n standards
  • Low profile
Cons
  • Designed for Windows system only; does not support drivers
TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wi-Fi Card
Affordable, lightning fast speeds

TP-Link’s lightning fast speeds are due to the external antennas that boost up the signal reception. This connection is secure to use, easy to install, and is extremely stable to use.
Check Price from Amazon

TP-link is the choice for many users due to its fast Wi-Fi speeds i.e. up to 1300 Mbps (867Mbps on 5GHz band and 400 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band). It ranks second in the list of Best PCIe WiFi Cards It is designed keeping in mind the heavy-duty internet requirements like online gaming, HD video streaming, data transfers, and internet surfing and provides lag free internet experience.

It improves the speed and reliability of Wi-Fi signals by receiving more directional internet signals via beam forming. The beam forming technology focuses more on the connected devices to boost up the internet range. The two external antennas enhance the Wi-Fi range and increase stability.

The thermal energy produced by the adapter is dissipated by the heat sink to keep the adapter’s temperature in check. This lowering of temperature also improves its stability and lifespan. It also supports QAM technology (16 QAM, 64 QAM, and 256 QAM) that boosts data transfer speeds.

There are two brackets for the card, one regular and one low profile one in case you have a mini tower computer case. The software’s installation is very easy to set up. One main highlight of the product is that it keeps away the intruders by WPA/WPA2 encryption.

It is compatible with many operating systems including the 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Although its 802.11ac Dual band is 3 times faster than the N standards, yet it still is compatible with the routers utilizing a/b/g/n standards.

Enjoy the perks like 2-year warranty and 24/7 tech support with your TP-link AC1300 PCIe wireless card.

3. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Bluetooth Card
Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Bluetooth Card - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: Gigabyte | Series: Gigabyte Exclusive Bluetooth 4.2/ Wi-Fi | Model number: GC-WB867D-I | Weight: 6.1 ounces | Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3 inches | IEEE 802.11ac compliant | High speed up to 867 Mbps | WLAN 2Tx2R transmission |Wireless type: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n |

Pros
  • Fully qualified Bluetooth 4.2
  • Better coverage, faster speeds, and larger capacity
  • Support Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi)
  • Bluetooth enhances data rate support
Cons
  • Uses USB port
Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Bluetooth Card
Intel Wireless Display & Sustainable

With the Intel Wireless Display or WiDi, you can broadcast your favorite shows or videos efficiently. Enjoy longer battery life with its reduced power consumption facility.
Check Price from Amazon

The main highlight of this gadget is that it adds Bluetooth facility to the PCI-e wi-fi card and hence, syncs data quickly and reliably and is many times faster than the previous ones. It ranks third on the list of Best PCIe WiFi Cards. Now, transferring data from your phones or tablets is faster than ever!

Gigabyte Bluetooth also allows you to connect Bluetooth headphones and mouse etc. It provides a lag free performance for online gaming, browsing etc.

It has two detachable antennas that are connected with each other through a cable. The magnetic base of the antennas is flexible for positioning it in any position that has good signal reception. This magnetic base also allows for easy mounting on the wall.

The Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) lets you connect your PC with TV or projectors to broadcast videos efficiently. It has a longer battery life because more data transmit efficiency reduces power consumption.

This Wi-Fi card enhances security of your connection and comes with a warranty of 2 years.

4. fenvi PCIe WiFi Adapter Card WiFi 6 AX200
fenvi PCIe WiFi Adapter Card WiFi 6 AX200 - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: Fenvi | Model number: AX200 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AX200NGW | Weight: 8.8 ounces | Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.4 x 2.1 inches | Bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz | 4 x More Capacity for more devices | Operating systems: Microsoft Windows 10, Google chrome OS, Linux | Equipped with: BT5.0 technology | USB 2.0 Male port A provided on the card | Supports: 802.11ax over 2×2 MU-MIMO antennae |

Pros
  • Wi-Fi 6 standard uses OFDMA technology
  • BT5.0 technology for high speeds
  • 4x more capacity for more devices
  • Faster speeds, greater efficiency, lower latency, and more stability with OFDMA
  • Increased bandwidth on a wider channel
  • Increased coverage
  • Wireless Wi-Fi signals provide efficient wi-fi transmission
Cons
  • Complex installation
  • Inconsistent speeds
Fenvi PCIe Intel WiDi Adapter Card
Next Generation 802.11ax Standard

The main highlight of Fenvi AX200 is its most advanced 802.11ax network standard. Now, all connected devices will get equally fast speeds with OFDMA technology.
Check Price from Amazon

The Fenvi AX200 Wi-Fi 6 is a PCIe adapter that uses OFDMA technology for increased efficiency, greater stability, and enhanced speeds. It divides the data to smaller sub carriers and provides wider coverage and lower latency. With OFDMA each connected device gets more data best for uploads and downloads.

