This post includes affiliate links, for which we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase using our links. Learn more.

With Wi-Fi 6 becoming mainstream, most of the latest devices, including laptops and motherboards, are launching with the new generation of Wi-Fi. These best Wi-Fi 6 PCIe cards let you enable Wi-Fi 6 on your old motherboard without upgrading to a new one.

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax or only AX Wi-Fi, is the next-gen standard in Wi-Fi technology. This new standard builds on the last-generation Wi-Fi 802.11ac. Wi-Fi Alliance dropped their weird naming schemes for numbers; for instance, 802.11ax is Wi-Fi 6 and 802.11ac now Wi-Fi 5.

The new standard comes as a response to the increasing number of Wi-Fi devices. For instance, a typical home can have multiple smart devices from voice assistants, thermostats, and robot vacuums to smartphones, PCs, and smart TVs. Getting a Wi-Fi 6 router can help you manage multiple devices efficiently, but that’s not enough.

For the best performance, you need both a Wi-Fi 6 router and a Wi-Fi 6 device. However, with Wi-Fi 6 just released last year, most motherboards in the market support older Wi-Fi standards. Moreover, not all latest PCs will support next-generation Wi-Fi; that depends on the manufacturer.

If you want to leverage the improvements of Wi-Fi 6 on your current desktop, getting a Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card is the best bet. These adapters install to your motherboard via a PCIe x1 slot and upgrade your PC instantly.

A Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card can support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. All the adapters featured in this roundup support the latest Bluetooth 5 standard, which provides 2x faster speeds and 4x broader coverage than last-gen BT 4.2.

Please note that you must have a USB header (F_USB) on your motherboard to enable Bluetooth. But, it’s not a must if you only want a Wi-Fi upgrade.

Why Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?

There are many reasons why you should upgrade to the next-gen of Wi-Fi. Here are a few that applies to your PC:

Higher Data Rates

Wi-Fi 6 uses 1024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) to pack more data in a signal compared to Wi-Fi 5’s 256-QAM. Having 10 bits per symbol rather than 8 bits improves raw performance by 25 percent. With this, you get faster speeds to watch 4K videos on Netflix or broadcast your gameplay on Twitch without buffering.

Increased Capacity

AX Wi-Fi doubles the channel width from 80MHz to 160MHz, creating a faster connection between a router and your computer. It also uses a 4x longer OFDM symbol creating more sub-carriers for increased coverage and 11 percent faster speeds.

OFDM is a symbol, with multiple sub-carries, that transmits data.

Having a longer OFDM symbol provides broader coverage for your home or offices with fast connections for all of your devices.

Performance in Dense Environments

Wi-Fi 6 has a larger capacity to handle more devices, which is ideal for crowded places like airports and stadiums. More devices can access the router simultaneously without a dip in bandwidth.

It uses MU-MIMO technology to transmit multiple frames to different devices simultaneously on the same channel for efficient performance. Wi-Fi 6 now supports MU-MIMO on both downlink and uplink, so whether live streaming to Twitch or downloading files, there is plenty of bandwidth.

Things to Consider in a Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card

When searching for the best Wi-Fi 6 PCIe cards, there are several things to keep in mind. Most of the cards in the market feature a built-in Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 Module, so on paper, all Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapters offer the same performance.

However, due to different implementations, such as antennas and cooling, some have better performance than others, thus the difference in costs. Here is what to look out for to get the best performance for your setup and the best value for money.

Dual-Band Over Single

Wi-Fi 6 operates on two bands; 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 5GHz channel offers more bandwidth and speeds perfect for high-end gaming, high-resolution video streaming, and other demanding tasks. The 2.4GHz channel, on the other hand, has a lower bandwidth ideal for everyday use, such as web browsing.

Getting a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card allows you to easily switch between a 5GHz and a 2GHz band. For instance, you can create two SSIDs, one for each channel on a dual-band router, then connect to the ideal channel for your needs, such as 5GHz for gaming.

Type of Antennas

The type of antenna can impact your Wi-Fi performance. High-end adapters have adaptable antennas with a cable and magnetic base, allowing you to reposition them on top of your desktop or surface. Such antennas provide a real boost to your signal.

Budget Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapters don’t come with cable; instead, the antennas connect directly to the card on the back of the PC. If you’re getting a budget card, ensure you can rotate the antennas for good Wi-Fi reception.

