Newer MacBook Pros have slightly slower 802.11ac Wi-Fi than Intel models, but you’ll probably never notice – .

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Newer MacBook Pros have slightly slower 802.11ac Wi-Fi than Intel models, but you’ll probably never notice – .


As Apple updates its support pages to give more information about the new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, we’re in a position to better understand what these new computers are and what don’t.

As graphic designer Anton Bulzomi noted, the new MacBook Pro has slower 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specifications than the 2017-2019 Intel-based models.

As you can see on this support page here, the 2021 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021, as well as the 2020 M1 MacBook Pro, share the same 802.11 standards. [email protected] GHz with a maximum PHY data rate of 1200 Mbps.

The 2017-2019 MacBook Pro models, all of which are Intel-based, feature 802.11 [email protected] GHz, which brings a maximum PHY data rate of up to 1300 Mbps.

The big difference here is in the maximum spatial streams, where the new MacBook Pro only has 2 / MIMO while the older ones have three.

There is a lot you can speculate about this, including the fact that M1 chips may not be designed for more than 2 spatial streams, as no iOS device supports more than 2. Not only that, but having less spatial stream also helps save battery. Additionally, 802.11ax / Wi-Fi 6 is only available in Apple Silicon models, so it’s not quite an apple-to-apple comparison.

Left: Mac 2021 specifications / Right: Mac Intel 2017-2019 specifications

Even so, you shouldn’t worry about this Wi-Fi “limitation”. Bulzomi said he was able to perform some tests and only noticed a slight difference in speed between the newer Macs and the new ones. from 2017-2019 based on Intel.

Wi-Fi speeds are very subjective as they are highly dependent on your current Wi-Fi and RF environment with factors such as the types of access points used, the number of devices on the network, how close you are to the access point and the RF environment.

The 2021 MacBook Pros may have slightly slower performance on Wi-Fi when on Wi-Fi 5 compared to the previous one, but in everyday use you probably never notice it. In fact, if your workflow needs the absolute best performance, you’re probably using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter or 10GB Ethernet adapter and not your Wi-Fi connection anyway.

You can read more about the new Macs below:

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