802.11n -> 802.11ac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SparkyCanada, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. SparkyCanada macrumors member

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    #1
    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
     
  2. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    They work on different frequencies, the radio will most likely need to be changed.
     
  3. iVoid macrumors 65816

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    #3
    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.
     
  4. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #4
    I really thought the new macs would support this standard. Does 802.11ac use more power? This is the only thing I can think of.
     
  5. 2LMedia macrumors member

    #5
    No they don't. AC works on 5Ghz the same as later N standards. I have an AC router now with no issues using all my N gear.
     
  6. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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  7. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #7
    What standard? 802.11ac is not ratified yet.
     
  8. PAPO macrumors 6502

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    #8
    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
     
  9. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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  10. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #10
    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
     
  11. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    Michigan
    #11
    ^

    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.
     
  12. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. tmanto02 macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #13
    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
     
  14. Donelop macrumors newbie

    Donelop

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    #14
    This is the only thing holding me back from buying the retina macbook. Should I wait?
     
  15. mtl171 macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Well as with all tech, new features and advancements are always coming down the line. If AC is that important to you, wait.
     
  16. JasonQG macrumors newbie

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    #16
  17. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #18
    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.
     
  19. SparkyCanada thread starter macrumors member

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  20. davidbike macrumors newbie

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    #20
    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?
     
  21. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #21
    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.

    No but it will increase the distance dramatically.
     
  22. eron macrumors 6502

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. davidbike macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2005
    #23
    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.
     
  24. mrmarts, Jun 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

    mrmarts macrumors 65816

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    #24
    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?
     
  25. OSMac macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I guess youll have USB 3 AC options if its really needed.
     

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