Installing Airport Extreme card on mini post-purchase?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by inlimbo, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia

    Im thinking of buying a mac mini for my mum. She is using my old PC but its dying. Just today I found two trojans on it! I found an ex-demo mini (Model Number: M9686X/A) for $499AUD. Its the 1.25 ghz combo drive model - 256 mb ram, 40 gig HD, Panther (no Tiger :() with balance of warranty until 27/2/2006. To buy it new it would cost $799AUD. The new ones come with 512 MB RAM!?! Was there an update on the mini sometime that I didn't know about? So basically I could get it for $300AUD cheaper than new but with less ram - but thats ok. My mum isn't going to be doing anything resource heavy.

    But my major problem is that it doesn't come with Airport Extreme built in! When u buy it from the Apple Store it is an optional extra. Has anyone installed an Airport Extreme card post-purchase? This is what Apple says about it:
    I have a D-Link wireless router and D-Link modem. I use them to surf the net wirlessly on my PC and my powerbook. So I won't be able to do this with the mini. Would I be correct in assuming that I could connect the D-Link modem via ethernet cable into the mini (with the modem connected into the wirless router via ethernet cable as I do now) and that would solve my problem. But that may also create a problem as it may decrease my wireless area. i.e. when I use my PB in my bedroom it might not be able to access the router because of the distance.

    Im wondering if it really is worth the money now. Has anyone had an airport extreme card installed post-purchase?
  2. tag macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2005
    From what I have read its problematic to install the airport card in the mini.

    I have read that if you get a mini that doesn't have bluetooth or airport installed in it, then you will also be missing an adaptor/connector which is required to instal the airport card to lead to the antenna.

    So you have to purchase a kit from apple(which I believe is a bit pricey, you might want to call apple to find out how much this would cost or call your local apple dealer if you have one), and then get it installed by an apple tech. (You might be able to order one and try installing it yourself but I have no clue on this as I don't know how much you would have to disassemble inside the mini to install this)(Ive heard some stories about trying to do it yourself, and it always sounds like its best to just take it to an apple authorized dealer to do it for you)

    Yes if you don't have the airport card in the mini, then you should be able to connect it to the modem directly. Does your wireless router have ethernet ports in the back? You can just plug the modem into the router, then connect the router to your mini, and still have the wireless for the powerbook, and wired for the mini.
  3. finalcoolman macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    Just get a new one, what you are describing sounds like an outdated lemon, not worth the hassle nor the $500.
  4. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    It is just a bit hard at the moment to justify spending $799 on a new computer thats why the $499 appealed to me (before I realised it didn't have the Airport card). A new one is probably better value - more ram, Tiger, full warranty plus its new.

    If they don't sell it I might offer them $399 for it and see what they say. I will tell them that im going to have to spend an extra $119AUD on an Airport card + installation costs, $199AUD for Tiger, and more on 256 mb of ram to get it up to scratch. So doing some quick maths:
    ex demo mini = $499
    Airport card = $119
    Tiger = $199
    TOTAL = $817 !!!! Not including RAM and installation costs!

    I can get a brand new mini with Tiger 512mb RAM and Airport card for $917AUD from the apple store.

    Your right finalcoolman its not really worth it. So i think offering them $399 is justifiable.

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