MacBook Air wireless is truly subpar

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MGLXP, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. MGLXP macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2005
    I have a MacBook Air, and using an Airport Extreme Router (802.11n 5GHz mode only), to transfer a 4GB file, Finder says it will take 28 hours! It just stalls after 10MB or so. I have all the latest updates (10.5.5 and all firmware updates for the router and MacBook Air). I have also tried a clean install and it's still the same problem. On my MacBook Pro, the same file took less than 6 minutes to transfer (which is how it should actually be for 802.11n)! So it is definitely not the router or the other computer than has the file being transferred. I was wondering if the MacBook Air wireless is truly this bad, or is there some kind of solution or workaround. If it is this bad, this is truly unacceptable for a laptop that was advertised for its wireless capabilities. Thanks

    EDIT: It is not the wireless chipset (Broadcom BCM4321) because I use the exact same chipset in another mac, and the performance it what it should be...around 6 min or so to transfer the file.

    UPDATE: I think I have found the issue...I copied the IO80211Family.kext from a 10.5.2 machine onto my MacBook Air, and the transfers now take 8 min for the 4GB file! This is more like what I was expecting. Looks like it had to do something with the 10.5.5 network drivers.
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Unfortunately it's a fact that practically all Apple wireless is truly subpar. The Air is even worse as (otherwise perfectly reasonable) sustained actions of anything raises heat which causes various things to go into 'holy crap I'm gonna die' overheat mode.

    Try the usuall stuff - moving around, rebooting, stuffing icepack under it, etc. If you have a frozen meat storage locker, perhaps it's worth considering putting a desk and wifi extender in there...
  3. MGLXP thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2005
    My MacBook Air is already only 5ft away from my Airport Extreme N router (in 802.11n 5GHz mode only), and it can't really sustain 270MBps connection, varying between 54MBps to 270MBps (from checking in Airport Utility). While my MacBook Pro, can constantly sustain a 300MBps connection, which is further away from the Airport Extreme router.
  4. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    Any chance you could post that file to rapidshare or something? My MBA has been having all kinds of issues with wireless since the last update. It keeps locking up finder when downloading torrents to an external hard drive.

    Id like to try your fix but I dont have any macs that arnt at 10.5.5 already.
  5. MGLXP thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2005
    I think you can extract the file from a previous Mac OS X update (such as 10.5.2 update) using Pacifist or if your computer came with an earlier version of Mac OS X, you can also extract the file from there.

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