Mac mini 802.11n Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pacmania1982, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #1
    Hey guys:

    Well my 'mac pro 802.11n' Upgrade card arrived yesterday, so after I got home, I cracked open my 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo (stock) Mac mini and replaced the existing 802.11g Airport Extreme card with the much faster 802.11n card. While I've upgraded my G4 Mac mini before, the Intel Mac mini is a little harder to get inside, but I managed to complete the upgrade in under 15 mins.

    As the Mac mini only has one antenna, I was worried that the performance was going to be affected, so I did a few tests.

    I have a 1.93GB MP4 shared out from my Mac mini in the living room, (hooked up via ethernet to my Airport Extreme base station - the N one...) which I copied from the drive mounted on my Mac mini's desktop to my ~/Movies folder. It took 19 minutes. I did the same test on my MacBook Pro and it took 14 minutes. I'm putting the 5 minutes extra to the fact that I'm only running on one antenna. Perhaps I'll put another one in there at some point in the future.

    The main reason to the upgrade is I have about 160 movies (that I've ripped using Handbrake from my own library) onto an external drive on my Mac mini downstairs in the living room. They're all various bitrates - but mostly H.264 at about 3000 KBit/s - approx 720xXXX resolution, and yes yes yes I know that this is a high bitrate, but I have 1TB of disk space and I'm a quality nut! While my MacBook Pro (Early 2007) and my sisters MacBook (Late 2007) can stream the movies fine in Front Row, my newer Intel Mac mini would play a bit, then stutter, then play a bit more, then stutter. I was rather disappointed at this performance hence the upgrade. Frontrow was slow also as I've pointed my iTunes library on it to the Mac mini in the living rooms library so I stream the music over the network that way, rather than going to sources and switching to the Mac mini downstairs all the time. Plus the album art didn't seem to come through that way. The performance has drastically improved. Browsing the movies via Front Row now has no lag while loading the album art of the movie and it doesn't pause for 30 secs while scrolling up and down the list.

    Needless to say I'm very VERY happy with the upgrade, and if anyone is thinking of doing the same, I would highly recommend it. I bought mine from eBay from a nice chap in the US, and the installation was relatively straight forward. No manual required ;0)

    Just thought I'd share my success with the forum.

    pac
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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  3. pacmania1982 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

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  4. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #4
    It's a bit of a worry when you first crack them open. I'm fairly sure the Mac Mini has kept a few putty knife manufacturers going. :p

    Pac, you excited about Lotus Notes for your iPhone?
     
  5. pacmania1982 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #5
    I perhaps should invest in a putty knife - not that I want to go inside my Mac mini that often!!!

    Lotus Notes for the iPhone sounds interesting, but I'm not sure how it would work with our corporate environment. Only time will tell, but you can rest assured that if it gets released, I'll be trying it ;)

    pac
     
  6. samh004 macrumors 68020

    samh004

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    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    802.11n relies on MIMO, or at least two antennas. I don't understand how you'd be able to run at 802.11n with only one antenna, as this Hardmac article explains.
     
  7. lOUDsCREAMEr macrumors regular

    lOUDsCREAMEr

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  8. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

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    #8

    Reread the next to last paragraph in the original post
     
  9. pacmania1982 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #9
    Re

    Well perhaps its not running at the full 130MBit/s because of the one antenna, but in the screenshot you can see System Profiler and Network Utility reporting the upgrade

    pac
     

    Attached Files:

  10. lOUDsCREAMEr macrumors regular

    lOUDsCREAMEr

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  11. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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  12. lOUDsCREAMEr macrumors regular

    lOUDsCREAMEr

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    #12
    Mine is:

    Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x168C, 0x87)
    Wireless Card Locale: Worldwide
    Wireless Card Firmware Version: 1.2.2
     

    Attached Files:

  13. lOUDsCREAMEr macrumors regular

    lOUDsCREAMEr

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  14. lOUDsCREAMEr macrumors regular

    lOUDsCREAMEr

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    #14
    Mac Mini
    Intel Core 2 Duo 2 Ghz
    2GB RAM
    Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1
     

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  15. ShinySteelRobot macrumors regular

    ShinySteelRobot

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    Upper Left Corner, USA
    #15
    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but thought this might be of use to someone who's Searching for upgrade info...

    You can get an additional antenna by ordering Apple part number 820-1918 A. This is strongly recommended for the best and strongest WiFi signal. This is the same antenna used in the MacBidoulle/Hardmac article. In fact, if you blow up the picture of the antenna shown on the first page of that article, shown below, you can see the part number clearly labeled.
    http://files.macbidouille.com/articles/MM80211N/antenne.jpg

    I got mine from eBay from someone in China.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/4-Mac-Airport-E...14&_trkparms=72:1205|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318
     
  16. Fronobulax macrumors newbie

    Joined:
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    #16

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