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  3. Questions about the Killer Wireless-AC 1550

Questions about the Killer Wireless-AC 1550

Some users have had questions about the Killer Wireless-AC 1550. This list will be updated as needed but, if your question is not listed, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly using the button on the left.

Q: Will the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 work in an M.2 to PCI-E converter?
A: Yes. Please click here for details.

Q: Will the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 work in an M.2 to Mini PCI-E converter (common slot for Wireless-N adapters)?
A: Probably not. In our testing, we have not found this to be reliable. This is likely due to Mini PCI-E converters supplying less power than M.2 converters. This may be dependant on the specific machine or motherboard, but we have not found a scenario where this works correctly.

Q: Will the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 work in my desktop mainboard’s M.2 slot?
A: Most desktop mainboard M.2 slots are keyed for storage, not for Wi-Fi. You will need to refer to the manufacturer of your specific mainboard, but unless there was a Wi-Fi adapter pre-installed in the mainboard, the M.2 slot is very likely keyed for storage. In such cases, no Wi-Fi adapter will work in that slot. You will need to use an M.2 to PCI-E converter.

Q: Where can I buy the Killer Wireless-AC 1550?
A: The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 is available as an integrated Wi-Fi adapter in Alienware, MSI, and many other high-end gaming laptops and other machines. Click here to purchase the 1550 directly from us, through Amazon.

Q: I do not live in the USA. Where can I buy the Killer Wireless-AC 1550?
A: The Killer Wireless-AC is available from various third-party resellers. Sources include Amazon and eBay, but your specific area may have other sources that resell the Killer Wireless-AC 1550.

Q: Will the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 work in my machine?

A: The 1550 will fit in any machine that has an M.2 slot keyed for a Wi-Fi adapter. However, some machine manufacturers do use a BIOS whitelist to allow only specific hardware to be installed in their machines – usually the same device that was an option when the computer was released. Please check with your machine’s manufacturer to make sure that your computer will recognize the 1550. You will also need to make sure that you can attach your antennas to IPEX-MHF4 receptacles, and that your machine’s mainboard can power a 160 MHz M.2 Wi-Fi adapter. You can look up your current Wi-Fi adapter to see which antenna receptacles it uses to see if the 1550 will be a direct swap as far as the antenna connections. Also, please be aware that some recent machines have the wireless adapter soldered onto the board, making it impossible to change the adapter. As model numbers change continuously, we are unable to keep up with precisely which machines are built this way, so your best bet is to open it up and take a look to make sure that the wireless adapter is not soldered down.

The two most common Wi-Fi formats are PCIe Half-Mini and M.2. Generally speaking, if you have a Wireless-N adapter, you probably have a PCIe Half-Mini slot, and if you have a Wireless-AC adapter, you probably have a Wi-Fi M.2 slot. There are exceptions out there, though, so if you are unable to find out any other way, you may want to open the machine up and take a look. The following image should help you ascertain whether you have a PCIe Half-Mini slot or an M.2 slot:

M.2 vs PCI half-mini
M.2 vs. PCI half-mini

 

Q: How do I install the Killer Wireless-AC 1550?
A: Installation will be highly dependent on your particular machine. Please refer to your machine’s specific service or teardown manual. You can also see the next question for some tips on handling the antenna connectors.

Q: Will my machine’s antenna work with the Killer Wireless-AC 1550?
A: The 1550 has two antenna connectors – one labeled MAIN and one labeled AUX. These are IPEX-MHF4 receptacles. You can look up your current Wi-Fi adapter to see which antenna receptacles it uses to see if the 1550 will be a direct swap as far as the antenna connections. Doing so will avoid the nightmare scenario of the connectors breaking off of your old wireless adapter and getting stuck in your antenna leads. As these can be fragile, we (and I-PEX) highly recommend using an IPEX MHF4L 90609-0001 tool to remove the antenna connectors from your old wireless adapter and push the connectors onto your new adapter. It also makes the whole job significantly simpler. If you are unable to obtain such a tool, be sure you pull the antenna leads straight up off of the connectors, to avoid breaking the connectors off of the card. Using a jeweler’s or eyeglass repair screwdriver to very gently pull upward on the connector from beneath is best. When attaching antenna leads without a tool, try placing the adapter on a flat surface, lining the leads up on the receptacles, and then pressing down firmly, but gently, with a flat object, so that even pressure is applied. You should hear or feel a click when the connector goes into place. Very little pressure is required so if you find yourself pushing hard, you may be damaging the antenna connectors!

Q: My machine has three antenna leads while the 1550 only has two connectors. Will it work?
A: This will depend on what each of the three antennae leads for your specific machine are connected. You will need to refer to your particular machine’s service or teardown manual for that information.

Q: Are there Windows 7 or 8.1 drivers for the 1550?
A: No. The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 requires Windows 10.

Q: The Killer Wireless-AC 1535 advertises 5 GHz range extending. The 1550 does not. Does this mean that the 1535 has a better range on 5 GHz than the 1535? 
A: In some cases, this is possible! The 1550 is a 160 MHz card, while the 1535 is an 80 MHz card, so if the wireless access point is a 160 MHz radio, the 1550 will outperform the 1535. However, in 2018, there are still very few 160 MHz access points, so it is possible that the 1535 will have a better range due to its range extending amplifiers.

 

 

Updated on February 15, 2019

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