Upgrading an Old Dell Latitude Laptop With The Intel 7260 HMW 802.11ac Wireless Card

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Wireless Speed Tests with Intel WiFi-AC

Intel_AC_Netgear_6300We were very interested to see the real-world wireless speed performance of our newly upgraded Dell Latitude E6410 so we approached our speed tests much like we have done in the past when evaluating wireless adapters and routers. Our Dell PC is running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and we paired it to connect to our Netgear R6300 802.11ac Dual-Band Router. Let’s check out what our new 802.11ac wireless card can do. 

For our experiment, we took the Dell laptop and moved it 25-feet away from the router and made sure to connect to the faster 5GHz band. For the fastest possible data throughput, we set the router to “Unsecure Mode” and with WMM turned ON

After connecting, we ran the application LAN Speed Test (LST) to measure file transfer and network speeds. LST builds a file in memory and then transfers the packet without the effects of windows file caching.  It then reports the time and calculates the network speed.

LAN Speed Test

We repeated the test 2 more times rotating the laptop 90 degrees after each test to make sure that the measured speed was not affected adversely by the laptop’s orientation.


Laptop WiFi 1MB_Speed_Test

Benchmark Results: Obviously, there is a tremendous difference between the older 802.11n wireless card and our new 802.11ac card.  The Intel 7260 card increases the WiFi throughput (Average Read Speed) by a whopping 103% over the Intel Centrino 6200 WiFi-N card which is substantial. Even though these are somewhat small data packets, you are able to tell how significant the differences are between the legacy card and the modern 802.11ac card.


Laptop WiFi 100MB_Speed_Test

Benchmark Results: We look at the 100MB data because we are able to get a better feel of how larger data packets that emulate multimedia data behave. In our test, the newer Intel WiFi-AC chip, the 7260 again easily outperformed the “legacy” Intel 6200 card.  This time we see a 130% increase in Average Read Speeds over the “legacy” WiFi-N device.  While average speeds of 177Mbps were good, there aren’t as great as our three-antenna solutions that we have seen in other WiFi-AC tests. Even with that said, we certainly wouldn’t turn down these speeds and consider them the minimal performance you should get with an 802.11ac device.


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