ThinkPad SL510 wifi upgrades -any experience?

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by LoneWolf15, Jun 22, 2012.

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  1. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    I inherited a ThinkPad SL510 (yes, I know, perhaps, not a ThinkPad per se) from a bunch of recycled Lenovo gear we got from a client at work. It's in pretty good shape, and as I got it for free, I can't complain. I'm typing on it right now, and it's not bad at all.

    I'm thinking of upgrading the SO from her T61; I can put more RAM in this, and do a few extra things with it (it has a webcam, the T61 does not, possibly useful in her environment). My only one sticking point is the wireless.

    The system came with the Centrino 1000-N wireless, which I'm not wild about. The alternative card was the Intel 5100, an average card (IMO) as well. I don't mind purchasing a Lenovo-specific card, but I'd really like to know if anyone has managed to get an Intel 6205 or 6230 to work in this system before I order one. I've already had the unit open and found it only has two antennas, so I can't take full advantage of a 5300 (and I'm not sure Lenovo-branded 5300 cards came in half-mini cards either).

    Does anyone have any experience with this one?
     
  2. talin

    talin Notebook Prophet

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    I had tried it on my SL410 and it wont work due to a whitelisted BIOS. The only way around it is to find a BIOS hack for it.
     
  3. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    Yeah opting for modified BIOS is your best bet as it can save a lot of hassle, you might want to have a browse at the MyDigitalLife forums for BIOS Mods of this system though of course there will be an element of risk. I'm pretty sure the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 card should work as I have it running fine in my 5 year old T61 (with modified BIOS) so I don't see why it shouldn't in a slightly newer SL510.
     
  4. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    I figured, but I thought I'd check around.

    With that in mind, does anyone have any experience with the performance difference between the Intel 1000-N and the Intel 5100? Based on what I can find, I doubt it's much. I can get a 5100 card for probably $15-20, but don't want to bother if the differences are minimal.
     
  5. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    From experience my father's Dell Vostro 3750 came with the Intel 1000 card and it always seem to drop out for no reason. I wish I know why but I still can't figure it out, I checked and played around the Driver Properties and IP Configs but still no luck. The only way to zap it back to life is to disable/enable the adapter which gets rather tedious. What's worse is that the notebook is in the same room as the router so it's definitely not the range! I had plan to ditch this card soon for something else!

    Before I upgraded my T61 with the 6205 card I did have a Wi-Fi Link 5100 card and it's ok, though it did seem to struggle providing upstream with my music at times but it was a lot more reliable than the Intel 1000 card! Though to be honest I probably would look at the 6200/6300 cards as they should be relatively affordable at this stage like this one if you gone with the mod route.
     
  6. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    Hearst, I did find a whitelisted BIOS, and have ordered a 6205. I'm not super-concerned about the risk; I flashed the modded BIOS to her T61 to get better SATA speeds back when I put an SSD in it.

    Doing a bunch of other fun stuff to this one too by the time I'm done. Selling the T61 should cover the extras I'm putting in the SL510; I'm adding internal Bluetooth (she uses it for a whiteboard setup, and it's cheap to do), and a P8700 CPU, since they're relatively inexpensive too (it's currently a T6570). I'll swap over the SSD in her T61 to this system, and I already had spare DDR3 lying around.
     
  7. PatchySan

    PatchySan Om Noms Kit Kat

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    I see, well I guess i'm not the only one who finds it rather satisfying prolonging a machines lifespan! Here's hoping things go well for you and the SL510!
     
  8. LoneWolf15

    LoneWolf15 The Chairman

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    I enjoy the laptop hobby; have for a long time. My mother's laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1520 (last of the parallel-to-the-Vostro line) that needed some TLC when I got it; it ended up getting an internal webcam, 3x3 wifi, processor, and a few other fiddly bits (like hinges and such) that have kept it going and will serve her for some time.

    The T61 has served my wife well (and myself for a time before that) through its upgrades too, but when a halfway-decent-but-few-years-old design falls into my hands, I can't help but just want to give it a new lease on life. Pretty much everything I could do with the T61 has been done, so this looks like the chance to move her one step up the chain.
     
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