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The 7 Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters, Tested and Approved by Lifewire

Usb pci пк портативный ноутбук анализатор материнская плата диагностическая

The 7 Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters, Tested and Approved by Lifewire

Get Wi-Fi connectivity easily with these wireless adapters

Jesse Hollington is a tech writer with 10+ years’ experience. He has written for iLounge, Forbes, Yahoo, The Independent, and iDropNews, among others.

    University of Maryland Baltimore County

Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The best USB Wi-Fi adapters are a really convenient way to get a desktop PC or older laptop online with the performance you need for smooth streaming and uninterrupted video calling. Not only will they let you easily add wireless capabilities to a desktop PC, but they can also breathe new life into a laptop that isn’t up to the latest Wi-Fi standards.

As the name suggests, these plug-and-play devices connect to any free USB port on your computer, at which point they show up in Windows or macOS just like an internal network card. Unlike the wireless hardware built into older laptops, however, the best USB Wi-Fi adapters support the latest Wi-Fi standards, so you’ll get the best possible speeds and be able to use the much faster frequency bands. The best USB Wi-Fi adapters are the ideal solution for anybody who needs new or better network capabilities on a desktop PC or laptop.

Best Overall: Netgear Nighthawk A7000 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

netgear nighthawk a7000 usb wi-fi adapter

Versatile for both desktops and laptops

Netgear’s Nighthawk A7000 delivers the kind of performance needed for today’s demanding internet activities like 4K streaming and online gaming. While it’s not the most compact adapter on our list, it’s worth the tradeoff if you don’t want to make any compromises on speed or range.

During our testing, we found the A7000 was not only more than up to the task of handling the latest online games, but it actually did so at an impressive distance of three floors away from the main router. It also clocked in at speeds that were more than enough to handle even the highest-definition video streaming services, from Netflix to Disney+.

A simple installation CD makes the setup process really straightforward, so you can simply plug it in, key in your Wi-Fi password, and you’ll be good to go in just a couple of minutes. There’s also a WPS button for connection to the main router if you prefer that method—and your router supports it. The adapter also folds up nicely, so you can slip it into your laptop bag for travelling, but it’s worth noting that the bulky size can make it a bit tricky to use with thinner laptops. Thankfully, there’s a magnetic cradle included that lets you set it up beside your laptop, which not only keeps it out of the way, but can also help you get a better signal.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC1900 | Bands: Dual-band

«If you’re an avid gamer who likes to slay hordes of undead zombies online, or if you simply want to catch up on Fortnite, this is the adapter for you.» — Rebecca Isaacs, Product Tester

netgear nighthawk a7000

Best Value: Net-Dyn AC1200 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

net-dyn ac1200 usb wi-fi adapter

The NET-DYN AC1200 proves that you don’t need an expensive Wi-Fi card in your PC to get a fast and reliable connection. You can simply plug this adapter into a free USB port, just like a USB flash drive, to bring a wireless connection to your desktop PC, or even upgrade the Wi-Fi on an older laptop.

While our testing showed that you won’t be able to rely on this one for streaming video at extended ranges, it does still let you maintain a basic connection throughout your home. As long you say stay reasonably close to your router, however, it provides more than enough speed to handle pretty much anything you’ll want to do on your laptop, from streaming 4K video from Netflix to keeping in touch with colleagues on Zoom.

The NET-DYN AC1200 does promise a plug-and-play installation on Windows without the need to install any software. As we found in our review, though, your mileage may vary on this one. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to use the included CD, or even just fetch the necessary software from the manufacturer’s website. As an added bonus, it also includes software for Mac and Linux systems. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty that covers both manufacturing defects and dead units.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC1200 | Bands: Dual-band

«Up close to the router and on a new machine, YouTube played without any pixelation, Spotify was seamless, and online games didn’t rubber band. It was a truly magical experience.» — Rebecca Isaacs, Product Tester

net-dyn usb wireless wi-fi adapter

Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs

Best for Travel: Ourlink U631 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

default image

Windows, Linux, and Mac compatible

Some lag for heavy gamers

Linux setup can be tricky

Glam Hobby’s Ourlink U631 is the perfect choice for road warriors, thanks to an ultra-compact design that lets you stick it into your laptop’s USB port and basically forget about it. The low-profile means you can leave it plugged in all the time without worrying about it breaking off or getting damaged, and best of all it won’t block the other ports on your laptop either.

Unfortunately, that smaller size comes with a pretty big tradeoff in terms of range. Since it’s obviously hard to pack big antennas in such a small package, speeds on the U631 fall off pretty quickly as you move away from your router. In our testing, we found that it was a great performer as long as you stay close, but don’t expect it to deliver the kind of speeds needed for gaming and streaming when you’re on the other end of the house.

