MacBook Pro 802.11ac upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by simplekid, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. simplekid macrumors member

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    Aug 1, 2007
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    London
    #1
    What do we think the chances are of ever seeing a solution to upgrade the wireless on the MBPr to 802.11ac?

    From what i've seen in the ifixit teardown it looks like its a separate daughterboard so in theory if they used the same interface it could be possible.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Install...h+Retina+Display+Mid+2012+Airport+Card/9707/1

    Does anyone know if they are changing the antenna spec or some other crucial component in 802.11ac that would prevent this from working?

    I guess this has happened previously in macbook's so has it been possible then and was there availability of the daughterboards to purchase aftermarket.

    I do a load of read/writes to my NAS so would love to know it its possible/likely.

    Cheers
     
  2. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #2
    You're better off running a cable. I've not heard of wifi upgrades before, but you'd have no idea until it arrives. At least the MBPs have antenna diversity, so you're one step in the right direction
     
  3. tmanto02 macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #3
    I doubt it personally, I looked into upgrading the wireless card in my old macbook pro - couldnt find anything.

    I suppose you could use an external 802.11ac adapter but that would be a pain
     
  4. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #4
    usb wifi adapter is the easiest way, but it's not like wireless N 450mbps was slow to begin with lol. At the end of the day, if you want speed, go with gigabit ethernet. If you just want to browse the web, N is fine. AC is suppose to be somewhere in the middle. AC is also over a wider band of wireless spectrum, so I anticipate that interference will be a greater issue than with N.
     
  5. simplekid thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Yeah i use my thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet pretty regularly its just when i'm away from my desk it'd be nice to have that same speed the improvements to signal quality and range would also be nice to see.

    I've not heard of wifi upgrades either :( i was just hoping one might have happened previously.

    Like you say we're not going to know for sure until ifixit etc try it out, i was just checking there wasn't any pre-requisites which are required in ac implementations.
     
  6. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #6
    If this is for internet access then 150 Mbps is plenty. I doubt if anyone has a internet connection that is faster than 54 Mbps!

    But if you want to network within your home or work then more the merrier...
     
  7. bogatyr macrumors 65816

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    Mar 13, 2012
    #7
    There are people with faster connections - especially outside the U.S.

    However the OP was speaking about a local NAS.

    ----------

    To the OP: If the antennas are the same and there is no whitelist on the slot, then you should be able to swap out the newer card (if you can find one to buy). However, I would bet there is a whitelist on the slot since most manufacturer's do this and Apple is more restrictive than most.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I think there's zero chance that the rMBP will get upgraded to 802.11ac. I think apple will roll out new models with that as a feature but they'll not offer any sort of upgrade regardless of whether there's a daughter card expansion port already built into the logic board.

    Apple would rather you purchase a new laptop instead of upgrade the existing one - they make more money that way and having faster wifi is certainly a huge feature that they'll want to keep on a new model rather then an existing model.
     
  9. simplekid thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Oh i know the chance of apple offering this is next to nil.

    I was just hoping some third party came to the rescue. ifixit sell the current wifi card so unless they choose to prevent it like bogatya said it could be possible to purchase the next card (if it even is ac) and slot it in.

    They sell aftermarket SSD's for the MPBr so is this really much different?
     
  10. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Well yes and no. 54mbps connection to wifi does NOT mean you get 54mbps speeds. First, wifi is half-duplex, so 54 mbps really means 27 dl and 27 upload. Then, you have to add in overhead. Finally, you have to add in range between the router and the computer and any interference along the way. At the end of the day, if you are right next to the router, a 54 mbps connection might only give you 20 or so mbps speeds. On another floor from your router, you'd probably be looking at 10 mbps or less. The best way to test this is to have one computer plugged in via Ethernet into the router and then try to copy a file from that computer to a laptop in another room.
     
  11. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #11
    I know. What I was saying is since people hardly have 54 Mbps internet connection a 54 mbps wifi connection will do. For internet only.

