Just a few years ago, some of the top mobile phone brands did away with headphone jacks in a bid to move to a cable-free audio connection. With wireless connectivity on the rise, it only makes to ask “Do motherboards have Bluetooth”
The simple answer to this question is that it depends, if your motherboard has a WiFi card builtin or installed separately, then there are high chances that it will have Bluetooth capability. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon to find most desktop PC lacking Bluetooth.
Also Read: Best Motherboards with Bluetooth
Bluetooth is the desired method of connectivity these days because it offers low cost and low power wireless connections over a short distance, allowing users to do things like make and receive phone calls as well as listen to music via wireless headsets.
This is the same for computers since Bluetooth offers more connection features apart from just media consumption.
Wireless keyboards and mice have taken over, allowing people to work more productively and remain unobstructed by cables. This, again, require Bluetooth connectivity.
Besides that, if you want to use your wireless headset or speakers with your computer, you will need Bluetooth as well.
Also Read: Powerline Adapter vs WiFi
So Do Motherboards Have Bluetooth?
Many mobile devices will have inbuilt support for Bluetooth technology. However, many desktops do not come with inbuilt Bluetooth support.
Some reasons have been posited for this including the fact that since desktop is not a mobile device, it can be connected with the more stable Ethernet connection (wired) via the modem.
Since Bluetooth comes mostly coupled with a WiFi modem, hence lacking the WiFi modem also means the same for Bluetooth (in most cases).
So to put it simply
Yes, most, if not all, of the laptop motherboards feature Bluetooth and WiFi.
Most average motherboards DO NOT feature Bluetooth connectivity.
There are desktop motherboard that come specifically with built-in Bluetooth. However, they are slightly more expensive than non Bluetooth counterparts.
Also Read: Best Motherboards with Bluetooth
How to Check for Bluetooth
On a Windows PC, you can check if your motherboard has Bluetooth by going to the device manager utility.
On Windows 10, click the Start Icon and search for the program by typing “Device Manager”. Once selected, it will open in a new window and what you need to look for is the blue Bluetooth icon in the list of devices presented.
Finding the Bluetooth icon will mean that your computer has the necessary hardware to connect to Bluetooth devices. However, if you don’t find this icon, do not despair. There are some options we will get to later.
On Mac OS, to determine if Bluetooth is available, you’ll need to look for the Bluetooth icon in the device’s menu bar. If you see the icon then the computer has Bluetooth.
Also Read: Best Motherboards with WiFi
Bluetooth on Desktop Motherboards
Most desktop motherboards do not come with an included Bluetooth module. This is a feature that many users would love to have.
Is it Necessary?
This might be subjective because all users have different needs for their PCs. However, it is important to have the feature on your computer because you may need to use it for something. Having it will save you a lot of time and hassle.
For users who rely on Bluetooth in a lot of their connections, the feature is not optional, it’s a necessity. On the other hand, users who don’t use it can go without it minus any issues.
Adding Bluetooth to a Motherboard
If your motherboard doesn’t have Bluetooth, and you need to use it, there are some options to go about installing Bluetooth hardware and drivers and using them.
1. Bluetooth USB Adapter
If you have extra USB slots, this can be a great option for you. USB Bluetooth adapters are relatively cheap and very easy to come by. They offer the same usability as a built-in Bluetooth module would.
You may need to invest in a good quality card if you want great performance and even then, the speed may be limited by the speed of your USB port.
2. Using a PCIe Card
If you want a more in-built solution then a PCIe card can be the best fit for your problem. For this, you will need a WIFI card that has support for Bluetooth. Many PCIe WIFI cards do, so once you find one from a reputable manufacturer, you can install it in an extra PCIe slot.
This can offer faster speeds than the USB option and will be less intrusive than the latter because they don’t use up USB slots that you may need for other devices.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a technology that allows devices to share and exchange data wirelessly over short distances. It makes use of radio waves with short wavelengths.
Bluetooth, unlike Wi-Fi, has a much shorter area of coverage and it’s meant for more personal use where a connection can be made between just a few devices at a time, whereas Wi-Fi can connect several devices at a time.
Also, with Wi-Fi, many devices connect to one access point or another single device, whereas with Bluetooth, connections are usually symmetrical where one device is usually connected to one other device or sometimes multiple devices in Personal Area Networks.
Most laptops come equipped with Bluetooth-enabled chips on their motherboards. This comes in handy because they are meant to be mobile and having cables around whenever you need to transfer data between mobile devices is a nuisance to many people.
Versions of Bluetooth
Bluetooth 1.0 came out in 1999. It was the first generation of the technology that had taken years in development and it came out with some of the first devices to support it in the same year. In 2004, the second version, Bluetooth 2.0 came out, and with it, data transfer rates were enhanced. In addition to that, it used much less power than the first generation Bluetooth chips did.
Bluetooth 3.0 was released in 2009 and was significantly faster than Bluetooth 2.0. Bluetooth 4.0 would later be released leveraging some of the standards used for Wi-Fi technology to provide faster transfer speeds. This was improved upon by Bluetooth 4.2 which was more power-efficient.
In 2016, Bluetooth 5.0 was introduced. Range, speed and security were some of the improvements that came with the new generation. Later on in 2019, this was upgraded to Bluetooth 5.1 which brought even more features.
Here we talked comprehensively about a common question “Do motherboards have Bluetooth””
Wireless connections are a staple for mobile devices, however, many desktops have motherboards that leave out some wireless connectivity features like Bluetooth.
This may not be an issue for most people, however, those with a need for Bluetooth connectivity may be disadvantaged.
There are ways to go about adding Bluetooth capability to a motherboard that doesn’t ship with the feature. This involves buying an extra dongle or a PCIe card that will work with the correct drivers.
With a Bluetooth-enabled motherboard, local wireless connectivity becomes more of a reality.