AX211

When I was updating my Wi-Fi drivers for the  Netgear Wi-Fi 6E Orbi RBKE963 review, I came across some new products that Intel had quietly launched, the Intel AX411 and AX211.

Both of these products launched at the end of 2021, but there is hardly any information on them, and this comparison is somewhat limited until they become available to buy.

Previously, the upgrade from the AX200 to AX210 was the introduction of Wi-Fi 6E and the 6Ghz band, which is a significant upgrade if you have compatible networking gear.

CNVi

Before I do the other comparisons I will warn that it seems like both the AX211 and AX411 use the M.2: CNVio2 interface type. I had no idea what this was until I read this Intel thread

Basically, the AX211 is the CNVi Version of the AX210. The AX211 is missing some parts of a typical wifi card which is integrated into the CPU on modern Intel systems. In this case, the MAC, which is the part of the wifi stack that handles all the logic and talks to the CPU.

I am not 100% sure but Intel is basically vendor locking these modules for the recent Intel motherboards.

Not 4×4 or Wi-Fi 7

At first, I thought the Intel AX411 might be the holy grail of a 4×4 Wi-Fi module, but sadly, one of the things that Intel does reveal is that it is 2×2.

With a lot of talk of Wi-Fi 7 recently, this was the other obvious change. While I can’t 100% confirm this, neither the AX411 nor AX211 appears to introduce this. Intel have categorised these as part of the Intel Wi-Fi 6E (Gig+) Series

Double Connect / DCT

Intel Double Connect

At CES 2022, Intel launched 12th Gen Intel Core mobile processors (for notebooks) with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities built-in, they made no mention about the above module names.

Part of this launch covered the new Double Connect technology, which allows a device to connect to two bands at the same time. It is advertised as allowing you to prioritise the faster 5Ghz/6Ghz band for gaming while using the 2.4Ghz band for downloads.

A lot of the CES announcement seemed to indicate that Intel is integrating the technologies they acquired from Killer into the new 12th gen Intel notebooks. As well as the Double Connect technology, Intel will launch their Intel Connectivity Performance Suite’ which in essence is the Killer connectivity suite that was used on many gaming laptops.

The Killer technology uses a sophisticated Wi-Fi traffic prioritisation engine to drive down online gaming latency by up to 70%.

Intel Performance Suite

Moving back to the AX411, under the product ordering page, this specifically states DCT, whereas the AX211 and AC210 lack this term. It is highly likely that this is referencing the new Double Connect technology.

I managed to find one Intel thread about the AX211 and this confirms at least one difference with the AX210, and that is the support for uplink multiple-input and multiple-output. This allows it to support up to 8 streams of UL data from multiple stations improving UL network capacity in dense environments.

I would assume this is true for the AX411.

Price and Availability

At the moment, there is nowhere selling either of the new modules. Oddly, Intel indicates the wholesale price of the AX211 as being higher than the AX411.

If you don’t mind buying 100 at a time, then Mouser has the AX411 available for £1,263 for 100 units, but they don’t have the AX211, yet.

Aliexpress has the AX211 available to buy for £21.

The Aliexpress page states that the AX211 is only compatible with 10th Gen CPUs, they make no mention of Intel but it is safe to assume they mean the. I have ordered one, but I am not very optimistic about it working (I’m on AMD) or having much difference from my existing AX210.

Intel AX411 vs AX211 vs AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Specification Comparison

TotalCPUGPUMEMUX
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Honor Magic 4 Pro
974703204000443463155955171285
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+870879224338327346146060173135
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888826600209106320101131967165417
MediaTek Dimensity 8100
Realme GT Neo 3
799300185692312783143928156897
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Realme GT
797855204680309021120085164069
MediaTek Dimensity 8050
Infinix Note 30 VIP
732420205125184374158126184795
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
Realme GT Neo 3T
660283166920239045112940141378

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5 Comments

  1. Nice comparison but please update the table, to make it more correct/complete.
    – BT version of the AX411 is 5.3
    – DCT not mentioned in table

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNVi

    “Likewise, the Wi-Fi 6E AX2xx family of cards, supporting the Wi-Fi 6 at 6 GHz, is proposed in CNVio2 or M.2 form factor: a 0 at the end of the name designates a PCI-E NGFF card (AX200, AX210) whereas a 1 designates a CNVio2 card (AX201, AX211).”

  3. This looks like the same as the wifi 6 cards, I am not seeing where the improvement is
    other than the extra lane. No speed increase at all…. Maybe 7 will

  4. Have you managed to test the ax211 with your AMD CPU?

    AX411 concurrent dual band sounds sweet, but I’m going to wait untill 2024 to upgrade my ax201 that came with my latest 12700h laptop (hopefully to Wi-Fi 7, unless they lock it to newer CPUs)

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