Question Can I use an 802.11ax Wifi adapter on MSI Z390 tomahawk Mobo

Jan 1, 2021
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I have two questions:
First, I'm looking to use a M.2 (Key E) Intel CNVI wireless module on my Z390 tomahawk motherboard. The manual says it only supports intel modules and the website says that the mobo supports wifi standard 802.11ac wave 2. I'm unsure if this means that it will not support the full speeds of an 802.11ax card even with a driver update, or if it means that the card won't work at all.

Second, is it even worth using an M.2 Key E (marked 8 in the photo below) if it has to mount behind my GPU (that will be in the reinforced PCIe port obviously)? Most adapters of this form factor are rated to work around 80 degrees Celsius, however, I'm unsure if the card will receive much if any airflow at all given its under a fat ASUS 2070 Super. It may not be an issue if the cards don't create much heat on their own, but I'm not sure about their thermals.



"Why not use a PCIe wireless adapter?" most of them require a usb connection on the motherboard. I currently don't have one to spare at the moment. I would be open to using one in the PCIe x 1 located next to the lower M.2 (9 in the photo) IF it did not require a USB connection. I'm just not sure if that is a thing. At least there it would stay cool for sure with plenty of airflow.

Any and all help is very appreciated. Thank you!!!
 
I have two questions:
First, I'm looking to use a M.2 (Key E) Intel CNVI wireless module on my Z390 tomahawk motherboard. The manual says it only supports intel modules and the website says that the mobo supports wifi standard 802.11ac wave 2. I'm unsure if this means that it will not support the full speeds of an 802.11ax card even with a driver update, or if it means that the card won't work at all.

Second, is it even worth using an M.2 Key E (marked 8 in the photo below) if it has to mount behind my GPU (that will be in the reinforced PCIe port obviously)? Most adapters of this form factor are rated to work around 80 degrees Celsius, however, I'm unsure if the card will receive much if any airflow at all given its under a fat ASUS 2070 Super. It may not be an issue if the cards don't create much heat on their own, but I'm not sure about their thermals.



"Why not use a PCIe wireless adapter?" most of them require a usb connection on the motherboard. I currently don't have one to spare at the moment. I would be open to using one in the PCIe x 1 located next to the lower M.2 (9 in the photo) IF it did not require a USB connection. I'm just not sure if that is a thing. At least there it would stay cool for sure with plenty of airflow.

Any and all help is very appreciated. Thank you!!!
Another solution, USB WiFi adapter, something like this https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-1200Mbps-Wireless-802-11ac-10-6-10-15/dp/B081V8TDMF/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=USB+Wifi+Adapter+802.11ac&qid=1609489371&sr=8-10 in any case you would also need antennae to stick out.
 
Reactions: TheNewGuy3
Jan 1, 2021
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Yes, I have seen the USB Wi-Fi adapters, but I was hoping to remain internal. My main concern is compatibility with the motherboard with the Wi-Fi standards. But, I was looking at this Wi-Fi adapter that includes cables and antennae connected to the CNVI already. Again, I'm mainly uncertain if Wi-Fi standards like 802.11 ac Wave 2 and 802.11ax even matter in the realm of compatibility or if they just denote supported speeds such as just calling it Wi-Fi 5 or 6.
 
Reactions: Why_Me
Jan 1, 2021
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Just saw in the Amazon reviews that a someone with a Z390-A Pro mobo bought it and it worked so I can only assume the Tomahawk has similar enough specs that it would run. However, the placement behind the GPU remains my only concern. On the Z390-A Pro model the M.2 E key is located far below the GPU and mine is still tucked right up under it and I'm unsure if sustained upload/download periods would create to much stress on thermals.
 
Yes, I have seen the USB Wi-Fi adapters, but I was hoping to remain internal. My main concern is compatibility with the motherboard with the Wi-Fi standards. But, I was looking at this Wi-Fi adapter that includes cables and antennae connected to the CNVI already. Again, I'm mainly uncertain if Wi-Fi standards like 802.11 ac Wave 2 and 802.11ax even matter in the realm of compatibility or if they just denote supported speeds such as just calling it Wi-Fi 5 or 6.
With any adapter that is not built into MB itself has nothing to do with what WiFi MB supports. only the compatibility between adapter and port it's connected too matters and of course drivers for OS you are running..
 
Reactions: TheNewGuy3
Jan 1, 2021
5
1
10
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With any adapter that is not built into MB itself has nothing to do with what WiFi MB supports. only the compatibility between adapter and port it's connected too matters and of course drivers for OS you are running..
OK Great! Then in your opinion, do you think that it being tucked under a gpu will cause any issues? Thermals are all I'm worried about now since I have no idea how hot CNVIs can get
 

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