Asus PCE-A88 Wi-Fi adapter could outpace wired networks

Anandtech has gotten wind of some fancy new networking hardware from Asus: the PCE-AC88 4x4 Wi-Fi adapter. According to the site, this PCIe x1 802.11ac card is capable of throughput of up to 2167Mb/s—theoretically higher than most wired Ethernet installations in the home.

The PCE-AC88 achieves these mad megabit rates with a combination of Broadcom’s BCM4366 SoC and a fancy four-antenna base. Anandtech notes that for the board to get its full theoretical throughput, it’ll have to be paired with a high-end router that supports the TurboQAM and NitroQAM standards. Asus' own RT-AC88U and RT-AC5300 both fit the bill. If the antenna base is too big for you, the antennas can be removed and attached directly to the card.

The PCE-AC88 features an absolutely massive heatsink—at least for a wireless add-in board. None of the usual online retail suspects have listed the board for sale yet, but Anandtech points out that the board’s little brother, the PCE-AC68, sells for $95 at retail. Since the PCE-AC67 is a 3x3 antenna board, we'd expect the PCE-AC88 and its 4x4 configuration to fetch a significant premium. 

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