Hardware Mod: Upgrading your Wireless Card- Why

January 18th, 2010

Hardware, Personal Rants

There comes a time in every mans life when he realizes that his laptop just isn’t running as fast as it once was. He can reinstall the Operating System, but it’s still won’t feel as fast as he remembers. Previously, we covered why upgrading your processor is a wise decision. But once you’ve completed that task, there are still options for speeding up your laptop.

One upgrade possibility is to move to a 7200RPM Hard Drive, albeit it does kill your battery more quickly than its 5400RPM counterpart. And then there’s the widely popular Memory/RAM upgrade. Upgrade to the 4GB limit on most computers (including the Inspiron 1525) and you’ll see a nice speed improvement. But what happens once all of these upgrades are completed? Is that really as far as you can go?

Well, I was stuck facing the same question when I realized the answer: no! There is still one more hardware upgrade that you can perform on your system to give it a speed bump; you can upgrade your Wireless Internet Card. This upgrade has much less of a direct effect on your computer’s speed as all it does it potentially speed up the load time on Webpages and downloads. Nevertheless, it is a hardware upgrade and it does provide increased speed in your web browser.

Wireless Card upgrades are much less common then, say, RAM upgrades, as not many users are aware that they can be performed. They are insanely easy though and I recommend them to anyone looking to jump from that aging Wireless g to the much faster Wireless N. This upgrade does have its quirks however, such as requring a Wireless N router to see any improvement. On the positive, you’ll be future proofing your laptop and possibly even upgrading to a card more compatible with OS X (if you’re a hackintosh user, that is). I upgraded to a Broadcom 94321 which has native OS X support and doesn’t require any extra kexts to work.

See part 2 of this post for a How To guide.

About Thomas

Thomas is a self-proclaimed guru (just ask him). He enjoys long walks on the beach, running Mac OS X on his Inspiron 1525, and tweeting about nonsensical life happenings. You can follow Thomas on twitter, email him, or search the interwebs for all his personal information. Neither should be too difficult.

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2 Responses to “Hardware Mod: Upgrading your Wireless Card- Why”

  1. jaxparo

    The 1525 came in many configurations, so there is the possibility of a CPU upgrade, or an LCD resolution upgrade, or add a webcam upgrade. My 1525 has the lower resolution 1280×1024 screen, a slower CPU with smaller cache, and no webcam at all. The CPU upgrade would be a relatively simple swap I think, but the screen would probably be tougher, and the webcam a mod unless you could find a cheap busted 1525 to salvage parts from.

    • Thomas

      There’s a wide range of hardware modifications you can perform on your Inspiron 1525 including upgrading the WLAN/Wi-Fi card, upgrading the Processor, upgrading to 4GB RAM, adding a larger hard drive, adding a second hard drive, adding a webcam, adding a Bluetooth module, upgrading the battery, and more. Upgrading the screen to a higher resolution screen would not only be fairly expensive but would likely negatively affect OS X as the higher resolution screens have an issue with Quartz Extreme. You can check out all of our Hardware related posts here.