Wireless on 2009 Mac Pro Tower

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wmcy, May 12, 2014.

  1. wmcy macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    My daughter is moving into an apartment that provides "free" wireless internet. The problem is that she has a 2009 Mac Pro tower that we've always used directly wired to the modem via an etherrnet cable. I have checked with the Apple retail store, and there is no Wifi card available to install nor any type of USB doggle that will work. I called the tech number for the apartments, and the adviser suggested I purchase an Airport Extreme, connect it to the Mac Pro via USB, and it would pick up the wifi signal. That sounds too simple, especially since no one Apple suggested that.

    The tower is running the latest version of OSX with 8GB or RAM.

    Can anyone confirm that the Extreme set-up as described above will solve this issue - or offer any other suggestions?


  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Get any mPcie BCM94322MC based card off eBay and it will work like a genuine AP.
  3. jpine macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
  4. Fangio macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    I'll second that. You definitely want one with a Broadcom chip, like these.
  5. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    If you don't want to fiddle with that mini-card and have a spare PCIe slot, you can also get one of these TP-Link cards, which also utilize a chip that works natively, i.e. needing no additional drivers, in OS X.

    Back when I had an actual Mac Pro, I had to buy and put in the mini-card and it wasn't all that easy. It is held in by the tiniest of screws and getting the small antennae's plugs on turned out to be a PITA.

    NB: The TP Link card may need Lion or later to work.
  6. CrazyNurse macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2012
  7. Dreadnought macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    Or just get an Airport Express and connect it via ETHERNET, not USB. It's probably the simplest solution for someone that's not comfortable installing things.
  8. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    If you buy a Mini-PCIE card and wish to install it, make your life easier.

    Remove the hard drive sleds and lay MP on a flat surface on it's back.

    When inserted the card will want to pop up at a 40 degree angle or so.

    You will need a small magnetic phillips head screwdriver.

    If you only get one screw in, that is probably enough.

    Tricky part is the antennas.

    If your card has 3 brass snaps instead of 2, you will need to use the 3rd "extra" antennae which is frequently tucked away.

    The trick really is to get the little snap right above where it needs to go and then push down.

    You will know when you have it seated correctly.

    I really think it is worth doing, just make sure you get one with wireless "N" network.

    The very latest is "AC" but there haven't been much in the way of those in Mini PCIE that don't need drivers.

    It is a bit of bother to do, but typically you only do this once and then just forget about it. By using an official Apple card, you never have to worry about drivers, it "just works".
  10. benguild macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2003
    Not to sidetrack the thread, but can you put a miniPCIe SSD in that slot, or is it just for the Airport card?
  11. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    This is what I do for a lot of my hardware (some old SGI workstations). I simply connect the SGI ethernet port with the ethernet port of the Airport Express Station. A simple method to get any hardware connected to a network wirelessly.

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