5 Best PCI-E Wireless Cards for Desktop Computers (2017) | Review

Best PCI-E Wireless CardsNetwork access is one of the most important features of a computer. You can connect your PC to a local network through an Ethernet cable,

wireless adapter or PCI wireless cards. Each method offers you benefits as well as disadvantages.

Here, you will learn about Best PCI-E Wireless Cards; definition, advantages, installation and available brands in the market.

 

 

Top 5 Best PCI-E Adapters Comparison

Adapter's Name Transfer SpeedAntennasStandardsDual BandPriceCheck Now!
#1
TP-Link AC1900
TP-Link AC1900 (Archer T9E)

 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
1900 Mbps
3x Antennas 
802.11 AC
 
 
$$
 

#2
ASUS AC19000 (PCE-AC68)
ASUS AC19000 (PCE-AC68)

 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
1900 Mbps
3x Antennas 
802.11 AC
 
 
$$
 

#3
Rosewill AC1300
Rosewill AC1300
WiFi Adapter

 
3.8 Stars (3.8 / 5)
 
1300 Mbps
3x Antennas 
802 11 AC
 
 
$$
 

#4
TP-Link AC1300 (Archer T6E)
TP-Link AC1300 (Archer T6E)

 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
1300 Mbps
2x Antennas 
802.11 AC
 
 
$$
 
#5
ASUS RT-AC87U AC2400
ASUS AC3100 (PCE-AC88)

 
4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)
 
3100 Mbps
4x Antennas 
802.11 AC
 
 
$$$
 

What is a PCI-E Wireless Card?

A PCI-E Wireless Card is a gadget that is put into a computer which doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability to help it connect to the Internet wirelessly. Following a specific procedure, the card is fixed to a PC and the relevant drivers are installed automatically or with a CD, depending on the operating system of the computer.

 

Why Should You Buy a PCI-E Wireless Card ?

The main purpose of buying a wireless network card is to enable a computer which doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability to connect to a local network wirelessly. Although Ethernet cables can offer you fast connections, especially when you want to perform activities that consume bandwidth, such as online gaming, they will not offer you the flexibility that you most likely want. Your network access will be limited to just one or a few points. On the other hand, with a PCI-E wireless card installed on your PC, you can access internet from any place that is within the coverage of your Wi-Fi.

 

Why PCI-E Wireless Card is better than a USB Adapter

Using a USB adapter to access wireless connections is a piece of cake. You just need to plug it in to your PC and the appropriate files will automatically install and you will have a set up wireless connection will in a few eye twinkles. Nevertheless, you may not be able to access connection to your local network if the computer is much distantly placed from the router. In such a case, a PCI-E Wi-Fi Card will be the more convenient. The wireless card will help you receive faster and stronger signals on your PC even when the PC and the router is are distantly placed, thanks to its additional antennas. Unlike a USB adapter, PCI-E Wi-Fi Card doesn’t require a USB port; thus you can use the port for other activities.

 

PCI or PCI-E, Still confused?

If you settle on using a wireless card, you can choose to go for a PCI card or a PCI Express card. PCI-E is a newer version as compared to PCI and latest computer models have a space for the card. The card will also offer you with a high band width as compared a PCI card thus making it more advantageous if much of your work involves transferring of .files within your local network. However, both PCI-E and PCI are equally effective in general internet usage. In such as case, you can choose to buy either of the cards.

 

How to install a Wi-Fi PCI-E Card?

Although the installation Wi-Fi PCI Card is a bit more complicated as compared to that of a USB adapter, the process easier than how you may imagine.The first thing that you are supposed to do is to open up your PC and find out if the installation will interfere with the computer’s warranty. However, it will save you a fortune by avoiding opening the computer if you aren’t sure on how it should be done; you can ask assistance from a specialist.

