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How powerful a wireless adapter do I need for gaming?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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December 3, 2012 5:21:16 PM

I am planning to build a gaming PC either in the early or middle part of next year. I will be connecting to a wireless network at home. I plan to use a PCI Express wireless adapter, but am uncertain as to how powerful an adapter I will need. I plan to play Star Wars The Old Republic and the Mass Effect Trilogy. Could anyone also suggest any reliable brands? Thanks.
December 3, 2012 5:44:01 PM

You will find little difference between the brands. The radio transmit power is limited by the government and most transmit at the legal maximum.

What adapter you get is partially dependent on your router. Does little good to buy feature on your card that are not supported on the router.

You really want if at all possible to get N and Mimo. Most times mimo is indicated by them putting speeds like 300 or 450 on the box...those mean 2x2 or 3x3 mimo. You also want to have the option of running 5g in case you have trouble with interference in the 2.4g band. Mimo main advantage is not so much the speed increase it is that it allows you to get a better quality signal because of the multiple pathing of the signals.

All this does not matter if you have even a single G device you must support. The router will go into mixed mode and your N performance is no better than G. Sometimes you are better off locking the router to G rather than have it try to switch back and forth between G and N

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December 3, 2012 8:49:18 PM

I agree with john-b691, "What adapter you get is partially dependent on your router."

if you have a slow Wi-Fi connection, its usually not the adapter, but the router. I had a fast Ethernet connection, but my WiFi was really crappy: my router was a "smart" router that kept limiting the maximum bandwidth to around 125Kb/S, i had to mess around with it for a while to get it to not limit my bandwidth. now i get 175-250 Kb/s.

make sure you know what your wifi router's capabilites are: what the frequency is and if its 802.11 n/b/g , and get an adapter that supports your router.
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December 8, 2012 12:10:07 AM

Are you guys saying that a router and adapter with 450 Mbps would be sufficient for a multi-player game or MMORPG on high or max settings?
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Best solution

December 8, 2012 8:38:33 AM

First no games needs anywhere close to that. Do you have a 450m internet connection.

A game need consistent error free transmission but most use well under 1mbit/sec. Problem with any wireless unless you sit right next to the router is that you always get some interference no matter how good devices you buy. The further away you are the more random errors you take. This is why everyone recommends using wired for gaming.

If you buy a adapter and router that can both do 450m it is pretty much the best devices on the market but the 450 number is mostly smoke and mirrors put on the box for people who think a bigger number means better.

How well wireless will work for you depends more on your house and the devices people have in their houses around you more than which equipment you buy.
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December 8, 2012 1:38:39 PM

Thanks. I think I will look at going back to a wired connection.
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December 8, 2012 1:38:52 PM

Best answer selected by jpolk1138.
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