That said, even at a distance, it will still give you a fast enough connection for checking email and casually surfing the web. It also features a simplified setup, thanks to the accompanying CD, and it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. The real win with this one, though, is that it’s so small that it basically becomes part of your laptop, supplementing or replacing the built-in Wi-Fi.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi (801.11ac) | Speed: AC600 | Bands: Dual-band

«If you’re planning on gaming far from the router, find another adapter for your long-distance needs.» — Rebecca Isaacs, Product Tester

glam hobby ourlink

Best Budget: Edimax EW-7811UAC AC600 Wi-Fi Dual-Band High-Gain USB Adapter

edimax ew-7811uac

Included cradle offers versatile placement for best signal

Basic driver options only

Edimax’s EW-7811UAC offers a very affordable way to get maximum range from a USB Wi-Fi adapter, thanks to its high-gain antenna and versatile placement options. The included four-foot cable and cradle allows you to position the USB Wi-Fi adapter and its accompanying antennas away from your computer or any other devices that might introduce interference, while also letting you align the high-gain antenna for optimal performance.

While the AC600 rating means it’s not the fastest adapter you’ll find, it’s still more than fast enough to stream Netflix in 4K to a single laptop or desktop PC—even over a slower Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) connection. The external antenna also powers fast transfer speeds to ensure you’ll get sustained performance even when farther away from your router.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC600 | Bands: Dual-band

Best Performance: Linksys WUSB6300 Dual-Band AC1200 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

linksys wusb6300

Courtesy of Amazon

Solid performance at longer ranges

Easy to install

Middling speeds at closer ranges

As one of the best-known names in wireless routers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Linksys’ WUSB6300 was one of the first USB Wi-Fi 5 adapters to arrive on the market a few years ago, and it remains one of the best in terms of general performance, especially at longer ranges.

While the WUSB6300 doesn’t lead the pack in performance at closer ranges, it excels at providing more consistent speeds as you move further away from the router. This gives you enough speed for everything from web surfing to streaming and video calling, although its higher latency makes it a less than ideal choice for gamers.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC1200 | Bands: Dual-band

Best Splurge: Trendnet TEW-809UB AC1900 High Power Dual Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

trendnet tew-809ub usb wi-fi adapter

USB 3.0 and type A

Mac and Windows compatible

Designed for stationary setups

We’ll come right out and admit that Trendnet’s TEW-809UB isn’t really the best choice for laptop users on the go, thanks to its bulky size and spider-like protruding antennas. Instead, this one is best suited for somebody who wants to add Wi-Fi to a desktop PC, or a laptop that’s normally used at a desk.

The name of the game for this one is range, since those four large antennas help to make sure that you can pick up a strong Wi-Fi signal even at a distance. Instead of hanging the TEW-809UB directly off a USB port in your laptop or desktop PC, you use the included three-foot USB cable to place it on a nearby surface. This also helps you to get a better signal, as it keeps it away from interference that can be generated by the electrical components inside your computer.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC1900 | Bands: Dual-band

Best With Antenna: EDUP EP-AC1635 USB WiFi Adapter

ep-ac1635 usb wifi adapter

Small and compact

Excellent speed and range

Includes driver disc

Incompatible with Linux

External antenna might be a drawback for some

The EDUP-1635 is a small but powerful USB Wi-Fi adapter that sprouts an external antenna to maximize range, giving you enough speed to game and stream throughout your home.

You can also rotate the antenna in just about direction to help you focus the signal, although in most cases you probably won’t need to bother, as our testing showed that it didn’t make a huge difference. Mostly, it’s just handy for keeping it out of your way. Regardless of position, however, we found that the EDUP-1635 performed admirably at distances of up to 20 feet, and easily juggled multiple 4K streams from YouTube and Netflix, as well as gaming in Rocket League.

Don’t be completely fooled by the external antenna, however, as we found that this one won’t necessarily outperform the Wi-Fi that’s already built into your laptop. This one should mostly be seen as a way to upgrade an older laptop that only has Wi-FI 4, rather than extending the range of a more modern device. That said, considering that it costs about as much as a nice lunch, the EDUP-1635 does offer impressive performance for its price.

Wireless Spec: Wi-Fi 5 (801.11ac) | Speed: AC600 | Bands: Dual-band

«During our stress test, the EDUP EP-AC1635 performed incredibly well.» — Imad Khan, Product Tester

edup ep-ac1635 usb wi-fi adapter

Lifewire / Imad Khan

Netgear’s Nighthawk A7000 is the best choice for anybody who needs maximum performance for streaming and gaming, but for anybody who just needs something portable and affordable to say connected on the go, the Ourlink U631 is hard to beat.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jesse Hollington is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing about technology and three decades of experience in information technology and networking. He’s installed, tested, and configured just about every type and brand of router, firewall, wireless access point, and network extender in places ranging from single-family dwellings to office buildings. university campuses, and even coast-to-coast wide-area network (WAN) deployments.

