Best replacement AirPort card?

My MacBook tends to get rather hot, and has often very unreliable WiFi connections.

I've read that other people had similar problems, and that they went away when they put in a new AirPort card.

It seems that there are some cards that go bad without completely failing, resulting in more heat and unreliable operations without complete failure.

So in an effort to improve the situation, I'm willing to try replacing the card.

Obviously, Apple has had a variety of cards over the course of various models, but most seem to be standard PCIe cards, and thus should be possible to use interchangeably.

My quest is of course for the card with the best performance and the lowest power consumption, rather than for a one-to-one replacement with the same model.

I can't seem to find an overview of what cards Apple shipped with what models, which require two and which three antenna leads, and if there are any known incompatibilities with using a newer card in an older laptop.

Any input or link to relevant references would be very helpful.

Answer this question I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 2

Comments:

I should add that the A1226 already has a 802.11abgn capable card.

So when I talk about better performance, then mostly in terms of

a) using less power/getting less hot

b) better reach

c) better implementation of the various protocols.

d) better international compatibility (some cards seem to be hardwired to US frequencies, some seem to scan for other networks and decide what bands to use based on what they receive)

Apple keeps changing between vendors: Broadcom, Atheros, etc.

So assuming that Apple doesn't downgrade its WiFi cards and keeps improving the battery life of its devices, I'd guess that what I should like to install is the most recent Apple WiFi card that has the proper size PCIe connector. Not sure if the most recent machines still use separate cards, or if they have the WiFi built right onto the motherboard.

by

+ for a well written and thorough question.

by

Add a comment

3 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

Try this, 5 times faster than a g card: http://fastmac.com/ncard.php

Was this answer helpful?

Score 4

Comments:

+ I wonder if this option is better than Apple supplied cards??

by

Add a comment

if you can provide the serial number for the machine, I can tell you the exact part number of the airport card. Also, I would rec. looking at usb wifi cards, you can get a N card for around 20-40 bucks. Much easier then opening the machine and you can use it on any USB machine. I believe this is the breakdown:

The airport card 661-3890 was used in the original Macbook Pro Core Duo 2.0/2.16 machines

The airport card 661-4058 was used on the Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.2/2.4 Late 2007 Models

The airport card 661-4594 was used on the Macbook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.5/2.5/2.6 Early 2008 models

Update

just to clarify, I think the airport extreme card from apple is the best option. However, it's not the only one and I was just giving an example of another option.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 4

Comments:

+ well documented answer

by

Thanks, this goes into the direction of what I'm looking for.

However, you stop with 2008 models.

Do Apple's laptop ever since use the same card, or have more recent models the WiFi circuits no longer on a separate PCIe card, and instead have things soldered onto the motherboard?

by

One more thing: which of these cards uses Broadcom and which uses Atheros chipsets? It seems that generally I have less trouble with the Broadcom variety...

by

Add a comment

Look for this PCI-E card:

Assembled in China

Model: AR5BXB112

FCC ID: PPD-AR5BXB112

IC: 4104A-AR5BXB112

OS X Lion supports this card.

This is the card found in the Apple iMac 27" (2011). If this is not the newest card that Apple uses, it is very close to being the newest.

It does not matter that the wireless card is much newer than the computer, so long as you are running OS X Lion or newer, and you have a system with three (3) antenna leads for 802.11n.

If you search the usual places, including iFixit, you will find it at a decent price.

I know what I am talking about. I just installed an AR5BXB112 in my MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo Late 2006.

I should also add that I could not have done it without the excellent guide on iFixit: Installing MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1211 Airport Extreme.

Thanks for all the great help on this site!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

Comments:

I broke the wireless network card in my laptop, and I've bought a new (Network Card for Atheros AR5BXB72 Login to order AR5008 AR5418 802.11a / b / g / n 2.4GHz / 5GHz Wireless Mini PCI-E Card for Mac Machine A1186 MA970), which has 3 connectors on it, and she's had second

Can you say and how to connect a new wireless card, which wire goes to which connector?

To connect the old cards were used 2 cables, black and blue, and white (gray) was free.

Is this white which is not used (what purpose), can now connect to the new card, since it has 3 connectors?

by

Add a comment

Add your answer

rcfa will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 2

Past 7 Days: 13

Past 30 Days: 40

All Time: 6,768