Is it possible to replace the AirPort card in my Core Duo 17-inch MacBook Pro with an 802.11n version?

Is it possible to replace the AirPort card in my Core Duo 17-inch MacBook Pro with an 802.11n version?

First things first. Go get the new AirPort Extreme Base Station ($179, www.apple.com). It's awesome, and its backward-compatibility means that it will support your Mac's version of AirPort just dandily. Now for the less-good news. As we write this, only Mac Pros and Core 2 Duo-equipped iMacs and notebooks currently support 802.11n speed and range. Plain ol' Core Duo Macs don't. When - or if - Apple will release an N-enabled AirPort Extreme card for older Macs remains to be seen.

 

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mack the knife

It appears Apple is not going to directly support an 802.11n upgrade for the Core Duo MacBook Pro. That is the word I get from the Genius Bar crew near my home.


However, you can do the updgrade right now yourself if you are techie at all. 100's of folks around the globe have already upgraded their Core Duo MacBook Pros and MacBooks to 802.11 n (it Rocks!)... you need the right tools and you have to take the notebook apart slightly so it is not for the squeamish and since the upgrade is not directly supported by Apple even tho the card is an Apple Card, upgrading to 802.11n will likely void warrantees.


The right Apple 802.11 card (which is actually for a MacPro, but also happens to fit directly and perfectly into a Core Duo MacBook ) can be ordered from a number of places (even from Apple if you you get a hold of the right person); it typically costs about 50$ - 75$ for the 802.11n wifi hardware card. BTW: some folks have used a certain 802.11n card they got from Dell which is also the same third party hardware card. Check out xlr8yourmac.com web site (see their networking area) for the details and pictures of how to do the upgrade.


I did my updgrade myself and it was not a big problem altho I did have one pilot error issue where I didn't reseat my 2Gigs of RAM properly in their slot in my first attempt which I soon rectified after getting the flashing LED message from my MacBook Pro.


quickertek.com (check out their site) will do the 802.11n updgrade on anyone's MacBook or MacBook Pros (and even on the Mini) if you are hesitant to do it by yourself... Obviously they charge a fair service fee, ...I think it is worth doing as the robustness and speed of 802.11n is really good!


I have the new Airport Extreme networked with 3 Macs (my MacBook Pro with 802.11n and 2 older G5's running 802.11g which I will upgrade to 802.11n when the right card becomes available in the next month or so ) + 1 Windows XP PC with 802.11g and this Airport Extreme network is working just great and was really easy to set up!


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