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Confused on Wireless Adapters

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
ThinkPad b/g/n

Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 [$0.00]

Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2x2 AGN) [add $18.00]

Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (3x3 AGN) [add $36.00]

Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 [add $49.50]


I am helping my friend configure a Thinkpad T420 and I've got everything configured except for the wireless adapter. I am completely lost here, what is the benefit of any of these better wifi adapters?
post #2 of 11
More expensive the better the maximum speed... but if you have a slow internet no point in getting the good one.
post #3 of 11
The Wireless N-1000 is free because it can't do 5ghz which sucks if you have a router that can broadcast that type of signal.
post #4 of 11
Isn't WiMax the 4g option? I would think that the 2x2 and 3x3 are how many radio bands it can use to connect.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Master Chief;13513211 
More expensive the better the maximum speed... but if you have a slow internet no point in getting the good one.

Wow, that's just simply not true at all..

The Chipset, mwpower, drivers and antenna types determine both your reliability, coverage area and data-rate.

Almost every consumer level adapter is tested by the wifi-alliance and Microsoft to ensure compatibility with the OS platform and governing bodies the manage the unlicensed RF band Wifi uses in each country.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, my question is pretty simple, if this laptop will be for college classes and will be running on wifi in a dorm or on campus, should I upgrade any of the wifi options?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by the.FBI;13513423 
So, my question is pretty simple, if this laptop will be for college classes and will be running on wifi in a dorm or on campus, should I upgrade any of the wifi options?

I'd spend the extra $18 and get the 2nd option. 5ghz is a nice thing to have.
post #8 of 11
Depends on your router.

If it's a college environment you won't be using much crazy MIMO so the second option would probably be your best bet.

2x2 and 3x3 are how many bands/antennas the adapter can use for MIMO (multi-in multi-out). If your router only supports something like 2x2 (nearly none are 3x3), then even if you get a 3x3 adapter you will be limited by bandwidth to more of a 2x2 performance level.

Last one would only be useful if you had some sort of need or want for WiMax.
Edited by beers - 5/15/11 at 10:21am
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by the.FBI;13513423 
So, my question is pretty simple, if this laptop will be for college classes and will be running on wifi in a dorm or on campus, should I upgrade any of the wifi options?

No. Besides, most universities have pretty strict regulations of their campus user policy. Most have a on BAN wifi in their dorms too. Go check your college campus user policy before spending the $.
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post #10 of 11
Thinkpads are interesting pieces of hardware. If I remember correctly, the WiMax Intel card requires something special on the motherboard and can't be added later - again, because Lenovo black/whitelists hardware for the mini/half height pci-e slot.

There were problems with the 6250 when it first came out ... not sure if Intel resolved it.

The thinkpad B/G/N cards are an Atheros chipset - Intel and Atheros both make good wireless chipsets, IMO.

If you are paying for a wireless card (not the default) get a THREE antenna N card ... they generally work better.

Under the assumption that the laptop is "pre plumbed" for the third antenna ...

I would stick with the default, if you prefer Intel go with the 1000. If you want better speeds and more capability, go with the 6300.
    
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