Network Adapter For Gaming

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#1 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

I need to buy a network adapter for my gaming PC but I have no idea where to start. What kind of specs do I need to consider? How do I know what is compatible with my chosen motherboard? Also, as I will be using my PC mostly for gaming, I'd imagine that'd I need something thats quite fast?

#2 Edited by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

I need to buy a network adapter for my gaming PC but I have no idea where to start. What kind of specs do I need to consider? How do I know what is compatible with my chosen motherboard? Also, as I will be using my PC mostly for gaming, I'd imagine that'd I need something thats quite fast?

Just the onboard will do fine.

#3 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@FelipeInside said:

@MylesB93 said:

I need to buy a network adapter for my gaming PC but I have no idea where to start. What kind of specs do I need to consider? How do I know what is compatible with my chosen motherboard? Also, as I will be using my PC mostly for gaming, I'd imagine that'd I need something thats quite fast?

Just the onboard will do fine.

This may sound really dumb (bear with me, this is my first build lol) but I wasn't aware that motherboards had network adapters onboard?

#4 Edited by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

@FelipeInside said:

@MylesB93 said:

I need to buy a network adapter for my gaming PC but I have no idea where to start. What kind of specs do I need to consider? How do I know what is compatible with my chosen motherboard? Also, as I will be using my PC mostly for gaming, I'd imagine that'd I need something thats quite fast?

Just the onboard will do fine.

This may sound really dumb (bear with me, this is my first build lol) but I wasn't aware that motherboards had network adapters onboard?

Yeah they do now, it's been like that for a while.

Some even have 2 adapters, and some even come with a wireless adapter.

#5 Posted by kraken2109 (13255 posts) -

To clarify, are you talking about wireless or wired?

#6 Posted by insane_metalist (7014 posts) -

Wireless one? Here you go.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833314061

#7 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@kraken2109 said:

To clarify, are you talking about wireless or wired?

Wireless.

@insane_metalist said:

Wireless one? Here you go.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833314061

Will this definitely be quick enough for gaming?

#8 Edited by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

@kraken2109 said:

To clarify, are you talking about wireless or wired?

Wireless.

@insane_metalist said:

Wireless one? Here you go.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833314061

Will this definitely be quick enough for gaming?

Sorry, I thought you meant the normal wired adapter.

Wireless for gaming depends on what type of gaming you're doing.

If you play fast games where instant controls are needed (like FIFA, FPS, MOBA etc) then wired is preferred. For other types of online games that are more PvE like MMOs and Strategy, wireless does fine.

Saying that, if there is no way to get a cable to your PC, you need to put the PC as close to the router as possible, and the router has to be a good quality gaming one with good wireless antennas.

Hit me up if you need any further info.

#9 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@FelipeInside: My PC will be upstairs and the router is downstairs. I suppose I could try and use a wired connection but I dont really want a huge wire trailing through the house :/ My router is quite good but in fairness, I'll mostly be playing single player games (apart from Titanfall when that comes out) so maybe it'll just be best to go wireless?

#10 Posted by insane_metalist (7014 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

@FelipeInside: My PC will be upstairs and the router is downstairs. I suppose I could try and use a wired connection but I dont really want a huge wire trailing through the house :/ My router is quite good but in fairness, I'll mostly be playing single player games (apart from Titanfall when that comes out) so maybe it'll just be best to go wireless?

You will be fine! I've been using similar adapter with same speed for past many years and have not had any problems. Also, your router connection should be fine as long as it's a decent one. I used to run similar adapter in a basement and router was on second floor. There was a whole floor in between and I was constantly getting excellent connection, constantly gaming without any bs.

#11 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@insane_metalist: Really? Do you do a lot of online gaming? Thats my main worry but as long as I dont have any issues with that then it should be fine

#12 Posted by Kh1ndjal (2564 posts) -

my mobo has a wireless adapter and it has no problems for gaming. my ping is exactly the same as on other PCs in my house with wired connections.

#13 Posted by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

@insane_metalist: Really? Do you do a lot of online gaming? Thats my main worry but as long as I dont have any issues with that then it should be fine

It all depends, but really only way to find out is when you start playing.

Single Player games don't matter but for Titanfall you will need good ping, so I guess you will find out when you try it.

#14 Edited by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

Thanks for all your help guys :) Decided to go wireless and try it out. If it works fine, then awesome, otherwise I'll just have to find a way of going wired.

Edit: ...One more thing... What do you guys think about power over ethernet? I've heard people saying that its a better option that wireless... Is that true?

#15 Posted by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@MylesB93 said:

Thanks for all your help guys :) Decided to go wireless and try it out. If it works fine, then awesome, otherwise I'll just have to find a way of going wired.

Edit: ...One more thing... What do you guys think about power over ethernet? I've heard people saying that its a better option that wireless... Is that true?

It can be better, and it can be worse. Depends on the quality of the circuitry in the house and a few other factors.

Try wireless first, if it's that bad that it's unplayabale then you can try PoE.

