Issues with Intel AX201 Wi-Fi module compatibility and ASUS Z490

Issues with Intel AX201 Wi-Fi module compatibility and ASUS Z490

Timmy is having issues getting his Intel AX201 Wi-Fi module to work with his ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard.

Question by Timmy from United States | Answered by in Networking on Thu, Sep 10 2020 10:08 PM CDT

I installed an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 and BT on m.2 key E slot on motherboard ASUS Prime Z490-P.

I've updated the driver from Intel, but it never sees any Wi-Fi networks. I have a D-Link AC-3200 router, and I thought the device should see 802.11ac. Does that mean I need to buy an AX router?

Hi Timmy,

No problem, I can certainly help with this!

Right around 2017, with Z370, Intel launched a new specification for its Wi-Fi modules called CNVi. It aimed to lower costs by integrating a large portion of the chipset for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules into the PCH.

When they did this, they left the m.2 slot for what's called CRF modules. CRF modules are aesthetically identical to standard Wi-Fi modules. They even share the same Key E slot that you mentioned above, and as you have now found out, it can be confusing for consumers looking to upgrade Wi-Fi modules on desktop platforms and even notebooks.

Issues with Intel AX201 Wi-Fi module compatibility and ASUS Z490 1 | TweakTown.com

With Z490, ASUS went away from using CNVi or CRF modules for their desktop motherboards while previous Z370 and Z390 platforms used the technology, something I have first-hand experience with past test systems.

Where you went wrong in your installation of the AX201 is it's the CNVi model, which isn't compatible with Z490 motherboards from ASUS. You will want to look for the Intel AX200 or Killer AX1650 if you want the extra functionality you get from Killer Control Center. I prefer the Killer module myself, but I'm a bit of a data junkie and love the control I get from KCC.

As for your router, your D-Link AC3200 should work perfectly fine, you should get a bump in performance if it supports 160MHz channels, and if it doesn't, you can always upgrade to an AX platform, but I would wait at this point for Wi-Fi 6e solutions later this year!

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