This dual band WLAN card supports 2.4 Gbps over the 5 GHz (160 MHz) band and 574 Mbps over the 2.4 GHz band. The card also supports multiple operating systems hence broadening your options for using it for different devices. The MU-MIMO technology and the beam forming enhance the user experience.

Furthermore, this card is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 technology and allows connection with Bluetooth devices like mouse, stereo, keyboard, headset etc. This advanced PCIe card allows connection with not only other PCs, but also with mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.

For Bluetooth connectivity, the card requires a USB header on the motherboard but a USB 2.0 Male port A is provided on the card. Although it is a Next Generation Wi-Fi card with 802.11ax standards, yet it is backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards as well.

Wi-Fi 6 doubles the bandwidth from 80 MHz to 160 MHz and hence, increases the speed of your connection. You can connect multiple devices, watch movies, download or upload large size files etc. without any interruption.

The 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 technology also supports 1024 QAM that packs more data and carries 10 bits rather than 8 bits per symbol. This makes video streaming faster and easier by increasing raw speeds up to 25% compared to the 256 QAM as provided by the 802.11ac standard.

The device has a warranty of 1 year and comes with two antennas that are detachable. The only issue is that the fast speeds it offers are not always consistent and may become problematic for downloading large sized files. However, this inconsistency in speeds is not regular.

5. ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adaptor
ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adaptor - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: ASUS | Model number: PCE-AC56 | Weight: 3.68 ounces | Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.8 x 3.9 inches | Wireless type: 802.11ac | Backward compatible with existing standards | Voltage: 240 volts | AxR SMA Antennae | Fast connections: up to 867 Mbps | Operating temperatures: 0ᵒC to 40ᵒC, Storage temperatures: -20ᵒC to 65ᵒC | High power design | Specially designed: heat sink |

Pros
  • AC1300 enhanced AC performance with TurboQAM
  • Secure network with WPA/WPA2 PSK, 128-bit WEP, 64-bit WEP, WPS support
  • Supports multiple Operating systems
  • 150% greater coverage; reduces wireless dead zones
  • Heatsink ensures stable connection
Cons
  • Doesn’t support Linux operating system
ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Adaptor
Enhanced Performance with Turbofan

Now get increased data transfer rates on the 2.4 GHz band with TurboQam and up to 150% increase in signal coverage.
Check Price from Amazon

PCE AC-56 is another model by ASUS which made it to the list of best PCIe WiFi cards. The model uses Network standard of 802.11ac but is also compatible with backward standards a/b/g/n. It is dual band with bandwidths of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz like many others but the highlight of this product is its TurboQAM technology.

TurboQAM uses QAM-256 instead of QAM-64 and increases the data transfer rates on the 2.4 GHz band via VHT Modulation. With 33% increase in speeds than 802.11n by TurboQAM, this product offers high availability and better connectivity.

The Heat sink technology enhances its stability so that the connection doesn’t burn out. It supports the 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8 XP, and Vista. The only downside is its inability to support Linux operating system which somewhat limits its use.

The 802.11ac is an instant Wi-Fi upgrade for your PC and doesn’t require ethernet cables and provides fast internet speeds of 867 Mbps. The network is secure with WPA/WPA2 PSK, 128-bit WEP, 64-bit WEP, WPS support.

6. Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCEv2 Wi-Fi Adapter
Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCEv2 Wi-Fi Adapter - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: Rosewill | Model number: RNX-AC1900PCEv2 | Product weight: 11.7 ounces | Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.7 x 1.3 inches | Dual band: 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz | Next Generation network standard: 802.11ac with backward compatibility with a/b/g/n standards | Secured connection | Efficient Wi-Fi WPA/WPA2 encryptions with beam forming technology |

Pros
  • Best for lag-free HD video streaming and online gaming
  • Strong, consistent signals with a wide distance range
  • Low profile bracket included
  • Allows you to download the driver without using CD
Cons
  • Doesn’t support Linux
  • Issues with Windows 10 driver
Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCEv2 Wi-Fi Adapter
Video Streaming made Easy

Rosewill has an excellent signal reception that provide you strong signals over wide range of distances for a lag-free video streaming experience.
Check Price from Amazon

Rosewill uses 802.11ac network standard which gives ultra-high speeds of up to 1300 Mbps through the 5 GHz band, 3x faster than what 802.11n offers. This dual band network card provides 1300 Mbps over 5 GHz card and 600 Mbps over the 2.4 GHz card. Also offers backward compatibility with a/b/g/n network standards.

It also offers advanced MIMO technology that uses multiple antennas that are present at each end of the communications circuit and are combined for optimized data speeds and to minimize errors.

With the more optimized data speeds, now you won’t have to worry about lagging while streaming HD videos or having heavy online gaming sessions. It supports Windows 7, 8 and XP really well however, doesn’t support divers Operating systems.

Thus, if you are a Windows 10 user, you should go for some other PCIe card instead of this one.

