Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by Jake
When it comes to gaming, desktops simply have more to offer than a laptop or console. Due to their larger form factor, desktops are highly customizable. Desktops allow you to install bulky and powerful GPUs.
Regardless of how powerful gaming laptops have gotten (thanks to mobile QuadCore central processor units), gaming desktops allow six-core and eight-core CPUs – which are more powerful. With that said, you’ll want to find the best wifi card for gaming to complete your setup.
Additionally, desktop CPUs are easier to swap. More room means better cooling and less need to throttle performance. Simply put, desktops offer better graphics, better processing, and better precision.
However, with all the benefits that come with desktop gaming, most desktop PCs do not have built-in WiFi adapters. This means you have to get your own WiFi adapter for gaming or for other uses.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks:
|ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 4x4 802.11AC PCIe Adapter||Check Price on Amazon|
|TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wifi PCIe Card | 2.4G/5G Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter | Low Profile, Long Range, Heat Sink Technology | Supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP (Archer T6E)||Check Price on Amazon|
|ASUS PCE-AC56 PCI Wireless Express Adapter||Check Price on Amazon|
|Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (A7000-10000S)||Check Price on Amazon|
|Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE Rnx-AC1900PCE, 802.11AC Dual Band AC1900 PCI Express WiFi Adapter/Wireless Adapter/Network Card, 11AC 1900Mbps||Check Price on Amazon|
|TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter||Check Price on Amazon|
|fenvi WiFi Card Dual Band Wireless AC 9260 Gigabit PC PCIe 2030Mbps BT5.0 802.11ac 2.4Ghz 5Ghz MU-MIMO PCI Desktop WLAN PC BT 5.0 Network Adapter for Windows 10 WI-FI Miracast Nic Advanced Heat Sink||Check Price on Amazon|
WiFi and Gaming
Just a decade ago, gaming without an internet connection was not only common but also prevalent. You didn’t need an internet connection to fully enjoy many games. However, this isn’t the case anymore. Being able to access game servers in order to play an online multiplayer game or even download new content is now essential. Furthermore, a strong connection to servers is incredibly important to the gaming experience.
When connecting to the internet, you can either connect to the router or access point using a cable or wirelessly. Gone are the days when corded connections were faster and generally had more bandwidth than wireless connections did. Today, most wireless adapters are just as good as any Ethernet cable. In addition, they are more convenient as you do not have to deal with any wires. In this modern era of gaming, having the best WiFi card for gaming is a big advantage.
Below is our list of the best WiFi card for gaming. Most of the adapters reviewed connect via PCIe. This is because most motherboards have PCIe slots.
Best WiFi Card for Gaming Reviews
Asus PCE-AC88 AC3100 PCIe Adapter
- Dual-band 4x4 AC3100 Wi-Fi with speeds up to 2100Mbps (5GHz band) and 1000Mbps 2. 4GHz band.
- External magnetic antenna base allows flexible antenna placement to maximize coverage. Note- support MU-MIMO technology
- Individual antennas can also attach directly to PCIe Card for compact installation. Modulation-1024qam.
- Custom heatsink effectively dissipates heat for improved stability and reliability. Os support-windows 10 86x64, Windows 7 86x64.
- R-sma antenna connectors enable compatibility with a variety of aftermarket antennas. Quoted network speeds and bandwidth based on current IEEE 802. 11AC specifications. Actual performance may be affected by network and service provider factors, interface Type, and other conditions. Connected devices must be 802patible for best results
The super fast Asus PCE-AC88 offers up to 60 percent faster speeds with a throughput of 2100 Mbps over a 5 GHz band or 1000 Mbps over a 2.4 GHz band.
The custom heatsink of this card allows for effective dissipation of heat thus maintaining a reliable lag-free connection. As most gamers know, overheating is the bane of WiFi cards, since overheating leads to poor performance. The Asus PCE-AC88 is not affected by this issue. Read on to learn all you need to know before purchasing this WiFi card.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 2100 Mbps over 5 GHz band, 1000 Mbps over 2.4 GHz band
Size – 3 x 3 inches
Extra features – Custom heatsink, external magnetic antenna base, NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10, Windows 7
- This adapter offers dual frequency bands (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz).
- It offers a max speed of 2.1 Gbps.
- The external antennas of this card allowed for a better connection.
