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The (2013) Laptop WiFi Dilemma :(


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#1
Dr. Hurt

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I have noticed that as of 2013 with the arrival of Ivy Bridge, there is essentially no laptop with WiFi working out of the box. They all use either Intel Centrino cards, or modern Broadcom or Atheros cards which are not supported by OS X.

Apple hasn't updated their wlan cards in quite a while so we're stuck with drivers that only support the ancient AR9285 and some older BCM chips.

To make matters worse, some OEMs like LENOVO and HP add whitelist to their BIOS to prevent the wlan cards from being replaced by the end user. Repulsive behavior from those companies. Other OEMs such as Dell, Toshiba and Samsung don't have such whitelists.

Rumors have it that Apple will be including new Broadcom wlan cards based on the 802.11ac standard in the near future, most probably with the introduction of Haswell.
That means we might soon see updated drivers for BCM 802.11ac wlan chips and possibly even some backward compatibility current-gen unsupported 802.11n chips (such as 4365, 4313... etc)

I doubt any Centrino or newer Atheros chipset would ever get official support from Apple.

Hopefully some talented dev with the need time and skills can port linux drivers for those cards, though I was told that it would be a major challenge due to encryption and lack of code samples by Apple.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

#2
3.14r2

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I have noticed that as of 2013 with the arrival of Ivy Bridge, there is essentially no laptop with WiFi working out of the box. They all use either Intel Centrino cards, or modern Broadcom or Atheros cards which are not supported by OS X.

You can always buy a supported used WiFi card from Apple's notebooks. I guess if a notebook has an unsupported card, but you do need the wireless, then there are quite few options to chose from (either an USB WiFi or a used supported/rebranded mini PCI-E card).

To make matters worse, some OEMs like LENOVO and HP add whitelist to their BIOS to prevent the wlan cards from being replaced by the end user. Repulsive behavior from those companies. Other OEMs such as Dell, Toshiba and Samsung don't have such whitelists.

Yeah, money makes world go 'round. These whitelists are there to force you buy a card ONLY from the company that made your notebook (those get the money that would otherwise go somewhere else). Nevertheless, whitlists can be removed/edited so it would be possible to use ANY card you like.

Rumors have it that Apple will be including new Broadcom wlan cards based on the 802.11ac standard in the near future, most probably with the introduction of Haswell.
That means we might soon see updated drivers for BCM 802.11ac wlan chips and possibly even some backward compatibility current-gen unsupported 802.11n chips (such as 4365, 4313... etc)

Apple IMO isn't the company looking back. They would discontinue support for the older hardware, rather then add it.

#3
Jaymer

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hi Doc

i bought an ASUS laptop, spent a few weeks hassling with it and gave up. it would boot. i used IatkosML. It needed some "injection" stuff to work further and I just don't have anyone to ask (had not known about this site) help mess with the DSDTs/kexts.
(I'd have to look up the specs - haven't messed with it in 2 months)

I obviously don't want a super expensive laptop, or I'd just buy a mac. We've had 3 mac laptops over the years - i have a desktop hackintosh, and wanted to make my wife a hack instead of buying a newer Apple laptop.

she does lots of graphic design work - not photoshop, but illustrator and needs something with some moderate power.

I've done a lot of searching on this site and cannot find any simple posts... here, go get this "newish" laptop and then do this and Voila! Lots of msgs are related to older laptops or not 10.7/8+.

can you recommend something that will work without much fuss - possibly some "deal" that tigerdirect or newegg is pushing? ... or at least there's a supply of them on ebay?

thx

#4
freeuser16

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What's the problem with replacing the card? I had Atheros AR9485 and changed it to AR9285 in a few minutes. It costed only ±10$ - and problem solved.

BTW, I had a USB adapter before and wouldn't recommend it.. It used Ralink kexts and application, which I didn't like at all. Apple's original wifi support with AR9285 looks much better for me now :)





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