 

You should follow the following steps while installing a Wi-Fi PCI-E Card:

  • Switch off your PC: Although this may not sound as a new thing to you, it is worth doing it always very time you want to open your computer. You don’t want mess up with yourself or your machine, do you?
  • Remove your computer’s casing: Most likely, your computer has a casing that can be opened to access its interiors. Nevertheless, always consult your computer’s manual to avoid any potential damage that may result from opening it.
  • PCI-E Card: Check for the PCI-E Wireless Card slot You will place the card in this slot. Consult your computers manual if you aren’t sure about its location.
  • protective plate: Unscrew the protective plate on the PCI-E slot to remove it
  • PCI-E Wireless Card: Position the PCI-E Wireless Card and make the chips face the case’s bottom side and then insert the card into the slot.
  • screws: Fix the card by screwing it with protective plate’s screws.
  • antennas: Screw the antennas of the card.

 

5 Best PCI-E Wireless Cards For Your PC

TP-Link AC1900 (Archer T9E) – Best PCI-E Adapter to buy

TP-Link AC1900 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter with Beamforming Technology (Archer T9E)This chipset offers your computer the ability to connect your PC to Wi-Fi at superfast speeds. If you like performing activities that consume high bandwidth for instance streaming of high definition videos and online gaming you can conveniently do so after installing this powerful card on your PC. With the card, your computer can access WI-FI to maximum theoretical speeds of 1900Mbps.

The sink technology and beamforming ability of the card have a hand in the reliable and fast connections. Sink technology prevents the core constituents from overheating while the beamforming feature traces the Wi-Fi enabled computer for stronger connections. The card is compatible with computers having Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10. !

 

What We Liked?

  • Latest 802.11ac chipset.
  • Unique heat sink lowers and spreads generated heat for better performance.
  • Beamforming makes signals stronger.
  • Three omnidirectional, dual-band antennas provide excellent range and signal clarity.
  • High 1.9Gbps theoretical top speed.

What We Didn’t?

  • None.

 

Let’s just get one thing out of the way: The TP-Link Archer T9E is one of the best-performing PCI-E wireless cards currently on the market, and for good reason at that.From its satisfyingly high top speed of 1900Mbps to the three excellent beamforming antennas to the unique, functional heat sink that helps cool not just the card, but also surrounding devices, the Archer T9E is the performance aficionado’s WiFi card of choice.

Normally, we would end this with something like, “The T9E’s only real flaw is the price,” but that would be factually incorrect in this case. Though the Archer was originally released with a pretty hefty $80 price tag, this has since dropped to comfortable $60, making it highly affordable considering its features.

 

 

ASUS AC1900 (PCE-AC68) – Best PCI-E Adapter Under 100$

ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCI-E Adapter (PCE-AC68)You mustn’t use Ethernet cables to make your wired computer access Wi-Fi. With this wireless card in your PC, you can access Wi-Fi at ultrafast total theoretical speeds up to 1300Mbps on its 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. You can use the card on a wide range of computer models, thanks to its 802.11ac technology. It is designed to offer you maximum flexibility as well as performance.

ASUS PCI-E Adapter utilizes sink technology which prevents the core constituents from overheating by transmitting heat away from them. This amazing card also eliminates dead spots so that you can access Wi-Fi from the comfort of whichever part of your local network.

 

What We Liked?

  • Unique antenna design incorporating external adapter for better signals.
  • Heat sink.
  • Wireless-AC.
  • Three dual-band antennas for great connection quality.

What We Didn’t?

  • High price.
  • External antenna adapter uses up a lot of space.

 

At first glance, the ASUS PCE-AC68 is very similar to our top pick, the previously reviewed TP-Link Archer T9E. However, as we all know, the devil is in the details, and in this case, the details are what makes this ASUS card drastically inferior in comparison. From the bulky, space-hungry external antenna adapter to the unjustified high price of $90, there is no particular reason besides brand bias to recommend this over the excellent T9E.

 

 

Rosewill (AC1300) – Cheap PCI-E Network Card WiFi Adapter

Rosewill WiFi Adapter / Wireless Adapter / PCI-E Network This PCI-E network card supports 802.11 ac standards, allowing you to install and use it on old and modern A, B, G and N computers. After installing the card on your wired computer, you will have the have the freedom to utilize the 5GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless frequency bands to access internet connections at fast speeds up to 1267 Mbps. With these Wi-Fi speeds, you can perform bandwidth intensive activities such as online gaming and video streaming hassle free.