- It has a custom heatsink to support the WiFi card’s high performance.
- Has a USB version.
- The included drivers are not optimally programmed.
Asus PCE-AC56 PCIe Adapter
- Provides an extensible design that enables Service prioritization for data. Network Standard : IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Design that delivers high availability, scalability, and for maximum flexibility and price/performance
- Instant 802.11ac Wi-Fi Upgrade for your desktop PC: no more messy Ethernet cables needed
- Next-generation 802.11ac chipset for super-fast connections up to 867 Mbps. Security 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPS support
- OS Support-Windows 8.1 32bit/64bit, Windows 8 32bit/64bit,Windows 7 32bit/64bit,Windows Vista 2bit/64bit,Windows XP 32bit/64bit
The Asus brand is one of the best on the market, and in our opinion they make the best WiFi card for gaming. Like the Asus PCE-AC88, the Asus PCE-AC56 allows you to choose either a 2.4 GHz band or a 5GHz band. Obviously, the 5GHz frequency bandwidth offered higher speeds. This allows you to prioritize data transfer. In addition, the heatsink that sits atop the processor prevents overheating.
Reaching bitrates of 867 Mbps, you can seamlessly watch HD videos and play your favorite online game without the fail of momentary bad connections.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 5 GHz at 867 Mbps, 2.4 GHz at 400 Mbps
Extra features – Magnetized antenna base, TurboQAM technology, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
- It offers dual frequency band (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz).
- The antennas are upgradable.
- The heatsink present prevents overheating.
- It has an impressive max speed of 867 Mbps.
- Can be tough to configure without a little research or savvy.
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900
- AC1900 WIFI SPEEDS Up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on 5GHz
- DUAL BAND WIFI—Faster connections to more Wi Fi networks.System Requirements: Windows OS or Mac OS computer. Best performance with USB 3.0; compatible with USB 2.0 Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10, (32/64 bit). Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later
- MULTIPLE OS SUPPORT—Compatible with Mac and Windows. The Windows standalone diver allows you to use a built in windows configuration tool to connect the adapter to a WiFi network
- 3x4 MIMO DESIGN—More bandwidth capacity when downloading and uploading data to and from the wireless network
- WORKS WITH ANY WIFI ROUTER— Connects to any Wi Fi and for extreme Wi Fi speed
With a 3×4 MIMO design, this Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 allows you to achieve speeds of 1.3 Gbps. At these speeds, videos streams and online gameplays occur seamlessly. There are no lags or drops in performance. It is also compatible with both Windows and Mac machines. It also has a magnetic cradle that allows you to mount it on a metallic surface if you don’t want to plug it directly into the USB port.
Interface – USB 3.0 / 2.0
Max Speed – 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz, 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
Extra features – MIMO design, 4 internal antennas, WPS button, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7, Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later.
- The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 offers dual radio bandwidths (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz).
- Explicit beamforming feature gives your WiFi better signal range, speed, and reliability.
- The magnetic cradle allows you to affix it onto metal surfaces.
- It has a small form factor.
- The antennae can’t be replaced or changed.
TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E
- Lightning Fast speed: upgrade your Wi-Fi Card to 1300Mbps Wi-Fi speeds
- More stable performance: heat sink technology distributes heat away from core components to improve reliability and performance; Built for high-performance computing, such as online gaming and 4K Ultra HD video streaming
- Ultimate range: increased wireless range with 2x external antennas to ensure a greater range of Wi-Fi connection and stability. Detachable antennas and low profile bracket
- Compatibility: Supports Windows 10/8.1/ 8/ 7/ XP
- Industry Leading Support: 2-year warranty and free 24/7 technical support
The TP-Link brand is one of the most well-known when it comes to quality networking devices. The WiFi cards and dongles offered by TP-link are among the most reliable you can find. The same applies to the JTP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E.
This WiFi card can reach speeds of 400 Mbps over a 2.4GHz band and 867 Mbps over a 5GHz band. As with many of the 802.11ac wireless standard adapters, the Archer T6E is also backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n network devices.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 867 Mbps over 5 GHz band, 400 Mbps over 2.4 GHz band
Extra features – MIMO Technology, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 / XP
- The Archer T6E supports dual band (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz).
- It has replaceable external antennas that are easy to align.