7. FebSmart FS-AC85BT PCIe Wi-Fi Bluetooth Adaptor
FebSmart FS-AC85BT PCIe Wi-Fi Bluetooth Adaptor - Best PCIe WiFi Cards

Specs

Brand name: FebSmart | Model number: FS-AC85BT | Product Weight: 6.5 ounces | Dimensions: 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.8 inches | Dual mode: Bluetooth version 4.2 with Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) | Prevents overheating with advanced Heat sink technology | Enhanced wi-fi reception range with 2x5dBi Omni directional antenna | Secure wireless: with WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES) | Supports: 32/64-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 2012R2 2016 2019, requires drivers for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Dual band supports: frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz |

Pros
  • Superfast speeds and stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Low profile and regular profile brackets
  • Bluetooth 4.2 technology with EDR for speakers etc.
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO and TX Beam forming technology
Cons
  • Does not support Windows XP/Vista systems
FebSmart FS-AC85BT PCIe Wi-Fi Adaptor
Bluetooth 4.2 for Enhanced Data Rate

Febsmart is an advanced and affordable way of receiving direct Wi-Fi signals through its special TX Beam forming technology.
Check Price from Amazon

The Tx Beam forming technology of FebSmart FS-AC85BT promises stronger internet signals by directing the wireless signals to the connected device rather than broadcasting in all directions. FebSmart uses IEEE 802.11ac but is also backwards compatible with a/b/g/n standards.

 It offers data speeds of 300 Mbps over 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps over 5 GHz band. This allrounder Wi-Fi card is good for browsing, HD video streaming, online gaming, file downloading etc. without interruptions. For best performance and high quality audio, this card employs Advance Qualcomm Atheros technology.

The 2.4 GHz band utilizes 20/40 MHz channels while the 5 GHz band utilizes 20/40/60 MHz channels. The external 2xdBi antennae are detachable and increase signal reception and Wi-Fi range for more stable connection.

It supports the 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 but requires drivers for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. The only downside is its inability to support Windows XP and Vista. Moreover, the PCI-E X1 design is compatible with multiple PCI-E slots.

FebSmart offers an affordable way of connecting both wireless network and Bluetooth on the home or office PC. Its advanced Heat sink technology will protect the core components from overheating and ensure stable and strong signals throughout.

8. TP-Link TL-WN881ND N300 PCI-E Wireless Wi-Fi Network Adaptor
TP-Link TL-WN881ND N300 PCI-E Wireless Wi-Fi Network Adaptor

Specs

Brand name: TP-Link | Model number: TL-WN881ND | Weight: 7 ounces | Dimensions: 3.1 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches | Supports: 802.11 n/b/g standards | Easy to install, highly secured wireless connection | 2T2R MIMO technology | Supports: OS Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Linux 2.6.24 ~ 4.1 |

Pros
  • Easy installation
  • Supports both Windows and Linux Oss
  • Detachable antennas
  • 2T2R MIMO technology
  • Affordable prices
Cons
  • Does not use the Next Gen 802.11ac network standards
  • Consistent wireless coverage not guaranteed
TP-Link TL-WN881ND N300 PCI-E Wi-Fi Adaptor
Reasonable Connection for Everyday Needs

Allows for online gaming, video streaming without interruptions. Caters to everyday internet needs well!
Check Price from Amazon

TP-Link TL-WN881ND provides high speed wireless connection to your PC with data speeds of up to 300 Mbps. This data speed is in only one range i.e. 2.4-2.48 GHz (Not dual band). This data speed allows for lag-free HD video streaming or even online gaming.

TL-WN881ND establishes wireless connection link between your PC and router for effortless internet usage. Its detachable antennas are flexible to move in different directions so that you could position them at the point where the wireless signals are the strongest so that signal reception is efficient.

The biggest advantage with this card is its ability to support multiple Operating systems i.e. different versions of both the Windows and Linux Oss. The wireless connection is WPA/WPA2 encrypted hence provides a secure link.

The card offers 2T2R MIMO technology and modulation technologies like 16-QAM, 64-QAM, CCK, OFDM, etc. However, this card isn’t very advanced because it doesn’t support the Next Gen 802.11ac network standard.

Moreover, the connection it provides isn’t stable or consistent and is affected by network conditions, heavy traffic, product location, network complexity etc.

Conclusion

This detailed review aimed to explain the specifications of each of the Best PCIe WiFi cards options available in the market in layman terms. All these products are excellent in their own way and by checking out the product descriptions, you can decide whether any particular one is the right option for your PC.

Although the basic specifications of all Wi-Fi cards are somewhat similar, yet there are some key differences that make some cards stand out among-est others.

In the end, it depends on you to choose what is right for yourself. Hope you liked our guide on Best PCIe WiFi Cards. Share your thought’s on article in the comment section.

My Name is Hazel, I am Content Manager @freeholidaywifi. In my spare time i like to write about Tech, Software's & more. Other then that i love football & travelling new places.

1 Comment

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this amazing site
    needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more,
    thanks for the advice!

Write A Comment