Best Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E PCIe Cards

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With WiFi 6 becoming mainstream, most of the latest devices, including laptops and motherboards, are launching with the new generation of WiFi. WiFi 6 PCIe cards allow PC users to use WiFi 6 on their old motherboards.

Building upon the success of WiFi 6, the WiFi alliance was quick to release the WiFi 6E version, which gives the WiFi 6 specification loads of new functionality.

The new standard comes as a response to the increasing number of WiFi 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 WiFi 6E router can help you manage multiple devices efficiently, but that’s not enough.

Since Wifi 6 and WiFi 6E were only released last year, most older motherboards and PCs won’t have them on board. If you want to leverage the improvements of WiFi 6 on your current desktop, getting a WiFi 6 or WiFi 6E PCIe card is the best option.

These adapters install to your motherboard via a PCIe x1 slot and upgrade your PC instantly. They also have the latest Bluetooth 5 specification on them, making them the complete wireless connectivity package. 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 WiFi upgrade.

Before we get into why you need to upgrade your WiFi card and what devices are available on the market, let’s first clear up the difference between WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E.

The Best Wifi 6 and 6E PCIe cards at a glance

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
GIGABYTE WiFi 6E PCIe Card on Amazon
GIGABYTE WiFi 6E PCIe CardOperating Frequency: 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz
Data Rate: Up to 2400Mbps
Antenna Type: Single
Bluetooth: 5.2
OS Support: Windows-10
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Ubit WiFi 6E Card on Amazon
Ubit WiFi 6E CardOperating Frequency: 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz
Data Rate: Up to 5400Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual
Bluetooth: 5.2
OS Support: Windows-10 (64-bit) only
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Fenvi AX210 PCIe Card on Amazon
Fenvi AX210 PCIe CardOperating Frequency: 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz
Data Rate: Up to 5400Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual
Bluetooth: 5.2
OS Support: Windows-10 (64-bit), Google Chrome OS, Linux 5.1 kernel
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NICGIGA WiFi 6E card on Amazon
NICGIGA WiFi 6E cardOperating Frequency: 2.4GHz/5GHz/6GHz
Data Rate: Up to 5400Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual
Bluetooth: 5.2
OS Support: Windows-10, Linux
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TP-Link WiFi 6 PCIe WiFi Card on Amazon
TP-Link WiFi 6 PCIe WiFi CardOperating Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate: 574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual
Bluetooth: 5.0
OS Support: Windows 10 (64-bit)
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Asus PCIe WiFi 6 Card on Amazon
Asus PCIe WiFi 6 CardOperating Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate: 574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual
Bluetooth: 5.0
OS Support: Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
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ZIYITUOD WiFi 6 PCIe Card on Amazon
ZIYITUOD WiFi 6 PCIe CardOperating Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Data Rate: 574 Mbps/ 2402 Mbps
Antenna Type: Dual Band
Bluetooth: 5.0
OS Support: Windows 10 (64-bit), Linux
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Why Upgrade to WiFi 6?

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

Higher Data Rates

WiFi 6 uses 1024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) to pack more data in a signal compared to WiFi 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 WiFi 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

WiFi 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. WiFi 6 now supports MU-MIMO on both downlink and uplink, so whether live streaming to Twitch or downloading files, there is plenty of bandwidth.

What does WiFi 6E offer in addition to WiFi 6?

Wifi 6E is simply the extended version of WiFi 6. WiFi adds a range of additional functionality to the WiFi 6 while keeping all the good stuff about it. It’s sort of a mid-point between WiFi 6 and the much-anticipated WiFi 7, which will be released soon. Here is a list of what the Extended version offers additionally:

Increase in Bandwidth and Channels

WiFi adds the 6GHz spectrum band to WiFi 6, which already had the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This massive jump in bandwidth is unprecedented since the inception of the WiFi specification.

You will get fourteen additional 80MHz or seven additional 160 MHz channels, which means you can divide your data among more channels and have fewer interruptions. You can use the new 6GHz channel for 4k/8k streaming or high-speed tasks at closer distances and use the lower bands for long-distance work.

No need for DFS scanning

Since WiFi 6E uses 160MHz channels in the 6GHz band, they won’t interfere with other radar devices or TV stations. Hence if you live near a radio station or airport, you can still use 160MHz channels.

Even less latency

Gamers are gonna love this! We don’t know how, but the WiFi alliance claims it has improved the internal PCB structure of WiFi 6E devices to improve latency even further, making gaming seamless over wireless communication.

Things to Consider in a WiFi 6/6E PCIe Card

When searching for the best WiFi 6 PCIe cards, there are several things to keep in mind. Most of the cards in the market feature a built-in Intel WiFi 6 AX200 (AX201 for WiFi 6E) Module, so on paper, all WiFi 6/6E PCIe adapters offer the same performance.

However, due to different implementations, such as antennas and cooling, some have better performance than others, thus reducing 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

WiFi 6 operates on two bands; 2.4GHz and 5GHz, while 6E has an additional 6GHz band too. The 6GHz channel offers more bandwidth and speeds perfect for high-end gaming, high-resolution video streaming, and other demanding tasks. The 6GHz and 2.4GHz channels, on the other hand, have lower bandwidths ideal for everyday long-distance use, such as web browsing.

Getting a dual-band WiFi 6 PCIe card allows you to easily switch between 6GHz, 5GHz and 2GHz bands. 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 6GHz for gaming.

Type of Antennas

The type of antenna can impact your WiFi 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 WiFi 6/6E 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 WiFi reception.

Card Cooling

Like most PC components, WiFi 6/6E 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 WiFi performance.

Motherboard Compatibility

All the WiFi 6/6E 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 WiFi 6 or 6E PCIe card won’t make your WiFi any faster.

