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review of INTEL® WIRELESS-AC 9260/9560?

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by messerchmidt, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. messerchmidt

    messerchmidt Occasional Visitor

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    hello,

    thinking of upgrading the less than spectacular intel 3168 dual band wifi in my laptop. i noticed the new generation of intel cards are out.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...less-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-9560.html

    and

    https://www.intel.ca/content/www/ca...less-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-9260.html

    they seem identical expect for the oem/retail availability and form factor. do you guys want to do a review? perhaps compare it to other laptop wifi devices from killer, atheros, broadcom, older intel wifi, etc?
     
  2. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    Review of laptop cards might not be very useful, because it will be highly dependent on the antennas used by the specific laptop using that card.
     
  3. messerchmidt

    messerchmidt Occasional Visitor

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    true, would be interesting through - same laptop - swap from intel 3168 to a 9260, any real benefit?

    maybe try different antennas?
     
  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    Antennas aren't really replaceable. They're generally long wires that run around the edge of the screen. That's why just modifying the orientation of your screen can affect throughput (I accidentally noticed it during a quick test of my own, where leaning forward with the laptop on me would have a significant impact on my benchmark results).

    Also, switching cards isn't always possible. A lot of laptop manufacturers implement whitelists in the BIOS to only allow very specific cards, unfortunately.

    One way I could see Tim being able to run some sort of test would be to use a PCI-Express adaptor, and try different cards with the same antennas to compare results. That might be a way to compare performance of different card models, however the information would be of limited use to potential buyers, as their laptop's own antenna would have a great impact on their own results.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  5. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    As RMerlin said laptops vary in antenna arrangement/placement which can make comparisons between different peoples setups hard. Some laptops have the wires run upHaving said that, initial testing in comparison to the 8265 shows a rooughly 30-50 Mbps improvement on Up and Downlink on my Inspiron 7577. With HT160 enabled, about 15ft from the router behind 2 walls at a 1.3Gbs link rate I get about 880 Mbps in real world down link speeds and an actual decline in uplink speeds to around 320Mbps. With HT80 and a 866Mbps link rate at same location I get 560-600 Mbps downink and around 400-440 Mbps uplink.

    Testing was done using a 2.8GB file transfer between my ReadyNAS 524X and my Dell Inspiron 7577.

    The 9560 is essentially the same as a 9260 overall, however layout wise, part of the chip's functionality is on board the motherboard and it uses a different form factor for the WiFi add on card. Performance wise they should be identical. So basically you want the 9260 to replace your 3168 not the two part solution which is the 9560.

    The 3168 is 433 Mbps part and the 9260 is a 866 Mbps part with 1733 Mbps link rate at HT160. In real world transfers you'd see a huge difference between the two units. Expect at best 60-75% real world speeds vs what link rate is shown.

    As for Killer cards, the 1535 is just a rebrand of the Quacomm QCA6174A and the 1550 is literally an Intel 9260ac (even mentioned as such on Intel's own site). Even the drivers are standard Intel and Qualcomm ones respectively. Only difference is you get the Killer suite which I have seen many people complain is more a hassle than a benefit. In addition the 1535/QCA6174A had driver issues which led to intermittent disconnects and so some people began replacing them with Intel 8265 cards.

    Dell/Asus in my experince have no white lists, as Dell even allows you to have warranty after replacing WiFi cards, drives and ram.

    HP/Lenovo I have heard implement whitelists.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  6. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    i would not worry much about laptop card performance, only drivers because my laptop comes with killer wifi and i sometimes am not able to connect to a specific AP until i reinstall the card and restart which is a pain.

    Intel cards also have a similar driver issue where it will not connect to wifi after sleep/hibernate.
     
  7. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    The one thing I like about Intel adapters for WiFi, is that most of them have decent linux client support, might be the reason why many Chromebooks use Intel WiFi client adapters..

    QCA does as well, for some of their chipsets at least...
     
  8. RMerlin

    RMerlin Part of the Furniture

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    They better do, since their biggest market is probably the smartphone business :)
     
  9. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Not so sure - Broadcom still has a huge amount of that business - or should I say had - since they sold off a good chunk of that business over to Cypress... The QCA WiFi/BT solutions are not integrated yet into QCOM's SnapDragon chips, so it's an add-in, and a bit spendy (as it Marvell)

    On Android - the BRCM solutions are still very common - lot of times, with teardowns, etc, they're integrated as SOP's... system on package, so...

    I was speaking more towards Linux on the desktop, and there, Intel's chips aren't so bad...
     
  10. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    Other than initial issues with the 7260ac, Intel ac cards are pretty stable. Can's say the same with Killer 1535 and Broadcom BCM4350 (Dell1820A), this one has the added feature of failing to connect to Bluetooth headsets for like more than a second. Solved my issues by replacing the latter (in an XPS 9350) with the 8265.
     

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