New iMac Joins MacBook Pro in Supporting 450 Mbit/sec Wi-Fi

Friday May 6, 2011 11:29 AM PDT by Eric Slivka

HardMac reports that the new iMac released earlier this week brings support for 450 Mbit/sec Wi-Fi connectivity, adding a third antenna to support the higher speed using multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) standards when connected to a compatible network access point. The iMac joins the latest MacBook Pro in offering the improved connection speeds.

It seems that Apple seeks to standardize this data flow. Thus, the new iMac is also compatible with the 450 Mbits/s. For that, Apple changed their Airport card and also installed 3 antennas (instead of 2 before), something indispensabie to be able simultaneously to use 3 channels of 150 Mbits/s.

In order to take advantage of the increased speeds with compatible base stations such as the latest AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule, users must be sure to set the base station's options to use the 5 GHz band and to allow use of wide channels.

Related roundup: iMac

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47 months ago

Sorry, but I don't see the point here, considering that 100% of the Internet connections in the world are well under 200Mbps...other than for internal networks (like file transfer between two devices), what's the advantage?


You just said it. Internal networks. Transferring files between multiple computers, streaming 1080p video from your desktop to your laptop...

Especially useful if you do network backups (say to a Time Capsule or NAS) regularly.

I have a gigabit/CAT6 network in the walls of my house. Surely, this is useless since my internet connection is only 40 mbps, right? Not exactly.
Rating: 3 Votes
47 months ago

Sorry, but I don't see the point here, considering that 100% of the Internet connections in the world are well under 200Mbps...other than for internal networks (like file transfer between two devices), what's the advantage?


Progress?

Besides, a lot of wireless bandwidth is lost due to interference and overhead ... the more theoretical bandwidth you can get, the better overall real-world performance.
Rating: 2 Votes
47 months ago

Gotcha...streaming video may be a good use for this extra bandwidth...what is the necessary rate for HD streaming?


The real need for gigabit ethernet shows in back-up.
Rating: 2 Votes
47 months ago

Gotcha...streaming video may be a good use for this extra bandwidth...what is the necessary rate for HD streaming?


Depends totally on the bitrate of your video. A high-quality Blu-Ray can be 50Mb/s but rips are usually less. The ones I download are around 5Mb/s (720p). The stuff that iTunes sells is even lower quality. Remember that this 450Mb/s is the theoretical maximum. In real world, the bandwidth is much less, especially if there are lots of obstacles (i.e. walls and other materials).

In real world I've seen wireless N getting speeds of 8-10MB/s (64-80Mb/s) so maybe this will increase that to 12-15MB/s.
Rating: 1 Votes
47 months ago
That is only 56.25MB/s. Where is my wireless Thunderbolt? :D

You just said it. Internal networks. Transferring files between multiple computers, streaming 1080p video from your desktop to your laptop...


Exactly. A lot data is transferred between the devices in your home nowadays. Things like AirPlay rely totally on this.
Rating: 1 Votes
47 months ago

Anyone know if the current Mac Pro line has support for this? Or where to look in system to tell?


Was wondering this as well?
How do you check your system for this?
Rating: 1 Votes
47 months ago
Would you take an AirPort Extreme (http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/) over a Cisco E4200 (http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-E4200-Performance-Simultaneous-Wireless-N/dp/B004K1EZDS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1304722833&sr=8-3) or the TRENDnet TEW-692GR (I think yet to be released)?
Rating: 1 Votes
46 months ago

Thanks! Could you give details on the actual throughput? The link speed is the maximum theoretical throughput which is never achieved. When tested at release it was much slower than a lot of other models - I'm wondering if this dramatically increases transfer speeds?

There is the distinct possibility of no real world improvements - some 3x3 models just released perform no better than the best 2x2 implementations.


I did some tests:

First I copied a file from my TimeMachine drive connected to the APE:

Thumb resize.

I got a steady 14MB/s, as you can see in the screenshot.

Then I did the same test with the Ethernet Cable connected:

Thumb resize.

And, of course, it was faster, but not twice as fast as one would expect...

Then, I disabled "wide channels" (necessary for the 450 rate as described in this thread) and my link speed dropped to 216 (I was expecting 300, it must be some kinda noise or interference...)

Thumb resize.

The interesting thing is that it's not just slower, but much more inconstant than the other two, with speed varying from 6 to 10 MB/s more or less...

I hope that's useful! :)
Rating: 1 Votes
47 months ago

The largest problem with this for me is that even the iPhone 4 and iPad do not support WiFi 802.11n at 5 Ghz. Kinda sucks having a network that my iOS devices cannot join.


The iPad does support 5Ghz, and I believe the current Airport line are dual-radio APs, so you can run those at both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz.
Rating: 1 Votes
47 months ago
The largest problem with this for me is that even the iPhone 4 and iPad do not support WiFi 802.11n at 5 Ghz. Kinda sucks having a network that my iOS devices cannot join.
Rating: 1 Votes

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