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Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Can the A1181 AirPort Extreme card be replaced with a 3rd party card?

I'm using my A1181 MacBook4,1 to run Linux and have found that the performance of the built-in AirPort Extreme card, which uses a Broadcom chipset, is not that great under Linux. Speeds are limited to 802.11g level (56 megabit) due to the available driver support.

Since the AirPort card in this MacBook is removable, I'm wondering if it can be replaced with a 3rd party card which would have better support under Linux, such as an Intel card. The existing AirPort card and slot appear to be Mini PCIe, so I'm wondering if I could swap in any Mini PCIe wifi card that had Linux driver support?

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Not sure if such research has taken place, therefore I do not know if the socket is standard.

Anyway you can just use a USB Wi-Fi adapter.

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I did a bit of research and confirmed that it is a Mini PCIe slot and that the Apple Airport card normally installed it in is a Mini PCIe card. However, what's not clear is whether the machine will boot with something else installed in it. I don't know if that's built into the hardware, firmware, or operating system. Since I'm running Linux on this machine, though, I feel like there's a good chance I'll be able to work around it. I've ordered an Intel WiFi Mini PCIe half-size card and a half-to-full adapter, so we'll see how it goes!

I have looked at the USB Wi-Fi adapters and that is another option if this doesn't work well. I like the idea of keeping the card internal and leveraging the antennae already built into the MacBook's frame.


@prwood - While the physical interface could support a different board… you still need a workable driver for the board to talk to OS.

I would recommend you speak with the vender to see if the offer the needed drivers.


@danj From what I understand, there is good support for Intel WiFi cards in Linux. I'm going to give it a try with this card - no major financial loss if it doesn't work. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MV3...


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