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A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

T40/T41/T42/T43 Series
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GColgrove
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Location: Arlington, VA

A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#1 Post by GColgrove » Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:12 pm

I’m restoring and upgrading my IBM ThinkPad T41 because I want to. No other reason. It’s my oldest computer and my mom used it for a few years. It’s a sentimental item and I just want to make it the best it can be. It’s not a production machine. It’s a legacy machine for old software.

I want to put this card in my T41 to replace the existing one. Currently the T41 has two antennas.

What do I need to do? Can I get away with the current antennas? Will the card give me better performance than the current A/B/G card? Where is the best place to put the third antenna?

Also upgrading processor to a Pentium M 765 2.1 GHz and putting 2 Gb RAM as well as putting a new CMOS battery.

Thanks in advance.

https://www.newegg.com/p/1HD-00JE-01EC5

GColgrove
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#2 Post by GColgrove » Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:41 pm

This site talks about removing the white list.

This will prevent the 1802 boot error when unsupported Wi-Fi cards are being used.

https://www.deveblog.com/index.php/make ... 802-error/

mikemex
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#3 Post by mikemex » Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:42 pm

I didn't know there were N adapters in Mini PCI format. I'm amazed.

If you have access to a working driver, I can't see why it wouldn't work. One issue is the whitelist in the BIOS. The other is the antenna compatibility. It looks like the card you want uses MHF4 while age appropriate antennas use IPEX. If so, you'll need to buy an adapter.

EDIT: I just realized that Mini PCI devices are limited to 133 MB/s maximum theoretical transfer. Not sure if this is shared with other devices but probably is. So you won't be getting full N speeds.

T61: T8300 | 8GB | 400GB S3610 | SXGA
X301: SU9600 | 8GB | 400GB S3610
T420s: 2640m | 16GB | 400GB S3610 | HD+ 4200M
W530: 2740qm | 32GB | 400GB S3610 | FHD K1000M
X1C5: 7600U | 16GB | 512GB XG6 | FHD
P14s G1 AMD: 4750U | 32GB | 1TB PC611 | PG FHD Touch
T14 G2: 1145G7 | 32GB | 256GB PC711 | FHD

axur-delmeria
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:04 pm

mikemex wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:42 pm
EDIT: I just realized that Mini PCI devices are limited to 133 MB/s maximum theoretical transfer. Not sure if this is shared with other devices but probably is. So you won't be getting full N speeds.
Do note that WiFi speeds are in megabits per second, while the PCI bandwith is in megabytes per second.

300Mbps ~ around 30MB/s

And you'll rarely hit that theoretical maximum anyway.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

mikemex
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#5 Post by mikemex » Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:56 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:04 pm
mikemex wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 8:42 pm
EDIT: I just realized that Mini PCI devices are limited to 133 MB/s maximum theoretical transfer. Not sure if this is shared with other devices but probably is. So you won't be getting full N speeds.
Do note that WiFi speeds are in megabits per second, while the PCI bandwith is in megabytes per second.

300Mbps ~ around 30MB/s

And you'll rarely hit that theoretical maximum anyway.
Yes, I know, but like I said, the PCI bus is shared by all devices:

"The maximum bandwidth for this bus is 132MB/s, which has to be shared among all connected devices. PCI Express consists of serial, point-to-point wired, individually clocked 'lanes', each lane consisting of two pairs of data lines that can carry data upstream and downstream simultaneously (full-duplex)."

We're talking about super ancient stuff here (the first machines with PCI were 486 I think) and, in such systems, the IDE controller is attached to the PCI bus too.

P. S. I realized about the same kind of limitations back when I had the same weird idea as OP about upgrading my X301 to the max. I'm still probably able to install a really modern card like AX210... the question is: will the rest of the system bottleneck it?

A modern PCIe 5.0 machine has 500 MB/s PER LANE (and it's got like 20-24 lanes).

T61: T8300 | 8GB | 400GB S3610 | SXGA
X301: SU9600 | 8GB | 400GB S3610
T420s: 2640m | 16GB | 400GB S3610 | HD+ 4200M
W530: 2740qm | 32GB | 400GB S3610 | FHD K1000M
X1C5: 7600U | 16GB | 512GB XG6 | FHD
P14s G1 AMD: 4750U | 32GB | 1TB PC611 | PG FHD Touch
T14 G2: 1145G7 | 32GB | 256GB PC711 | FHD

RealBlackStuff
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:20 am

Another great one for T4x: TP-Link TL-WN861N, 300Mbps Mini PCI.

For No-1802, see this: https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_ ... twork_card
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
IBM: T23 (XP/SP3) - Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1)

axur-delmeria
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Re: A/B/G/N Mini PCI Card Upgrade

#7 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:50 am

mikemex wrote:
Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:56 am
P. S. I realized about the same kind of limitations back when I had the same weird idea as OP about upgrading my X301 to the max. I'm still probably able to install a really modern card like AX210... the question is: will the rest of the system bottleneck it?
IIRC the AX210 maxes out at 2.4Gbps, which is very close to the 2.5Gbps max bandwidth of PCIe 1.1 x1.

The X301 will always be bottlenecked by its underwhelming processor. :P
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

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