Rebecca Isaacs has teamed up with Lifewire since January 2019. An avid lover of all things computer-related, she frequently uses Wi-Fi adapters for all of her gaming and work needs as she battles to get the best internet in the Midwest. She has personally tested many of the adapters on this list.

Imad Khan has written for Washington Post, ESPN, Tom’s Guide, Engadget, Digital Trends, Variety, Men’s Health, VICE, and more. His areas of expertise include computers and laptops, and he reviewed EDUP’s EP-AC1635 on this list.

As the name suggests, a USB Wi-Fi adapter plugs into any free USB port on a PC or laptop, allowing you to wirelessly connect to any nearby Wi-Fi router or access point, whether that’s in your home, your office, or using public hotspots out on the road. USB Wi-Fi adapters can even be used with laptops that already have built-in Wi-Fi to provide a faster and stronger wireless connection.

As long as you have a free USB port that’s fast enough—which should be true for just about any computer made in the past decade or so—then a USB Wi-Fi adapter can offers several advantages over an internal Wi-Fi card. Not only can you share it between multiple computers and take it with you on the go, but it also helps to get your Wi-Fi antennas away from any interference that may be generated by the electronics in your PC or laptop. You can even use a USB extension cable to place it in the best position for maximum range and performance.

Just about any inexpensive USB Wi-Fi adapter will get the job done if all you need to do is stay connected for less demanding activities like email, surfing, and social media. If you need to stream video, participate in Zoom calls, or plan to do serious online gaming, you’ll want to get an adapter that offers maximum performance and range. Since antenna size is important in this case, you’ll need to give up some portability, but you can still get some pretty pocketable USB Wi-Fi adapters that offer top speeds—you’ll just need to be prepared to spend a little bit more.

The Ultimate USB Wi-Fi Adapter Buying Guide

A USB Wi-Fi adapter is one of the easiest ways to add wireless network connectivity to a PC, laptop, or even a game console, and even if your device already includes built-in Wi-Fi, the right use Wi-Fi adapter can give you a nice performance upgrade.

Since USB is a universal standard, a USB Wi-Fi adapter can work with just about anything that has a USB port, and is often as simple as just plugging it in, making them a much better option than installing a traditional network card.

While USB Wi-Fi adapters are available in a wide variety of designs from ultra-portable dongles that aren’t much bigger than your USB port to larger devices that sit on your desk, they all basically have the same goal: to give you better wireless connectivity.

netgear nighthawk a7000 wifi usb adapter

Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs

Why Buy a USB Wi-Fi Adapter?

Since most laptops already have Wi-Fi built-in, you may wonder what the point is of a USB Wi-Fi adapter. The truth is, if your computer already provides good and reliable Wi-Fi, there’s almost certainly no need to add an external adapter. However, for users of laptops with poor Wi-Fi hardware or PCs that typically don’t include Wi-Fi support at all, a USB Wi-Fi adapter will help to bridge that gap.

For example, you might have an older laptop that doesn’t offer dual-band Wi-Fi or faster 802.11ac speeds. In this case, a USB Wi-Fi adapter may give your computer a new lease on life, especially if you’re hoping to stream 4K videos or do any serious online gaming. Further, even computers that have modern Wi-Fi specs can be hampered by poor internal antenna placement, so an external USB Wi-Fi adapter can improve your range and performance.

Range

Most USB Wi-Fi adapters work reasonably well when you’re close to your router, but if you’re sitting right beside your router anyway, you could probably just as easily plug in an Ethernet cable and get even better performance. The point of a USB Wi-Fi adapter is to give you the freedom to move around your home, so you’re going to want one that offers the kind of range you need.

To be fair, this is something of a double-edge sword. It’s also up to your router to provide the coverage that you need, and a USB Wi-Fi adapter isn’t going to work magic if your router can’t get a signal out to it in the first place. It’s a cooperative effort, and if you have a larger home, you should definitely start by making sure you have a good long-range router.

Even if you have a powerful router or mesh Wi-Fi system that provides solid coverage for your home, the USB Wi-Fi adapter still has to do its part, and not all adapters are equal in this regard. Adapters that sit farther away from your computer’s USB port—either by protruding out, offering external antennas, or using an extension cable—will generally provide better range, all other things being equal, since they have less interference from your computer to contend with.

Single-Band or Dual-Band Wi-Fi?

A single-band Wi-Fi adapter operates on only one frequency—normally 2.4GHz—which offers basic compatibility with almost every Wi-Fi network on the planet, but also means you’ll be stuck using the same frequencies that most other devices are using. By contrast, a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter can make connections on the higher-frequency 5GHz band, providing your router supports it, giving you faster speeds and fewer devices competing for bandwidth.

Whether to choose a single-band or dual-band USB Wi-Fi adapter will largely depend on what your home router supports. If you’re purchasing an adapter for a laptop that you’re going to travel with, however, you’ll want to go with a dual-band adapter for maximum compatibility.

