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MSI has recently launched the Herald-BE NCM865 PCIe adapter, which brings the latest Wi-Fi 7 technology to PC. This adapter utilizes the Quectel NCM865 module, which is powered by the Qualcomm WCN7851/FastConnect 7800 chipset. The NCM865 module supports the IEEE 802.11be standard, also known as Wi-Fi 7, offering significant improvements over the previous Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E standards.

Intel already has the Intel BE200 Wi-Fi 7 module, but that is currently only compatible with Intel-based systems. The MSI Herald-BE NCM865 using the Qualcomm NCM865 should work on PCs with an AMD chipset.

Related Reviews: Netgear Nighthawk RS700S WiFi 7 Router Review

Wi-Fi 7 vs. Wi-Fi 6E vs. Wi-Fi 6: What Benefits Does Wi-Fi 7 Offer?

Wi-Fi 7, the latest wireless networking standard, brings several enhancements compared to its predecessors, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E. Some of the key benefits of Wi-Fi 7 include:

  1. Higher data rates: Wi-Fi 7 supports a maximum data rate of 5.8 Gbps, thanks to its use of 4096-QAM modulation and 320 MHz channel bandwidth.
  2. Lower latency: The NCM865 module supports ultra-low latency, enabling real-time response for applications that require minimal delay.
  3. Multi-Link Operation (MLO): Wi-Fi 7 introduces MLO, which allows routers to use multiple wireless bands and channels simultaneously to connect to a Wi-Fi 7 client, resulting in faster data rates, lower latency, and higher network reliability.
  4. Backward compatibility: Wi-Fi 7 devices are backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards, including 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/axe.

MSI Herald-BE NCM865 PCIe Adapter Specifications & Features

The MSI Herald-BE NCM865 PCIe adapter comes with the following specifications and features:

  • Operating System: Requires Windows 11 for Wi-Fi 7 support
  • Accessories: 1x Antenna, 1x Installation Guide, 1x USB Cable (USB 2.0 pin header)
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz (320 MHz Bandwidth)
  • Wi-Fi Standards: Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be), backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/axe
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.4
  • Wi-Fi Speed: Up to 573.5 Mbps (2.4 GHz), 2402 Mbps (5 GHz), and 5800 Mbps (6 GHz)
  • Dimensions: 2.6″ x 0.7″ x 4.72″
  • Weight: 0.45 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
  • Graphics Card Interface: PCIe Gen4x1

Intel BE200 vs. Quectel NCM865 Specification Comparison

The Intel BE200 is another Wi-Fi 7 module available in the market. Here’s a comparison between the Intel BE200 and the Quectel NCM865:

Intel BE200Quectel NCM865
AvailabilityThird-party PCIe adapterThird-party PCIe adapter (MSI Herald-BE PCIe)
Wi-Fi StandardTri-band BE5800Tri-band BE5800
BluetoothBluetooth 5.4Bluetooth 5.4
Wi-Fi Bands2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz
Channel Width20/40/80/160/320 MHz20/40/80/160/320 MHz
MLO SupportYes – Windows 11 24H2Yes – Windows 11 24H2

Both modules offer similar specifications, supporting the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard, Bluetooth 5.4, and MLO.

Quectel NCM865 Module Availability

The Quectel NCM865 module is available for integration into various devices, including laptops and PCIe adapters. The module supports a wide range of Wi-Fi protocols, from 802.11a to the latest 802.11be standard. It also features Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) and High Band Simultaneous (HBS) capabilities, allowing for simultaneous operation on multiple frequency bands.

MSI Herald-BE NCM865 Price and Availability

The MSI Herald-BE NCM865 PCIe adapter is now available for purchase on at a surprisingly affordable price of $50. In comparison, some Amazon listings have the Intel BE200 priced at $40, while models with the BE200 integrated onto a PCIe card sell for around $50 from various brands.

For customers in the UK, the MSI Herald-BE NCM865 can be imported from the US for an additional shipping cost of $8.29, bringing the total price to approximately £46.

Alternative Options using Intel BE200

For those looking for alternatives to the MSI Herald-BE NCM865, there are options available that utilize the Intel BE200 module. However, it’s important to note that the Intel BE200 is only compatible with Intel platforms and uses the M.2 E key, which differs from the key used on the Intel AX210 module.

In the UK, the Intel BE200 module can be purchased from Amazon at prices ranging from £30 to £60. Additionally, PCIe cards from various brands featuring the Intel BE200 module are available, with prices ranging from £40 to £60.

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