MB v MBP - All about WIFI!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mcallyam, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. mcallyam macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Hi all,

    I know this issue has been rather done to death, but I can't seem to find a comparison between the new MBs and MBPs.
    I've read that lots of people have issues with the WIFI reception on the older MBPs (2008ish) I think this was because of the aluminium body, but then I read that apple have moved the wireless card on the new 2009 MBPs, has this improved the situation or are the MBs still better for WIFI recpeption?

    I'm not really bothered about the whole 'dropping out' issue becuase this seems to be mainly software based, I'm really only worried about the fact that the MBPs aluminium body reduces the signal strength compared to the plasic MB and whether this is true/has been fixed?

    So yeah other than the WIFI issue I'd be going with the pro over the macbook, so I just need some advice on this point to confirm that!
  2. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    I have the newest mbp13" and my girlfriend has the newest whitebook and from what i have noticed there is NO difference in load times of web pages, or downloads... her internet is only DSL so possibly if you had a super fast cable or fiber optic connection there might be a difference but from the tests i tried there is no diff.
  3. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    no difference at all mate, and even if there was it would be tiny, don't worry about wifi problems [​IMG] my wifi problems generally stemmed from the router not liking the macs and putting them on low priority connection, but as for the macs wifi card within, no problems
  4. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    where did you read that apple moved the wireless card on the 2009 mbps?

    i have a unibody late 2008 macbook and the wireless signal strength is definitely weaker compared to my 4 year old dell inspiron laptop.

    you're not going to notice a difference if you are less than 20 feet from a router, but when i use my macbook across the house (maybe 60 feet away and 1 floor up), there is a very noticeable difference in the stability of the signal. when i play online fps games, my latency spikes like mad and it is just unplayable, and my downloads spike from 500 kb (max strength) to 50 kb (weakest strength) on a 20/20 fios connection. the wireless is fine for web browsing, but for stuff like streaming higher quality videos and online games i would be wary.

    when i was on campus, i would regularly see plastic and polycarbon laptops get way better signal from the access points. i doubt that moving the wireless card within the mbp would change anything. the aluminum shell just blocks signal strength

    to the above posters i would ask -

    bman0408: how far away are you guys using your laptops from your access point?

    mackiddywiddy: from your sig it does not look like you have a mbp or aluminum mb. do you have firsthand experience?
  5. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    When doing the test I was in my GF's apt which is rather small and i was within 20 feet of the router, a wall between the computers and the router but still very close... this could well influence the outcome yes.
  6. mcallyam thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    Thanks for the replies guys, it seems that they're no different over short distances but I think I'm gonna be pretty far away from the router on campus so it might be a problem over the larger distances. I won't be doing any gaming though, so for browsing it may still be alright but I'm probably safer getting the MB even so.

    I think it was on the Cnet review of the latest MBP where they said it had been moved or it may have been another review site, but I'm pretty sure it was Cnet.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    On both computers I beiieve the card and antenna is in the hinge (hence the plastic cover); on the Air the antenna is also in the hinge, but the card is in the computer body.

    As with signal, well it's not that great. For example on my Thinkpad, I can pick up APs across the block while on my Macs I cannot.

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