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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Is there a difference between Intel vs Thinkpad b/g/n wifi modules? They are same price, but I don't want to suffer any wifi reception if one is stronger than other.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:32 am 
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Thinkpad card uses an Atheros chip

Some like it, I loathe it. It caused so many BSODs for me on other models (that's until I realized it was from athr.sys or athrx.sys, bought an Intel card, and threw out the atheros card)

Consider the $10 you spend on the Intel card money well spent

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yes, the 9mm SSD fits in the X220

Past ThinkPads: X300, T400, X61s, T41, X31, A21m, T23 (x2)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:50 am 
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I just ordered my laptop two days ago, I did not realize the wireless card option made such a big difference.
I don't really want my modification to delay anything, is it something that can be swapped easily later?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:53 am 
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Yes, remove a couple of screws and a couple of antenna wires, remove the card, insert the new card, and reverse the procedure. Did you purchase an X220?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:59 am 
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Thanks.
Harryc wrote:
Did you purchase an X220?

Yes, just did. Here is my post: viewtopic.php?f=43&t=58077&start=196

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:12 am 
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You might not have issues with an atheros card...

... but many have had issues with it.

Best of luck, and remember that if you want to swap in an Intel card you'll have to buy the Lenovo branded one, or perform a simple whitelist hack on the bios (but be warned that this can disable things like notification lights - especially the wifi light and wifi switching)

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yes, the 9mm SSD fits in the X220

Past ThinkPads: X300, T400, X61s, T41, X31, A21m, T23 (x2)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:19 am 
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Thanks, no problem. Let's receive and see how it will perform. I hope I won't have to revisit this topic. :|

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:37 am 
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Traditionally, I have found the main issues with Atheros chips vs. Intel, are their increased performance and range. As such, I will continue to choose Atheros over Intel when given the choice. Now, while I consider Atheros to be far superior, I don't loathe Intel; I would choose it over Broadcom or Ralink.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:19 pm 
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Compatibility, heat, and power usage, Intel wins. Heat is not really an issue anymore, but back in the X60/61 era, where the wireless card is placed right under the palmrest, it was a big issue.

I'm not too sure about the range issue, and whether Atheros is any better than Intel's in terms of reception. What I know is that Intel's card has been giving be very good experience, so I'm sticking with them.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:04 pm 
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In this type of laptop all aspects play a big role. So unless one card is better in all against other, then it is a compromise.
Range, power usage, heat, all play a big role. I would say range is the most important thing, then power consumption.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:02 pm 
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My range is great with the Intel 1000

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yes, the 9mm SSD fits in the X220

Past ThinkPads: X300, T400, X61s, T41, X31, A21m, T23 (x2)


Last edited by iamdmc on Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:02 pm 
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iamdmc wrote:
My range is great with the Intel 1000

khtse wrote:
Compatibility, heat, and power usage, Intel wins. Heat is not really an issue anymore, but back in the X60/61 era, where the wireless card is placed right under the palmrest, it was a big issue.

I'm not too sure about the range issue, and whether Atheros is any better than Intel's in terms of reception. What I know is that Intel's card has been giving be very good experience, so I'm sticking with them.


My statement of increased range is only based on first-hand experience. That said, I've repeatedly read other accounts here, and on NBreview etc, of Atheros' sensitivity in detecting more APs at further distances as well as holding connections better. In my experience, I've found that's true.

hyde wrote:
In this type of laptop all aspects play a big role. So unless one card is better in all against other, then it is a compromise.
Range, power usage, heat, all play a big role. I would say range is the most important thing, then power consumption.


I agree wholeheartedly. In a home environment, range and output is a non-issue. Intel cards would easily suffice, not to mention some of the others I mentioned. However, using a laptop on the go, and especially in a city like New York, a more powerful card with better range can be critical. Atheros has always met the challenge for me. In fact, I swapped out my VAIO Intel card for an Atheros when I couldn't get the same AP list side by side with my T61 equipped with similar antennae.

As for the heat and power consumption, I try to use my AC adapter when possible, turn off the wi-fi when I don't need it, and maintain good ventilation (space beneath the base with feet, or cooler), but didn't notice a great deal of wi-fi-related difference when I didn't. Of course, I would try to employ these methods regardless of the card.

