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Maxb89

WiFi adapters USB VS PCI

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Fast is relative...

 

USB wireless cards can have fast speeds, but they will need more processing power (higher CPU usage) to achieve and sustain those speeds. Also, some don't have connectors for antennas, so you're limited to the internal antenna, which may be poor when it comes to range or picking up signals through walls.

 

Internal cards on PCI or PCI Express use less CPU to work and you may have smaller latency. Some also have antennas you can install on the back of the card or remove them to install better antennas or to simply position the antennas in a better location, like for example 1-2 meters away from the computer.

 

You can buy usb wireless cards that can do 866 mbps on 5 ghz but your router may not have 5 ghz or may only do 433 mbps ... the router must support the number of antennas and the frequency

Same for pci or pci-e cards, they're not exempt from this.

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My understanding from when I got mine (such a learning curve building my first PC) that PCI is better since you aren't limited by the top speed of the USB. Not that you're likely to be hitting that 5/Gbps that USB 3.0 (or the 480 Mbps from 2.0) via wifi, but why risk it?

 

Also, I absolutely had a free PCI-E 1x while I never have enough USB ports. Spent $30 USD, but I'll likely never replace it on this computer

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