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Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by IgnatiusTheKing, Jan 18, 2009.
Is there a way to upgrade the wireless card (to wireless-n) in a Rev A MacBook Pro 17"?
Pretty sure you just need to get a N card and swap it with the one in the machine.
Yep its completely possible as I did exactly that. I purchased an 802.11n card that had the same chipset as the card used in the Mac Pro towers Wireless card from Apple. I took out the default 802.11G card, fitted the new one (Which is the same size and has the same Antenna connectors) booted the machine back up in to Leopard and I had 802.11n.
As you can see in the image, I'm running an original Core Duo machine (which only shipped with 802.11g cards) whilst the Network Manager sees the card as a/b/g/n - I have it running in N mode connected to an Airport Extreme router and I get the correct speed. I run my router at 5GHz/802.11n only (Refuses all non-5GHz 802.11n connections). I included the System profile in there too so you can see the card info. The exact model I used was the 'BCM94321MC 802.11n' card which I found very affordable from Ebay but can also be purchased from online stores.
Some insignificant parts of the image were Photoshopped out for my own Peace of Mind. All the Relevant Info is intact.
Thanks for the responses. I looked around for instructions on how to access the airport card and it looks a little complicated. Was it easy of did you find yourself sweating bullets while you were taking the case apart?
I found it really easy but I've built many computers over the years so it wasnt a daunting task. I've also taken apart Apple and other notebooks previously for these sorts of upgrades. I recently mentioned in another thread about Hard Disk upgrades that it took about 10 minutes to take the computer apart and put back together.
I used the guides from ifixit.com which were very straight forward and easy to follow. I ran in to no problems taking apart my notebook. All the screws were easy, the wiring was simple.
What I will mention though is the Antenna cable for the Airport card has a groove cut out for it on the Speaker, make sure you put that cable back exactly how it was within this grove or you may have difficulty in putting the top of the notebook back down.
When I looked online to get the card it was like £70 from ifixit and other stores. I got it from ebay for £15 and its worked great ever since I got it. Even came with a Driver CD for Windows. (It worked straight away in Leopard upon first boot up without me doing anything).
One of the best upgrades I ever did btw. When copying files or performing Time Machine backups the highest throughput I ever got on 802.11g was around 3.8MB/ps sometimes hitting 4.1MB/ps (Rare) with the n upgrade I regularly hit 8MB/ps to 11MB/ps - This is when copying files to my Server via my Airport Extreme. The server is connected to the router over Gigabit Ethernet. So quite a nice upgrade and very affordable.