All said, better range and reliability often mean more power consumption. Intel has consistently marketed their chipsets as low power consumers (ala Centrino), and if you usually work on your TP off the battery, and are close to the AP you use, I see little reason to invest the money in an Atheros replacement. It really depends on your needs.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Thanks. At home and in the office, I will easily be able to tell how it is doing since I have 3 other laptops and bunch of other devices. As for on the go, well there is nothing I can base the range/strength off of, so it will just be a matter of luck. Unless there is a report/comparison with a proof that one has a certain advantage over another, I assume it will be just fine. I mean I just didn't want to get something that had a lot of reports of malfunction or poor performance, since it basically said "Thinkpad b/g/n" I had no idea what that meant.

Radioguy, are you using a wifi provider with hotspots in the city? Who are you using? What is your experience? The main reason I went with X instead of T or W is because of its portability and my plans to keep it with me while I am in the city. It could possibly fit in my file briefcase :).

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8/18/2011 - X220, Intel 2540M, 12.5" IPS, FingerPrint, Webcam, Bluetooth, Intel 6205 Wifi, 8GB RAM with U2312HM UltraSharp 23" IPS
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:09 am 
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Nah, no single provider (like Verizon's wi-fi). Starbucks, college campus, and NfP-supported APs are what I usually connect to. I like portability, but also to retain as much desktop functionality as I can, so I would stick with a T or W. That's just personal preference and spinal condition...or potency of pain medication. ;)

If you need additional evidence, I know I have seen some Intel/Atheros benchmark graphs in the past. You may be able to dig some up on NBR or elsewhere. As I said, Atheros and Intel are both major players in the wi-fi field, and while one may surpass the other in performance, I wouldn't consider the lesser junk. I'd reserve that label for Intersil and Atmel. By the way, the Atheros card we're discussing is the same one that Apple chooses for MacBooks.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:01 am 
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Thanks Radioguy,
When I went to China, I carried a netbook with me, because my laptop was a desktop equivalent, if not a replacement. Since X with 12.5" has enough power and good resolution (same as my 15.4" laptop) it was a perfect choice for me. Next time I go anywhere, I won't have to use a netbook.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:08 pm 
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hyde wrote:
Is there a difference between Intel vs Thinkpad b/g/n wifi modules?

The Intel 6300 is a 3T3R device, while I think the Thinkpad b/g/n is a 2T2R device (but I don't have one, so can't be definitive on that).

Current 3T3R technology can deliver up to 450Mpbs with 802.11n on the 5GHz band, and as far as I can tell from my own experience with Intel 5300 and 6300 cards also generally improves WiFi performance in terms of achiveable speed vs distance from an Access Point for other 802.11 modes and bands.

Cheers,

Bill B.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Thanks mate!
I was referring to same priced (at least same by lenovo) network card options. Namely Centrino 1000 vs Thinkpad b/g/n.
6205 (2x2 AGN) is +$20 and WiMAX 6250 is +$55
6300 was not an option with x220.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:00 pm 
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hyde wrote:
Thanks mate!
I was referring to same priced (at least same by lenovo) network card options. Namely Centrino 1000 vs Thinkpad b/g/n.

The Intel WiFi Link 1000 card is a 1T2R design and only operates only in the 2.4GHz Wifi band.... it basically a low end card. The Thinkpad b/g/n would be a better choice than that.

An X220 is limited to 2 antennas if you select the camera option, and under those circumstances wont offer an Intel 6300 card as a configuration option. The X220 can support 3 antennas if the camera is not selected and a 3x3 antenna screen is specified.

IMO, 3 x WiFi antennas is more useful than the camera, but YMMV.

Cheers,

Bill B.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:03 pm 
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Does Lenovo still offer external antenna option? I remember back in old days Thinkpads actually came with retractable antenna.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:51 pm 
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bill bolton wrote:
An X220 is limited to 2 antennas if you select the camera option, and under those circumstances wont offer an Intel 6300 card as a configuration option. The X220 can support 3 antennas if the camera is not selected and a 3x3 antenna screen is specified.

IMO, 3 x WiFi antennas is more useful than the camera, but YMMV.



For my purposes the built in camera is very useful; would it be functionally feasible, do you think, if one were to obtain a Lenovo 3 antenna card off, say, eBay, to run a 3rd antenna in the body of the x220?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:05 am 
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Widows Son wrote:
For my purposes the built in camera is very useful; would it be functionally feasible, do you think, if one were to obtain a Lenovo 3 antenna card off, say, eBay, to run a 3rd antenna in the body of the x220?


