Last Updated on January 17, 2022
Motherboards are the basic building blocks of all PCs. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose the right one from the get go.
We all know that network connectivity is an integral part of a computer. We also know that WiFi is everywhere. Gone are the days when desktops and laptops had to be connected via long Ethernet cables.
Therefore, it only makes sense to get a motherboard that comes equipped with a WiFi modem. Often times people miss out on this entirely when procuring a motherboard. As a result, they end up paying for an external USB modem that are prone to damage.
In this article, we will have a look at the some of the best motherboards with WiFi modem installed.
Intel Motherboards with WiFi
1. MSI B560M PRO-VDH WiFi – Affordable Micro ATX – LGA1200 Socket
This is one of the most affordable Intel-based motherboards featuring the LGA 1200 socket and built-in WiFi. While it does not have as large expansion capability as an ATX motherboard, it offers an excellent price/dollar value.
If you are planning on building a PC with a 10th gen or an 11th gen Intel CPU, then I would recommend this. If you take my advice, I would go for the 11th gen CPUs as they offer support for PCIe 4.0.
If you pair this motherboard with an 11th gen CPU, then the first PCIe x16 slot intended for graphics card and one of the M.2 slots (M2_1), would be able to operate at PCIe 4.0 speeds.
As such not only will you be able to install Gen 4 graphics such as the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series GPUs, but also Gen 4 SSDs such as the Samsung 980 Pro.
Other than that, the motherboard offers 6 SATA 3.0 ports, a second M.2 slot (but conforming to PCIe 3.0 speeds) as well as two PCIe x1 slots conforming to V3.0.
Another amazing aspect about this motherboard is that it features a plethora of video output ports. It offers HDMI 2.0 ports which supports 4K at 60 Hz unlike the older HDMI version 1.4 which support at 30 Hz only.
Other than that, it also offers Display Port 1.4 for as well as a VGA port for the older monitors.
In short, if you are looking for an affordable option for 10th and 11th gen Intel CPU, then this is one of the best motherboards with WiFi.
2. ASUS Prime Z590-P – Mid Range Intel Motherboard with WiFi – LGA 1200 Socket
This is a mid range motherboard that comes with on-board WiFi and an ATX form factor suitable for most standard Intel-based gaming builds.
For starters, this features the LGA1200 socket suitable for 10th and 11th Gen CPUs. But there are a few things that separate this motherboard from the one we saw above.
Firstly, it has a large form factor and thus offers more expansion slots. Secondly, it feature the premium Z590 chipset. The beauty about this chipset is that it allows for overclocking your CPU, whereas, the B560 does not support overclocking.
Therefore, if you plan to go for “K” series CPU such as the Intel Core i7 11700K, then I would highly recommend this motherboard.
Like the B560 chipset, this too offers support for PCIe 4.0. Meaning, if you have an 11th gen CPU, you can use the first x16 slot and one of the M.2 slots for gen 4 devices.
Other than that, this motherboard offers 3 M.2 slots sin total (one of them conforms to the PCIe 4.0 standard IF you have an 11th gen CPU).
Additionally it offers 1 x PCIe x4 slot, and 2 x PCIe x1 slots. Unlike the previous motherboard, however, it offers 4 SATA ports only instead of 6. The reason being that you will mostly use the NVMe M.2 ports for storage drives instead of SATA.
The cherry on cake is that offers a Thunderbolt 4.0 header and also features the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port on its back panel.
All in all, if you are looking for an option with Z590 chipset, then this is the best motherboard for WiFi.
3. ASUS Prime Z690-P WiFi – LGA1700 Socket – For 12th Gen Intel CPUs
ASUS Prime Z690-P is one of the first motherboards to offer support for the 12th gen Intel CPUs. It thus features the LGA1700 socket.
There are a plethora of changes that this motherboard brings compared to the ASUS Z590-P.
For starters, it offers support for not just PCIe 4.0, but also for PCIe 5.0 protocol. Therefore, it is rather quite future proof.
Secondly compared to the its Z590 counterpart seen above, it has a much better phase power design of 14+1 . The better the phase power design, the better the motherboard will handle overclocking.
As far as the expansion capability goes, this motherboard is rather comprehensive. Not only does it offer one PCIe x16 conforming to PCIe 4.0/5.0 (4.0 if you pair with 11th gen and newer; 5.0 if you pair with 12th gen and newer), it also offers one x4 slot (PCIe 4.0/3.0), two x4 slots (PCIe 3.0) and finally 1 PCIe x1 slot (PCIe 3.0).
Like the previous motherboard, this too offers USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port as well as a header for Thunderbolt 4.0.
So in short, if you plan to build a PC with the latest 12th gen CPU, then this is the most capable motherboard with WiFi I would recommend.
AMD Motherbaords with WiFi (AM4)
1. GIGABYTE B550M DS3H AC – Budget AMD Motherboard with WiFi
GIGABYTE B550M DS3H AC is an affordable option for AMD builds with WiFi.
This motherboard features the AM4 socket which is suitable for AMD Ryzen processors from 1000 series all the way to the newer 5000 series CPUs.