    LAN is another story.
     
  12. simplekid thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    I'm on an 80mbps fibre line and theres talk of a 150mbps service coming fairly soon in the UK so we're not that far away from wireless b,g becoming saturated. We're still quite some way to go before we're needing ac though.
     
  13. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #13
    The current Macs have dual band MIMO 802.11n that supports well over what your Internet speeds can throughput. Unless, of course, you're using Google Fiber. In that case, we all hate you. :D
     
  14. jrs22 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 1, 2012
    #14
    I have a 2012 MacBook Pro and I just upgraded my Internet service from 15/5 to 50/25. It's Verizon Fios so it's fiber. I also have a gigaE router. Is this setup taking advantage of the wifi speed? I'm hoping that this future upgrade rumor isn't going to make me feel deprived.
     
  15. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

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    #15
    Antenna config for 802.11ac is entirely different. There's no way that the current rMBP will be easily upgradeable.
     
  16. nill1234 macrumors member

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #16
    Replacing the Wireless card wont work i think because apple wont supply driver for the older MBPr.
    At the moment my internet connection 100Mbit/s its slightly faster than my wireless network on my MBPr. But its only 10Mbit/s so not a deal. The problem of W-Lan is the big overhead which is unfortunately necessary.
     
  17. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #17
    Yes. Current MacBooks can go over 450Mbps, which is why only Google Fiber would approach the limits on that card. Verizon FIOS can approach 305Mbps with the highest tier plans, but Google Fiber (is cheaper) hits 1,000Mbps.

    The only time extremely fast WiFi is desirable is when you're transferring files wirelessly on your local intranet. For example, with iTunes WiFi Sync/Home Sharing/Airdrop. Or with an HDD plugged into your router. That's when you would find an advantage with 802.11ac vs. 802.11a/b/g/etc.

    You'd likely not max out your connection with 802.11ac, either. That stuff goes up to 1.3Gbps, but current HDDs can only read and write at about 560Mbps.

    Networking is complicated, but 99% of people can just buy "Wireless-N" networking equipment and be perfectly fine.
     
  18. bugout macrumors 6502a

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    is everything!
    #18
    yeah that's crazy talk!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. KSUWizard macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
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    Manhattan, KS
    #19
    A buddy of mine with an older MBP told me that Apple released some update that "unlocked" the 802.11n band on his machine. Wonder if that's the case with the newer models. Without researching I'm going to guess no, but who knows.
     
  20. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #20
    Well that's balanced;)
     
  21. jrs22 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 1, 2012
    #21
    Thanks for the detailed answer. I'm happy and satisfied with "perfectly fine". I have an old house with thick plaster walls and sturdy beams and I don't expect 50/25 on wi-fi throughout the house. I did find that my speeds in various rooms increased substantially, and when necessary I can plug my MBP into the router, so I've met my goal for the upgrade.

    Now I just have to reconnect my internet-ready TV so I can watch netflix on the "big" screen.
     
  22. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #22
    No, because 802.11n was around for years, but 802.11ac hasn't even been finalized yet. So the chances of magically having a yet-released networking card are little to none.
     
  23. andrezuppe macrumors member

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Genoa, Italy
    #23
    10.8.4 ac support

    With the announced support for 802.11ac Gigabit wireless support inside the 10.8.4 beta, it would be nice if,in the future, we could upgrade our wireless card N to AC inside our rMBP / MBP!

    Bye

    Andrea
     
  24. HornetOSX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    #24
    Wrong..

    completely true ..


    N was not out when the 2007 MBP's came out.. about 6 months later we got a firmware update that enabled n wireless on the MBP.
     
  25. sofianito macrumors 65816

    sofianito

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Location:
    Spain
    #25

    Hmmm. I have 100Mbps FTTH. Using my Asus RT-N66U 5Ghz band Wifi I get around 50Mbps with speedtest, but I can get more if I disable WPA2 personal security. With ethernet cable it gets crazy :D

    [​IMG]
     

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