Yes people reported here they have put in the 3rd antenna either in the display frame somewhere else or they just put it in the thinkpad body. It works. I also read that the new technology works best when the antennas are as far away as possible.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:11 am 
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ssd_thinkpad wrote:
Yes people reported here they have put in the 3rd antenna either in the display frame somewhere else or they just put it in the thinkpad body. It works. I also read that the new technology works best when the antennas are as far away as possible.



Great!



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:37 am 
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My configuration was 2x2 Antenna but it looks like Thinkpad b/g/n only utilizes 1x1 antenna.
Is this possible? Does this mean 2x2 antenna is there, but not utilized unless you get a better card?
Image
:??:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:48 am 
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ssd_thinkpad wrote:

Yes people reported here they have put in the 3rd antenna either in the display frame somewhere else or they just put it in the thinkpad body. It works. I also read that the new technology works best when the antennas are as far away as possible.



One more thing,
Would you by chance be able to direct me to any of the threads where this was discussed?


Thx again



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:53 pm 
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I don't know where it was discussed. You can google this forum with the parameter "site:thinkpads.com" and use some search term like "site:thinkpads.com intel 3000 antenna"

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:14 pm 
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I don't want to sidetrack, but if I wanted to upgrade my card (Less than a week since I got my laptop) do you think Lenovo would allow me to do a swap at upgrade price? I can send the Thinkpad bgn back to them and get 2x2 Intel? I have to run a few more site surveys but so far I think it does OK only if there arent a lot of walls between AP and Laptop, but if there is a wall, especially at a different floor, it suffers a lot compared to my old Centrino laptop. It could also be the position I am holding, etc.. but I just wanted to see the option.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:12 pm 
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hyde wrote:
I don't want to sidetrack, but if I wanted to upgrade my card (Less than a week since I got my laptop) do you think Lenovo would allow me to do a swap at upgrade price? I can send the Thinkpad bgn back to them and get 2x2 Intel?...



I do not have an answer for you; though I would be inclined to believe that, unless there is an actual problem with the stock card, they might charge some crazy labor costs to do the upgrade.

That said, have you considered perhaps instead doing the upgrade yourself?

If the LCD already has two antenna wires in it you might be able to just pick up a Lenovo wifi card of your choice on ebay and make the switch yourself; the tutorial videos on the Lenovo site are quite good:

http://www.lenovoservicetraining.com/io ... index.html

That is what I plan to do.



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:29 pm 
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ssd_thinkpad wrote:
I don't know where it was discussed. You can google this forum with the parameter "site:thinkpads.com" and use some search term like "site:thinkpads.com intel 3000 antenna"



Okay, thanks; I had searched a bit without luck and was hoping that perhaps you might recall.



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:02 pm 
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Widows Son wrote:
I do not have an answer for you; though I would be inclined to believe that, unless there is an actual problem with the stock card, they might charge some crazy labor costs to do the upgrade.

That said, have you considered perhaps instead doing the upgrade yourself?

If the LCD already has two antenna wires in it you might be able to just pick up a Lenovo wifi card of your choice on ebay and make the switch yourself; the tutorial videos on the Lenovo site are quite good:

http://www.lenovoservicetraining.com/io ... index.html

That is what I plan to do.



Have a Magical Day!


Thanks, I was just referring to the hardware upgrade, I thought if they could just ship me the 2x2 card, I could just install it myself.
I checked on ebay, but there are a lot of different ones. Would opening the case void the warranty?

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1/15/2012 - S405 (Wife's), AMD A6-4455M, 14", 4GB RAM, Windows 8


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:09 am 
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hyde wrote:
Thanks, I was just referring to the hardware upgrade, I thought if they could just ship me the 2x2 card, I could just install it myself.
I checked on ebay, but there are a lot of different ones. Would opening the case void the warranty?



Ahh, my apologies; I misunderstood what you meant.

There are many types on eBay, so longs as you choose one, lets say the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2x2 AGN), that is particularly intended for Lenovo you should be okay.

As far as I know changing the wifi card should not void your warranty. The link I provided above shows replacing the card onder the CSU menu, which means the Customer can perform the service; these machines, Thinkpads, are geared for buisness market where IT people swap parts in and out.


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