Rosewill Wi-Fi Adapter/PCI-E Network Card utilizes sink technology which prevents the core constituents from overheating by transmitting heat away from them. It works well with computers having Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10.

 

What We Liked?

  • Low price makes it very affordable.
  • Wireless-AC.
  • 1.3Gbps top speed is very satisfying considering the cost.
  • Fully integrated heat sink.
  • Beamforming capability.
  • pgradeable, omnidirectional dual-band antennas.

What We Didn’t?

  • Not as feature-rich as more expensive competitors.

 

For $45, this, the Rosewill AC1300, is probably one of the best PCI-E WiFi cards to get. A true budget model, this card gives you only the most basic features, with a few noteworthy upmarket extras like a simple heat sink and omnidirectional antennas. Still, this card is only recommendable if you’re looking for the best price-to-performance ratio, not the best quality, as that can only be offered by more expensive models.

 

 

TP-Link AC1300 (Archer T6E) – Most Popular PCI-E Adapter

TP-Link AC1300 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter (Archer T6E)The installation of this adapter is a breeze; you just need to plug it into the PCI-E slot of your computer and within a few seconds you will have your computer’s wireless ability will be up and running. You will then be able to access your local network wirelessly at speed up to 1300Mbp over the dual band (5GHz and 2.4 GHz). With these super fast internet connections, you will be able to perform activities that consume a high amount of data, for example, streaming of high-quality videos and playing online games without experiencing lags.

The two antennas on the adapter extend the range of your Wi-Fi and enhance network reliability. The adapter is compatible with computers having Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10.

 

What We Liked?

  • Shares many features and components with the more powerful T9E.
  • 1.3Gbps top speed.
  • Two omnidirectional, upgradeable, beamforming external antennas.
  • Wireless-AC supported.
  • Heat sink.
  • Low price.

What We Didn’t?

  • Downgrade from the T9E is noticeable.

 

The T6E is marketed as a downgraded, cheaper version of the excellent T9E, and that is exactly what it is. Four antennas less and a lower top speed are the most noticeable changes, but most of the T9E’s essential features and physical components remain the same on the T6E. Therefore, it can be rightfully called the best “T9E for people who can’t afford it model”, especially as, thanks to the price tag of just $50, there is one good argument for buying this in favor of its more powerful brother.

 

 

ASUS 4×4 AC3100 PCI-E Adapter (PCE-AC88) – Enjoy high Speed Internet

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter (PCE-AC88)This adapter helps your wired computer to access fast, clear and strong Wi-Fi connections. The performance of high-bandwidth activities on your computer will no longer be a disappointing experience since this incredible adapter you can do so at unbelievably high wireless speeds to a maximum of 2100Mbps.

Super-powerful antennas are attached to the adapter by a magnet to for flexibility purposes, consequently maximizing Wi-Fi coverage. Alternatively, the antennas can be attached to the PCI-E wireless card. The adapter gives you an option of upgrading it with more powerful antennas. ASUS PCIe Adapter supports sink technology which prevents the core constituents from overheating by transmitting heat away from them.

 

What We Liked?

  • Extreme speed of 3.1Gbps
  • Four external, replaceable, omnidirectional dual-band antennas
  • External antenna adapter improves signal quality.
  • Great heat sink.
  • Wireless-AC.
  • Overall best performance of any WiFi card to date.

What We Didn’t?

  • Very high price.

 

The ASUS AC88 can be best described as the Bugatti Chiron of PCI-E wireless cards: Loud, showing off, aggressive, faster than any of its competitors, incredibly impractical and probably completely outdated in a few years. Still, it’s hard not to love the AC88’s insane bandwidth of 3.1Gbps. Just be aware that insane performance comes at insane prices, as $115 is what you have to be able and willing to spend if you want to experience the best of the best in terms of wireless speeds.

 

 

Final Words

  • While buying Best PCI-E Wireless Cards for your desktop computer, you should first consider the kind of activities that you will be performing on your computer to establish whether you need a PCI or PCI-E. Then, consider buying a high-end wireless card; you can go for any of the five listed here.