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IEEE 802.11

The IEEE 802 constitutes a set of standards laid down by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to manage Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs).

802, as a name itself, is of no particular importance. IEEE assigned the number to this project simply because it was the next number available to them. Now, we can imagine 802.11 to be a mere subset of the IEEE 802.

The IEEE 802.11 indicates merely some media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) protocols. These protocols are a requirement for the implementation of wireless local area networks (WLANs) at different frequencies. We commonly refer to the WLAN as Wi-Fi.

IEEE 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6

Since its conception, the IEEE 802.11 standard has seen some major upgrades. Now, once again, the computing world is poised for another major upgrade in Wi-Fi networking. At present, the 802.11ax has succeeded its predecessor, the 802.11ac. The change ensures that the ever-growing and diverse number of Wi-Fi devices are less of a burden on your broadband connection.

Unlike a decade ago, when users might have had a limited number of devices plugged into their router, today, we want to be able to connect tens of gadgets to our Wi-Fi network. These could be our smartphones, smart TVs, gaming consoles, laptops, and even our bulbs and lights. The number is sure to grow. This trend has been fueled up chiefly by the advent of the internet of things (IoT).

IEEE 802.11ax’s benefit will not only be limited to corporations, which can have thousands of Wi-Fi clients (Fixed and Roaming) linked their network. Home users are also going to benefit a lot from this network change by experiencing fast file transfers, streaming, and coverage.

Enhancements

As we can have myriads of networks in our surroundings, the 802.11ax is going to reduce interference making use of novel techniques and, as a result, improve the overall throughput. Crowded environments are the ones most affected by signal interference. Hence, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be particularly useful for schools, universities, and other such places.

The 802.11ax standard is capable of delivering several Gb/s to several devices simultaneously on the same channel. It is going to help people in streaming 4K content and transferring it across computers at a 40 % faster rate than before. To make full use of the multi Gbps connections, users won’t remain constrained by slower Wi-Fi as before. They will be able to use broadband connections to their full potential.

While using the predecessor of the 802.11ax standard, users were able to attain a max data transfer rate of 3.5 Gbps across an 802.11ac router. The Wi-Fi 6 standard has bumped up this rate to a whopping 14 Gbps.

There are two frequency bands, the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz, that are available for Wi-Fi signals transmission worldwide. The 2.4 GHz is quite crowded already with baby monitors, doorbells, and whatnot.

Hence, most Wi-Fi standards improved transmission over the 5 GHz band. Wi-Fi 6 is different from its predecessors as it has upgraded data transmission over both these bands.

Motherboards with Wi-Fi 6

A Motherboard is one of the most crucial components in the entire computer system. Unsurprisingly, every person looking to upgrade or build new rigs will want their hands on a motherboard that’s best suits their needs.

Keeping this in view, we have strived to compile a list of topnotch motherboards from different categories, suitable for various requirements of users. One unique feature that each one of these motherboards boasts of is the support for the all-new WiFi 6. As the feature is somewhat novel, remarkably, a meek number of the motherboards available right now have support for Wi-Fi 802.11ax.

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
GIGABYTE X570 AORUSSpecs:  AMD x570, 4xDIMMs, Wi-Fi 6, 3 (M.2 Heatsink *3)
Benefits: Aesthetic Design, Three long PCIe and M.2 slots are enabled simultaneously, Sturdy and Durable, Steel back cover
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ASUS ROG Strix X299-ESpecs:  Intel x299-E, 8 x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4, 802.11ax, 2 x M.2 Socket 3
Benefits: AI Overclocking, Best RGB with Aura, Two M2 Slots, Metal PCIe Slots
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ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme TRX40Specs:  AMD TRX40, Wi-Fi 6, 8 x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4, 5 x M.2 Socket
Benefits: 5 x M.2 drives, OLED Display, RGB Lighting
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1. GIGABYTE X570 AORUS

Because of being based on the AMD x570 chipset, the X570 GIGABYTE motherboards support AMD Ryzen processors fully. Other than the support for Wi-Fi-6, the AORUS Master has two PCIe 4.0 slots and a premium-quality audio codec as well, among other features.

It is interesting to note that almost all the x570 motherboards are going to be costlier than the former x470s. That’s mainly because the newer x570s support the PCIe 4.0. Still, considering the number of features this motherboard has, its price tag is not unjustifiable.

Design

Looking at the GIGABYTE AORUS family of motherboards, It becomes evident that the makers have aimed the AORUS motherboards chiefly towards the gaming community. This motherboard has extra RGB LEDs as well as stylish ESD guards to make your system attractive.

