Dell 1370 upgrade to Intel 7260 AC Wifi

Here i show you how i upgraded the built in WiFi to the Intel 7260 AC WiFi.

My main reasons for the upgrade:

Despite its age, the DELL 1370 (mini 10) still has enough power to browse the internet and offers a very good battery life. Just the built in WiFi is a little bit outdated. I'm on a 100 Mbit FTTB Plan and the "g" wireless connection really is a bottleneck.

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

 - Be able to surf the Internet at full speed, actually at 100 Mbit FTTB. Which is not possible with a "g" wireless connection.

Laptop Model: DELL 1370, running Win10 Home 64bit

Old WiFi card: DELL DW1397, 2,4Ghz 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

1.

Download the latest drivers for the Intel 7260 AC WiFi card for your Operating System from the Intel download 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)

2.

Make sure you are electrostatically discharged when handling your devices. E.g discharge by touching the metal surface of earthed appliances.

3.

Allocate the smaller rectangle cover (of the two) and remove the flathead screw holding the cover.

Dell 1370 Bottom view
Dell 1370 Bottom view

4.

Remove the smaller cover by unscrewing the flathead screw.

Dell 1370 WiFi cover open
Dell 1370 WiFi cover open

5.

Remove the battery.

6.

Carefully unplug the antenna cables.

 

Dell 1370 WiFi antennas unplugged
Dell 1370 WiFi antennas unplugged

7.

Unscrew the one flathead screw holding the card.

While unscrewing, the card will tilt to approx. 35°.

 

Dell 1370 WiFi card unscrewed
Dell 1370 WiFi card unscrewed

8.

Insert the new card into the socket.

Dell 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card inserted
Dell 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card inserted

9.

Push the card down, insert and tighten the flathead screw.

DELL 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card tightened
Dell 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card tightened

10.

Connect the antennas. The order doesn't matter. Just be careful.

Make sure no screws lie inside the laptop.

Close the cover. Insert the Battery or connect the power supply.

Dell 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card antennas connected
Dell 1370 WiFi socket with Intel 7260 AC card antennas connected

11.

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.

On Win10:

 - Right click on the Windows logo on your taskbar

 - Left click on Network Connections

 - Right click on your WiFi connection - Status

Dell 1370 WiFi AC
Dell 1370 WiFi AC

12.

Or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Taskmanager

 - Open the tab: Performance

 - Click on WiFi: the Connection Type should be: 802.11ac

 

Dell 1370 WiFi AC Status
Dell 1370 WiFi AC Status

13.

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 Dell 1370 Laptop via Dell DW1397 WiFi.

Test 2: Copy to Dell 1370 Laptop via Intel 7260 AC WiFi. Intel Driver Package 17.0.5 for Win8.1 64bit.

Test 3: Copy to Dell 1370 Laptop via Intel 7260 AC WiFi. Intel Driver Package 18.40.0 for Win10 64bit.

 

Test 1: Copy to Dell 1370 Laptop via Dell DW1397 WiFi.

Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Copy test
Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Copy test

Test 2: Copy to Dell 1370 Laptop via Intel 7260 AC WiFi.

Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Copy test
Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Copy test

Test 3: Copy to Dell 1370 Laptop via Intel 7260 AC WiFi.

Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Copy test
Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Copy test

Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Task Manager
Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Task Manager

Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Task Manager, 17.0.5
Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Task Manager, 17.0.5

Dell 1370 WiFi "g" Task Manager, 18.40.1
Dell 1370 WiFi "ac" Task Manager, 18.40.0

14.

Conclusion:

As expected, the upgrade greatly increased the WiFi throughput comparing the "g" standard to the "ac" standard used now.

The old Intel Driver worked better, it had a more constant throughput. So I'm going to switch the driver back. Maybe I'll Try the same driver on the Acer V3-772G.

The upgrade is worthwhile for my old Dell Laptop, it makes it a while further useful.

 

Cheers.