Networking on a MBP - Worth getting a Dongle?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by liamski, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. liamski macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #1
    Hello

    I'm poised to buy a MBP C2D but noticed that the builtin wireless adaptor runs at 54mbps

    This seemed a bit 'weak' for such a powerful machine, and my current Windows laptop - a rubbish Dell - has a 108mbp PCMIA card in it to pull the signal from a 108mbp Netgear Router

    If I bought the MBP, would be worth buying a USB 108mbp wireless dongle like the one below to get a better signal?

    http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/90816/rb/24501420925

    Am I making sense? I just dont want to be getting low wireless data rates!

    Cheers
     
  2. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #2
    There is a rumour that the current chipset in the MBPs is 802.11n compliant, but Apple haven't enabled it yet. 802.11n is supposed to go up to 320Mbps maximum, depending on what country you are using it in.

    More info on 802.11's Wikipedia page :)
     
  3. StrongGlad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    #3
    It's probably not worth it...

    Chances are, you'll be using the wireless networking feature to access the internet, right? I'm not sure about the U.K., but in the U.S., even the best broadband connections (at least for residential customers) don't even come close to "maxing out" a 54 mbps connection. In other words, you'll see absolutely no benefit from a 108 mbps local connection. Plus, you'll have to deal with an unsightly dongle, and (probably) poorer reception vs. the built-in card (which uses the wifi antenna built into the LCD bezel).

    Of course, if you'll be transfering LOTS of data on a local network, and your other machine(s) have 100+ mbps connections, it might be worth considering.

    If you do buy one, make sure you purchase a Mac-compatible chipset (the D-Link you referenced, for example, doesn't appear to work on Macs).
     
  4. reflex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    If you're going to transfer lots of data, I'd seriously consider getting a gigabit switch and attaching a cable :)
     
  5. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #5
    108 MBPS is a "Super G" network. It's basically a double-barreled wireless G network. Two simultaneous G signals.

    I have a Super G network at home and my Macbook Pro is Super G compliant and achieves the 108mbps speed.

    You do not need a dongle. You just need a Super G router.
     
  6. liamski thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #6
  7. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #7
  8. StrongGlad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    #8
    I just saw this article linked on Slashdot:

    http://backstage.ilounge.com/index.php/backstage/comments/oh-about-that-80211n-card-in-your-c2d-mac/

    Apparently all of the Core 2 Duo Macs (such as the one you're considering) do contain a draft 802.11n-compatible card (not merely a Super G card), but the "n" functionality is not yet enabled. According to the article, this feature can, and will, be enabled by a future software update, but unfortunately you'll have to pay for it (supposedly because the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a corporate accounting reform law passed in the wake of Enron et al., prohibits Apple from shipping a product and then later adding features free of charge).
     
  9. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #9
    Don't mean to hijack, but question - I'm getting a MacBook (C2D), and have a Mini (CS), and was wondering if they're capable of these increased speeds as well? I know the MacBook is "n" capable with the Apple patch, but the Mini is not - but would a Super G router like this still make a difference on it? I ask because currently my Belkin router is... well, it's terrible.
     
  10. 4np macrumors 6502a

    4np

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    802.11n is indeed in there although it is not enabled yet. You need to buy an Airport Extreme (see included software: 802.11n Enabler for Mac) to enable it to use it to it's full potential.
     
  11. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #11
    Most chipsets that are G-compliant are also able to use Super G technology. However, like all things, your mileage may vary.

    SUPER G IS NOT DEPENDENT ON DRAFT-N EQUIPMENT! SUPER G WAS ON THE MARKET AT LEAST AN ENTIRE YEAR BEFORE DRAFT-N BEGAN

    Draft-N in the short term is supposed to supplant Super G equipment because there were compatibility problems as well as problems with interference, compared to traditional G networks.

    Think of it as branches on a tree. Super G was just a stop-gap measure to keep bandwith expanding, while newer specs were being developed.

    802.11A
    |
    802.11B
    |
    802.11G ---- 802.11 Super G
    |
    802.11N
     
  12. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #12
    Interesting, I'd never even heard of "Super G".

    What Macs support this? I don't recall seeing it listed on any spec sheets - I wonder if my Core Duo MBP does?
     
  13. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #13
    My CD MBP does, when there is a suitable router in range. The only thing is that the routers that support super G are normally 2x expensive as normal routers, thus are scarce compared to standard G routers.

    Also, just a side note:

    You do know that that Greenpeace campaign is all FUD right?
     
  14. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #14
    Does the computer just transfer data at the higher speed on its own, or is there something you have to tweak for it to go past 54mbps?
     
  15. Arne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #15
    keep in mind, USB-Dongles mostly dont have an antenna, so they usually have a very weak signal. The built-in MBP-Adaptor hast an antenna that will give you a better signal. With the USB-Dongle you will only get 108MBps if you are very close to the router. If not, the dongle will suck.
     
  16. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #16
    Super G is basically two G signals combined, to create the theoretical 108mbps. (G signal [54mpbs] + G signal [54mbs]) = Super G signal

    Think of it like a double barrel shotgun.
     
  17. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #17
    And the Airport card in the MBP can handle this without modification?

    (Sorry, I ain't the brightest when it comes to wireless!)
     
  18. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #18
    Yes, it does. All you need is a super G router
     
  19. tokolowicz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    #19
    How would I know that the Mac is using a Super G connection vs. just the 802.11g connection? I just enabled Super-G mode on my firewall/wireless router at home, but the "Network Utility" in Tiger is still showing a Link Speed of 54 Mb (see attachment). Will this change to 108 Mb when operating in Super-G mode? If not, how do you know that you are operating in Super-G mode?

    This would be nice to figure out, especially since I work for the vendor of the firewall/wireless router and if it is not enabling Super-G mode correctly, I would like to get this fixed internally.

    Thanks-
    /Todd
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #20
    Super-G is an Atheros technology. I'd be surprised if the MBP wireless card didn't support Super-G. If anything, it's an OS X driver limitation.
     
  21. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #21
    There are actually quite a few different "SuperG" implementations. Broadcom and Airgo both have their's as well.

    I'd be surprised if the one in the CD MBPs actually work with a random off the shelf router, they usually require a matching router/client to work.
     

Share This Page