PCIe lanes available for Wi-Fi card

Hi, I’m testing the 13th Gen Intel Framework 13 with various Wi-Fi modules. I’m about to install an Intel BE200, but Wi-Fi 7 has such incredible OTA throughput that I’m going to be capped by a PCIe x1 interface (on an old NUC I’m sitting about about 4 Gbps in a local speedtest). If I have 2 lanes, all good.

1 Like

Afaik it is a single lane, however it is gen 4 lane that can theoretically handle 15.75 Gbps (even older gen 3 lanes could handle nearly 8 Gbps). That is far above the 5.8 Gbps theoretical maximum speed of the BE200 (and WiFi rarely lives up to anywhere near its theoretical speeds) so you won’t be capped by the lane.

1 Like

Thanks for the quick answer! Yeah, no worries if it’s a Gen4 x1 interface. Plenty of speed for Wi-Fi 7, appreciate it.

1 Like

I just double checked and I’m now not sure if it is Gen3 or Gen4 (might vary depending on the motherboard and processor generation). But I am pretty sure that it’s at least Gen3 so still plenty for WiFi 7.

The Intel 11th Gen Framework laptops were definitely Gen3 for the WiFi card, however that was because the CPU only offered 4 Gen4 lanes so those were all used by the NVMe slot with the WiFi card connected to one of the 12 Gen3 lanes.

However the 12th and 13th gen Intel CPUs up the number of Gen4 lanes from 4 to 8 while the AMD CPUs exclusively offer Gen4 lanes (20). I think I remember reading mentions of Gen4 lanes for WiFi on Framework, however that might’ve just been for the AMD variant. So I’m not sure for the Intel 13th gen.

Yeah I was looking for a block diagram but I couldn’t find one. I’d switch my order over to an AMD from an Intel model if I could guarantee a Gen4 interface.

Well I just searched and found this comment from Framework stating that the WiFi card is connected through the PCH on Intel Framework laptops, which would mean it is definitely limited to Gen3 (PCH lanes are Gen3 on 13th gen Intel CPUs).

However given that the AMD CPUs don’t use a PCH (all lanes come from the CPU directly) and the CPU only offers Gen4 lanes it is guaranteed that the W-Fi card slot is connected to a Gen4 lane. The question is whether there is anything (such as signal integrity) that would restrict that slot to Gen3.

1 Like