In addition to that it offers the B550 chipset. This is a superior chipset to the A520 but inferior to the X570. Yet, despite being an affordable motherboard, it does offer PCIe 4.0 support for the sockets connected to the CPU lanes.
As such, the first PCIe x16 slot and M.2 NVMe SSD slot both conform to PCIe 4.0.
The beauty about the B550 chipset is that it allows for overclocking even though it is not the premium chipset. With Intel only the premium Z series chipset allow for overclocking.
However, due to a poor phase power design of 5+3 only, your overclocking will be limited.
All in all for a budget AMD build, this is the best motherboard with WiFi in my opinion.
2. ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) – Recommended AMD Motheboard with WiFi
This is one of the most popular AMD motherboards out there. While this isn’t cheap, there is a plethora of features that make this a highly lucrative deal.
For starters, it features the premium X570 chipset. This chipset offers PCIe 4.0 support for both CPU and motherboard chipset connected slots.
Meaning, the primary x16 slot, the x4, the x1 and all the M.2 slots on this motherboard conform to PCIe 4.0
Like the previous motherboard, this too features the AM4 socket making it suitable for all Ryzen desktop CPUs.
Another great aspect about X570 chipset is that it is intended for heavy overclocking. As such motherboard featuring this chipset often have an excellent phase power design.
This particular motherboard has an excellent 12+2 phase power design.
In short, if you are an enthusiast or if you want to build either a professional or a gaming build then this one of the best motherboards with WiFi for an AMD build.
What to Keep in Mind
You must note from the start that motherboards with a WiFi modems generally cost extra – quite naturally. You can expect to pay about $20-$30 more than an average budget motherboard that does not include WiFi at all.
Furthermore, we would advise you to keep an eye out for the supported sockets and supported processors whenever getting a motherboard.
Finally, not all motherboards are created equally. Some are cheap whereas others can put a hefty dent in your wallet.
Similarly, not all built in WiFi Modems are equal. Some are affordable with limited range and features, others are high performance modems.
Therefore, the one that you choose should depend upon your needs. If you want a motherboard for gaming, then features like overclockable memory modules would matter. If you need a motherboard for simple home use or office use, then a simple budget motherboard with WiFi would do just fine.
Note, it is important to learn about PCIe Slots, Configuration and Lanes before you understand how they work and what you can install on them.
Are Motherboards with Built in WiFi More Expensive?
Absolutely they are. Compare to non WiFi capable motherboards, these can cost much higher. In fact, if you were to buy a vanilla motherboard, and then buy a cheap USB WiFi modem, you could still save up a lot.
However, built in WiFi modems are generally much more optimized and offer better and stable connectivity than third party modems connected to USBs.
While USB modems may also have the same bandwidth as built in wireless cards, there are many other aspects to take into consideration. The biggest of which is latency.
The built in WiFi on motherboards have much lower latency as compared to USB modems.
To put in other words, buying an expensive high quality modem separately would bring the cost of a non-WiFi motherboard almost on par with WiFi motherboard.
What are the Cons of having a WiFi Onboard?
The biggest con is that they are not upgradable. If the WiFi technology changes or if you are not happy with the range of the built in WiFi modem, there is little you can do to improve it.
Most are divided between what is better: onboard WiFi or getting a PCIe WiFi Card. The issue is that a quality PCIe WiFi Card costs a significant sum. Even then, there is no guarantee if you will be satisfied with the performance.
Most of the gamers who cannot withstand an iota of delay vouch for Powerline Ethernet adapters. This is a special mode of WiFi connection that works similar to WiFi range extender but with Ethernet output.
In other words, whether you will like built in WiFi modem or not will depend upon many factors including the applications you use and your distance from the router.
Also Read: Powerline Adapter vs WiFi
Motherboard Built in WiFi Network Not Working – Solution
This is a pretty common issue for those who buy a WiFi enabled motherboard.
Basically, if the built in WiFi in your motherboard is not working, the issue mostly lies with the DRIVERS.
In other words, either you haven’t installed the driver properly or your driver is malfunctioning.
The best way to figure out if your system is actually detecting built in WiFi is to check the DEVICE MANAGER.
Within in DEVICE MANAGER check for a label called “Network Adapters”. Expand the selection and check to see if all your network adapters including WiFi, Bluetooth and LAN are SEPARATELY mentioned.
Many people often confuse LAN drivers with WiFi drivers. These are SEPARATE drivers that need to be downloaded and installed separately.
Also Read: Where is motherboard in Device Manager
Here we had a look at some of the best motherboards with WiFi for both Intel and AMD systems.
When you go hunting for a motherboard, it is essential that you consider future expansion prospects. If you believe you will grow your system with multiple SSD and multiple graphics cards, then a larger motherboard would be a better investment.
On the other hand, if you want to build a simple PC with a single or no graphic cards at all, then a mini ITX motherboard in a small chassis would do just fine.
Of course, choosing the right case/chassis is a whole different story and depends upon the components you install, but generally for budget system with low or mid-range graphics card, you can slap the motherboard inside any decent and affordable case without any issue.