Also keep in mind that most laptops today already offer at least single-band Wi-Fi built right in. This means there’s not much point in even considering a single-band Wi-Fi adapter, and these days even the most affordable ones provide dual-band W-Fi support.

What about tri-band Wi-Fi? Well, that’s not something you’ll find in a USB Wi-Fi adapter, as it’s a feature exclusive to routers that need to support a larger number of devices. Tri-band routers offer an extra 5GHz frequency band to divvy up devices for maximum performance. Since a single device can only connect to one frequency band at a time, there’s no such thing as a tri-band Wi-Fi adapter.

net-dyn ac1900

Speed and Wi-Fi Standards

How fast you need your USB Wi-Fi adapter to be depends largely on what you plan to do with it, although modern dual-band adapters should be more than adequate for most online activities. Even the most affordable USB Wi-Fi adapters support at least AC600 speeds, which generally works out to 433Mbps on the 5GHz band and 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz side. By contrast, streaming a Netflix movie in 4K UHD only requires 25Mbps of bandwidth.

One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that as with all Wi-Fi devices, speeds will drop off as you move farther away from your router, and not all USB Wi-Fi adapters offer the same range. If you plan to work at a distance from your router, you’ll want to make sure your chosen adapter offers good performance at a distance.

If you’re a gamer, you’ll have to consider more than just speed. In this case, make sure you pick an update up that has low latency for maximum lag-free performance. On the flip side, however, there’s no need to worry about buying a high-speed adapter if you’re only planning to connect to public hotspots at airports, hotels, and coffee shops, as these usually don’t offer particularly speedy internet performance in the first place.

While many routers are offering support for the very newest Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax standard, Wi-Fi 6 compatible USB Wi-Fi adapters aren’t yet widely available—but they’re coming soon.

Size and Design

There are many styles of USB Wi-Fi adapters available, so it’s easy to find an option that suits your specific needs. However, you’ll want to make sure that you look beyond just the physical design, since there are some important tradeoffs here.

As a rule, the smaller the USB Wi-Fi adapter, the less range and performance it’s likely to offer. Little dongles that barely protrude from your USB port may be great at close range, but it’s not realistic to expect them to provide good Wi-Fi performance on the other side of your house (unless you have a mesh Wi-Fi system, of course).

Adapters that extend further out from your computer’s USB port or connect separately via a cable will avoid being affected by interference from the electronics in your computer. Your mileage will vary here depending on what type of PC or laptop you’re using, though, as some are better than others in this regard.

ourlink ac600 usb wi-fi adapter

Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs

Antennas

Larger USB Wi-Fi adapters may be bulkier, but they also offer more room for internal antennas—or even external ones, in some cases—that ensure you get the best range and performance.

If you’re looking for maximum speeds at the edges of your Wi-Fi coverage, you’ll want an adapter with separate antennas that can be positioned and offer beamforming to maximize signal strength and focus your signal back to the router. Of course, an adapter with external antennas will sacrifice some portability.

Compatibility

Most modern USB Wi-Fi adapters are pretty much plug-and-play for Windows users, but if you’re using a Mac or a Linux system, your options may be more limited. You’ll want to check the specs before buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter to make sure it’s not only compatible with your operating system, but also the specific version of your operating system.

This is even more important if it’s from a lesser-known brand, as you may need to install custom drivers even on Windows, and the manufacturer may not offer those drivers for other operating systems.

If you’re looking for a USB Wi-Fi adapter for a game console, your options will be even more limited. Don’t expect a standard USB Wi-Fi adapter to work with a PS3 or Xbox unless it specifically lists compatibility with those devices.

edup-1635

USB 3.0 Support

Your USB Wi-Fi adapter can only offer speeds that are as fast as the USB port on your computer. Since older USB 2.0 ports max out at 480Mbps, you’re going to need a USB 3.0 port if you want to benefit from the speeds offered by an AC1200 or better USB Wi-Fi adapter.

Of course, even if you don’t have USB 3.0 available on your computer, this doesn’t mean you can’t buy a faster USB Wi-Fi adapter, as they’re all backward compatible with older USB standards; you simply won’t get the advertised speeds, however 480Mbps is still perfectly respectable for streaming movies and even gaming—as long as the adapter offers low enough latency to keep your games moving fast.

Top Brands

Netgear

While Netgear is best known for its Nighthawk series of wireless routers, it also makes USB Wi-Fi adapters to complement them, bearing the same Nighthawk branding. Naturally, Netgear brings its years of networking expertise to bear in producing quality USB Wi-Fi adapters, and while they tend to be pricey, as with the company’s extensive lineup of routers, you’re getting what you’re paying for.