Card Cooling

Like most PC components, Wi-Fi 6 PCIe cards run hot on extreme usage. When playing and streaming games, make sure you select a card with a heat sink to prevent thermal throttling, which may affect your Wi-Fi performance.

Motherboard Compatibility

All the Wi-Fi 6 PCIe cards in this roundup work with a motherboard with an open PCIe x1 slot. You can install the adapter to a PCIe x1, x4, x8, or x16 expansion slot. These cards won’t work with a laptop.

Kindly note that the actual speeds on your desktop will depend on your Internet Service Provider. If you have a weak or limited plan from your ISP, getting a Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card won’t make your Wi-Fi any faster.

Best Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Cards Compared

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi CardOperating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  Dual Band, Magnetized Antenna Base
Antenna Type:  5.0
Bluetooth:  PCI-E x1
OS Support:  Windows 10(64-bit) only
Check on Amazon
Asus AX3000 Dual Band PCI-E WiFi 6 (802.11ax) AdapterOperating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band, Magnetized Antenna Base
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
Check on Amazon
Gigabyte GC-WBAX200Operating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band, Magnetized Antenna Base
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
Check on Amazon
Ubit WiFi 6 AX 2974Mbps Pcie WiFi Card with BT 5.0(AX200)Operating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux, Chrome OS
Check on Amazon
ZIYITUOD WiFi 6 AX 2974Mbps PCIe Wifi Card with BT 5.0(AX200)Operating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
Check on Amazon
EDUP Wi-Fi 6 Card AX 3000Mbps PCIe Network CardOperating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
Check on Amazon
Fenvi PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter CardOperating Frequency:  2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate:  574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Interface:  PCI-E x1
Antenna Type:  Dual Band, Magnetized Antenna Base
Bluetooth:  5.0
OS Support:  Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux, Chrome OS
Check on Amazon

 

1. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card – Best Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card

TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 PCIe Wi-Fi Card (Archer TX3000E) is the overall best Wi-Fi 6 adapter in our roundup. The adapter features an excellent design and impressive performance suitable for high-end gaming and streaming.

In terms of design, the TP-Link Wi-Fi card has a heatsink and gold plating to prevent thermal throttling on intense usage. It has two multi-directional antennas with a magnetic base that allows you to place it on top of your desktop or any surface for broader coverage. You can rotate or reposition the antennas for the best signal reception.

The card features a built-in Intel Wi-Fi 6 chipset that provides the best performance of the Wi-Fi 6 standard. It supports dual-band with peak speeds of 2402 Mbps on the 5GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2GHz. So, you can switch to either channel easily, depending on your needs.

With support for OFDMA and the 160MHz channel, enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi for flawless 4k video streaming on Netflix and smooth online gaming with absolutely no buffering.

The TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 PCIe Wi-Fi card provides improved security with support for WPA3, which offers enhanced password protection. WPA3 keeps your network safe with advanced encryption, protecting you from the online world.

Onboard you also get the latest Bluetooth 5.0 for even faster speeds and broad coverage. Ensure to connect the supplied cable to the USB header on your motherboard to activate Bluetooth.

OUR TAKE
The TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 PCIe Wi-Fi card is all you need to enable the new generation of Wi-Fi on your motherboard. It has exceptional speeds and incredibly low latency, allowing you to stream and play your games with no lag or buffering. You get adaptable antennas for broad coverage, eliminating the dead zones in your room.
PROS

  • Faster speeds with lower latency
  • Multi-directional antennas with magnetic base
  • Advanced WPA3 security
  • Heatsink to prevent overheating
CONS

  • Bulky design
 

2. Asus AX3000 Dual Band PCI-E WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Adapter (PCE-AX58BT) – ASUS Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card

ASUS PCE-AX58BT is an exceptional Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card sporting the same design as the TP-Link adapter. The card supports both OFDMA and MU-MIMO so you can unlock the full functionality of your router.

The card comes with a freestanding transceiver and a cable that allows you to position the antennas outside the PC chassis for broad coverage. You can adjust and rotate the antennas for optimal signal reception and do away with Wi-Fi dead zones. There is a cooling heat sink to ensure excellent performance in hot environments.

In terms of performance, ASUS PCE-AX58BT delivers up to 2403 Mbps on 5GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4GHz. The card supports OFDMA and MU-MIMO with a wide 160MHz channel for improved speeds, even in crowded places.

