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torch93

Wireless Card vs motherboard wireless.

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I'm not very experienced with computer networking but I was wondering what kind of improvements you can see from upgrading from a wifi chip on the motherboard to a dedicated wireless card on a desktop. Thanks!

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Depends on what's on the motherboard.  Also, I presume the chip on the motherboard is replaceable -- wi-fi cards are rarely fully integrated into desktop or even laptop motherboards to simplify the board design and simplify regulatory requirements.  If the unit on the motherboard can be replaced, then that would probably be a better idea than adding an extra card, be it PCIe or USB.  Depending on what card is currently installed and what wi-fi router/access point you're using, you may or may not see any improvement by upgrading the card.  Newer cards do support more efficient methods for utilizing the spectrum, but the router/access point you're connecting to also needs to support this.  And even then, you may not see any improvement if the bottleneck is your internet connection. 

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Integrated networking devices usually add a fair bit of input latency over an extra card. Go for the card if in doubt.

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Agree with Hank, the integrated components be it wireless or wired take a toll on your performance. Extra card all the way

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If we do not talk about parameters and specifications, it is important what the hardware itself offers like a features. For example, the ability to have one or more antennas on a dual-band card, the ability to replace antennas with more powerful antennas is a big advantage, all these advantages increase the performance we are looking for.

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So many variables involved.  First, what wireless router do you have?  Is it wireless G, N, AC?  Does it support 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels?  How far away from the wireless router is the desktop?  It'll probably be better to get a USB Wifi Adapter that matches up with the specs of your router.  2.4Ghz will have longer range but slower speeds, and 5Ghz will offer higher speeds but shorter range.  I have a netgear r7000 nighthawk router running dd-wrt firmware (more stable in my opinion) and it puts out both 2.4 and 5Ghz channels.  I have my newer devices connecting to the 5Ghz and older devices connecting to the 2.4Ghz.  I added a Netgear NightHawk AC!900 USB 3.0 adapter to a desktop a couple rooms away from the router and it gets 150Mb download over the 5Ghz signal.  Its an older desktop running windows 7, I think it would get even higher speeds if it was a newer computer. My Internet speed is 200Mb down.

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On 10/15/2017 at 4:38 PM, torch93 said:

I'm not very experienced with computer networking but I was wondering what kind of improvements you can see from upgrading from a wifi chip on the motherboard to a dedicated wireless card on a desktop. Thanks!

 

If you want the absolute best performance, you need to get a wifi router, put it in bridge mode, and then wire it to the PC via multigig. Add-in cards never support more than 3 spatial streams, but many routers have far more, and can therefore achieve higher rates than a card.

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