The wireless capabilities of the reviewed mainboard definitely deserve our closest attention. Well, it is actually not that much about the feature implementation, but mostly about the potential behind it. ASUS has been equipping its mainboards with a special-purpose WiFi slot for a while already:
The list of mainboards with a slot like that includes the following families: P4C800, P4P800, P4P8X, P4P800S, P4S800, P4V800, A7V600, K8V plus a number of upcoming products. These mainboards allow installing an exclusive WiFi add-on card from ASUS, thus adding the option of establishing wireless connections via the IEEE 802.11b protocol. Of course, you can easily buy an ordinary PCI Wi-Fi card and use it in all those mainboards, but it wouldn’t be wise from the economical point of view. The Wi-Fi cards from ASUS with their unique interface cost about half of their PCI analogs from other makers. Thus, the WiFi slot of ASUS mainboards allows you to set up a wireless network supporting one of the most widely spread 802.11b protocols, after a simple and low-cost small upgrade.
Let’s now find out what cards ASUS recommends for use in the WiFi slot. The ASUS WiFi-b kit was the first to start selling.
The kit includes the add-on card, an antenna and software required for work in wireless 802.11b networks.
The specifications of ASUS’ WiFi card list the following:
- 802.11b standard;
- 11Mbit/s data-transfer rate (you can reduce it to 5.5, 2 or 1Mbit/s depending on the environment);
- ASUS WiFi interface;
- Support of Infrastructure and Ad Hoc operational modes;
- 2.4-2.5GHz frequency range;
- WEP encryption with a 64/128-bit key;
- Possibility of operation as an access point with support of up to 31 clients;
- External antenna with vertical polarity;
- Coverage: up to 30m indoors and 300m in the open.