When starting, many newbie gamers miscomprehend the use of Wi-Fi cards and end up believing that it’s necessary for setting up a gaming PC. Well, that’s not true.
None of the gaming PCs out there demand the use of Wi-Fi cards for basic Wi-Fi connectivity. Be it a standard gaming PC or a custom-built model.
The question arises then: what’s the hype about? Why do expert gamers keep stressing over the need for a Wi-Fi card? What is it, and what does it really do?
Here in this guide, that’s exactly what we’ll be exploring. We’ll explore the basics of a Wi-Fi card and determine if you should get a Wi-Fi card for gaming or not. Let’s go!
What is a WiFi card?
Fundamentally, a Wi-Fi card refers to a small piece of networking hardware. It is not a USB dongle, as confused by many.
You do not have to connect it externally. Instead, it connects to the PCle slot in your motherboard and operates with the assistance of a few drivers.
But what’s the purpose? Wireless connectivity!
Yes, that’s what a Wi-Fi card is for. Unlike laptops, desktop PCs do not offer wireless internet connectivity because they aren’t portable devices. But with a WiFi card, you can enjoy a wireless connection.
3 Reasons Your PC Needs a WiFi Card
Now that you know what is a WiFi card, it’s best we explore why you should get a WiFi card for your PC.
Below, we’ve listed the top three reasons to get a Wi-Fi card:
WiFi cards are installed internally into your device, and they are engineered to provide the highest of speeds. The latest WiFi cards are capable of providing about 2.4 Gbps speeds at 5 GHz frequency.
It’s true that most mid-range gaming PCs will offer about 2.4 GHz frequency. At this, you can avail of 574 Mbps, which translates to around 300 MB/s.
WiFi cards come with multiple inputs and outputs. As a result, they are capable of handling multiple data signals simultaneously. Henceforth, it offers a much more stable connection. With this, gamers can enjoy stress-free and uninterrupted sessions.
Along with high-speed and stable connections, WiFi cards are also easily replaceable. In case you’re wondering why you’d need to replace a WiFi card, it’s because newer cards come in now and then with better capabilities. So, it’s an upgrade.
Are there any downsides?
Like every other device, Wi-Fi cards have some downsides too. And these include:
- It may be difficult to install for newbie gamers.
- It may cramp up space in your PC, blocking space for other essential components like a graphics card.
- It will use one of your precious PCIe slots, which you might want to use for other purposes.
But if you’re not a newbie, got a good, big-enough PC, and any of the PCIe slots free, it’s a good idea to opt for a WiFi card instead of its alternatives, i.e.;
- On-board WiFi
- USB dongle
On-board WiFi refers to the wireless connectivity of a PC, wherein the WiFi modem is built-in the PC. Obviously, it’s super expensive, and it comes either pre-installed or in custom-built models. An average budget-gaming PC will not offer you onboard WiFi. Plus, it offers the same performance as a Wi-Fi card. But it’s not replaceable.
As for a USB dongle, it’s much cheaper, and we recommend it for an average user or a newbie gamer. It’s easier to install and use. Plus, its performance is decent. But the connectivity isn’t as speedy and reliable as Wi-Fi cards or onboard WiFi.
But again, these alternatives are only recommendable if you’ve got other uses planned for your PCIe slots and have got a PC with bigger chassis.
Summing up, you should get a WiFi card for your gaming PC if you’re looking forward to pursuing gaming seriously. Be it in terms of profession or passion pursuit. It’s a worthy investment!
But if you’re only considering your interest in gaming, it’s best to go with a USB dongle instead. It’s cheaper and good enough to suffice for temporary needs.