New Wi-Fi card for early 2008 MacPro3,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Doraemon, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have become extremely annoyed by the signal quality of the built-in Airport extreme card of my MacPro3,1 (early 2008, 2x quad 2.8 GHz, 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4870, OS X Mavericks, 3 HDDs). It's really slow and keeps loosing the connection again and again.
    So I was looking into some alternatives. My wife won't allow ethernet cables in the house, so I was thinking of a PCIe wifi card. But apparently, there are not so many native Mac-compatible options?
    I read on some hackintosh-forums that the D-Link DWA-556 will be recognized as a native Airport Extreme card, but I seem to be unable to find any confirmation from someone actually putting the card in a "real" Mac Pro. So I was hoping that someone here can confirm or deny that it works? :)

    Alternatively, can anyone comment on PLC (powerline) if that's a viable option? I was checking into the Netgear POWERLINE AV+ 500 NANO SET (XAVB5601), but was kind of worried if this will work well in my 80 years old house?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    OWC sells Apple compatible wireless cards in USB, PCIe, and mini-PCIe that should work with your Mac Pro.

    Some people have found that the bluetooth and wi-fi antennas are improperly connected and that swapping them around fixes the problem. See this thread.
     
  3. Doraemon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #3
    Hi ActionableMango,

    thanks a lot for your quick reply. So the TP-Link TL-WDN4800 that OWC sells seems a good choice.
    Just one more question: How does the Mac know, which Airport card to use? Or are there two Airport cards displayed in the system network settings and I simply select the TP-Link disguised as Airport? Or do I have to disconnect the original Airport card (hardware-wise)?

    Thanks!
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    I don't know, I've never had two airport cards in one machine. I would definitely disconnect or disable the existing card though, to prevent it from interfering with the new card.
     
  5. MxK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    #5
    I use a Airport Express which is wireless connected to my Time Capsule. With a short ethernet cable it provides my Mac Pro of a internet connection. It operates as an external airport card.
     
  6. tripitz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    #6
    I opted for a similar setup. Purchased a new Airport Extreme (ac) and a Time Capsule (ac as well) to create a bridge. Been fantastic. It also allowed me to network my NAS with the Mac Pro on the same side of the switch in the same room.
     
  7. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #7
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #8
    There are upgraded cards that fit in original slot.

    Twice as fast, use all 3 antenaes.

    Recognized as real deal.

    $20

    The joy of using slots.
     
  9. Doraemon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #9
    That sounds like an interesting way to solve the problem. I have an old Airport Express here (although not the n-standard yet), so I might first give this a try. Thanks for the hint!

    ----------

    That's the card I was thinking about. Unfortunately, your experience with the hackintosh doesn't really give me the reassurance that it'll work with my "real" Mac Pro (buy the OWC confirmed it, so it should be OK). Thanks anyway for the reply.

    ----------

    Can you give me some more details about that upgrade option? Name of the product or such? Thanks
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    GO on EBay and look for them.

    There are wireless cards for Macbook & Mac Pro that list "n" as part of specs and have 3 antennas.

    They come from China but I bought 4 and they all worked great.

    Trickiest part is snapping all 3 antenae wires on. Tiny fingers would help.

    I also checked before and after with Network Utility and indeed my wireless speeds doubled.

    Must have a "n" base station obviously.
     
  11. w33z3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #11
    I can vouch for the WDN4800 as well. I have one installed in my 3.33 4.1 and it works awesome. Works flawlessly in Mavericks without any additional setup. If you're going to be running bootcamp just install the drivers off of the supplied disk.

    Definitely a good buy if you can spare a slot.
     
  12. Doraemon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #12
    So the situation with the original Airport card still installed is not an issue? Or did you unplug it?
     
  13. w33z3r macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #13
    My MP didn't have a WiFi card installed so that's why I went with the WDN4800. If you run into any issue you could more than likely just disconnect the cables as mentioned by a previous poster or just take out the internal card completely.

    Also a quick mention since I know some people run into this issue with the WDN4800 and 5Ghz. The card doesn't support some of the higher channels so you will need to manually set your router's 5ghz channel to one supported by the card. I have mine set to 48 and it runs perfectly.
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    Make your life easy.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-AirPo...US_Internal_Network_Cards&hash=item20d97ec422

    That's the card I'm talking about.

    And that one is in US.

    Uses the newer "n" standard for increased throughput.

    Note that it has 3 antennae snaps.

    The cards that shipped with MP only used 2, but if you look tucked up inside is the 3rd wire. It has a clear plastic boot over the snap.

    Hardest part is getting all 3 snapped on. I tended to knock one of while putting on another.

    It's an Apple part, known by the drivers. No muss, no fuss.

    (Disclaimer - the ebay listing isn't me or a friend of mine, I don't know the vendor or have any connection with them)

    Here's one from West Coast. (Same disclaimer applies)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-AirPo...US_Internal_Network_Cards&hash=item43bc20288f

    If you have a Mac Pro and an Extreme Base Station, this is a cheap way to get faster wireless. Verifiable by before and after using Network Monitor app.
     
  15. Doraemon, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    Doraemon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2001
    Location:
    Europe (EU)
    #15
    So I got the TP-Link card and like it was said before, it works straight out of the box. The original Airport card does not have to be uninstalled, it just can be deactivated. The only minor cosmetic thing is, that in the menu bar, the Airport icon now show that it's deactivated, although the TP-Link is not. Well, whatever.

    So my first impression is, that the card is way faster than the original Airport card. However, I still seem to have the signal drops. Will have to keep investigating. Perhaps it's something wrong with the router (D-Link DIR-615)? Alas, so much wasted time...
     
  16. Upgrader macrumors regular

    Upgrader

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #16
    So I'm assuming that antennae 1 goes into slot 0 on the board, antennae 2 to slot 1, antennae 3 to slot 2?

    I've upgraded a 2009 Mac pro 4,1 and flashed it to a 5,1. No WiFi card was installed on the machine. Need a basic and cheap solution.
     

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