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T430 wireless cards

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:30 pm
by sktn77a
OK, 20+ year thinkpad user. Not an expert on networks. Looking for some education on wifi card specifications and wifi performance capabilities.

My T430 came with an Intel Wireless-N 2200 wifi card. Updated it to a dual band card - Intel Wireless-N 6205. Updated later to an Ultimate-N 6300. Here are the salient specs:

N2200 - single band, dual stream, 300mbps, 2 antennas (2x2)
N6205 - dual band, 300mbps, 2 antennas (2x2)
N6300 - dual band, dual stream, 450mbps, 3 antennas (3x3)

What is a dual stream? How can it double the 150mbps spec of wireless N?
How does "Dual band" work - I have to connect to either 2.4 or 5.0 GHz band on my T430 - not both at once.
(I have a dual band router - Netgear R7000, AC1900, 3 antennas)
How does the Dual stream, dual band give me 450mbps?

Confused!

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:02 am
by RealBlackStuff
Dual Band = pick your choice of two bands (2.4GHz or 5GHz).
For streams see this.

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:07 am
by sktn77a
OK, so I get it now for the streams:

"if you had a 4-stream N router, you could get up to 4*150Mbps = 600Mbps. To get this maximum, you had to have a device with a 4-stream radio onboard"

So, the N2200 will have two 2.4GHz N streams with my R7000 router (300mbps).
The N6300 will have two 2.4GHz N streams with my R7000 router (300mbps).
The N6205 will have one 2.4 GHz N stream with my R7000 router (150mbps).

If I have to manually select the 5GHz band then I can't get the 300mbps with my N6205 or 450mbps with my N6300?

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:33 am
by RealBlackStuff
The 6300N has triple streams = 3x150 = 450Mbps.

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:47 pm
by sktn77a
Is that triple streams on both 2.5GHz and 5GHz bands? I thought the 6300 had 2x2.4GHz streams and 1x5GHz stream(?) If that's the case, how can I get 3 streams when I can only have 2.4GHz or 5 GHz (not both).

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:56 pm
by sktn77a
Installed the N6300. I can get a 300 or 450mbps connection to my router on 5GHz and 144 or 217mbps on 2.4GHz. pretty consistently.

The plot thickens???

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 3:05 am
by axur-delmeria
sktn77a wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:47 pm
Is that triple streams on both 2.5GHz and 5GHz bands? I thought the 6300 had 2x2.4GHz streams and 1x5GHz stream(?) If that's the case, how can I get 3 streams when I can only have 2.4GHz or 5 GHz (not both).
That's wrong. The triple stream works for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, but the 6300 cannot connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. Using the 5GHz band is recommended whenever possible because the 2.4GHz band is heavily congested. But, always think of the connection speed as a theoretical maximum-- you'll only achieve it under ideal conditions.

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:25 am
by Screamer
sktn77a wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:56 pm
Installed the N6300. I can get a 300 or 450mbps connection to my router on 5GHz and 144 or 217mbps on 2.4GHz. pretty consistently.

The plot thickens???
Your Netgear R7000 is utilizing 20 MHz-wide channels for the 802.11n 2.4 GHz access point, which explains your 144/216 Mbps cap. On your 802.11n 5 GHz access point, the R7000 is not utilizing 20 MHz-wide channels but 40 MHz-wide channels, which explains the higher speed limit.

If you care that much about speed, why don't you get an AC 7260? Your Netgear R7000 supports the 802.11ac band, right?

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:42 am
by sktn77a
Screamer wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:25 am
If you care that much about speed, why don't you get an AC 7260? Your Netgear R7000 supports the 802.11ac band, right?
Yes, the r7000 does but the T430 doesn't, without a BIOS mod to get around the whitelist (and I don't want to get into that).

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:47 am
by sktn77a
So, In summary (if I'm understanding this correctly):

The N2200 is a single band dual stream (for 2x150mbps on the 2.4GHz band)?
The N6205 is a dual band dual stream (for 2x150mbps on either band)?
The N6300 is a dual band triple stream (for 3x150mbps on either band)?

???

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:03 am
by Screamer
Yes, your understanding is correct.

There is some important information that you missed, however:

The Centrino Wireless-N 2200 is capable of 300 Mbps, yes, but only if it's connected to an access point with support for 40 MHz-wide channels. If it's stuck on an access point with no support for 40 MHz-wide channels, the best it'll get is 144 Mbps. This applies to the Centrino Advanced-N 6205 as well.

Again, this also applies to the Centrino Ultimate-N 6300. The only difference is the speed, which would be 216 Mbps on a 20 MHz-wide channel, and 450 Mbps on a 40 MHz-wide channel.

Re: T430 wireless cards

Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:35 pm
by sktn77a
OK. The 2.4GHz band setting is set at 20MHz width on both the router and the wireless cards (choices are 20MHz or Auto). The 5GHz band setting is set at Auto width on both the router and wireless cards (choices again are 20MHz or Auto).