Internal laptop Wifi card replacement - how to find a new, compatible one?

My current wifi card is:

  Device-2: MEDIATEK MT7921K Wi-Fi 6E 80MHz driver: mt7921e v: kernel pcie:
    gen: 2 speed: 5 GT/s lanes: 1 bus-ID: 06:00.0 chip-ID: 14c3:0608
    class-ID: 0280

This is a junk, not a proper card, so I want to replace it with a stronger one. I bought:

Intel Card BE200 WiFi 7 802.11AX 6GHz M.2 PCIe

The problem is, the laptop doesn’t boot after the exchange, there is only black screen and quiet fan humming, and keyboard lights, but the screen stays black infinitely. I can’t get into the BIOS/UEFI. When I go back to my old wifi card, all starts to work. I tried two times with the same result.

Either the new card is broken or simply not compatible with my motherboard.

The question is, can someone advise me on how to find a new, powerful wifi card that will be compatible? Possibly on the same spec level and the Intel Card BE200 WiFi 7:

I’ve been searching online for some info, but it is surprisingly sparse. Mostly some very general info for PC wifi cards, never for laptop ones, and specs are not explained anywhere. I bought basically blindly, The same socket, form factor, sizes - it can be successfully installed, but it is not enough as it seems.

I can post photos of those cards, so you could see how one compares to the other physically. When it comes to specs, it’s a night and day, The current card is as trashy as possible, while the new one is from upper shelf, alas not working for me.

Both cards are M.2 2230.

and what kind of laptop do you have?

there are different connection-pinouts called “key”. the mainboard must be able to support the used card-pinning. please check your manual from mainboard and the new wifi-card if they are compatible or a update of the mainboard bios might include some more new connection-types. the wifi-7 card is very new and i suspect that it uses a standard that was introduced in late 2021. i’m not sure if your mainboard is capable to this if it a little bit older.

no commercial but one of a bunch sites that show the different keys and what type of speed and type they are.

  Host: michal-PC Kernel: 6.7.0-0-MANJARO arch: x86_64 bits: 64
  Desktop: KDE Plasma v: 5.27.10 Distro: Manjaro Linux
  Type: Laptop System: TUXEDO product: TUXEDO Sirius 16 Gen1 v: N/A
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: NB04 model: APX958 serial: <superuser required> UEFI: American
    Megatrends LLC. v: 1.00A00_20240108 date: 01/08/2024
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 73.7 Wh (92.0%) condition: 80.1/80.1 Wh (100.0%)
  Info: 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS w/ Radeon 780M Graphics [MT MCP]
    speed (MHz): avg: 2390 min/max: 400/5137:6080:5764:5293:5449:5608:5924
  Device-1: AMD Navi 33 [Radeon RX 7700S/7600/7600S/7600M XT/PRO W7600]
    driver: amdgpu v: kernel
  Device-2: AMD Phoenix1 driver: amdgpu v: kernel
  Device-3: Microdia Integrated Camera driver: uvcvideo type: USB
  Display: wayland server: v: with: Xwayland v: 23.2.3
    compositor: kwin_wayland driver: X: loaded: amdgpu
    unloaded: modesetting,radeon dri: radeonsi gpu: amdgpu,amdgpu
    resolution: 1969x1108
  API: OpenGL v: 4.6 compat-v: 4.5 vendor: amd mesa v: 23.3.3-manjaro1.1
    renderer: AMD Radeon Graphics (radeonsi gfx1103_r1 LLVM 16.0.6 DRM 3.56
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
    driver: r8169
  Device-2: MEDIATEK MT7921K Wi-Fi 6E 80MHz driver: mt7921e
  Local Storage: total: 2.73 TiB used: 340.55 GiB (12.2%)
  Memory: total: 32 GiB note: est. available: 30.58 GiB
    used: 11.09 GiB (36.3%)
  Processes: 445 Uptime: 44m Shell: Bash inxi: 3.3.32

In theory, my laptop is brand new, assembled 2-3 weeks ago, but I suspect the vendors don’t use the latest motherboards.

Here is the old card:

Here is the new one:

The pins are a bit different, but they fit nicely nevertheless. Maybe the BIOS is not up-to-date.

If I was about to replace the new-not working cards, maybe this one below would be working? It is somewhat similar to the old one and praised by buyers, although it’s not as premium as the new-not-working one:

What do you think? It’s an older model, has lower specs than the one I bought, but still better then the current working card.

it’s an ax210, that should work. keep in mind that there had been some problems with it in the past but they should be fixed with an actual kernel 6-xxx

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All newer, more expensive models have pins like the card I bought, so although I would gladly pay more for better specs, I’m afraid, they won’t work either.

In theory, maybe some future BIOS update will fix the compatibility, but who knows when or even if?

I guess I will be returning the Intel Card BE200 WiFi 7 and buy AX210. There is AX211 with better specs, but again, it has pins like BE200… so again…

TUXEDO dropped the ball with the AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E aka MEDIATEK MT7921K Wi-Fi card. They pulled it off from the offer, so that’s a good decision. Maybe because I intensely let them know how ■■■■ device it is.

On my old Alienware, I had a Killer something card (not intel) and it was very good. I never paid attention to it, but it gave me max or above max speed what I could from my fibre Internet, while the current one is 4 times as slow, has constant delays, freezes and has insanely low range.

On the topic of range: will the new card possibly have a better range? Is it dependable on the card or maybe on the antennas? Is it possible to replace antennas as well? I’m horrified how bad range I have.

