Broadcom BCM943460MC AC Wifi Card for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chung123, May 4, 2015.

  1. Chung123 macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #1
    I saw this Broadcom BCM943460MC wireless card on eBay and was thinking about getting it for my 2010 Mac Pro. It supports AC wifi and seems to be a straight swap without needing the adapter and another antenna (I don't think this version includes Bluetooth so I can leave the old bluetooth module alone and don't really care about the handoff implications) but thinking about any improved wifi speeds with my AC router.

    https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Broadcom_BCM943460MC

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/251917387863?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

    Might be a fun little swap. Any thoughts?
     
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #2
    Interesting find, the only way to know if it will work is to get one.

    Apple has made the drivers very narrowly focused. A specific vendor and device id.

    I was testing these cards out more than a year ago. There is a Lenovo wavefront version with same basic radio that differs by a character or two, invisible to the drivers, unless you mod them. Which now requires kext dev mode.

    Look on a board called OSXLATITUDE by Toleda. He used to write the mods to make offbrand cards work, they may have tested this one already.

    For a little more (potential) rain on the parade, there are many pre-release Apple BCM94360CD cards floating around with a slightly different radio and BT card. They obviously tested several variations. I recently got a box of 30, of which only 3 worked. The other 27 either had wrong BT (ended with A instead of B) or wrong WiFi, or both.

    Speaking of which, do these cards mention BT? Most have both.

    Anyhow, for $30 you might have a working card, at the very least you will have a card that will work with some tweaks. May even have BT.
     
  3. Chung123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #3
    Thanks for the information.
    I went ahead and purchased one and will report back when I get it installed. Upgrading the wireless on the Mac Pro is more of a fun hobby than any serious need, but after seeing what a Linksys triband AC router can do to improve things for all our N devices, I'd like to see how an AC capable device will fare.
     
  4. mbosse macrumors regular

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    #4
    Great find - please report back! Thanks a lot, Magnus
     
  5. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Let us know how it works out. I searched this card on ebay and google and the only places its being sold is from china and they claim it works, but sometimes you can't ever trust them lol.

    So once you test it please let us know, and post a photo.
     
  6. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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  7. Chung123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #7
    Will do everyone. It is on its way from China and should be here in 2-3 weeks. I'm very curious to see how if it works.
     
  8. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

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    #8
  9. MacVidCards, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    MacVidCards Suspended

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    #9
    Lucas, I can guarantee that card isn't going to give you BT in a 4,1 or 5,1.

    The simple fact is that the slot doesn't contain the USB data lines. Only the 1,1 through 3,1 have those lines present. That is why OSX WiFi has to include a wire that exits through a cheese grater hole and plugs into a USB plug. We run them internally to the OEM jack, but either way the BT won't work without them.

    I test all the cards first in a 2006 Mini, which actually has the lines run, Apple originally made the slot adhere to spec but never included BT on the cards.

    The other thing to be aware of is the images card only has 2 antenae plugs. AC WiFi requires 3 to give 1300 speed. And that still leaves one to wonder where the BT antenae connects.

    The Apple cards have 4 antenae connections, no way 2 is going to give you same performance. (If you look closely there are pads for 3 but only 2 are soldered on)

    EDIT: reading the ad again I note that they never mention BT. So at least that seems realistic. With the Apple cards 2 antenae versions are limited to 867 speed, looking forward to how these work. They would have to use the specific Apple vendor and device codes, similar to those SSDs that allow Trim. Quite possible they have.
     
  10. Kris404 macrumors member

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    #10
  11. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #11
    The card in your link is the real Apple card.

    The one in this thread is different.
     
  12. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

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    #12
    Yeah i wasn't looking at whether or not it will enable the bt handoff features, just the better AC throughput + range.
    I've ordered them now, will update when they arrive and ill see what they can do. as i stated before the ad states they are for the mac pro, if they don't work, refund time.
    i did notice that the card only has 2 connectors, whereas the first one if the thread has three. it will be interesting to see what comes of these, i wasn't exactly sold with previous methods of adding ac to the mac pro.
     
  13. Zorn macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #13
    FWIW I ordered the one from MacVidCards, and it has been flawless. Both the AC wifi and 4.0 / Handoff stuff works without a hitch. Only challenge is finding them in stock, but there is no external mess or software hacks of any kind required, it really is a true plug & play solution, and gets you the actual Apple card so OS updates aren't going to break your support.
     
  14. Chung123, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015

    Chung123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #14
    I just received the card in the mail. (Shipping was pretty fast from China.) Here is a photo of what I received.

    It was a straight swap. Easy! (Just don't drop the screws in your Mac Pro).
    Upon restart, the Mac immediately recognized the Wifi card:


    Software Versions:
    CoreWLAN: 5.0 (500.35.2)
    CoreWLANKit: 4.3 (430.38.1)
    Menu Extra: 10.3 (1030.34)
    System Information: 9.0 (900.9)
    IO80211 Family: 7.3 (730.60)
    Diagnostics: 4.2 (420.71)
    AirPort Utility: 6.3.5 (635.2)
    Interfaces:
    en2:
    Card Type: Third-Party Wireless Card
    MAC Address: 00:1a:eb:86:50:9f
    Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    Supported Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 132, 136, 140, 144, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165
    Wake On Wireless: Supported
    AirDrop: Supported
    Current Network Information:
    PHY Mode: 802.11ac
    BSSID: 48:f8:b3:ca:bb:3d
    Network Type: Infrastructure
    Security: WPA2 Personal
    Signal / Noise: -81 dBm / -95 dBm
    Transmit Rate: 234
    MCS Index: 3

    Fun little upgrade. I also enclosed a screen shot from "Wifi Scanner"
     

    Attached Files:

  15. stookrider macrumors newbie

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    #15
    The auction shows 3 antenna connectors on the card, but the one in your pictures shows just 2, so just to confirm you received something other than what was in the auction pictures?
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #16
    It's hard to tell from the pic, but in THEORY, a 2 antenna card is limited to 867 speed, versus 1300 on a 3 antenna card.

