Here i show you how i upgraded the built in WiFi to the Intel 7260 AC WiFi.
My main reasons for the upgrade:
I wanted to take full advantage of my Routers (ASUS DSL-AC68U) 5Ghz capabilities to escape the overcrowded 2,4Ghz band and:
- Reduce loading times of photo's stored on my Synology NAS
- Reduce the time it takes for creating Laptop images/backups to my Synology NAS
Laptop Model: Acer V3-772G, running Win10 Pro 64bit
Old WiFi card: Atheros AR5B22, 2,4Ghz, & 5 Ghz PCIe Half Mini Card
New WiFi card: Intel 7260HMW AC WiFi, 2,4 Ghz & 5 Ghz Dual-Band, Bluetooth 4.0, PCIe Half Mini Card
Download the latest drivers for the Intel 7260 AC WiFi card for your Operating System from the Intel webpage.
Two Packages are needed:
- WiFi Driver (search for "Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260" on the Intel webpage)
- Bluetooth Driver (in the list you get from the search above, scroll down to find the Bluetooth drivers)
Make sure you are electrostatically discharged when handling your devices. E.g discharge by touching the metal surface of earthed appliances.
Allocate the 9 flathead screws holding the cover.
Remove the bottom cover by unscrewing the 9 flathead screws from the cover.
Remove the battery.
Allocate the WiFi card and carefully unplug the antennas.
Unscrew the flathead screws holding the card.
While unscrewing the second screw, the card will tilt to approx. 35°.
Pull out the card from the socket.
Insert the new card into the socket.
Push the card down, insert and tighten the flathead screws.
Connect the antennas. The order doesn't matter. Just be careful.
Make sure no screws lie inside the laptop.
Close all covers. Insert the Battery or connect the power supply.
Boot up your system and install the Bluetooth and WiFi driver.
Connect to your WiFi Network.
Go to your Network settings and make sure your WiFi is connected with "ac" speed.
- Right click on the Windows logo on your taskbar
- Left click on Network Connections
- Right click on your WiFi connection - Status
Or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Taskmanager
- Open the tab: Performance
- Click on WiFi: the Connection Type should be: 802.11ac
I've made a Speed test by copying a 14.2 GB video file, stored on the Synology NAS to the Laptop.
The NAS is connected via network cable to the ASUS DSL-AC68U router.
Test 1: Copy to Acer V3-772G Laptop via Atheros AR5BWB222 WiFi.
Test 2: Copy to Acer V3-772G Laptop via Intel 7260 AC WiFi. Intel Driver Package 18.40.0 for Win10 64bit.
Test 3: Copy to Surface 4 Pro, i5, 256GB via built in WiFi AC. Marvell Driver 15.68.9037.59
Test 4: Copy to Acer V3-772G Laptop via built in Gigabit LAN.
Atheros N WiFi copy to Acer V3-772G
Intel AC WiFi copy to Acer V3-772G
Marvell AC WiFi copy to Surface Pro 4, i5, 256GB
Gigabit LAN copy to Acer V3-772G
Surprisingly, the WiFi ac connection of the Surface Pro 4 underperformed, it is even a little bit slower than the old Atheros N connection with 300Mbit i had on the Acer Laptop.
If you have no other chance, e.g. are not able or are not allowed to drag Ethernet cables everywhere, the way to go is upgrade to WiFi ac.
For most home or office use pattern and video streaming it is a good solution.
When you are serious about gaming, or have time critical tasks, always go for a wired connection. So you can be sure no neighbor WiFi interferes your WiFi. Also the ping times are usually the lowest on a wired connection.
The upgrade is definitely useful for me, but reaches in no way the performance of a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection, or even the transfer-rates advertised. I am sure the drivers will improve the performance in future.