Asus has a new wireless adapter for your desktop that could boost performance, depending on what router you're using. It's the RT-AC88U, and it's the first PCI Express Wi-Fi adapter card to feature a 4x4 (4 transmit, 4 receive) MU-MIMO design.
It's also equipped with NitroQAM technology to supercharge throughput to up to 2,167Mbps on the 5GHz band, and up to 1,000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, making it an AC3100 class adapter. If you own a fancy pants high-performance router powered by Broadcom's flagship SoC, this is the wireless adapter to unlock its full potential.
The adapter comes with four antennas that you can screw into the card or mount externally with an included magnetic antenna base. You can place the base in a vertical or horizontal orientation.
It's a half-height card with a large, custom red heatsink that covers nearly the entire PCB to keep high temps from crashing the party.
"One concern people may have with choosing Wi-Fi over a wired connection is the stability. The chunky heatsink helps to ensure you can keep operating at high speeds for stability," Asus says. "In addition, we know that with Wi-Fi, the maximum transfer speed is in direct correlation with the reception. That's why you see the four dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) antennas configured in a 4X4 (4 transmit, 4 receive) MIMO array, making sure your reception is as good as it gets."
You'll want to pair this sucker with a 4x4 router that supports TurboQAM and NitroQAM, such as the Asus RT-AC5300 or RT-AC88U. Either one will deliver blazing fast speeds on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Outside of Asus, there's also Netgear's Nighthawk X8 R8500 AC5300. All three are 802.11ac Wave 2 routers based on Broadcom's BCM4366 SoC.
Asus didn't say how much the PCE-AC88 costs or when it will be available to purchase.