802.11n -> 802.11ac

SparkyCanada

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 9, 2008
73
0
Hi there.

I have a question about how a conversion from 802.11n -> 802.11ac happens...

The new Macbook Pro's come out supporting 802.11n. When the newer & faster 802.11ac becomes more prominent - is this simply done with a software or firmware update? Or is this a new piece of hardware that needs to be utilized in order to receive 802.11ac?

Thanks

SparkyCanada
 

iVoid

macrumors 65816
Jan 9, 2007
1,121
145
You'll need a new Mac and access point with new AC wireless hardware. It won't just be a software update for N hardware.
 

PAPO

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2009
327
1
Australia
if apple quietly included AC hardware but left it disabled then there could be a software update like the last of the a/b/g MBP's that got an N update even though you had to pay for it
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
What standard? 802.11ac is not ratified yet.
I understand, but companies will push a standard before ratification in many cases.

Neither was 802.11n when Apple started using it.

"However, in January 2007 Apple announced that Apple TV did indeed use 802.11n, alongside new AirPort base stations also supporting a draft version of the still unfinished specification. The company also acknowledged that it had secretly included support for the fast new "draft n" specification in all of its previously released Core 2 Duo Macs. "

http://www.appleinsider.com/article...adopt_80211ac_5g_gigabit_wifi_this_year_.html
 

malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
1,651
6
Michigan
I understand, but companies will push a standard before ratification in many cases.
^

This. It's a bit of a shame when you figure at most there'll be a speed spec bump in 4-6 months, if anything, before a new revision of the MBPs/Retinas are released next year. ASUS has been selling at least one laptop I'm aware of, as well as a router.

Granted, they might be the only ones in the next 4 months pushing ac, besides gaming laptops.
 

jcpb

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2012
860
0
What standard? 802.11ac is not ratified yet.
It took a long time for the standards body to ratify N, by then there were lots and lots of stuff running on the draft-N spec. If AC gets the same treatment there is little point waiting for the spec to get ratified.
 

tmanto02

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2011
1,146
328
Australia
I understand, but companies will push a standard before ratification in many cases.

Neither was 802.11n when Apple started using it.

"However, in January 2007 Apple announced that Apple TV did indeed use 802.11n, alongside new AirPort base stations also supporting a draft version of the still unfinished specification. The company also acknowledged that it had secretly included support for the fast new "draft n" specification in all of its previously released Core 2 Duo Macs. "

http://www.appleinsider.com/article...adopt_80211ac_5g_gigabit_wifi_this_year_.html
What he said. Apple has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to wireless technology. I want 802.11ac to take off for full HD streaming between my mac mini and an ATV
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
I understand, but companies will push a standard before ratification in many cases.

Neither was 802.11n when Apple started using it.

"However, in January 2007 Apple announced that Apple TV did indeed use 802.11n, alongside new AirPort base stations also supporting a draft version of the still unfinished specification. The company also acknowledged that it had secretly included support for the fast new "draft n" specification in all of its previously released Core 2 Duo Macs. "
The wireless N draft had been out for a year (although not ratified until November 2006) before Apple added it to its devices. At the time there were some complaints about incompatibilities between draft-N devices from different manufacturers. Apple seems to wait for standards to become firm before using them - the 1.0 802.11ac draft is expected in November, with final approval in November 2013 - http://www.ieee802.org/11/Reports/802.11_Timelines.htm

I wouldn't expect it in a Mac before this time next year at the earliest.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,386
951
It is far too early to add 802.11ac for Apple. When Apple was adding 802.11n before the rest of the industry settled on it, there were many parts to go around as everybody were committed to building it. That's not happening right now, only a few started doing this.

Right now, there's barely less than 3-4 routers that supports 802.11ac and even less chipsets to support the same *draft* version and the laptop chips don't support the full speed either.

It's not the right time for Apple and they rather just wait for the market to mature a bit more to add 802.11ac support to their laptops.
 

davidbike

macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2005
6
0
802.11ac and music

One of the main uses of my Macbook Pro is to stream ripped CDs and downloaded music to Airport Express units hooked up to speakers. Would the use of 802.11ac (in the computer and the other appropriate network hardware) improve the audio quality?
 

CosmoPilot

macrumors 65816
Nov 8, 2010
1,423
86
South Carolina
It is far too early to add 802.11ac for Apple. When Apple was adding 802.11n before the rest of the industry settled on it, there were many parts to go around as everybody were committed to building it. That's not happening right now, only a few started doing this.

Right now, there's barely less than 3-4 routers that supports 802.11ac and even less chipsets to support the same *draft* version and the laptop chips don't support the full speed either.

It's not the right time for Apple and they rather just wait for the market to mature a bit more to add 802.11ac support to their laptops.
3-4 routers? I only care about the AEBS...I don't care what linksys or anyone else is doing. If Apple includes it in all there products, my house will be just fine.

One of the main uses of my Macbook Pro is to stream ripped CDs and downloaded music to Airport Express units hooked up to speakers. Would the use of 802.11ac (in the computer and the other appropriate network hardware) improve the audio quality?
No but it will increase the distance dramatically.
 

eron

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2008
394
0
One of the main uses of my Macbook Pro is to stream ripped CDs and downloaded music to Airport Express units hooked up to speakers. Would the use of 802.11ac (in the computer and the other appropriate network hardware) improve the audio quality?
No it won't. If you want to improve the audio quality off your Express, add a DAC to accept the optical out from the Express, then output to your speakers.
 

davidbike

macrumors newbie
Feb 21, 2005
6
0
Thanks, that's very helpful. It would be nice if 802.11ac would help with dropouts I've been getting in the streaming. I'm always guaranteed a dropout when I use my microwave oven, but it happens at random times, too. Maybe when neighbors are running their ovens.

Anyway, thanks for the info on 802.11ac and audio quality.
 

mrmarts

macrumors 65816
Feb 6, 2009
1,051
0
Melbourne Australia
For those who just got the new macbook and have the older wi fi standards would it still be universal when these new wi fi standards kick in?
 
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