In September of 2019, we were one of the first sites to get our hands-on the Killer AX1650. The AX1650, as most of you know, is powered by the Intel AX200 Wi-Fi chipset with additional low-level hardware controls that enable software hooks for Killer Control Center.
The initial release of the AX1650 was a 2230 m.2 solution only, meant for OEM installation into partner notebooks like the Alienware lineup from Dell. Rivet launched a module-only solution as well onto Amazon for users that wanted to move from their 1435, 1535, or 1550 Wi-Fi 5 cards to the latest. At the time of release, I questioned Rivet about the possibility of client devices for desktops. While they did hint at the possibility, nothing was shipping in the immediate future.
Rivet was recently acquired by Intel and recently dropped its first product with the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 Desktop PCIe Wireless Adapter. This is the long-awaited add-on card for system builders and PC enthusiasts that want the very best Wi-Fi now and for the future. Pictured above, this is a boxed product just like the AX58BT from ASUS with all of the special sauce that comes with Killer Control Center.
In this second image, you can get an idea of the layout of the card. You can see it was pinned for a heat sink with the gold sleeves, the back edge of the card is set up for a USB cable to get Bluetooth 5.0 up and running. The I/O panel includes full and half-height adapters, and Intel has included directly attached antennas.
Benefitting the Killer AX1650 over most competitor's AX200 chipset solutions is the Killer Control Center. From this software interface, you can gain insight into your network with real-time tracking of connected apps, websites, and games, allowing you to prioritize on-the-fly and get the most out of your internet connection. Further, the Wi-Fi analyzer can show you every Wi-Fi connection within range to better aid you in choosing the appropriate Wi-Fi channels.
We have tested the AX1650 in the past, back in September. We were lucky enough at that time to have several routers in house for testing, including the ROG AX11000 and Nighthawk AX8. With those routers and the AX88U from ASUS, we were able to get some fantastic results upwards of 650 Mbps real-world with 80MHz channels and 1.4 Gbps when using 160MHz channels.
Compatibility includes Windows 10 and Linux. Those ready to take their desktop Wi-Fi to the next level can pick up the Killer AX1650 in an appropriate m.2 2230 form factor for their notebook or this all-new PCIe x1 desktop form factor from the links below.