Thursday, November 3rd 2011

Gigabyte to Pack Wireless-N and Bluetooth 4.0 Addon Card with Some X79 Boards

There sure is going to be fierce competition between motherboard vendors once "Sandy Bridge-E" Core i7 processors come out, a little later this month. Even the tiniest edge over competitors in terms of features can go a long way with market success. Gigabyte is ready with one such feature of its own: the Bluetooth 4.0 + WiFi b/g/n card, which it will bundle with the GA-X79-UD5, GA-X79-UD7(OC), and G1.Assassin 2. Simply put, this is a special addon card that will provide a Wireless b/g/n (wireless n at 150 Mbps), and Bluetooth 4.0 (24 Mbps) connectivity.

Here's how it works: the card sits on one of the board's PCI-Express x1 slots (or any PCIe slot for that matter), the PCIe connection is wired to the wireless network controller on the mini-PCIe card. We expect this to be a common Atheros AR9285-based card. The main card also has a Bluetooth 4.0 controller, which connects to the system using USB 2.0. A cable runs from the card to any of the board's USB 2.0 front-panel headers. The Bluetooth controller only uses one port, so the other is wired out as an internal USB 2.0 port (good for any DRM dongles you may have). The card is then wired to two antennas (included), one for the wireless network controller, the other for the Bluetooth, both have activity LEDs. It's not known if Gigabyte will sell this card separately, so just about anyone can use it.

Source: VR-Zone
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9 Comments on Gigabyte to Pack Wireless-N and Bluetooth 4.0 Addon Card with Some X79 Boards

/start mini rant
just 150Mbps? external antennas(on a cable)? usb header needed for bluetooth?
no offense but I would rather not bother with it
/end mini rant
more is better but also quality over quantity :D
Posted on Reply
Well, you can change the antennas, as they're using standard connectors and the idea behind the cables is that most people shove their PC under a desk and as such the Wi-Fi antennas are blocked and the range is reduced, same goes for Bluetooth, although I guess the range is generally not as important in that case.

The USB cable is required unless you add a USB 2.0 host controller to the PCI Express adapter, as there are no PCI Express Bluetooth chips.

As for 150Mbps, yeah, that part kinda sucks, but in all fairness, no other motherboard maker offers anything better.

Also, I'd rather have this than Asus proprietary module that fits one, yes one, of their motherboards, or the nasty solution from ECS with a wire attached to a PCB antenna which is connected to the rear of the USB dongle which is part of the I/O ports, but hey...
Posted on Reply
pr0n Inspector
GB should make this an entirely standalone product instead of putting it into some sort of "jumbo pack".
Enthusiasts know enough to choose two or three stream N instead of this halfhearted solution.

*also, no 5GHz.
Posted on Reply
bluetooth FOUR?

i didnt even realise they'd passed TWO
Posted on Reply
meh... I guess it's an OK addition. I thought it might have been integrated onto the MB, silly me :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
Wait so despite using 1x PCI-e it needs additional USB connection for the whopping 24 mb of bluetooth, this seems like an over complicated bother to put it nicely.
Posted on Reply
The USB is to communicate with the OS I believe, as I'm guessing the BT can't communicate through PCI-E... and it keeps it separated from the wireless :p
Posted on Reply
pr0n Inspector said:
*also, no 5GHz.
5GHz is actually not very good. That frequency is easily absorbed by building materials such as concrete which greatly reduces the wireless range. 2.4GHz isn't affected by this absorption problem, but it is prone to interference due to so many other devices using this frequency such as the microwave, wireless phones, your cell phone...etc. Even with that interference issue it isn't as bad as it sounds unless you use all the devices at the same time. This is why if you look at wireless standards 802.11a used 5GHz while the rest 802.11b, g, and n use 2.4GHz.
Posted on Reply