Macbook Pro Wireless 802.11ac Make a Difference?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Roosevelt, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Roosevelt macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    I have a 2012 Macbook Pro with wireless N. Will upgrading to Wireless AC on a 2016 Macbook Pro make an appreciable speed difference?


  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    It depends on what you're connecting to. If it's all local, it can have a definite impact. If you're talking Internet related, probably not.

    I also know you asked earlier about mesh networks. I will say that moving to my current gear increased my wireless coverage, which, I'm assuming, is due to beamforming. I really don't need the extender now.
  3. chevelleguy3 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Mckinney, TX
    It depends on if you have a wireless router capable of Wifi AC. If you do, it can make a huge difference on file transfers.

    I transfer several large files and also do a Time Machine backup to my Mac Mini server that's hardwired with a 1GB connection. My MacBook Pro is running on Wifi AC and it was a noticeable difference between it and my older MacBook Pro that is not AC.
  4. Roosevelt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    The wireless router is capable of 5Ghz (Comcast XB3 Box). Hopefully, the newer Wifi card will improve speed.
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Is it 802.11n or 802.11ac though? 802.11n also supports 5Ghz.
  6. Roosevelt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2011
    The router supports 802.11ac but my laptop is 802.11n.
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    For local transfers, you'd likely see a difference. For Internet transfers, my guess is you will not, unless you have extremely fast service (i.e. greater than 300-400Mb).
  8. rx7dude macrumors regular


    Mar 29, 2011
    I noticed a difference with file transfers on LAN but still not as fast as wired. At least for my setup.
  9. HDFan, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

    HDFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    When I upgraded to a Time Capsule AC my Speedtest speeds upstairs went from ~50 Mbps to ~175 Mbps (iPad Pro) and ~150 Mbps (Apple TV 4). Don't have any numbers for a 2016 Macbook Pro, or what kind of throughput you can get from a Comcast X3 box.

    Before committing I would try to find a device (phone, tablet, whatever) that supports AC and see what kind of results that you get in the location where you are going to use the MacBook. That's a lot of money wasted if the X3 doesn't deliver the bandwidth you want at that location.
  10. weckart macrumors 68040

    Nov 7, 2004
    It can do. As much as anything newer WiFi cards can be more powerful. With my 5th gen AEBS, I used to have to contend with neighbours' overpowering my router signals. Now with 802.11ac on both router and MBP theirs have taken the proverbial hike.

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