Buying an inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboard has become a new trend with technological advancements, but the question is Should you buy a motherboard with inbuilt Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is a wireless radio wave connection between networks and devices. It has almost taken over all the devices in this modern era. You cannot deny the fact that it has not only become an essential part of our lives but a necessity. It made our lives easier, fast, and convenient.
Every company has released its inbuilt Wi-Fi products such as USBs, Smart plugins, laptops, etc. Similarly, companies, including ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc., have introduced inbuilt Wi-Fi options in their newly launched motherboards.
So, to understand whether or not you will need an inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboard for building your desktop or to check if motherboards come with Wi-Fi, this article will help you to find all these answers.
What are inbuilt Wi-Fi Motherboards?
Inbuilt Wi-Fi on motherboards means the presence of Wi-Fi chips directly into the motherboard itself. It helps the users to have wireless networking capabilities without the need for an additional Wi-Fi adapter or card.
Every Motherboard supports different Wi-Fi standards based on its Wi-Fi adapters. 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.1g, 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax are the common standards available. However, the new Standard 802.11ac or ax (Wi-Fi 6) replaces older Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n standards due to its fast speed, improved connectivity, and better efficiency.
Inbuilt Wi-Fi Motherboards VS Non-inbuilt Motherboards
Advantages of Inbuilt Wi-Fi Motherboards :
If you are someone who doesn’t want to mess with wires, you would probably be looking for a wireless motherboard for your PC. Here are some key advantages of opting for a motherboard with inbuilt Wi-Fi:
Inbuilt Wi-Fi helps to eliminate the need for purchasing and installing a separate Wi-Fi adapter or card. In certain cases, dedicated Wi-Fi cards or adapters perform better performance. Especially higher-end Wi-Fi cards have improved signal strength and offer faster connection speeds. But inbuilt Wi-Fi solutions, especially the latest Wi-Fi standards, help the users in saving their time and make the desktop building process convenient.
Most of the compact PC builds, such as Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX systems, come with an inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboard due to their small form factor motherboards. To make it more compact, only a few expansion slots are available, which makes it impossible to add a separate space for a Wi-Fi card. Inbuilt Wi-Fi ensures wireless connectivity and is the best option.
Inbuilt Wi-Fi is known for its space-saving efficiency. It gives the PC build a more aesthetic and pleasant look. In contrast, a Non-Wi-Fi motherboard may have few electronic components and circuitry and reduce potential interference, allowing good stability and performance. But inbuilt Wi-Fi boards save users from additional hardware components, such as Wi-Fi cards or dongles, making their lives convenient and simple.
Inbuilt Wi-Fi ensures better compatibility as compared to using third-party Wi-Fi adapters, which may cause issues. It is designed in such a way that it seems like a perfect fit with the motherboard’s chipset and other components for its best performance.
However, Non-Wi-Fi motherboards support a wide range of operating systems for smooth installation and to ensure compatibility with different configurations. However, due to its wider compatibility with different Wi-Fi standards and adapters, it may cause inconvenience and fuss for the user. In case you are wondering whether Is motherboard wifi good for gaming the answer is Yes!
Advantages of Non-Wi-Fi motherboards:
In contrast, Non-Wi-Fi motherboards have advantages too, which are listed below:
Non-Wi-Fi motherboards are more affordable because inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboards may have a slightly higher price. If you are already using a wired Ethernet connection or already have a separate Wi-Fi adapter, opting for a non-Wi-Fi motherboard can save you money. However, purchasing a separate Wi-Fi adapter adds to the overall cost and makes the inbuilt Wi-Fi more cost-effective in the long run.
If you are someone who wants to tailor-make or customize a Wi-Fi setup for your desktop build, then you should opt for Non-Wi-Fi motherboards. They provide greater flexibility, and you can select a dedicated Wi-Fi card or adapter depending on your needs, such as high-speed gaming, long-range connectivity, or other specialized needs. Not only this! These motherboards offer more available PCIe slots for adding other components, such as graphics cards, sound cards, or additional storage devices, based on your specific needs.
What sets Non-Wi-Fi motherboards apart is their ability to upgrade or replace Wi-Fi adapters as new technologies emerge easily.
However, inbuilt Wi-Fi Motherboards featuring the latest Wi-Fi standards, such as Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E, help the user to enjoy a Superior Wi-Fi experience. It also offers faster connection speeds and improved stability and performance. Still, you have the advantage of upgrading to a more advanced Wi-Fi solution on Non-Wi-Fi motherboards whenever there is an advancement in Wi-Fi standards or specialized networking requirements, without replacing the entire motherboard.
