5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2010 9:26 AM by richard33774
jvreed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I would like to set up an Airport base station to connect my Power PC G5 (dual 2 ghz with 5GB of SDRAM and OS 10.5.8) and my PowerBook G4 (550 Mhz, 512 MB SDRAM and OS 10.4.6). Can someone tell me what combination of base station (Airport Extreme?) and Airport cards would be appropriate for this setup and recommend a supplier, since I suspect cards may be hard to find for these older computers?

dual 2 ghz power pc g5, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • adsfushi72 Level 4 Level 4 (1,115 points)
    If your PowerMac G5 came with an AirPort card already installed, skip the following paragraph.
    Depending on your model of PowerMac G5, you may or may not be able to buy an AirPort card for it. The Late 2005 model requires a special card that is not available as a DIY part. It's only available to AASPs. All other models can use an ordinary AirPort Extreme card. See [this article|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3096] for more information.

    If both computers have AirPort cards, the choice of base station is completely up to you. Apple lists some of the benefits of each base station [here|http://www.apple.com/wifi>.
  • jvreed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your response. Neither computer has a card installed. I purchased the G5 in 2003 so it would not seem to be affected by the Late 2005 restrictions.

    What is confusing is that I do not see any cards listed specifically for the G5. For example, OtherWorld Computing offers an Apple Airport 802.11b "original" card for the iBook, IMac, PowerBook G4 Titanium (mine, I believe) and the PowerMac G4. No mention of the G5. A note with this card says it will not work with Airport Extreme.

    OtherWorld also offers an Apple Airport Extreme card (802.11n) which it says is a mini-PCIe card for Intel-based Mac desktops and notebooks. Doesn't sound as if this is anything for my G5 or laptop.

    Again, I would like to find cards to fit both computers that would work with Airport Extreme. But I would settle for a card for the G5 that works with Airport Extreme.

    OWC also offers a NewerTechnology MAX Power 802.11 n/g/b USB adapter and plug which it says is Mac OS X supported. Doesn't seem to have any restrictions.

    Could this be the answer for both my laptop G4 and Desktop G5? It almost sounds too simple.
  • adsfushi72 Level 4 Level 4 (1,115 points)
    You can get an AirPort Extreme card from Amazon:
    [http://www.amazon.com/Apple-M8881LL-AirPort-Extreme-Card/dp/B0000899ZB/ref=sr11]
    This is the card for the G5.

    The PowerBook needs the original AirPort card.
    See this article for installation instructions: [http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2617]

    The original AirPort card can connect to an AirPort Extreme +base station+. It is not compatible with computers that require an AirPort Extreme card.
  • jvreed Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That seems to clear it up. Thanks for your help.
  • richard33774 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I would just add that either card - Airport/Airport extreme will work with any base that supports the 802.11 a/b/g and now n standard - basically all. You can buy an n with an eye toward future upgrades but I use an a/b/g Airport Extreme, several years old that I'm happy with. So, you can look at saving money and getting a generation obsolete if it's just for home. To put it into perspective, the a/b standards were 8 or 9 Mb transfer rate, IIRC, and the g brought it to 54 Mb. Consider the size of network and the size of your ISP "pipe" (ISP data rate) you have.

    As far as Airport cards are concerned, the earlier poster is correct. I would just add that there are physical differences between Airport and Airport Extreme cards so they indeed are not interchangeable. The Airport - Powerbook g4 500/550, etc. - uses a card with an end connector, that is, a plastic socket perpendicular to the card which mates to an adapter bracket in the computer. The Airport extreme has an edge connector ("pin" lands right on the edge of the card) which slides right into a socket on the board. Your generation of powerbook would likely use the former (I have a pb g4 500MHz titanium which uses Airport; my pb g4 1.67 GHz uses Extreme).

    Go to System Profiler/network/airport and that will tell you if you have a card installed and which one.

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