Linksys

Linksys is also a household name in Wi-Fi gear, having been in the business for over three decades, and having passed from independence to being a division of Cisco and later Belkin, however it still produces iconic routers under its own branding, while also offering a small lineup of USB Wi-Fi adapters that deliver solid performance at more affordable prices.

Net-Dyn

Net-Dyn is a small American family-owned business that does one thing, and does it quite well—making USB Wi-Fi adapters. While the company has branched out into a few other small products, USB Wi-Fi adapters are still its core business, and they not only offer impressive performance for the price, but they’re also backed by a lifetime warranty.

netgear nighthawk ac1900 wi-fi adapter

Lifewire / Rebecca Isaacs

Conclusion

While it may seem like there’s a lot to consider when buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter, it’s important to keep in mind that it all boils down to one thing: Getting better wireless connectivity for your PC, laptop, or console.

While you’ll still almost always get better performance by plugging into your router directly, a USB Wi-Fi adapter can give you more flexibility to move around your home and save you from running Ethernet cables, and can be a great way to equip an older laptop with the latest Wi-Fi standards for when you’re on the road.

That said, if you’re simply looking to equip a stationary PC or game console with internet access, you may want to consider a Powerline adapter instead, which can extend a wired network connection to other parts of your home using the electrical wiring in your walls.

The 7 Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters, Tested and Approved by Lifewire

Jesse Hollington is a tech writer with 10+ years’ experience. He has written for iLounge, Forbes, Yahoo, The Independent, and iDropNews, among others.

    University of Maryland Baltimore County

Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The best USB Wi-Fi adapters are a really convenient way to get a desktop PC or older laptop online with the performance you need for smooth streaming and uninterrupted video calling. Not only will they let you easily add wireless capabilities to a desktop PC, but they can also breathe new life into a laptop that isn’t up to the latest Wi-Fi standards.

As the name suggests, these plug-and-play devices connect to any free USB port on your computer, at which point they show up in Windows or macOS just like an internal network card. Unlike the wireless hardware built into older laptops, however, the best USB Wi-Fi adapters support the latest Wi-Fi standards, so you’ll get the best possible speeds and be able to use the much faster frequency bands. The best USB Wi-Fi adapters are the ideal solution for anybody who needs new or better network capabilities on a desktop PC or laptop.

Includes driver disc.

Www. lifewire. com

12.10.2018 14:49:00

2018-10-12 14:49:00

Источники:

Https://www. lifewire. com/best-wi-fi-usb-adapters-2377825

PCI vs PCIe: What s the Difference and How to Distinguish Them? » /> » /> .keyword { color: red; } Usb pci пк портативный ноутбук анализатор материнская плата диагностическая

PCI vs PCIe: What s the Difference and How to Distinguish Them? Clone Disk

PCI vs PCIe: What’s the Difference and How to Distinguish Them? [Clone Disk]

pci vs pcie

Are you confused about PCI and PCIe? If you don’t know how to distinguish them, you can read this post, in which MiniTool explains their differences to you from 4 aspects: function, appearance, speed, and compatibility.

Quick Navigation :

What Are PCI and PCI Express?

In the computer, if different devices want to exchange data, they must do that via a certain channel, that is, bus. Bus is a common communication trunk line for transmitting information between various functional parts of a computer. It is a transmission wiring harness composed of wires. Both PCI and PCIe are buses.

What Does PCI Do in a PC?

PCI is shorthand for Peripheral Component Interconnect, which is a local bus in PC. Then, how does it work in computers? I will explain that in this part.

Many years ago (around 2000-2010), the computer motherboard is constructed like the following picture:

earlier motherboard structure

This structure is a typical North-South Bridge chip structure based on PCI bus. CPU and Northbridge chip are connected via FSB (Front Side Bus). The Northbridge chip is mainly responsible for controlling data exchange between CPU and high-speed devices (AGP graphics card, memory).

Then, Southbridge is connected to Northbridge via an internal bus (like Hub-Link). The Southbridge chip is mainly responsible for data exchange of low-speed devices like floppy drive, hard disk, keyboard, and add-in card.

Where is PCI? It’s under Southbridge. Under Southbridge, there are many buses: PCI, LPC (Low Pin Count), SATA, USB, etc. PCI bus is mainly responsible for connecting devices like network card, audio card, and SCSI card. LPC bus is mainly responsible for connecting common low-speed devices like BIOS, keyboard, mouse, floppy disk, etc.

Note: PCI bus can be used to connect graphics card, but the speed is very slow. So, in the aspect of display device, it was replaced by AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port).

m2 ssd vs sata thumbnail

This article explains deeply what SATA SSD and M.2 SSD are. It touches upon SATA Bus standard, PCI-E Bus standard, AHCI protocol, and NVMe protocol.

What Does PCI Express Do in a PC?