Like the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 adapter, this ASUS card supports WPA3 security and Bluetooth 5.0 standard. It works with all kinds of motherboards, but pairing it with an ASUS mobo gives you the best performance.

ASUS recommends installing the card to a PCIe x1 slot. It is plug-and-play on both Windows and Linux, so you don’t need any driver installation.

OUR TAKE
Asus AX3000 Dual Band PCI-E Wi-Fi 6 is another outstanding adapter for high-end gaming rigs and bandwidth-intensive tasks. It provides higher speeds even on the most crowded networks and keeps latency to a minimum. The design offers the best signal reception and handles thermals better. You’re free to overclock or stream Netflix for hours.
PROS

  • Exceptional speeds
  • Plug-and-play on Linux and Windows
  • Instant Bluetooth upgrade
  • Freestanding transceiver
  • Heatsink
  • Advanced WPA3 security
CONS

  • ASUS needs to work on the paper manual
 

3. Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 – Gigabyte Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card

Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 is another excellent Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card from a reputable company. Gigabyte is among the best manufacturers for motherboards and laptops, and having their Wi-Fi adapter is a massive relief for Gigabyte users.

The design is handy, but still not the best. It comes with a magnetic base connected to a cable that allows you to place the antennas anywhere in the room for broad coverage. Tilt or rotate the antennas to find the best position for optimal signal reception.

Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 sports a good design for Wi-Fi reception but lacks a heatsink. You may experience some throttling issues when pushing your system to the limits.

In terms of performance, Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz with top speeds of 2400 Mbps. With MU-MIMO, you get faster speeds, even on dense networks with multiple connected devices.

The card is plug-and-play on both Windows 10 and Linux. However, you can download the latest drivers from the Gigabyte website or Intel since it uses the Intel WIFI 6 AX200 module.

The card instantly upgrades your Bluetooth to 5.0 standard, giving you more bandwidth and broader range. This card needs an open USB header to activate Bluetooth.

OUR TAKE
Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 is an excellent Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card with a few limitations. It has the best antennas for excellent signal reception. The performance is impressive, with up to 2400 Mbps theoretical speeds. Like most adapters, you get Bluetooth 5.0 upgrade too. However, the lacking heat sink and WPA3 security leave a lot to be desired.
PROS

  • Exceptional speeds
  • Adaptable antennas with magnetic base
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Works with Windows 10 and Linux
CONS

  • Lacks heat sink
  • No WPA3 security
 

4. Ubit WiFi 6 AX 2974Mbps Pcie WiFi Card with BT 5.0(AX200) – PCIe Wi-Fi 6 Card Windows 10

Ubit AX Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card is one of the best budget options with exceptional speeds and improved efficiency. It’s not from the well-known brand, but it has amassed thousands of positive reviews on Amazon.

The design of the Ubit AX Wi-Fi PCIe card includes dual-band antennas connected directly to the adapter via the desktop’s back panel. There is no cable or magnetic base, so you can’t reposition the antennas.

However, you can tilt and rotate the two antennas to boost the signal reception.

The card leverages Wi-Fi 6 features to provide higher speeds up to 2402 Mbps and 574 Mbps on 5GHz and 2.4GHz channels, respectively. Despite its lower cost, you get lightning speeds to enjoy 4K video streaming and smooth gaming experience, just like with premium adapters.

Ubit AX Wi-Fi PCIe card uses an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 chipset, which is compatible with most processor brands and operating systems in the market.

Onboard, you get Bluetooth 5.0 upgrade with extended range and faster transfer speeds if you have an available USB header on your motherboard. The manufacturer recommends Windows 10 system though some users have had success with Linux OS.

OUR TAKE
Ubit AX Wi-Fi PCIe card provides the best value for money. It may not have the best design, but it has excellent performance. Enjoy speeds up to 2400 Mbps with low latency and improved capacity for more devices. However, the type of antennas may not offer the best coverage because of their location.
PROS

  • Great value
  • Exceptional speeds
  • Straightforward installation
  • Bluetooth 5.0
CONS

  • Lacks a heat sink
 

5. ZIYITUOD WiFi 6 AX 2974Mbps PCIe Wifi Card with BT 5.0(AX200) – Cheap Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card

ZIYITUOD Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card is the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 adapter in this roundup. It has a built-in Intel AX200 chipset, providing all the features of the next-generation Wi-Fi.

