ASRock recently unveiled two new Wi-Fi 6E upgrade kits for AMD AM4 motherboards and Intel 600 series boards, as was discovered by momomo_us on Twitter. (opens in new tab) The upgrade kit consists of an M.2 2230 Wi-Fi 6E module and dual Wi-Fi antennas, requiring motherboard support for dedicated Wi-Fi modules. This kit will be optimal for users running older Wi-Fi modules such as Wi-Fi 5 or the original Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Wi-Fi 6E is the latest wireless standard to arrive on consumer devices today. 6E is a big step up in almost every way compared to older versions. With significantly improved latency and much higher networking speeds compared to what Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) can offer. For anyone using Wi-Fi for heavy internet usage, 6E will be a massive upgrade.
The two kits remain identical, the only significant difference being the interface type. The AMD kit relies on the standard PCIe interface for the M.2 module, while the Intel variant uses a proprietary CNVio2 (opens in new tab) interface instead. The interface was made in-house by Intel and can only work with Intel devices and designed this way to simplify and cheapen its wireless modules. As a result, you cannot use a CNVio2 Wi-Fi module with a non-Intel-supported platform.
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The AMD kit (opens in new tab) will be a far more popular option among ASRock users since there are many more AM4 motherboards than Intel 600-series motherboards. Unfortunately, many of these are also much older, with many only supporting the Wi-Fi 5 standard. The only exception is ASRocks mid-range and high-end B550 and X570/X570S motherboards.
On the flip side, nearly all of ASRock’s LGA 1700 (600 series) Intel motherboards do support Wi-Fi 6E since these motherboards are very new and just came out with Intel’s Alder Lake CPU lineup. Unfortunately, only a select few entry-level 600 series boards from ASRock are running the older Wi-Fi 5 modules, so the Intel Wi-Fi 6E upgrade kit (opens in new tab) will be useless for most ASRock users.
Pricing and availability for both of these wireless upgrade kits are unknown at this time. However, if you are currently looking for a Wi-Fi 6E upgrade, plenty of other PCIe M.2 Wi-Fi modules available on the market will work with ASRock motherboards for both AMD and Intel platforms.