What is PCI Express? PCI Express, also called PCIe/PCI-E, is the successor of PCI and AGP. In addition, it is gradually taking place of SATA and USB buses. A typical motherboard structure based on PCIe is shown like the following picture:

motherboard structure based on pcie

The above picture shows the structure of Intel Z390 motherboard that was launched at October 8, 2018. In this motherboard, Northbridge is totally integrated into CPU, so there are only two main parts: CPU and Southbridge (Intel calls it I/O Control Hub or Platform Controller Hub).

Similarly, the graphics card and memory are directly connected to CPU. But there are two points you should pay attention to: A. the graphics card is connected to CPU via PCIe bus; b. the motherboard supports direct connection between CPU and PCIe SSD.

Then, Intel Z390 chipset (Southbridge) is connected to CPU via DMI (Direct Media Interface) 3.0 bus that is based on PCIe bus. The Southbridge distributes 24 PCIe lanes used for connecting hard drives, USB devices, network card, audio card, etc. It can be said that PCIe is not just a local bus. It is already a system bus.

When you read here, you might be thinking «where is my M.2 PCIe SSD plugged in?» Actually, there are two situations:

    Your graphics card uses PCIe 3.0 X8 lanes and other two PCIe 3.0 X4 ports are used to insert 2 NVMe SSDs. In this situation, the SSDs are connected to CPU directly, so that each of them can enjoy 4 GB/s throughput exclusively. Your graphics card uses PCIe 3.0 X16 lanes and your M.2 PCIe SSD shares 24 ICH/PCH PCIe lanes with other devices. In addition, the speed of SSDs will be limited by DMI 3.0 (the speed of DMI 3.0 X4 equals about that of PCIe 3.0 X4). That’ why Thunderbolt 3, M.2, and U.2 interfaces are currently unable to break through the PCIeX4 bandwidth.

In most cases, your computer takes the second layout. Even though PCIe SSDs share throughput with other devices, they are still faster than other SSDs like SATA SSDs. Besides, the additional devices on the Southbridge will not operate all together usually, so the throughput of DMI 3.0 is sufficient.

nvme vs m 2 thumbnail

This post introduces NVMe vs M.2 vs PCIe in detail. After reading this post, you can know the differences between them clearly.

PCI vs PCIe

In this part, I will explain PCI vs PCI Express from 3 aspects. Read on to learn about differences between PCI and PCIe further.

PCI vs PCIe Slot

In this part, I will show you what PCI and PCIe slots look like. The first one I will introduce is PCI slot. This slot has two types: 32-bit slot with 124 pins and 64-bit slot with 188 pins. The former is usually used in general desktop computers and the latter is generally used on servers. The PCI slot looks like the following picture:

pci slot

Then, it’s the turn to introduce PCIe slot. This slot has 7 versions: x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, and x32, corresponding to 1/2/4/8/12/16/32 lanes, respectively. Among them, PCI-E x32 is only used in some special occasions due to its large size and there is almost no corresponding mass-production product.

PCI-E x12 is mainly used in servers and will not appear on consumer platforms. PCI-E x2 is mainly used for internal interfaces rather than expansion slots. Even if some motherboards provide this interface, PCI-E x2 basically appears in the form of M.2 interface instead of PCI-E slot.

Therefore, the mainstream PCI-E slots on the motherboard are basically concentrated on the four types: PCI-E x1 / x4 / x8 / x16. Let’s introduce them in more detail:

    PCI-E x16 slot: It is 89mm long and has 164 pins. It is often used for graphics cards and backward compatible with x1 / x4 / x8 devices. PCI-E x8 slot: It is 56mm long and has 98 pins. It usually appears in the form of a PCI-E x16 slot, but only half of the data pins are valid, which means that the actual bandwidth is only half of the true PCI-E x16 slot. The purpose is to allow the graphics card with PCI-E x16 interface to be smoothly installed on the PCI-E x8 interface. PCI-E x4 slot: It is 39mm long and has 64 pins. It is mainly used for installing PCI-E SSDs or M.2 SSDs (through PCI-E adapters). But in most cases, the PCI-E x4 slot comes in the form of an M.2 interface when it leaves the factory. PCI-E x1 slot: It is only 25mm long and has 36 pins. The products targeted are relatively extensive, including independent network cards, independent sound cards, USB 3.0 / 3.1 expansion cards, etc.

Then, the PCI-E x1 / x4 / x8 / x16 slot looks like the following picture:

pcie slot

PCI vs PCIe Speed

In this part, I will explain PCI vs PCI-E speed. After learning about their speed differences, you will know why PCI interface is replaced by PCIe interface.

The 32-bit PCI speed is 133 MB/s, while the 64-bit PCI speed is 266 MB/s. As for PCIe speed, it varies depending on lanes and versions. Let’s look at the PCIe performance diagram offered by Wikipedia:

pcie performance diagram offered by wikipedia

At present, most computers use PCIe 3.0 version. With this version, even PCIe x1 can be much faster than 64-bit PCI. In terms of PCI vs PCI-E speed, PCI-E is winner and it totally takes the place of PCI.

ssd terminology thumbnail

Do you know what SSD drive is? This article will explain some SSD Terminologies and help you to fully understand SSD disk.

