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Beginner
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I have an older laptop Samsung RF710 (Core i7 Q720 1.6 GHz 8.0 Gbyte RAM) with an Intel AC-7620 WiFi card. I would like to update the WiFi to a Gigahertz card such as AC-9560 or 9260.

I have gigabit cable and and the Xfinity modem/router combo, the laptop has a Yukon gigabit ethernet RJ-45 jack and it works beautifully with that.

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Super User Retired Employee
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With the white list and black list methodologies that laptop vendors use to restrict what can and cannot be used, the only way to be sure is to ask your laptop manufacturer.

What I can tell you is this: The 7260 comes in two flavors, the older version that plugs into the M.1 (NGFF) socket and the newer version that plugs into the M.2 socket. The M.1 version looks like this: https://www.amazon.com/Intel-7260-HMWG-R-Wireless-AC-Network-adapter/dp/B00MV3N7UO. If you have the M.1 version, I do not believe that you can upgrade to gigabit as the gigabit versions all require M.2 sockets.

Hope this helps,

...S​

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Beginner
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Thank you for your swift response. I tried to find a whitelist/blacklist document on the Samsung website, but I couldn't find anything pertaining to their rf710.

 

I believe that the 7260 I installed was the M.1 version. But this laptop actually has two WiFi sockets next to each othe, and if I'm not mistaken, the other socket might be a M.2. At least I recall that the PCB had a semicircular cutout at the top. I think the M.2 standard was promulgated in 2013, which is roughly the time my rf710 came off the line; perhaps they were forward-thinking. I will pull the back off my laptop to confirm this as soon as I can find my toolkit with the tiny screwdrivers.

 

Thanks again.

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Super User Retired Employee
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Document their white/black lists? LOL! This is them being slime buckets and trying to control the upgrade process and hopefully force you to purchase any upgrades through them. They aren't going to document or admit that they are doing this (even when it is obvious). Usually, the only way to know what you can use is by looking at the upgrades they offer for purchase on their sites.

 

No, that other connector might be for an M.1 SSD, which is usually referred to as a mSATA SSD. I have never seen a system with a M.1 connector and a M.2 connector. If there are two, they are from the same generation.

 

...S

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With all due respect, I think I can tell the difference between an SSD controller and a WiFi card (unless they have started putting antenna connectors on SSDs). Before I put in the 7260 in the half-height slot, I had an older WiFi card running in the other slot. Now, I must admit that I am not fluently familiar with the form-factor designations of these cards, and I can't seem to find any documentation for that unit in my files.

 

To be honest, I can't really blame Samsung for not having a blessing list for every new peripheral that pops up on the market as regards a five-year old product. Actually, what I am looking for is backwards compatibility. When I bought the rf710, I was looking for that consideration, and this laptop had two USB 2.0 sockets and two USB 3.0 sockets, back when the latter were like hen's teeth to find. So I don't think its an altogether wild-eyed speculation that they might have provided forwards compatibility for the WiFi.

 

Really, Intel should be the ones to tell me if their new tires will fit on my old car. And perhaps so they did.

 

At a product page at https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/wireless/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-92... Intel offers the following technical specifications for the 9260:

 

Intel 9260 Technical Specifications.JPG

(I can't seem to get this a legible size.)

Under Package Specifications it lists Board Form Factor as M.2 2230 and System Interface Type as WiFi(PCie), BT(USB)

 

Thinking I had the riddle just about solved, I pursued my research a bit further, and came upon

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3843543/intel-wireless-9260-card-2230-form-factor-compatible-...

 

and found Tom's response to a query:

"...intel wireless 9260 card 2230 form factor compatible msi b250 pro board...?"

 

Tom's reply:

"I figured it out with some research. The answer is no. The M2 slot on the B250 pro-VD board is M keyed. The wireless card is A keyed so it will not fit. It look like this adapter will be able to make it work though. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017OZQDQ8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"

 

But where does that leave me with the Samsung rf710? If I open it up will I recognize the way it is keyed?