#16 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (23938 posts) -

Not sure if killer makes wireless products for desktops but their laptops series are very good.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4590/bigfoots-killern-1102-wireless-networking-vs-the-world/5

They have a lot less jitter/avg ping time

#17 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@FelipeInside: I'll do that then, thanks again for all your help :)

@JigglyWiggly_ said:

Not sure if killer makes wireless products for desktops but their laptops series are very good.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4590/bigfoots-killern-1102-wireless-networking-vs-the-world/5

They have a lot less jitter/avg ping time

I'll look into them if I decide to go PoE, gonna see how I fare with a wireless adapter first.

#18 Edited by General_X (9136 posts) -

I just ordered a powerline ethernet kit from newegg (daily deal today), I'll try to report back in a few days when/if I get it set-up. I have wireless which works okay, but my transfer speeds are less than 1MBPS since there are so many other networks in my apartment causing interference.

#19 Posted by MylesB93 (132 posts) -

@General_X: Ok dude, I'd really appreciate that!

#20 Edited by superclocked (5863 posts) -

Besides having higher ping times and slower transfer rates, wifi can stop working completely when someone uses a microwave. I would recommend wired, but you should be okay with wifi in a single family house for all but the most competitive shooters...

#21 Posted by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@superclocked said:

Besides having higher ping times and slower transfer rates, wifi can stop working completely when someone uses a microwave. I would recommend wired, but you should be okay with wifi in a single family house for all but the most competitive shooters...

That used to be the case with Wireless A and B and some versions of G. With the latest updates to G and now N and AC, it's fine now and microwaves don't affect the signal. (most routers also let you change the channel and frequency)

#22 Posted by superclocked (5863 posts) -

@FelipeInside: Awesome :) Have the ping times improved much? The ping times with my current router are unacceptable for shooters...

#23 Edited by jayd02 (785 posts) -

I've had the same question for some time and I was thinking of getting this in my computer what do you guys think.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/387583/WF-2118_300Mbps_Wireless-N_PCI_Adapter_with_External_Detachable_Antenna

#24 Posted by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -

@superclocked said:

@FelipeInside: Awesome :) Have the ping times improved much? The ping times with my current router are unacceptable for shooters...

Yes of course, as technology advances it gets better (most of the time).

Obviously, the quality of a wireless signal is still determined by lots of factors, and nothing beats wired... but if you have no other choice, look at gaming routers like the Netgear Nighthawk which have great wireless strength.

#25 Posted by FelipeInside (26580 posts) -
@jayd02 said:

I've had the same question for some time and I was thinking of getting this in my computer what do you guys think.

http://www.microcenter.com/product/387583/WF-2118_300Mbps_Wireless-N_PCI_Adapter_with_External_Detachable_Antenna

Good little thing, but if you're going wireless you might want to look into AC or AF modes.

@superclocked said:

@FelipeInside: Awesome :) Have the ping times improved much? The ping times with my current router are unacceptable for shooters...

Yes of course, as technology advances it gets better (most of the time).

Obviously, the quality of a wireless signal is still determined by lots of factors, and nothing beats wired... but if you have no other choice, look at gaming routers like the Netgear Nighthawk which have great wireless strength.

#26 Edited by General_X (9136 posts) -

Alright, I'm back to report my findings. I ordered this powerline kit from Newegg on sale for $20 so I figured I didn't have much to lose. As you can tell it's pretty much the starter kit so it's only the "200mbps" version, I know there are several steps above this type of model including "500mbps" and "600mbps" versions.

Set up could not have been easier, plugged my router into the first plug, plugged its mate into a socket in the same room, pushed a button on both to pair them, then moved the second one out to my living room where my HTPC is. The connection now shows up as a standard LAN connection my HTPC.

Performance however for this kit is just "okay". Using LAN Speed Test Lite which tests the transfer speed sending files between my computers, it appears that this "200mbps" kit gets about 25mbps download in actual testing which translates to 3.125MBps. For upload they tested at about ~19mbps which translates to 2.75MBps in real world file transferring. Pinging Google with the command prompt reports an 18ms ping, which is directly in-line with my computer hooked up directly to the modem, so no negative impact on ping.

My powerline kit is at a bit of a disadvantage because my units are on circuits that are on separate breakers, but for most people if they were on the same breaker the units would probably be close enough to just run an ethernet cable. For me this kit represents a minor boost in stability and speed over my wireless connection in my apartment due to the amount of wireless interference with the 9+ four bar networks that are surrounding me.

Conclusion: I recommend powerline kits for a certain set of circumstances. If you're like me and have to fight your neighbors for airwaves, or if your walls are extraordinarily thick and a single wireless router doesn't fullfill your needs, then powerlines can definitely be a major player in your network. Though I don't have experience with them, I would recommend the 500mpbs kits if you want to do some serious file transferring on your network, because 3MBps doesn't get you very far very fast.

If you find yourself in a modest-sized home, with a sparse population of neighbors nearby and your standard wood frame + plaster walls, a decent wireless N router will give you a lot more utility for the price than a powerline kit, transfer speeds for wireless N can fairly easily achieve 10MBps within 20ft or so.