PCI vs PCIe Compatibility

In terms of compatibility, there are several points you should remember:

PCI: The 32-bit PCI interface is not compatible with 64-bit PCI products, while the 64-bit PCI interface is compatible with 32-bit PCI products. PCIe: PCI-E interfaces have different lengths. The more lanes it has, the longer the interface. Generally, long slots are compatible with short interface products. For example, PCIe X16 slot can be compatible with X4 or X8 products. But short slots cannot be compatible with long interface products because they cannot be inserted. PCIe: PCIe has different versions. Different versions are compatible with each other. For example, PCIe 3.0 is compatible with PCIe 2.0. But the performance is determined by the low version. PCI vs PCIe: The PCI-E interface and the PCI interface are not compatible with each other.

Migrate Computer to PCIe SSD

After learning about PCIe vs PCI, you may want to use PCIe produces. If your computer has PCI-E interface, you can certainly enjoy the high speed of PCIe. In this part, I will show you how to migrate OS to a PCIe SSD with MiniTool Partition Wizard. In this way, you can use your PC on new hard drive without reinstalling OS.

how to install a second hard drive thumbnail

This post provides a step-by-step guide on how to install a second hard drive in the laptop and desktop PC.

Here is the tutorial:

Step 1: Click the above button to buy MiniTool Partition Wizard. Install it and then open it to get its main interface. Click on Migrate OS to SSD/HDD in the toolbar.

click on migrate os to ssd/hdd in the toolbar

Step 2: Choose the right method to migrate the system disk and click Next.

Option A: to replace the system disk with another hard disk: The entire system disk will be copied to the new SSD. The data includes system files and your personal files on other partitions.

Option B: to move operating system to another hard disk: Only the system and boot partitions required for OS are copied to the new SSD. Your personal files are still on the original disk.

choose the right method to migrate the system disk

Step 3: Choose the new SSD to migrate Windows to and click Next. A warning window will pop up. Read it and click Yes.

choose a target disk to migrate os to

Step 4: Choose right copy options and adjust the target disk layout, and then click Next.

(1). Fit partitions to entire disk: All the partitions on the original disk are shrunk or extended by an equal proportion to fill the entire target disk.

(2). Copy partitions with resizing: All the partitions on the original disk are copied into the target disk without changes in size or location.

(3). Align partitions to 1 MB: It is recommended for improving computer performance.

(4). Use GUID partition table for the target disk: MBR can only recognize and use 2TB disk space at most. This option can convert MBR to GPT, thus users can use the disk space beyond 2 TB.

choose right copy options and adjust the target disk layout

Step 5: Read the note and click Finish, then click Apply on the toolbar to execute the pending operations.

click apply on the toolbar

Step 6: MiniTool Partition Wizard will ask for a reboot. Click Restart Now.

a notice for pc restart

Bottom Line

Has this post helped you learn about PCI vs PCIe? Do you have any opinions about PCI and PCIe? Please give us feedback in the following comment zone. Besides, if you have difficulty in migrating OS to PCIe SSDs, you can contact us via [email protected] . We will reply to you as soon as possible.

PCI vs PCIe FAQ

PCIe is certainly better than PCI. Even PCIe x1 is much faster than PCI, not to mention X4, X8, or X16.

They are not same. although both PCI and PCIe are buses and functions of them are partially the same, PCIe is different from PCI. PCIe is faster and it can be used to connect devices like graphics card that PCI can’t support nowadays. In addition, PCI interface and PCIe interface are not compatible with each other.

PCI interface and PCIe interface are not compatible with each other. You cannot insert a PCI device into a PCIe slot or a PCIe device into a PCI slot.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Position: Columnist

Author Linda has been working as an editor at MiniTool for 1 year. As a fresh man in IT field, she is curious about computer knowledge and learns it crazily. Maybe due to this point, her articles are simple and easy to understand. Even people who do not understand computer can gain something.

By the way, her special focuses are data recovery, partition management, disk clone, and OS migration.

Bottom Line

Has this post helped you learn about PCI vs PCIe? Do you have any opinions about PCI and PCIe? Please give us feedback in the following comment zone. Besides, if you have difficulty in migrating OS to PCIe SSDs, you can contact us via [email protected] . We will reply to you as soon as possible.

PCIe is certainly better than PCI. Even PCIe x1 is much faster than PCI, not to mention X4, X8, or X16.

They are not same. although both PCI and PCIe are buses and functions of them are partially the same, PCIe is different from PCI. PCIe is faster and it can be used to connect devices like graphics card that PCI can’t support nowadays. In addition, PCI interface and PCIe interface are not compatible with each other.