 

M.2 adapter -- 612-qmJB7VL._SL1000_.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Super User Retired Employee
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The keying slot for M.1 (mini-PCIe) is positioned different ​from that for M.2. As well, M.2 cards often has two keying slots (this is to allow combinations of connector types in M.2 - A&E, B&M, etc.). There is good writeup on this in Wikipedia.

...S

...S

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Beginner
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Thanks. I think I found the Wikipedia article you recommended at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express#MINI-CARD ? This covers a lot of ground. I'm still a little confused, especially around the matter of the slot keys.

 

Did you take a look at the adapter at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017OZQDQ8/ ? This gizmo looks as though it might do the trick. The PCB looks like it has various tabs that can be broken off to make sure it fits the screw pattern. It is unclear if the conjoined boards keep the headroom low enough to close the laptop case. What is most confusing is the customer review that mentions different keys from E. One of the reviews is about a desktop.

 

If I can find my lineman's pliers, at least there is a small Phillips screwdriver on it, and then I would then be able to open things up and take a photo or two of what's in there. 😀

 

I guess I could buy a rf710 repair manual on the web. 😥

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Super User Retired Employee
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Sorry, I should have provided the link. Here is the article I was referring to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2.

 

First of all, regardless of anything else, you absolutely cannot use the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module (see its product brief here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-9560-brief.html). This module has a CNVio interface and thus cannot be used with older platforms (boards and processors) that do not support this interface.

 

Now, as for the Intel Wireless-AC 9260 (product brief here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-9260-brief.html), I am skeptical that the adapter will allow this module to be utilized, but I cannot absolutely rule it out. The mini-PCIe (Gen 1, M.1) interface exposes a single PCIe lane. The M.2 Type A and M.2 Type E interfaces that this card is normally plugged into both expose two PCIe lanes. If the 9260 module works with a single PCIe lane, there is the possibility of this working. If it requires two PCIe lanes, however, it isn't going to work. As well, these cards expect PCIe 3.0 support while your laptop only has PCIe 2.0 support. I cannot tell if backwards compatibility is being provided. I rather doubt it, considering that the M.2 standard requires PCIe 3.0.

 

A secondary consideration is whether the height of the adapter plus Wireless card is beyond what the laptop chassis makes available.

 

One other thing I can say for sure is that the antenna leads in your laptop are not going to be compatible with the 9260 card. You will have to do some finagling to use it with this laptop regardless of anything else

 

...S

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Beginner
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Thank you for your patient help!

 

I had already eliminated the 9560 as it seemed to require the CNVio of a core i8 processor and my rf710 has only an i7.

 

I guessed also that the 9260 would require new antenna cables. I think the HUYUN IPEX MHF4 (at https://www.amazon.com/HUYUN-Antenna-Cable-Module-Internal/dp/B07DB6ZG3B might do it). But what a pain.

 

I noticed that the 9260 has two keys labelled "A" and "E"; the adapter has only "E". I surmise that A and E refer to a topology with two physical "planes" of etching on the PCB, which support the electronic "lanes". I further surmise that it is these two lanes that give rise to the adapter being able to handle multiple 160 Mbyte channels of 11ac, thus parallel processing attaining Gigabyte throughput. This would be behind the mPCIe 3.0 version number.

 

As the shim-like adapter gizmo has a key only for "E", I would think this is what indicates that it has only one lane and supports only mPCIe 2.0. (Or 1.1?) And you can't get blood out of a turnip.

 

Does this sound right? I think it's enough to justify a no-go decision. Alas, I have apparently been grasping at straws while pushing the river.

 

Well, there is such a thing as a "gigabyte" wifi dongle: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Archer-T4U-1300Mbps-Wireless/dp/B01MR6M8EC . But sticking out at a right angle from the laptop, they are apt to break both the 3.0 USB jack and the dongle. I hate that.

 

Thank you very much for your insight!

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Why do I keep saying "gigabyte" when I mean "gigabit"? Well, I'm old back in the day we measured bandwidth (or data throughput) in "baud". I'm also ready for bed.

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