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Tradeoffs between integrated PCI cards & USB adapters

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  • USB Adapter
  • Wireless Networking
Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 8, 2009 7:18:55 PM

This is a dead issue in the wireless networking FAQ (dead link) so forgive me for asking this question again. What are the tradeoffs between using a USB adapter as opposed to a PCI card? I'm likely changing providers (AT&T DSL to Comcast) and the modem/router combo will be a room away from my desktop (media center) PC. So any reason I wouldn't choose a USB adapter like the D-Link DWA-130?

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Anonymous
December 8, 2009 7:27:43 PM

The strikes against USB are: reception, overheating leading to poor performance and premature failure.

My guess is PCI works better because it can draw more power and may remain cool as a naked card in a moving airstream within the computer case.
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December 9, 2009 3:05:21 PM

Luckily I've found a refurb-ed D-Link PCI card that was only a few dollars more than the USB adapter so I just ordered that up. Thanks.
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Anonymous
December 9, 2009 7:38:16 PM

I suppose I should have listed the cons of PCI.

1) It's PCI -- so can be fussy about which slot you pick.
2) PCI also subject to resource issues -- so best to disable any ports you won't need in the BIOS before attempting install (Game/Midi, COM and Parallel Printer are likely candidates).
3) Follow makers install instructions exactly. Usually load driver before physcically installing.

Worth it usually, though.
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December 9, 2009 7:41:21 PM

Thanks for the information.
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