With the all-new RGB Fusion 2.0, the makers have made every individual LED digitally addressable. Users will be able to fuse colors at their will and can experience illuminations according to their mood. RGB fusion 2.0 software will make customizing the lighting effects easy. Users can also make the effects interact with selected games they play.

The PCB of the AORUS is a dark, grainy black. Likewise, the M.2 heatsinks, IO covers as well as the heatsinks of the board itself are also black. The four DIMM and single PCIe slot on the motherboard have metal reinforcements. This metal protection is being referred to as PCIe armor by the makers. These slots are also black in color.

A sturdy aluminum cover having a lined pattern guards the I/O of the board. A line streaked pattern can be observed all over the board, from the top right to the bottom left. Its cooling system is also better than before. You can make fans stop when temperature runs down below a set threshold.

Characteristics/Features

Upon purchasing the motherboard, several features are ready to greet the buyer. We’ve filtered out the most attractive ones for our readers.

As we know that the motherboard has support only for AMD processors, AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen processors team with it nicely. Additionally, GIGABYTE AORUS also supports 2nd Gen Ryzen processors. Also, alongside AMD processors, AMD graphics cards are supported.

Four DIMM slots will be available to plug in your dual-channel DDR4 RAMS into the motherboard.

Compared to the traditional heat sinks, the Fin design of the heatsinks extends the heat dissipation area by almost 300 percent. Direct touch heat pipes take the heat and help transfer it from the MOS fins. LAIRD thermal pads utilized by the motherboard can transfer 2.6 times more heat than the ordinary thermal pads used before.

The chipset heatsink employs a smart fan for heat dissipation, which has options for three different operating modes. Users can opt for silent mode, performance mode, or a balanced mode.

The ultra-fast NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 slots coupled with PCIe 4.0 B-Clock Tuning IC ensure the best performance for extreme gaming users.

Connectivity Slots

ChipsetAMD x570
Form FactorATX
PortsCPU
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Chipset
1 x USB Type-C™ port with USB 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Memory DIMMsDual-Channel DDR4
4*DIMMs
Graphics Interface1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x16
1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x8
Expansion Slots1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4
1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x1
M.23 (M.2 Heatsink *3)
OUR TAKE
Overall the AORUS x570 Master is a superb looking motherboard. The price tag of the board may seem a little on the upper side at first look, but considering the practical features it has, the price is permissible. The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 has made the motherboard all the more attractive. In addition to that, the AORUS x570 packs slots that are sturdy and won’t bend easily. We think buying it will provide the best value for money that buyers can get.
PROS

  • Aesthetic Design
  • Three long PCIe and M.2 slots are enabled simultaneously
  • Sturdy and Durable, Steel back cover
CONS

  • M2 slot unaccessible directly. (under the GPU)
  • Only a single PCIe 4.0/3.0 x1 slot

2. ASUS ROG Strix X299-E

Soon after the release of the Kaby Lake and Sky Lake processors by intel, Asus started flooding the market with a variety of different boards featuring the new chipset capable of running the Core X series processors. These processors were released under the Core-X series by intel.

Motherboards having an intel X299 chipset support these newer processors. The motherboard that we are going to review today is an Asus board being shipped currently under the ROG brand.

Design

This ASUS motherboard has all the features that a gaming motherboard requires. Thus, it should also be perceived as a gaming motherboard, similar to the one we reviewed above. Although priced a little below than the x570 AORUS, the ASUS x299 also has the all-new Wifi 6. As typical with ASUS motherboards, the x299 also features a fierce look. Sharp edges coupled with metal and dull colors give the motherboard a sinister feel.

Perhaps, this is the reason that the makers have not studded the board with a plethora of LEDs. The LEDs could have undermined the original image of the board. One of the leading LED’s is present on the cover of the input/output port. The other main LED is present over the PCI slot. It displays the Republic of Gamers (ROG) logo. It helps make the logo visible from outside of any PC casing.

The motherboard comes with software for managing LEDs, called ASUS Aura Sync Lighting Software. If by chance, you need to have extra LEDs, then all you need to do is find memory modules or other hardware that support Aura software to make your system more attractive and colorful.

The ROG Strix supports two headers for RGB strips, unlike most other motherboards, which only support one. The chipset, interestingly, doesn’t have any lights on it. Also, it seems to be isolated from other components, probably to be able to support better cooling mechanisms.

Characteristics/Features

This particular board packs several features that are quite interesting and useful.

ASUS ROG STRIX x299 features a total of ten USB ports present on the back panel of the board. Two of these ports are USB 2.0, while the pane also features an equal number of 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps ports.