- An advanced heatsink atop the processor offers great stability.
- TP-Link offers excellent customer service.
- This wireless adapter does not offer beamforming as the Archer T9E variant of this WiFi adapter does.
- The next and fastest generation of Wi-Fi
- Distributes heat away from core components to improve reliability and performance
- Supports advanced security: 64/128 WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES) beamforming technology: connect with stronger, more reliable wireless connections
- Mimo technology: 3x3 dual band Modulation: omnidirectional and upgradeable antennas maximize wireless range and stability supports Windows XP/ 7/ 8/ 8.1/ 10: DOWNLOAD the latest driver on
As with the previously mentioned WiFi adapters, this Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE can transmit and receive over on dual band connectivity (5GHz and 2.4GHz) over throughput speeds of 1300 Mbps and 600 Mbps. It is backward compatible with earlier 802.11 standards.
The heat sink that is atop the chip is expertly designed to dissipate heat and therefore improve performance and reliability. This moderately priced WiFi card will cater for all your online gaming and 4K Ultra HD streaming needs. What more can you ask for?
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 5 GHz at 1300 Mbps, 2.4 GHz at 600 Mbps
Extra features – Aluminum heatsink, upgradeable antennas, MIMO technology, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7 / XP
- This 802.11ac WiFi adapter can transmit and receive over dual band connectivity (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz).
- Beamforming technology improves signal strength and reduces interference.
- The antennas are upgradeable.
- The aluminum heatsink prevents overheating.
- When it comes to network devices, Rosewill is not a popular brand – if that means anything to you.
TP-Link TL-WDN4800 N900 WiFi Adapter Card
- Party Essentials super fun quality plastic 7 inch neon party/salad bowls
- Each package includes 20 colorful party bowls; 5 each of neon pink, neon blue, neon green and neon orange
- Classic styling; hand washable; reusable; disposable; combine them with neon plates, cups and cutlery for a bright and bold party table
- Ideal for catering, food service, picnics, weddings, buffets, family reunions and everyday use
- From dinnerware, cutlery and cups to serve ware, table covers and more, Party Essentials is the perfect choice for beautifully and affordably entertaining family and friends
The TP-Link TL-WDN4800 is all about quality and reliability. Although it may not offer the bitrates that many of the WiFi cards on this list offer, it will never frustrate you with erratic signal strength.
With a max speed of just 450 Mbps, this WiFi card’s throughput isn’t impressive but this is not a problem as it is still hard to find WiFi connections and routers that offer speeds of 1.3Gbps. 450 Mbps allows you to seamlessly play online games and stream HD videos.
Getting the best driver to work with this WiFi adapter can be a hassle, as the drivers contained on the Utility CD that comes with the card are outdated and may fail to work with newer OS such as Windows 10. If you have problems getting your PC to identify the adapter card, installing a QUALCOMM Atheros AR938X driver compatible with your OS will most likely solve the problem.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 450 Mbps
Extra features – WiFi extender, 3 antennas, MIMO Technology, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7 / XP
- The TP-Link N900 supports dual radio bands (5GHz and 2.4GHz).
- It has 3 antennas for reliable connectivity.
- The TP-Link N900 is a handy adapter.
- TP-Link’s excellent customer service is among the best in the world.
- The TP-Link N900 has a lower throughput when compared to other adapters on the list.
- Set up can be tricky since the drivers offered on the resource CD support a few operating systems.
Fenvi AC 9260 WiFi Card
- MORE POWERFUL WIFI Desktop Gaming Network Adapter with Antenna YOU DESERVE Dual Band: 2.4Ghz 5Ghz 160Mhz Best Wifi Card for Gaming wireless lan adapter cards, With a Dual Band Wireless PCI-E Network Adapter Card, you can easily add high speed WiFi connectivity to a desktop computer through a PCI Express slot — no more messy Ethernet cables needed! Also enjoy a more stable WiFi connection than USB Bluetooth WiFi adapters. Let’s start surfing online without any hesitation and waiting!!
- design for Lenovo Dell HP ROG ASUS ALIENWARE Acer gigabyte desktop ect with PCI-E/x1/x4/x8/x16 slot. Owing to minimize network latency and packet connection than asus USB Bluetooth WiFi adapters, PCI expresscard interface ensures more stable network, matching wifi 5 AC router like broadcom ASUA gigabyte, TP-Link Archer, D-Link, Netgear, Synology, tplink ect AC ac1900 routers will deliver the best results.A USB header is required from the motherboard for Bluetooth functionality.
