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aexcorp
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
Location: DC
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T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

[ Edited ]

So I got a T500 a while back,but opted for the somewhat crappy Intel WIFI 5100. It works ok, but I have a MIMO router and I feel like there is much to be gained from having 3Tx and 3Rx instead of the current 1Tx and 2Rx.

 

Transmission speed is only so useful to me, but quality connection (low ping, less losses) for VoIP and Team Fortress 2 really does matter (thank god for the 3650, that game runs great).

 

I took a few minutes yesterday to open the computer and check that I have all 3 antennas built into the computer.

 

Thankfully, I do! The white antenna is just sitting unused! So that's the first good news for you guys out there. It seems that Lenovo built 3 antennas in at least some of the T500s with the 5100. Mine is a CTO from May 09.

 

In any case, now I'm facing the choice of going for an "old generation" 5350 with 3x3 and WiMAX or, and that's the big question, one of the newer Intel N cards, such as the 6250 and 6300. But since they're part of the next Centrino architecture, I'm not sure it would run with the Montevina platform that I have...

 

Anybody has any experience setting up one of these new cards on a Montevina platform, is it possible?

 

 

Lenovo Staff
Ken
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎12-05-2007
Location: RTP

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

You need to stick with the cards for the generation of your system. So for 3x3 it's the 5300 or 5350 (wimax). The newer cards will not be recognized by your ThinkPad. No worries though, the newer cards will not get you faster n speeds anyway.

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sys3175
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎02-12-2009
Location: Austin, TX
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

[ Edited ]

Lenovo locks the bios to only support wifi cards which were orignally available for the model in question, so sans hacking firmware I believe you can only use cards which were available for the model which you own.

 

Moderator edit: Removed unnecessary quote (the Community Rules).

Thinkpad T500-2081 CTO | T9400 2.53GHz | 8 GB RAM | ATI HD3650 + Intel GM45 | 15.4" LED WXGA+ | Windows 8 | ATI Catalyst 13.1 (non-switchable)
Thinkpad 390x | PII 333 | 256mb ram | NeoMagic 256AV | SVGA LCD | OS/2 v4.52
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aexcorp
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
Location: DC
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

Ahh, I was affraid of that, but as mentioned, it's really not that big a deal.

It's not like N has really changed much, even going from Draft-N to the relatively new and rare "real" N.

 

Only thing I was hoping is that they newer generation of cards may be slightly more economical with power, and also the fact that finding a 5350 for Lenovo/HP seems to be hard and from questionable providers, whereas the newer cards are a bit easier to find.

 

Last question: if I were to get the 5350, will the 3 antennas already present in the T500 be up to spec for WiMAX too? Only reason I'm asking is that the T510, when shopping on Lenovo, can be obtained either with the WiMAX antennas or without, so it made me wonder...

 

 

Guru
sys3175
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎02-12-2009
Location: Austin, TX
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

[ Edited ]

My laptop shipped both 3g and wimax ready even though it only has the base atheros card in it.. lol.. I guess your mileage may vary..

 

Thinkpad T500-2081 CTO | T9400 2.53GHz | 8 GB RAM | ATI HD3650 + Intel GM45 | 15.4" LED WXGA+ | Windows 8 | ATI Catalyst 13.1 (non-switchable)
Thinkpad 390x | PII 333 | 256mb ram | NeoMagic 256AV | SVGA LCD | OS/2 v4.52
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aexcorp
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
Location: DC
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

LOL, well, mine came with the 3G AT&T (it was a free promotional offer, never tested it, but it's there).

 

I just want to make sure that the antennas used for WiMax are also the same used for WIFI, otherwise owning the 5350 will yield 0 benefits over the 5300, and yet cost me extra :smileymad:

Guru
sys3175
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎02-12-2009
Location: Austin, TX
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

 


 

I just want to make sure that the antennas used for WiMax are also the same used for WIFI, otherwise owning the 5350 will yield 0 benefits over the 5300, and yet cost me extra :smileymad:


 

Does tabook have the part numbers for the antennas for the wimax and wifi versions listed?

 

Thinkpad T500-2081 CTO | T9400 2.53GHz | 8 GB RAM | ATI HD3650 + Intel GM45 | 15.4" LED WXGA+ | Windows 8 | ATI Catalyst 13.1 (non-switchable)
Thinkpad 390x | PII 333 | 256mb ram | NeoMagic 256AV | SVGA LCD | OS/2 v4.52
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aexcorp
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
Location: DC
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

Not sure, I found the PDF but the closest model to mine, T500 2082 (I have 2081 CTO) doesn't mention anything about antennas on its page.

 

On page 90 of the PDF there is the list of accessories for the T500, but I'm not sure what I'm meant to be looking for...

 

In short, I don't think so, but I'm not sure what to look for specifically. The 5350 is only listed on the X200 and X300, and no mention of antenna is made...

 

 

 

Lenovo Staff
Ken
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎12-05-2007
Location: RTP

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

[ Edited ]

WiMAX uses the same antennas as WiFi (2 of them anyway). So whether you configure with a WLAN only or WLAN+WiMAX combo there is no difference in antenna configuration. I've used WiMAX for a few weeks now and I get really good speeds, 5 -7 Mbps down or higher. I was in the Chicago airport and got 15 Mbps down... not kidding!

 

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aexcorp
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-26-2009
Location: DC
0

Re: T500 Montevina, 3 antennas, can I upgrade to Intel WIFI 6250/6300?

 


Ken wrote:

WiMAX uses the same antennas as WiFi (2 of them anyway). So whether you configure with a WLAN only or WLAN+WiMAX combo there is no difference in antenna configuration. I've used WiMAX for a few weeks now and I get really good speeds, 5 -7 Mbps down or higher. I was in the Chicago airport and got 15 Mbps down... not kidding!

 


 

 

This is excellent news!

 

I thought it was the case, but I couldn't find a definite answer from the sparse documentation from Intel or Lenovo.

 

In that case, I think it might be worth it for me to go for the 5350. I don't use WiMAX right now, and probably won't be using it anytime in the near future, but I intend on keeping my T500 for at least another 3 years.

 

Also I spend a lot of time in NYC and Washington DC, where coverage already exists and will likely expend and become cheaper over the next few years.

 

Now it's time to go hunt for a HP/Lenovo 5350, which isn't exactly easy, but I found a store that has them for $69 with shipping, "new, not engineering sample and not refurbished". It's pretty honest since Lenovo charged $80 for the option if I recall, and I might be able to setll the 5100 for $25 or $30 if I'm lucky...