Wi-Fi is undergoing a significant shift this year as the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, a.k.a., "802.11ax," with up to 2.4 Gbps throughput, is set to launch.
Rivet Networks – the team behind the popular Killer series of Wi-Fi cards – is working with Intel to merge its prioritization engine to the latest AX hardware. The Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 card is a 2x2, Wi-Fi 6 module that supports 160 MHz channels and Bluetooth 5.0.
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 features and enhancements
Dell's Alienware series of gaming laptops and desktop PCs will be the first to launch the new card, beginning in the coming weeks. Interestingly, the card itself won't cost much more than current generation Wi-Fi cards, making rapid adoption by other PC manufacturers likely.
According to Rivet, the new Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 card can deliver:
- Up to three times more throughput than the previous generation 80MHz 2x2 AC devices.
- Up to 40 percent more throughput than the previous generation 160MHz 2x2 AC devices.
- Up to four times more network capacity in dense environments than the previous generation.
On the software side ...
Of course, a Killer Wi-Fi card isn't just about the hardware but also the software suite that intelligently monitors and prioritizes data – especially for online gaming – to reduce any network congestion, especially when multiple devices are on the same network.
The Killer AX1650 uses Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 Technology to detect thousands of games, applications, and websites. It then leverages Lag and Latency Reduction Technology to prioritize the most important packets for a fast, smooth online entertainment experience. Gamers can expect up to three times better in-game latency performance when using the AX1650 during peak network usage periods.
GameFast Technology automatically pauses processes that are not needed when gaming, freeing up to 10 percent of CPU cycles and 20 percent of memory. Gamers who use GameFast will experience faster, more responsive gameplay with the additional system resources available to focus on the game.
Powered by the Killer Intelligence Engine, the Killer AX1650 automatically analyzes the network and makes adjustments to improve the overall online experience. For items that cannot be fixed automatically, the Killer Intelligence Engine makes recommendations to the user on how to best optimize their home network for ideal performance.
When combined with a Killer Ethernet product, the AX1650 features DoubleShot Pro Technology, which enables the use of both Killer Ethernet and the AX1650 at the same time. DoubleShot Pro works automatically to ensure the highest priority traffic will always be put on the fastest and most reliable link. Users can also leverage the Killer Control Center 2.0 to determine which applications and websites go over wireless and which use Ethernet.
Additionally, the Killer Control Center 2.0 lets users control, modify, and limit which apps are accessing the internet, while being able to optimize for their network, set bandwidth limits and more. There's also the new Wireless xTend technology that delivers powerful MESH network capabilities, letting gamers extending their home network.
While the user will still need a Wi-Fi 6-enabled router to leverage the full capabilities of the new 802.11ax standard, more hardware vendors are supporting the emerging tech. Because of the potential faster speeds – especially on networks with heavy device congestion – even battery life should improve because it is now quicker to access the data.
Look for Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 to begin shipping in Alienware computers in the coming weeks, with more vendors jumping on board after that. Both soldered and free-standing versions of the chips will be available to vendors, and we should see more high-end laptops and PCs with support for Wi-Fi 6 in the coming months.
If you need a new router now that supports Killer wireless cards and can't wait, check out the Linksys WRT32X detailed below.
The Linksys WRT32X's 2.4GHz band offers speeds up to 600 Mbps, and the 5 GHz band up to 2,600 Mbps, and 3 x 3 MU-MIMO ensures your most important devices are receiving an uninterrupted signal. The real kicker here is the Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE), which automatically detects which devices in the area are using a Killer wireless card with the necessary software.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.