Airport Extreme Card in Mac Pro Speed Problem

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pfjellman, May 17, 2011.

  1. pfjellman macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2010
    I've searched the forums for some info but didn't find anything that helped, so I'm making this post. I installed an Airport Extreme card into my Mac Pro today. Here are the card details:

    Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x88)
    Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (
    Locale: FCC
    Country Code: X0
    Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n

    I made sure the antennas were connected to the card properly before hand. I get full signal across my house from the router, which is great, but when I go to speed test, that's the problem.

    On my MacBook Air and on the Mac Pro with ethernet plugged in, I get 1900kbps-2400kbps, consistently every time. This is in file downloads and on Now, on the Mac Pro with this card, I get anywhere from 300kbps-1100kbps — my speed is cut by over half.

    I'm using an Apple Airport Base Station. I've experimented with the multicast rate, the broadcast mode (a/b/g/n), and several other settings I could think of.

    What can I do to fix this problem? I need faster network speeds than this, it's very frustrating.
  2. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Which antennas did you connect to the card? 1 and 3 are the "official" ones to use and can be a pain to attach correctly.

    Also note that the antenna board is on the bottom of the Pro. Put it on top of the desk for testing to make sure that it is not a placement issue.
  3. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    Good luck. I feel your pain. I have an '09 MP with the same card and same issue. With my Air, iMac and Pro next to each other, the Pro only does a fraction of the speed of the others. I posted here and over on the factory forum with no answers. I think the case shields the built-in antenna too much. I want to try an external antenna before going the USB route but I can't find any suggestions for the antenna and cable/plug type/adapters required to do that.
  4. pfjellman thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 18, 2010
    I've fixed the issue, back to 2200-2400kbps download speeds. The "trick" I used was simply to use iStumbler to monitor the signal strength (which was about 21-26% before) and repositioned the router higher and closer to my office. Now I'm getting 36% signal +/- a few percent, and that has made all the difference.

    I'm using a round "UFO" Airport Extreme G Base Station. My plan now is to get a Wireless N Airport and bridge them together so that the N is in the living room connected to the cable, and the G will be in the office right next to the Mac Pro.

    The antenna leads are attached correctly and though the signal strength isn't as strong as my iPads or MacBook Air, it's still pretty strong considering it is across the house. Strong enough to max out my advertised bandwidth.

    As long as your signal is 30-40% or higher, you should be able to get your max bandwidth speeds.

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