1. GIGABYTE WiFi 6E PCIe Card – The best Wifi PCIe card on the market

At the top, we have one of the most popular computer hardware manufacturers today. Gigabyte produces a wide range of peripherals, motherboards, expansion cards, and its own PC and gaming laptop lines.

Such diversity of products definitely allows the Taiwanese manufacturer to integrate its products with the latest specifications. This is why it was one of the first to release WiFi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 devices, both only released last year.

Its PCIe WiFi card made it to the top of our list for several reasons: power, style, durability, and heat management.

You can install drivers from the included CD or just download them from Intel’s website. The tech is solid, and drivers integrate the device perfectly. We were also impressed by the antenna. There is only one, but the design is unique.

The antenna has a magnetic base, and multiple angles tilt along its length, allowing for more divergence. The tri-band antenna supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, which are standard for WiFi 6E.

You’ll get up to 2400Mbps of connectivity with this card.

Our Take

We put this card on the top of our list because of its integration, design, and robustness. Despite not having a large heatsink, the card provides long-term high-speed connectivity without heating up. It’s not super expensive either, so you’ll find it hard to ignore!

PROS
  • The robust design takes minimum space
  • Reliable drivers
  • No heating problems, even without a large heatsink
CONS
  • Only one antenna

2. Ubit WiFi 6E Card – The best card for gamers!

Next up is Ubit’s super fast card! Ubit might not have the extensive manufacturing diversity of Gigabyte, but it definitely punches beyond its weight in the expansion cards category.

The card supports up to 5400Mbps of data speeds on two antennas. The latest Bluetooth 5.2 is also on board. Wifi 6E’s 6GHz band and additional channels make this card a significant improvement over the previous WiFi version.

The additional speeds do contribute to heat, so Ubit decided to go for a better heatsink. The sink has more channels for heat dissipation than the older AX200 card. The 7th Generation PCIe bus is also an improvement over the previous version.

Intel AX210 drivers work perfectly for most users, so the card’s PCB integration seems reliable.

Our Take

Ubit’s WiFi 6E card provides all the functionality you’ll expect and keeps the packaging small and reliable too. If you want a card with two antennas that you can use for gaming, Ubit is probably your best bet.

PROS
  • 2 antennas provide up to 5400Mbps of speed
  • Good heat dissipation
  • Seamless integration via Intel’ drivers
CONS
  • You will need to connect the USB header for the card to work.

3. Fenvi AX210 PCIe Card – RGB lighting and a unique design!

Fenvi is another option if you’re looking for the latest WiFi PCIe cards. Its previous WiFi 5 card was special because of the antenna, which had a rectangular design unlike any we’ve seen previously. Well, this WiFi 6E version has a “normal” looking antenna, but the card itself is unconventional, to say the least.

At first, we were a bit surprised by the rectangular covering of the card, which looked like it was somehow connected to the heatsink. We also could not locate the PCIe bus initially, but then we realized the bus protrudes out of the rectangular cover, and you can’t see the entire thing like other cards. Of course, the upside is you get excellent RGB lighting for your setup.

Of course, the cover can be taken off too, but the heat sink might be affected. Other than the shape, everything seems perfect.

Our Take

Fenvi’s WiFi 6 card is a stylish option for users who rank aesthetics highly. The card’s rectangular cover and RGB lighting, and sleek antennas are better in style and as good in speed as any other card. However, if you prefer space management over style, you might want to look elsewhere.

PROS
  • Excellent and sleek design
  • RGB lighting
  • High-quality build
CONS
  • Takes up a lot of space

4. NICGIGA WiFi 6E card – The best card for saving up space in your setup

Here we have a product that offers you all the connectivity of WiFi 6E but does it in a much thinner package. NICGIGA’s card is the perfect option for users who already have crammed in many extensions in their setup and could really use some relief with their latest purchase.

The card is almost as big in length but is significantly thinner and can fit into a tight space. Its dimensions are 4.33 x 3.94 x 0.67 inches.

Unfortunately, the card has two antennas that hook right into the slot, so no additional cable is provided. Once you buy the card, maybe one can figure out how to connect a cable, but unfortunately, the manufacturer does not provide the option.

Our Take

NCGIGA’s card provides all the functionality of WiFi 6E and BT 5.2 in a much smaller package. Of course, heating might be increased by the small size, but for many users, this card might be the only option if they want to keep their space management regiment.

PROS
  • Good space management
  • Two antennas for 5400Gbps of speed
  • Good quality build
CONS
  • Antennas are attached directly to the card

5.  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

6. Asus AX3000 Dual Band PCI-E WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Adapter (PCE-AX58BT) – ASUS WiFi

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

7.  ZIYITUOD Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card – 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.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can WiFi 6E support older WiFi versions?

All Wifi specifications are backward compatible. So when you connect two devices, the data transfer speeds and bandwidths are the lowest common denominators of the two devices.

Does WiFi 6E use a larger frequency spectrum?

Not really. Both WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E use the same spectrum length, 1-9GHz, but WiFi 6E offers more bands within this spectrum, i.e., the additional 6GHz band. Because of this, data transfers are more organizaed, and fewer interruptions occur between different channels.

Is WiFi 6E faster?

Yup. WiFi 6E organizes your data transfer connections better, meaning fewer interruptions occur, and hence your data is transferred in a shorter amount of time. In addition, WiFi 6E offers less latency because of design improvements in its PCB by the WiFi alliance.

Does WiFi 6E have a better range?

The range depends on what frequency you are using. If you are using the 6GHz spectrum, your data speed will be faster, but the range will be smaller. For 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, the range is the same.

Can I connect my phone with WiFi 6E on my PC?

If your phone has a WiFi 6E card, then yes. Otherwise, the data transfer will be according to the lower specification.

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