Keeping ahead of its rivals, the board features a Wifi 6 as well. Currently, it is the only board in the market that supports both Wifi 6 and Intel processors.

Another promising feature is the AI overclocking capability. Usually, features like these aren’t taken seriously and rightly so. They are gimmicks at best. This time, it is a different story. The motherboard collects all the parameters of the CPU, including heat, performance, and clock rate. On the restart, firmware computes specific frequencies and multipliers for each core for overclocking the entire CPU.

The ROG Strix is not short of expansion slots. As a result of the three-way, SLI support users will be able to plug-in a second card as well. Hence you can have extreme video card configurations using this board. It has three PCIe x 16 slots. While It also features two PCIe x 1 slots and a single PCIe x 4 slot. The PCIe x 16 slots are sturdy and covered with steel. It helps in keeping heavy gfx cards standing.

For the two M.2 slots, the makers have designed a smart heatsink complete with temperature sensors. One of these slots sits among the PCIe x 16 slots. The other slot is present near the slots for memory modules.

Connectivity Slots

ChipsetIntel x299-E
Form FactorATX
Ports4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Chipset
8 x USB 2.0
6 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Memory DIMMs8 x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4
Graphics Interface1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x16
1x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x8
Expansion Slots3 x PCIe 3.0 x16
1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
1 x PCIe 3.0 x1
M.22 x M.2 Socket 3
Intel® Virtual RAID
OUR TAKE
Although the design of the board overall is elegant, we feel the absent LED on the heatsink over the top is going to make many gamers frown. On the upside, the overclocking with this x299 board is exceptional. The AI does work in actuality and is not just a gimmick. With the inclusion of Wifi 6, one should expect a hefty price tag, but interestingly the price of the board remains quite reasonable. It is also worth mentioning that almost all the other boards out there with wifi 6 show no support for intel processors save the x299 ROG STRIX.
PROS

  • AI Overclocking
  • Best RGB with Aura
  • Two M2 Slots
  • Metal PCIe Slots
CONS

  • Cramped Look
  • Works better with newer processors only

3. ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme TRX40

Zenith II E TRX40 is another Wifi 6 motherboard manufactured by ASUS that supports AMD’s Ryzen processors. The price tag of the processor is quite hefty. As evident by the name the Zenith II is the second edition of this motherboard.

The earlier version had x399 chipset at its core. The newer version has brought plenty of improvements over the x399.

Design

The foremost thing users notice is the OLED display of the motherboard that displays the CPU temperatures and different logos. The OLED display is spacious and bright. The 1.77” OLED can also display GIFs. Hence all the useful information as well as customizable graphics are visible on this panel.

Right after taking it out of the box, buyers are taken aback right away by the premium look and feel of the product. It feels heavy to hold, thanks to the metal used for covering components and ports. The backside of the board is protected by steel plates. These plates are reliable and they can guard the motherboard against bending or breaking.

One can find integrated LEDs all around the motherboard. Users can also customize the rear panel cover, the right side of the board and the ROG logo.

Characteristics/Features

The motherboard comes with a heavy price tag. Although the price seems justified, considering the features of the motherboard. This motherboard is capable of supporting processors with 64 physical cores as well as 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The motherboard has more PCB layers than the usual boards as well as more PCIe drivers to support and manage these lanes.

Another feature of the motherboard is that it brings with it the PCIe 4.0 for the first time to desktops. You can use four PCIe ports for connecting. Building on this, users can attach five M.2 drives on the motherboard.

Also, there are a total of eight slots for plugging in your memeory modules into the board. The support offered by the motherboard is up to 256 GB. Un-buffered ECC can be made to work as well.

Connectivity Slots

ChipsetAMD TRX40
Form FactorATX
Ports4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 front panel connector
Chipset
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 port(s)
3 x USB 2.0 port(s)
Memory DIMMs8 x DIMM, Max. 256GB, DDR4
Expansion Slots4 x PCIe 4.0 (x16, x16/x16, x16/x8/x16, x16/x8/x16/x8)
M.25 x M.2 Socket
OUR TAKE
Although the board features a unique and impressive feature set, its price still poses to be a problem. Besides, no support for AI Overclocking is present. On the other hand, thread rippers will work splendidly with this motherboard. The addition of 802.11ax has made the board all the more attractive. By keeping in view all the specs and features of the motherboard, it is evident that the motherboard is not meant entirely for gamers to use.
PROS

  • 5 x M.2 drives
  • OLED Display
  • RGB Lighting
CONS

  • Price
  • No AI Overclocking
Categories: Reviews