Contribute
Register

Wi-Fi (and Bluetooth) cards for laptops with Mac OS / OS X

Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
264
Motherboard
HP Probook 4740s
CPU
i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Ivy Bridge-MB PGA SV)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge GT2), Radeon (not disabled)
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
This post is no longer updated.
Please follow this link to a translation of the latest version of the original data source. The other info below still holds, although a web search might get you newer pages.

Wifi cards in laptops: the options for OS X / Mac OS
As of April 2013

Sort order: Size > 10.8.x support > speed @ 2.4 Ghz
I left the entries of unsupported cards. You can check if a model you already own will/should work.
Wifi Cards, Translated 2013-04-01.xls-1200dpi 60449 001.jpg
Legend

Dark green: Works out of the box. Light green: For the Device ID fix see below. Blue: Integrated Bluetooth. Yellow: The fastest available card. Red: Card too large. Only for serious hardware hacking, unless your laptop has a full-size mini-pcie bay. (Created from this Data source -- Thanks)

Important for HP Probook 4x30s (4230s, 4330s, 4331s, 4430s, 4431s, 4530s, 4730s)
The HP Probooks of the 4x30s have in their BIOS a whitelist of allowed Wi-Fi cards. Please read the Wi-Fi section in the Mountain Lion on Probook FAQ and this thread.
The ar9285 DSDT patch in the ProBook Installer 6.1 (and probably later) provides the needed Device ID fix for the AR5B95 and AR5B195 (and probably also for AR5B97 and AR5B197 cards that provide higher throughput, but we need someone to test...)

The bottom line
- All Mac-compatible cards support WiFi 802.11n.
- If you want Bluetooth you have to apply the "Device ID Fix" and you won't get 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
- There are two dual-band cards that work out of the box: Atheros AR5BHB92 (ar9280) and Broadcom BCM94322HM8L.
- The fastest card is a full-size card, some tricky hardware hacking is probably required (I have not checked if there are ProBooks that are an exception). Be sure to know what you do and how to do it before whittling away!

Cards confirmed to work
- AR5B195 with AR9285 DSDT patch (thanks mr-andrek)
- AR5B197 (AR9287) (thanks Craigrox)
- AR5B97 (thanks tonespace)
- AR5BHB92 (AR9280)(thanks braddman1)
- AR5BXB112 (thanks fyrerubee)
- AR9285 (WIFI) and AR3011 (BT) (on a NOT whitelisted Probook) (thanks jojosch)
- BCM94322HM8L (confirmed for the 2.4 GHz band and I can select 5GHz channels. I have no 5GHz equipment to test it with, dg)

If you can confirm success with other cards, please let us know. There is also a lot of information on this site -- please search the forums for your specific type number or vendorID:deviceID.

Dual band considerations.
Will I need dual band?
Some general background worth reading can be found here.
Do I need a new laptop antenna to use dual band?
No. But with a 2.4 GHz -only antenna you will not get the full 5 GHz range. Note also that higher frequency signals (5 GHz) are more weakened by objects (walls etc.) on their path.

Other tips
- How to replace a ProBook Wi-Fi card tutorial.
- Slow Wi-Fi? Some tips here.
- A new Wi-Fi card should be fitted with the required number of antennas for best performance. See here and the "MIMO" column in the table.
- Free Mountain Lion compatible apps for testing WiFi: iStumbler and NetSpot. (KisMAC is no longer developed and Wi-Fi Crack didn't work on my ML setup.) Apple provides the nice tool "Wi-Fi Diagnostics" since Lion (and improved in Mountain Lion). It's deeply buried in /System/Library/CoreServices/, but you can make an alias of it wherever you want. If the Wi-Fi icon is shown in the menubar an option-click on it reveals the entry "Open Wi-Fi Diagnostics..." that also opens it. EDIT: for Mavericks things are slightly different, see here for instructions.

Thanks to all who tested, collected data, and corrected issues!

dg
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
639
Motherboard
HP Probook 6470b
CPU
Intel Core i5-3320M
Graphics
Intel HD 4000, 1600x900
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Since apparently you did some digging, I have a question, does the 5Ghz need an optimised antenas, if so, do the probooks have it?
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
264
Motherboard
HP Probook 4740s
CPU
i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Ivy Bridge-MB PGA SV)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge GT2), Radeon (not disabled)
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Since apparently you did some digging, I have a question, does the 5Ghz need an optimised antenas, if so, do the probooks have it?
Sorry, I didn't go into that. If you find out something worth sharing, please post it here.
My card supports 5 GHz, but I see (iStumbler, Kismac seems not to work -??) only 24xx GHz access points from the neighborhood. My router works @ 2.4 GHz and changing an antenna later would not be too difficult, so I left the original ones in place.

dg
 

RehabMan

Moderator
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
192,055
Motherboard
Intel DH67BL
CPU
Core i7-2600K
Graphics
Intel HD 3000
Mac
MacBook Air
Mobile Phone
iOS
I added a link to this information in the FAQ. Along with a note about no white list in 4x40s BIOS...
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
264
Motherboard
HP Probook 4740s
CPU
i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Ivy Bridge-MB PGA SV)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge GT2), Radeon (not disabled)
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Joined
Mar 12, 2013
Messages
288
Motherboard
HP ProBook 4530s
CPU
Intel Core i3 2330m
Graphics
Intel HD 3000
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I found Atheros AR5B195 card available online for ridiculously cheap price (39 polish zloty = ~13$) and I'm wondering if it's the one that's right for our ProBooks. Here's the link: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http://allegro.pl/show_item.php?item=3180864756&act=url (google translated)
I have a working usb dongle that does its job just fine, but for the sake of going more "native" with wifi I figured I'd check it out.
What do you think? The serial numbers seem right...
 

RehabMan

Moderator
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
192,055
Motherboard
Intel DH67BL
CPU
Core i7-2600K
Graphics
Intel HD 3000
Mac
MacBook Air
Mobile Phone
iOS
I found Atheros AR5B195 card available online for ridiculously cheap price (39 polish zloty = ~13$) and I'm wondering if it's the one that's right for our ProBooks. Here's the link: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http://allegro.pl/show_item.php?item=3180864756&act=url (google translated)
I have a working usb dongle that does its job just fine, but for the sake of going more "native" with wifi I figured I'd check it out.
What do you think? The serial numbers seem right...
Looks right to me.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2013
Messages
288
Motherboard
HP ProBook 4530s
CPU
Intel Core i3 2330m
Graphics
Intel HD 3000
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Thanks, ordered. I'll give a heads up when it comes.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2013
Messages
288
Motherboard
HP ProBook 4530s
CPU
Intel Core i3 2330m
Graphics
Intel HD 3000
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
In case of anyone wondering, the card works flawlessly. Thanks!
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
264
Motherboard
HP Probook 4740s
CPU
i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz (Ivy Bridge-MB PGA SV)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Ivy Bridge GT2), Radeon (not disabled)
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
In case of anyone wondering, the card works flawlessly. Thanks!
Thanks for the confimation.

I can also confirm the Broadcom BCM94322HM8L works in the 2.4 GHz band and I can select 5GHz channels. Unfortunately I have no 5GHz equipment to test it with.

dg
 
Top