The design of the ZIYITUOD mimics the Ubit Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card. It has two antennas attached directly to the adapter on the desktop chassis. You can, however, adjust the antennas to face your router to boost signal reception. It’s a budget card, so there are no features like heat sink or freestanding transceiver.

Performance is vital, and the ZIYITUOD Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card delivers. Get exceptional speeds up to 2400 Mbps on 5GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2.4GHz. If you’re looking for Wi-Fi 6 performance without extra features, this budget card is all you need.

Like most Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapters, you get the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard for improved speeds and range. An available USB header is needed for Bluetooth.

The card is easy to install and plug-and-play. It works flawlessly on both Windows 10 and Linux. Simply attach the adapter to a PCIe x1 slot and connect the antennas for Wi-Fi reception.

OUR TAKE
Cheap and affordable. This card uses the same Intel AX200 chipset as the expensive options, yet managed to keep the price to a minimum. It’s a great deal considering you get the same Wi-Fi performance with excellent upload and download speeds. However, you can’t move the antennas, so signal reception might not be the best. It also lacks a heat sink, making it susceptible to throttling.
PROS

  • Great value
  • Fast speeds
  • Easy to install
  • Bluetooth 5.0 upgrade
CONS

  • Lacks heat sink
 

6. EDUP Wi-Fi 6 Card AX 3000Mbps PCIe Network Card – Best Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card for Gaming

EDUP Wi-Fi 6 Card is the only budget Wi-Fi 6 adapter with a solid heat sink. It comes with a built-in Intel AX200 chip, providing the same performance as the premium Wi-Fi 6 PCIe cards.

The card features a quality heat sink to prevent overheating and thermal throttling when gaming or streaming movies for long hours. Like most budget cards, the antennas are attached to the back of the desktop, but they support tilt and rotate adjustment.

EDUP Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card provides 2400 Mbps speeds on the 5GHz channel and 574 Mbps on 2.4GHz channel. It is an excellent Wi-Fi adapter for online gaming and 4K video streaming. With technologies such as MU-MIMO, the Wi-Fi performance remains atop even as many devices conect to the router.

The card also supports Bluetooth 5.0, extending the range and transfer speeds. EDUP Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card works with almost all operating systems, but you must install the appropriate drivers.

OUR TAKE
The EDUP Wi-Fi 6 Card is an excellent choice for gamers and enthusiasts. It is a budget adapter yet provides premium features such as heat sink and top 2400 Mbps speeds. If EDUP included adaptable antennas with a magnetic base, this card would be the best in the market. Nonetheless, the reception is excellent, and it all depends on where you’ll place your PC.
PROS

  • A good quality heat sink
  • Faster speeds up to 2400 Mbps
  • Great value
  • Bluetooth 5.0
CONS

  • Antenna design can be improved.
 

7. Fenvi PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter Card – Best Budget PCIe Wi-Fi card

Fenvi PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter Card is another Wi-Fi network adapter designed for desktops. It’s a budget card with a mobile transceiver and a built-in Wi-Fi AX200 module.

The card comes with a freestanding transceiver with a magnetic base and 1m long cable that allows you to reposition the antenna for the best signal reception. It’s a box-like type of antenna that supports 180 degrees tilt for excellent coverage.

Fenvi includes a heat sink made with an aluminum alloy for efficient heat dissipation to deliver optimal performance on hot environments. This Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapter is one of the few budget options with both heat sink and magnetic base antennas.

The performance is outstanding. Like most cards, get up to 2400 Mbps speeds on the 5GHz band and 574 Mbps for the 2.4GHz channel. Switch between either channel for the best performance for online gaming or daily productivity tasks.

Fenvi PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter Card supports Windows 10, Chrome OS, and Linux. The card also upgrades your Bluetooth to the 5.0 standard instantly. But make sure to connect the supplied internal cable to the USB header on your motherboard.

OUR TAKE
Fenvi PCIe Wi-Fi 6 Adapter Card is a fully-featured Wi-Fi 6 network card with handy design and outstanding performance. Though it’s a budget card, Fenvi includes both a heat sink and dual-band antennas for excellent reception. The built-in Intel Wi-Fi 6 module provides excellent speeds and low latency for improved performance. With a handy design and outstanding performance, Fenvi Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapter is our choice for the best budget card.
PROS

  • Great value
  • Exceptional performance
  • High-gain magnetic antennas
  • Heat sink
  • Bluetooth 5.0
CONS

  • No WPA3 security support
Categories: Reviews