3,1 Mac Pro and Apple "built in" USB WiFi

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Julien, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    Early 08 Mac Pro and Apple "built in" USB WiFi

    Have an Early 08 Mac Pro (thank it's the same question for 3,1-5,1) and want to have AirPly, AirDrop, Handoff, Phone/text,... In order to have this you must have a built in WiFi and not just a WiFi. I of course have a WiFi (AirPort Extreme) so don't need it for a traditional WiFi setup but just for the Apple services.

    Can you add WiFi using a USB type WiFi device like a NewerTechUSB WiFi or some other USB and get a "built in" Apple type WiFi for Apple services?
     
  2. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502

    dan1eln1el5en

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #2
    someone probably better at answering but me, but, I remember
    YES; you can add wifi via USB to archive similar result as a similar Mac Pro with built in airport card.
    NO; you can't get airplay and some of the other screen-related goodies, since those are hardware rendered on the host machine and sent in small packages to the AppleTV, it's not just VNC, but you can use 3rd party app to archive similar...Air Parrot I think it was called.

    This is based on my knowledge of the MacPro 1,1, which I no longer own, so I can't test, but I know it didn't work with my ATV 3 as I had imagined and as you sketched.
     
  3. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #3
    The builtin wifi in the 08 Mac Pro is NOT a USB device ... its a Mini-PCIe card that is typically used in a laptop (like the MacBook Pro) I know this as I've taken mine out and tested using it in another machine to see if my other laptop had a BIOS blacklist for 3rd party WiFi cards. That USB device and anything else like it would never be considered "Builtin".

    You can have some of the services...
    AirPlay doesn't work OOB due to lack of Intel QuickSync, you can try a 3rd party service called AirParrot which when I tried its demo it worked well enough.
    It has a free trial otherwise its $10 ... not sure of a free way to enable it.
    http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/download/

    To enable AirDrop:
    Open Terminal
    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1 
    then reboot and it will work for even non-wifi connections.

    For handoff / phone/text features that are part of Yosemite it will likely take some time for someone to figure out how to enable them on the old hardware platforms.
     
  4. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    Do you have a 3,1? I was under the impression the WiFi slot was not added until 4,1 (09). Even Apple says about the 3,1 (08): "Wireless Internet access requires base station or other wireless access point and Internet access...". If this is the case then I could buy a 802.11n Wireless Mini-PCIe Card for 2009-2012 Mac Pro even though it doesn't say 08?

    Im actually only interested in getting iPhone/Text/Handoff and couldn't care less about AirPlay.
     
  5. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #5
    The 08's have a slot for the card, it's just above the heat sinks for the CPU as you look into the machine.

    The card design changed for 09' onwards so you need the older specific card.
     
  6. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #6
  7. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Thanks, and I think I found instructions here. However I can't find the part or read the part number. Do either of you know the # or where to get it?

    Wonder why it's not in the manual?
     
  8. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #8
    I think you might be looking for the MB988Z -- seems to be the same for the 1,1, 3,1, and 4,1 -- they all use the same mini-pci slot.

    I actually put a Atheros AR5BXB112 into my 4,1 -- thats actually the card that was in the more recent iMac's, and has good 802.11n, 3 antenna support, etc.. You can find this or the stock airport extreme on ebay for US$10-$20.

    Here's the kit on amazon for US$25 - http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Airport-Extreme-Wireless-Upgrade/dp/B0012YYITW/ref=sr_1_1

    One thing to be aware is third party kits may not come with the tiny mounting screws - mine did not, but i had a extra pair. Check descriptions if you do need the screws.
     
  9. Julien, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

    Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
    I think that is 4,1 - 5,1 only and will not fit anything before 4,1.

    I think I found it. The model number is AirPort Antenna Bd 076-1306 and this is an example of one for sale.
     
  10. thehimay, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

    thehimay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    #10
    I can confirm this chipset (mine was specifically a EU version of the iMac wifi modules; 607-7212-A) works fine in the 3,1 model. I had a dying Airport card (the original was MB363Z/A for the 2008 MPs), and replaced it with a similar model to what omvs linked to. I actually get better reception with the 3-antenna support (presumably as the reason), and has worked without a hitch since (been about 4 months so far).
    The MB988Z (also currently discontinued) was recommended on the Apple Support forums as a suitable replacement for the MB363Z in the 2008s when the 363Z was discontinued. I can go drag up the post if you need verification, but I did a lot of hunting for this already when I was looking for 3,1 Airport card replacements (OWC sells the MB988Z I believe, if you really want to go that route).
     
  11. Julien, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

    Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    I'm all confused:

    1) What is a Bd 076-1306 that is listed as an Early 08 3,1 Mac Pro WiFi card?

    2) Is the MB363Z the same as the Bd 076-1306?

    3) Is the MB988Z a newer direct replacement for the MB363Z/Bd 076-1306 (but n instead of g)?

    EDIT: OWC list the MB988Z as being for the 09-12 and NOT the 08. Is the 08 (3,1) the same as 09-12 (4,1-5,1)?
     
  12. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #12
    I think that BD card is actually the antennas, not the actual wifi-module.
     
  13. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    OK this is starting to make more sense.

    1) So OWC compatibility listing is incorrect and the MB988Z definitely works in a 3,1?

    2) Is the 3,1 prewired with the Bd 076-1306 Antenna (I know you can say: "Why don't you just look." :) )?
     
  14. omvs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #14
    Can't comment on the OWC claims, but a whole lot of the various auctions and sites for the airport cards mention compatibility for 2006, 2008, 2009 models of mac pro.


    I know my 4,1 was prewired with 3 antennas. My friend bought a airport 'upgrade' for her 3,1 a few years back, and we think it was just the card (antennas were already present), but it was a while ago so can't be certain. So yeah, I think you have to look ;)
     
  15. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15
    :eek::eek::eek: Oh you didn't :D

    Thanks a bunch for helping. I will give the MB988Z a try. I just want to be prepared for iPhone/text on my Mac. Some rumors are speculating the need for BT 4.0. Hope and believe they are wrong since Apple. com says WiFi.
     
  16. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #16
    Any more info on this?

    I'm also not bothered about Airplay on my 2008 Mac Pro but would like to make calls and text etc

    Yosemite DP2 seems to run good so shame to be crippled of such features
     

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