PCI interface and PCIe interface are not compatible with each other. You cannot insert a PCI device into a PCIe slot or a PCIe device into a PCI slot.

    Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit

You cannot insert a PCI device into a PCIe slot or a PCIe device into a PCI slot.

Www. partitionwizard. com

31.05.2019 19:06:47

2019-05-31 19:06:47

Источники:

Https://www. partitionwizard. com/clone-disk/pci-vs-pcie. html

Help, What is the best PCI card | TechSpot Forums » /> » /> .keyword { color: red; } Usb pci пк портативный ноутбук анализатор материнская плата диагностическая

Help, What is the best PCI card

Help, What is the best PCI card

Hey I recently got a emachines computer and I am looking to upgrade the video card because I want to be able to run games like counter-strike and half life2 at decent graphics, my computer has no agp slot though so I don’t know if that is even possible, do you guys know of any pci cards that would be worth it for me to buy? Thanks, Andrew

Arthurik_jan

Posts: 45 +0

Hi!
I did the exact same thing recently and got myself an nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT PCI-Express 16x, 128MB for 200$ and believe me it rocks and doesn’t cost too much.. another choice is the ATI Radeon X600 XT or X700 Pro 128MB but of course the problem with ATI is (as always) the drivers but you can give it a try (radeon rocks).

Anyway it depends how much you’re willing to invest of course. If you can afford the nVidia GeForce 6800GT or the ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum (which is much more powerful) then of course it’s much better. You’ll last like 4-5 years with it without a single problem.

Olefarte

Posts: 1,314 +13

You need to have a PCI-E slot, (or AGP), to run the above listed cards, and I don’t think you have that, or do you. PCI-E is different from PCI.

Your choices are more limited in the PCI cards, than AGP. You might look at the Radeon 9250 Video Card, PCI, 256MB DDR, or the GeForce FX 5200 Video Card, PCI, 256MB DDR. You can probably get these for $130 or less. Not really sure how well they’ll run the games you listed though, maybe someone else will drop in.

Skalky

Posts: 6 +0

Ya I don’t have a PCI-E slot just a normal PCI slot, thanks anyway Jan, and thank you olefarte I’ll check out those cards, thanks for helping out guys I apprectiate it and if anyone else knows of other cards please post, thanks

Oh also do you know if it matters weather I buy the ATI or Nivida brand, or will a much cheaper off brand like EVGA work almost as good?

Rolly

Posts: 17 +0

Hi!
I did the exact same thing recently and got myself an nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT PCI-Express 16x, 128MB for 200$ and believe me it rocks and doesn’t cost too much.. another choice is the ATI Radeon X600 XT or X700 Pro 128MB but of course the problem with ATI is (as always) the drivers but you can give it a try (radeon rocks).

Anyway it depends how much you’re willing to invest of course. If you can afford the nVidia GeForce 6800GT or the ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum (which is much more powerful) then of course it’s much better. You’ll last like 4-5 years with it without a single problem.

You cannot use any of these cards without PCI-E.

I would also reccomend the GeForce 5200FX, or the Radeon 9250. Personally I tend to stay shy of anything other than ATI/Nvidia, for quality purposes. Whichever one you decide to choose is a personal opinion as far as performance is concerned, they both have very similar qualities.

Other important things to consider when buying a new graphics card, especially when it is a huge step up from the old one:

1- Proper Cooling. Believe me, nobody wants to bust out the house fan.
2-A big enough power supply. I always reccomed about 400-480 watts with
A card like the Geforce 5200fx/5500fx. I think the manufacturer reccomendation is 300 watt. But its always good to be safe.

Help, What is the best PCI card

Hey I recently got a emachines computer and I am looking to upgrade the video card because I want to be able to run games like counter-strike and half life2 at decent graphics, my computer has no agp slot though so I don’t know if that is even possible, do you guys know of any pci cards that would be worth it for me to buy? Thanks, Andrew

Posts: 45 +0

Hi!
I did the exact same thing recently and got myself an nVIDIA GeForce 6600GT PCI-Express 16x, 128MB for 200$ and believe me it rocks and doesn’t cost too much.. another choice is the ATI Radeon X600 XT or X700 Pro 128MB but of course the problem with ATI is (as always) the drivers but you can give it a try (radeon rocks).

Anyway it depends how much you’re willing to invest of course. If you can afford the nVidia GeForce 6800GT or the ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum (which is much more powerful) then of course it’s much better. You’ll last like 4-5 years with it without a single problem.

Skalky

Personally I tend to stay shy of anything other than ATI Nvidia, for quality purposes.

Www. techspot. com

10.08.2020 23:01:20

2020-08-10 23:01:20

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Https://www. techspot. com/community/topics/help-what-is-the-best-pci-card.19959/

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