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ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac: Why mini-PCIe slot?

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Synomenon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 1:58pm
Now that Asus has revealed their underwhelming Maximus VIII Impact, I'm looking for alternatives.  The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac caught my eye, but WTF were ASRock's engineers thinking when they decided to go with a mini-PCIe slot for the wifi module instead of a M.2 slot?  Was planning on upgrading the wifi module to an Intel 8260, but that's only available in M.2 format.  I think the Killer N1535 is only M.2 as well...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 3:37pm
The majority of WiFi modules are mini-PCIe interface based. Intel has 21 WiFi modules in their current listing, 16 models available in mini-PCIe, and 13 models available in mini-PCIe only. That's 75% in mini-PCIe, and 67% in mini-PCIe only.

http://ark.intel.com/compare/83635,84177,84178,75439,75440,75174,75442,66888,66889,59481,59480,59478,66886,59482,66887,59474,59470,59471,59472,66890,86068

I was surprised how many M.2 WiFi modules Intel has now, so your point has some merit.

Personally, I would not want to waste an M.2 slot on a WiFi module. The fastest Intel WiFi module is 867Mbps, still below 1Gbps. One PCIe 3.0 lane on an M.2 slot is 8Gbps, and one PCIe 2.0 lane is 5Gbps.

The ASRock Ultra M.2 slot is PCIe 3.0 x4, or 32Gbps. The M.2 8260 would be using 1/32 of the available bandwidth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ASRock Expert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:14pm
Agree, the Ultra M.2 should be used for a fast SSD and nothing more.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Synomenon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:20pm
It's not a big deal I guess.  I could always grab a mini-PCIe to M.2 adapter so I can use the Intel 8260.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ASRock Expert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:24pm
Do You need the Intel 8260? The on-board Wifi chip bottlenecks You?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Synomenon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:26pm
No one needs specific wifi cards.  I just prefer Intel ones.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ASRock Expert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:29pm
You could go with the M2MU2-S adapter.
It ads mPCIe to M.2 adapter with a SIM slot for 4G, if ever needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Synomenon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:31pm
I was actually looking at this earlier:
http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/M2MP1.html


Edited by Synomenon - 11 Oct 2015 at 4:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ASRock Expert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 4:34pm
If it fits - it sits. Smile




Edited by ASRock Expert - 11 Oct 2015 at 4:35pm
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