In the following sections, we’ll explore motherboards and their Bluetooth connectivity abilities (or lack thereof) in detail, including how you can check whether your system supports it.
Generally speaking, all modern motherboards come with Bluetooth connections. Unfortunately, the complete answer isn’t quite so simple. Many older models don’t support Bluetooth, meaning it’s time to either invest in a new motherboard or treat yourself to an external Bluetooth dongle.
- What Does It Mean To Have Bluetooth Pre-Installed on Your Motherboard?
- Does Every Motherboard Come With Bluetooth?
- Why Don’t They All Have Bluetooth?
- How To Check Whether Your System Has Bluetooth Connectivity
- Method #1 – Use Your System’s Device Manager
- Method #2 – Look at the Official Motherboard Spec Sheet
- How To Add Bluetooth to Your Motherboard
- The Bottom Line
What Does It Mean To Have Bluetooth Pre-Installed on Your Motherboard?
To clear any confusion before we get started, let’s look at what a motherboard with pre-installed Bluetooth means.
Essentially, motherboards that come with this feature don’t need any additional components, software, or devices to utilize the connection. It’s as simple as that!
Does Every Motherboard Come With Bluetooth?
Thankfully, all newer motherboards come with Bluetooth connectivity. The best part? That also guarantees they have Wi-Fi, as they come hand-in-hand.
However, Ethernet often better supports desktop devices because of their faster transference rates. Therefore, some devices won’t wholeheartedly deal with Bluetooth connections.
On top of that, there’s a difference between motherboards made for PCs and those used for laptops. The latter is more likely to come with pre-installed Bluetooth connectivity.
While PCs and desktop computers aren’t as likely to support Bluetooth, they typically come with built-in Ethernet ports, enabling you to connect to your modem easily. Higher-spec models may even come with a 10G Ethernet card, which affords you the fastest speeds.
Why Don’t They All Have Bluetooth?
There’s no denying that a motherboard with Bluetooth is a helpful thing. However, manufacturers still like to offer those without the connectivity type for a few reasons, such as the following.
- Upgrade problems: Buying a motherboard with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity can prevent you from making upgrades, changes, and customizations to your system.
- Money-saving: Non-Bluetooth options tend to be cheaper than those with pre-installed connectivity.
- Ethernet is unparalleled: Bluetooth can’t beat the reliability and speed of ethernet cables.
How To Check Whether Your System Has Bluetooth Connectivity
If you’re unsure whether your motherboard has Bluetooth connectivity, there are two simple things you can do to check.
Method #1 – Use Your System’s Device Manager
If you are using a Windows PC, you can determine whether it has Bluetooth by following these steps.
- Select the “Start” icon.
- Search and launch the program called “Device Manager“.
- Look for the Bluetooth icon. If you find it, your system can connect to Bluetooth devices.
So, what if you don’t see the icon? Well, this could mean any of the following.
- Your motherboard doesn’t have Bluetooth.
- You have built-in Bluetooth but haven’t installed the necessary drivers. Install the correct drivers from the manufacturer’s website to resolve the issue.
Method #2 – Look at the Official Motherboard Spec Sheet
Perhaps the most definitive way to check your motherboard’s Bluetooth capabilities is to check the spec sheet. You could also look at the motherboard itself.
If you choose the second route, check out the antenna ports. If you find them, you know it has Bluetooth connectivity.
However, we’d recommend reading the spec sheet. It will tell you about the Bluetooth version too. This information is valuable because it allows you to gauge the feature’s speed, power, and range.
How To Add Bluetooth to Your Motherboard
If you’ve discovered your motherboard doesn’t have Bluetooth after those checks, you can do one of the following to rectify it.
- Use a Bluetooth adapter. They’re pretty cheap and fabulously easy to use.
- Use a PCIe card. They’re typically faster than adapters, and they’re also more reliable. Just be aware that you’ll need a free PCIe slot to use one.
- Invest in a new motherboard. Intel, Asus, Gigabyte Technology, and Micro-Star International are the best brands for high-quality motherboards with Bluetooth connectivity. Before making your decision, ensure you thoroughly research them and consider their other features as you go.
The Bottom Line
Overall, pretty much all new motherboards come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. But if you’re unsure about your system, checking for the in-built feature is also straightforward.