So it has been proved that It’s important to note that the choice between an inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboard and a non-Wi-Fi motherboard depends on individual needs, budget, future upgrade plans, preferences, and the intended use of the system. Inbuilt Wi-Fi Motherboards are mostly preferred due to their wireless connectivity and convenience.
However, Non-Wi-Fi motherboards may not be suitable for all users but can be preferred by someone who relies on wired Ethernet connections, has dedicated access points, or wants tailor-made customization on their desktop.
Also Read: What Does Orange Light Mean on Motherboard?
How to Check if the Motherboard Has Inbuilt Wi-Fi?
Determining whether motherboards come with Wi-Fi is an essential step to take before making a purchase or after installing the motherboard on your PC.
Here are the steps to follow to know whether your decided motherboard has inbuilt Wi-Fi.
Read the Product Specifications:
Before buying a motherboard, thoroughly read the product specifications. You can find this information on the store page or by visiting the manufacturer’s website. Manufacturers usually clearly indicate whether a motherboard has inbuilt Wi-Fi. Still, if you cannot find this information, watching or reading a review would be useful.
Checking the Physical Features:
If you intend to purchase by visiting the manufacturer or have already purchased, Check the physical features of the motherboard.
If you’re buying a new motherboard, ensure that the antenna is included with the motherboard and double-check the box. Motherboards with inbuilt Wi-Fi typically have antenna connection ports on the back I/O panel. In case any antenna is missing, you may need to acquire a separate one to utilize the inbuilt Wi-Fi functionality fully.
Check Wi-Fi Functionality:
If you have already installed the motherboard on your PC and want to check for the inbuilt Wi-Fi, check for Wi-Fi functionality through software. Look for a Wi-Fi icon in the lower right corner of your screen, typically located on the taskbar. The presence of this icon indicates that your motherboard has inbuilt Wi-Fi.
If the Wi-Fi feature is disabled or the necessary drivers might be missing, refer to the manufacturer’s website. Find the relevant information, including your motherboard’s specifications, or identify the motherboard’s name.
The last way to enable Wi-Fi is through BIOS settings, drivers, MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output), or beamforming, but you have to be cautious and need all the necessary information and settings to activate the functionality properly.
Not only this! You can also determine specific Wi-Fi standards supported by a motherboard by referring to the manufacturer’s specifications or product documentation.
Options to Use Wi-Fi if My Motherboard Does Not Have Inbuilt Wi-Fi:
If your motherboard does not have inbuilt Wi-Fi, there are several options available to enable Wi-Fi access on your PC:
USB Wi-Fi Adapter:
- Plug-and-play devices.
- Simply connect to a USB port on your computer.
- Convenient and affordable solution.
- Wide range variety.
- No technical expertise is required.
PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter:
- Offer better performance, high speed, and stability.
- Installed into the PCIe slots on your motherboard, typically the PCIe x1 slot.
- Quality and specifications are dependent but expensive.
- Requires technical skills for opening the computer case and inserting the card.
- It’s an excellent option if you prefer a wired connection.
- Connect your computer directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable.
- Most motherboards have an Ethernet port for internet access.
- Provide stability and higher speeds.
- Choose the option that best suits your requirements and preferences.
Ultimately, with these options, you can enable Wi-Fi access on your PC even if your motherboard doesn’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi
Different companies have been introducing Wi-Fi inbuilt Motherboards due to their user-friendliness, convenience, high performance, and compactness in the PC build. Its increasing demand in the market would make it cost-friendly in the future.
However, it is important to choose a motherboard based on Wi-Fi capabilities. Consider the specific needs of your network environment and the devices you intend to connect to buy a motherboard with inbuilt Wi-Fi. It is recommended to buy an inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboard that supports only newer standards like 802.11ac or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) as they offer faster speeds, better efficiency in crowded areas, and compatibility with the latest Wi-Fi devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when a motherboard has built-in Wi-Fi?
It means chips or antennas on your motherboard allow direct Wi-Fi access by connecting it to nearby Wi-Fi access points. It does not require external hardware, such as Wi-Fi adapters or dongles for wireless connection.
Do inbuilt Wi-Fi motherboards work better than Wi-Fi cards?
In terms of performance, there is no major difference between an inbuilt Wi-Fi card and a separate PCIe Wi-Fi card, based on its performance. However, its performance is more related to Wi-Fi standards.
Do all gaming motherboards have Wi-Fi?
No! Not all gaming motherboards come with Wi-Fi as a standard feature. While some high-end gaming motherboards, especially premium motherboards, may have inbuilt Wi-Fi because of their advanced features and convenience.
I am a dedicated gamer with a strong passion for the tech sector. My expertise in game development has allowed me to create immersive gaming experiences that capture the hearts of players globally. I continuously stay on top of advancements in tech and gaming and frequently attend industry events.