    They may have gotten around this somehow, since OP is only getting 234 looks like he is far from the base station. It isn't an actual Apple part, as evidenced by "3rd Party" instead of "Airport Extreme"

    If it gets the full speeds, may not matter.
     
  17. Chung123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #17
    I thought I needed 3 antenna connectors but found that on my Mac Pro 5,1 that only 2 connectors was needed. (There is a 3rd unused antenna cable tucked behind the original card.)

    So it worked out even though the auction showed a photo of a card with 3 connectors. (It wasn't the lowest priced listing either.)

    Attached is photos of the original Apple card from my 5,1.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #18
    With Apple's AC WiFi cards the 2 antenna versions are limited to 867 speed while 3 antenna get the full 1300.

    Would be very interesting to know if these cards can do full speed on 2 antennas.
     
  19. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Thanks for the update.

    So the good, it works.

    The Bad, It only comes with 2 antenna slots. I can't see this working any faster than 867mbps because of this, but i guess their is only one way to test.

    My iMac has the 3 antenna version and i always connect at 1300, but I'm only 10 feet from my router. How far is your mac pro from your router? Could you move the mac pro near the router to test and see the highest speed you can achieve?

    A simpler method would be to move your router near your mac if its more complicated to move your mac pro. You don't need your internet to do this test so just moving the router to check the connection status would be enough.

    Thanks again for this thread! I'm still considering it haha
     
  20. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    #20
    can you buy the 3rd antenna port and solder it on?
     
  21. Chung123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chung123

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    #21
    Yours and MacVidCards theory is correct. I placed the router directly next to the Mac Pro and get 867 Mbps. (I wasn't about to lug the damn Mac Pro over :))

    Still, it did improve Youtube 4K playback a lot on my Mac. The router signal has to cross 2 walls and a fridge to get to the Mac.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. mbosse macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thank you so much for your work, this is very helpful indeed. I might get the card as well (but with 3 antenna sockets) if I find I can't connect my cMP to the internet with an Ethernet cable (will move flat in 4 weeks time).

    Best,
    Magnus

     
  23. buster84, May 15, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2015

    buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Thanks for the update! You should contact the seller and tell him that you received one with two antenna instead of the 3 antenna version you won on eBay.

    Your card looks just like this one since the guy is in china I doubt he'll ask for a new one if you complain I bet he'll send you the correct one or give a refund. 2 antennas. Are better than the other card but still it's not able to get the 1300 that it's claiming and sent you something that was different than the photo.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/111646441872?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    This one only claims 867mb with two antennas

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Broadcom-BC...885?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9fead6a5

    And this one

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Broadcom-BC...047?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aa6e79d0f
     
  24. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

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    #24
    Since the cMP is not exactly a portable system, I'm guessing people want WIFI in their cMP because it is too far from their router to wire it? A wired connection is ALWAYS preferred to wireless, since wireless is prone to fluctuations, interference and issues with other wireless devices.

    A suggestion is to use a POWERLINE adapter kit to WIRE your router to your Mac Pro (or any computer) over your home's electrical wiring.

    I use these frequently for clients, and for a very low cost you get a reliable, fast WIRED connection to your computer. You don't need an expensive kit...something like this device will get you a fast, wired connection to your computer from your router, regardless of distance away in the house. The technology is mature now and works well.
     
  25. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    It's depends a lot on you house and the how its wired up into the breaker system. These are actually slower than wireless 802.11ac I gave this a try before I got my iMac

    I have a 1gb up and down connection that I can max out when I connect two gigabyte lan cords from my router to my Mac Pro. When I only connect 1 cord I seem to max out around 800mbps. I'm not sure why that's is.

    I also have a late 2013 iMac (fully maxed out) with the new AC card inside of it (the apple 3 antennas version) I get a full 1300mbps connection when I'm 20 feet away. Although when I download I maxed out around 650mbps. So I wired up a cord to my 1 gigabyte connection and I still max out at 650-700mbps on my iMac through the cord (20 foot) but with a shorter 10 foot cord I was able to reach 980mbps speed tests (maybe my longer cord is bad)

    Those adapters run at a max of 500mbps (rated) and they are actually a lot slower since it depends on your houses wiring. I used to use this when I had Comcast a few years ago at my old house and it was rated for 500mbps but I could only connect at 100-200mbps. I even tried with a very close power socket.

    If you have internet that is 100mbps or less then yes your method will work just fine. If you have a very fast connection like me you just gimping yourself with that device. My iMac connects at 1300mbps from 20 feet away. This is really good for the distance, but I'm sure their is some packet loss (like all wireless) which is why I can't seem to go over 650mbps on speed tests or when downloading wirelessly.
     

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