airport extreme card or pci wireless card for g5?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by letterbox, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Is there any reason to use an Airport extreme card rather than a pci slot wireless adaptor? I can't think of any reasons, and with AE being 70 and other pci cards being around 40 that I shouldn't opt for non-apple.

  2. macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2004
    The airport card is more compatible and will reduce the chance of compatibility problems. Not only that, there is already a place for it on the logic board. No need to take up a slot that might be needed later.
  3. Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Of the PCI cards available only the one's with broadcom chipsets are supported to any extent by Mac OS X. There's a buffalo card and a Belkin one that spring to mind. Any other chipsets are unsupported by the Apple drivers and usually by their manufacturers for use in macs. You can get drivers by for some other cards however but they might break at any time.

    The only card Apple is likely to ensure works is theirs. That other broadcom's do is a bonus.... I'd only use a non-Apple card if I had to. I've got a PM G4 MDD and it doesn't support airport extreme (only the original airport) so I'd have to get a third party broadcom card. If Apple did a PCI adapter for AE I'd buy theirs - sadly Apple doesn't seem to want to do that....
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I'm just on a very tight budget right now so cutting costs is important. I don't foresee any need for PCI slots and I've got all this other crap to do like paying for parking passes and food.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    My brother has a wireless card for his PC, its the same brand as his router but it still has little strops occasionally. My airport extreme card in my G5 works flawlessly and never gives me any grief what so ever. Now I'm not trying to compare Windows problems to Mac problems but why create possible problems when Apple's solution works so well? In the UK the airport extreme card costs £59 which is £20 less than a few months ago. It can't be that much more than that in $. I personally think its worth a few extra bucks to ensure that you get something that will work like clockwork.
  6. macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Reception can be an issue. Some third-part cards have good antennas, others not so good. Check some general-interest PC sites with threads on the best PCI cards to get- see what they say about reception. Also, ask around here to see if the cards supported by OS X have good reception and if they work 100%.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2004
    New Zealand
    Don't the G5s have built-in antenna? You could probably plug that into a 3rd party PCI card, but personally I wouldn't bother, Airport Ex cards are prettie cheap now anyway. :)
  8. macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
    G5s have an antenna that plugs into a special port on the back for the airport card. If you got a G5, why cheap out here. Geez!
  9. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Judging from letterbox's profile, I'd probably say he is a starving college student, in need of every single penny he can get his hands on, so it's important for him to save as much money as he can.

    I know how it feels, being short on $$. I get paid $5 an hour to mow lawns, and trust me it is HARD to save money up.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
    I would go with the Apple Airport card myself.

  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'll look into the Belkin and Buffalo cards.

    I confess, I am a starving college student. I've got about 80 bucks left to my name, so here is to hoping I get a job at the Apple Store near by (2nd interview on Friday!) - and at least some more $$ in the near future. I'd love to get the AE card, no doubt about it, but I'm not sure I can justify it at this point. Maybe I will just hold out until I can afford it, dial-up is okay for now. I would be getting cable via wireless from my gracious neighbor.

  12. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Hold out until you get the job. I think Apple employees get a 10% discount.
  13. macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    does your neighbor know he will be providing you with wifi? hehe
  14. macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2004
    New Orleans
    $79 easily justifiable dollars

    the best option is a good ole' fashion cat5e ethernet cord. The next cheapest is the USB/wireless solution, but for the clean and simple, pinchin connection, under the radar... you will regret not getting the airportextremecard thingie plus you will probably want to save up for an external antenna (they boost speed nicely). It's only money. Get your debt on!
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    My neighbor does know, we agreed to a small sum of money on a monthly basis, he's very nice. I guess I will wait to see if I get a job, and when my discount kicks in if I do.
  16. macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Oh, if you do get the job, fill us in on all the perks. ;)
  17. macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

    Jun 9, 2004
    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    I heard that Apple Employees get something super-sexy, like 20-25% discount.
    On another note, aren't airport cards extremely hard to find now? Didn't Apple stop making them?
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I am sure there will be a NDA and I wouldn't want to lose my job, but there are 3 family/friend discounts per year and one personal purchase, all of which are rather hefty but not necessarily the same, as well as discounts available in store for other products not falling into the big purchase category.

    But, back on track, I believe AirPort cards were discontinued, not AE - maybe I'm wrong, i'll check. Yeah , they are 80 dollars, AE that is.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    If you want native AirPort Extreme support these are probably your safest bet.

    Linksys WMP54G
    Belkin F5D7000
    Minitar MN54GPL

    All use the Broadcom chipset same as AirPort Extreme cards, and work without any modification or hacks.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    macs also come with a built in antenna (little silver wire that you plug into the end of the card that sticks out of the dedicated airport card slot). this antenna is mounted in the best possible place in the system to get good reception (i dont know where exactly on a g5). the non-apple pci cards just have the thing sticking out the back, and in my experience they get less signal strength.

    we have a g4-sawtooth with 4 bars (~80%) and a wintel machine with a belkin pci card which averages about 25% in the same room on the same wall with the screens facing the base station in another room. since 2mbps dsl only uses about 20% of the bandwidth we dont see any difference other than the percentages but for file transfer the pc is *way* slow.
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    thanks for the continued replies.

    The linksys looks like it might do the job, however being about 50 feet away and through a few doorways and a door I may end up just going for the AE card. I don't plan on doing a whole lot of file transferring via wireless, but I'm sure there will be some amount of it.

    Thanks again.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 22, 2003
    Apple still makes Airport cards, but for his G5, he needs an Airport Extreme card.
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    G5s are aluminium which shields the wireless signal so just have an antenna plugged into the back panel, which will have exactly the same signal strength etc. as a PCI card.

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