I’m sitting 1,5 from the router and the wifi card won’t connect to 5G automatically (although I set strong preference for it in the system), only 3G and has 50% connection, which often freezes out or starts to crawl. I never had that on the old Alienware laptop.
In the garden, ca. 150 meters and few walls away, I still had working connection, while on the current laptop, sites won’t load. I hope with the new card range will improve as well.

possible that you mixed the antenna-connections ? also, the routing of the antennas might interfere and reduce the signal-quality or do you have to much neighbours that do electrical-smog ? i suffer from this reason with my bluetooth and one neighbor has a samsung-tv (he’s an old guy and i think he never set up the tv right). this ugly samsung-tv-bluetooth tries to connect to all and at all times. arkward

No, it had that issue right from the day one, before I tried to replace it. I also paid attention to the cables, and the card has the clear triangle signs showing which cable should be pinned there. The Wifi-smog is not dense. I’m living outside the city in a large house and big garden. Neighbors have also bit garden and homes, so the closest building is 300m away, probably without even Wifi (old residents).

I can still turn on the old laptop and test it along the new one and see the huge difference when it comes to Internet’s range and speeds.

The old one has: 500 Mb/s, the new one 120-230 Mb/s and the speeds are not stable, so in practice, download times are at least 4 times slower. The same Wifi network, the same place, only hardware different.

I guess I will find out about the range when the new card will start working on a new laptop. All articles say about the antennas as the main source of range. They are probably much harder to replace, because they are hidden somewhere between other things. It’s not a part of a laptop that people tend to replace. Anyway, one step at a time.

I wait till TUXEDO responses, and then I call the return of the card and buy the AX210, unless I find something better with similar pins. However, the choice is small. There are not many places where one can buy laptop wifi card and selection is small. The newer and better cards are usually not available.

Wireless LAN / WiFi:
AMD RZ608: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz (80 MHz) | 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax | 1200 Mb/s
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX210: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz | 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax | 2400 Mb/s

Yeah. They pulled out that crappy AMD Wifi card and the only available one is the Intel AX210. There is no point of buying it from them, because it’s abroad, more expensive, besides, if I can, I try to find even better card.

I guess it would since Intel WiFi 6E AX210 is the one Tuxedo offers for the Sirius 16 1.Gen when you check their configure-your-laptop page.
EDIT: Oops, bit late with the info here :sloth:

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Ah, you are right! So this is a safe bet. Maybe I can find something better, thou? I guess I have something to think.

Anyway, thanks all for your input. It clarified some things for me.

take care, there are 2 intel ax210 cards avaiable. one is the vpro and the other one is the none-vpro. don’t ask me what’s the difference but the vpro costs twice than the none-vpro. check what’s the difference before ordering

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I found the answer on Reddit:

The difference is that one of these supports Intel’s AMT (Active Management Technology), and the other doesn’t. By using AMT (they call it vPro here, even though vPro has more than just AMT), you can do stuff like remotely reboot a machine regardless of the OS, use a VPN at the hardware level, use a pre-boot application to manage authentication (in the military, many official laptops run a program in AMT that requires you to insert and authenticate your CAC card, which is a card that contains your personal info and security status, before the laptop will even start up), remotely wipe the PC if it’s lost, etc.

It sounds pretty cool, and it can be, but it requires a bunch of custom software and your own dedicated server to get use out of it. For the vast majority of home users, it’s pretty useless, as you typically don’t have a management server for your devices and a lot of AMT’s functionality can be replicated in software (for example, instead of using the hardware VPN, you can run a program in Windows to connect to a VPN with the same effect).

The AX210 I have available costs ca. 25 EUR, so I guess this is none-vpro anyway. It’s insane how expensive wifi cards get in different countries, especially USA.

“Unlike previous Intel Wi-Fi chips, the BE200 only works with Intel-based computers. There will likely be other Wi-Fi 7 adapters in the near future that work with all CPUs”
Solved: Re: AMD, Intel and Wifi 7 - Intel Community .

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there was a discussion about potential security flaws here in one thread the last days. all this remote-stuff is something weird and if you don’t need it than it’s better not to have. here in germany the none-vpro is around 13€ and the vpro is about 23€.

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Thanks! That explains it all!

I wonder, if the Intel Killer Wifi line is compatible with non-Intel based computers?

They should post it in the specs!

The one I would love to have is Intel Killer Wi-Fi 7 BE1750, which is basically identical to the BE200, so maybe the difference here is that they do work on non-Intel based computers.

The problem here is, I can’t find it to buy anywhere.

keep in mind that the connection must fit. as far as i recognized is the wifi-pci connection the main problem and a lot of adverts that i’ve seen now claim to be carefully with this cards when using an amd system because it’s actually not working (and i bet this will then never work).

So the safest bet would be to list possible, available cards to buy to TUXEDO and wait for the answer.

I can see also INTEL KILLER 1675 which is basically identical with AX210 when it comes to basic specs, but it is said it works only with Lenovo and HP due to WLAN whitelist in other model BIOSes (what?).

Ah, found the topic about it on reddit…

Basically, this response says it all:

AX210 supports 6E. The AX211 requires a CNVI compatible Intel cpu in order to run. So get a AX210 for better compatibility

It looks like trying to buy anything else, may be too risky, unless TUXEDO has some inside knowledge and gives me a green light for newer models.

Thanks guys! I am much wiser than before starting this thread, so this was helpful.

maybe a better option: these wifi-7 cards cost around 30-35€ (here in germany) but there are also usb-wifi-7 dongles avaiable that cost about the same ~40€ but they have a additional antenna that amplifies the signal even better than the internal ones and plus you don’t have to worry about the connection and you could use the m2-slot for an additional nvme…
imho an interesting option.