- Supported Operating Systems: only for Windows 10 64bit Note: If your computer doesn’t equipped a built-in optical drive, please download the driver in the link (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/99445/Intel-Wireless-AC-9260) Lightning Fast Speed Wireless speeds up to 2030Mbps with 1730Mbps on 5GHz or 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band, immediately one step ahead on surfing online.Supported Under Intel vPro Technology
- New bluetooth 5.0 Function Equipped with BT5.0 technology. Support connecting with Bluetooth headset, Bluetooth stereo, Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth mouse and others blutooth for more conveniences and demands. Efficient WiFi Emission Insert it in a desktop compute to build wireless WIFI signals. Mobile phones, laptops, tablet, PCs are able to connected.
The Fenvi AC 9260 WiFi Card is specifically designed with gaming and HD video streaming. It supports Miracast, has Bluetooth 5.0 functionality and has a throughput of 1.73 Gbps.
It also has a heatsink to dissipate heat and ensure performance remains high regardless of how long the adapter’s processor works. All these features make it the perfect WiFi card for 4K ultra HD video streaming and the best WiFi card for gaming for the money. As it is an Intel chipset, you need to install the latest Intel’s WiFi and Bluetooth drivers to get it working.
The only downside is that it supports only the 64-bit Windows 10 OS. This shouldn’t be a problem for serious gamers using Microsoft Windows since a 64-bit Windows 10 is the standard.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 1.73 Gbps over 5 GHz band
Extra features – Aluminum heatsink, magnetic desktop antenna, Miracast support, MU-MIMO technology, Bluetooth 5.0 function, 802.11ac
Supported OS – Windows 10 (64-bit only)
- The Fenvi AC 9260 WiFi card supports dual radio bandwidths (5GHz and 2.4GHz).
- It supports Miracast.
- It has Bluetooth functionality.
- The magnetic antenna that is placed on a desk offers better connection and range.
- An aluminum heatsink sits atop the processor. This heatsink dissipates heat and improves reliability.
- Fenvi is not a well-known WiFi products brand.
- It supports only the 64-bit version of Windows 10.
TP-Link N150 Wireless Adapter
- USB WiFi Adapter: Exceptional wireless speed up to 150 Mbps brings the best experience for video streaming or internet calls
- Ultimate Range: High gain antennas ensure superior range and stability. Version 2. 0
- Secure: Easy wireless security encryption at a push of the WPS button
- Industry Leading Support: 2-year and free 24/7 technical support
- Compatibility: Windows (XP/7/8/8. 1/10) Mac OS (10. 9 -10. 15) Linux Kernel (2. 6. 184. 4. 3)
The last WiFi adapter we will look at is the highly affordable TP-Link N150 Wireless Adapter. This simple and affordable WiFi adapter will work well enough for basic internet-based gameplay. However, for HD streaming, this adapter is sorely inadequate. In addition, this WiFi card is prone to overheating.
As with most of the WiFi cards on the list, the utility CD that comes with the product has outdated drivers. A newer updated version can be found on the TP-Link website. There isn’t much to talk about when it comes to this nifty adapter. It works well and it connects you to the internet.
Interface – PCIe
Max Speed – 150 Mbps over 2.4 GHz
Extra features – 802.11n
Supported OS – Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7 / XP
- Best cheap WiFi card for gaming.
- It is easy to set up.
- It works well.
- It is not as powerful as other WiFi cards on the list.
Unlike Ethernet cords, WiFi doesn’t deal with wires and cords. This is more convenient and offers a better-organized gaming set up. Having your Ethernet cord tripped on and disconnected can be frustrating especially if you’re in the middle of an update, a download or an online game.
WiFi signals offer a superior alternative to cables, but earlier WiFi cards had their shortcomings. We are coming into an era of better and better WiFi cards now, and these problems are being addressed. With the best WiFi card for gaming installed, you can achieve high-speed internet connections, no wireless interference, and stable performance.
Now that you have an idea of the best WiFi card for gaming, check out our post on gaming desks to pick a desk to perfectly organize your gaming setup!
Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API