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Will The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Work In My Laptop?

Many users have emailed us asking if the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 will fit in their laptop. (Click here to find out if the 1550 will fit your desktop.) Although we cannot know the exact specifications of each make and model of laptop, even if we have the model numbers for said laptops, we can give you some basic guidelines.

Look Up The Wireless Adapter That Your Machine Is Currently Using To See If It Uses A PCIe Half Mini Adapter, or An M.2 Adapter

To do this, right-click Start, click Device Manager, then double-click Network Adapters. You should find a wireless adapter listed there. Comparing to that adapter is the easiest way to know what will work in your system.

The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 is an M.2 adapter which uses IPEX-MHF4 antenna receptacles.

If your machine is using a Killer Wireless-AC 1525, 1435, or 1535, then the 1550 will almost certainly work as a replacement/upgrade. Please see manufacturer caveats below. 

If your machine is using a Killer Wireless-N 1102, 1103, or 1202, it will definitely not work as a replacement/upgrade, as these are PCIe Half Mini adapters. 

If your machine is using another brand's wireless adapter, you will need to find out if that adapter is an M.2 adapter that uses IPEX-MHF4 antenna receptacles. If it is not an M.2 adapter, then the 1550 will not work in its place. If the antennas are different, then the antenna leads will not fit onto the 1550 without modification, which may include cutting and splicing wires.Official websites are good sources of information, but you can also find information on shopping websites, such as Amazon and eBay, as resellers have a vested interest in providing accurate information about the product they are selling. Just make sure to verify with a few listings. For 100% verification, you will need to contact the machine manufacturer to find out what interface and antenna conections it uses for Wi-Fi. 

You can also open the machine up to verify whether the machine uses an M.2 slot for its Wi-Fi adapters. Below is an image comparing a PCIe Half Mini and an M.2 adapter, the two most common formats with modern Wi-Fi adapters.:

Manufacturer Caveats

There are two other things that need to be verified before you know for sure if switching Wi-Fi adapters is an option. Only the machine manufacturer or, potentially, their support community, can tell you these things.

  • Does the machine employ Wi-Fi lockouts? Some machine manufacturers have lockouts, which are built into the BIOS, that will either prevent the machine from booting, or prevent the wireless adapter from working, if an adapter other than the original is used. 
  • Is the Wi-Fi adapter soldered in? Some machine manufacturers solder down the Wi-Fi adapter. In these machines, even though they are using a normal slot for the Wi-Fi adapter, the adapter cannot be removed.

Other Considerations

  • Linux Support - The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 uses the iwlwifi driver, which is widely supported in nearly every Linux distribution. However, only the latest versions of this driver contain the hardware ID for the 1550, so only the latest Linux kernels support the 1550. Without the advanced Linux expertise required to patch the driver and rebuild the kernel, Linux support is still limited. 
  • Windows Support - The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 is not supported in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. It is only supported in Windows 10. The Wireless xTend feature is only supported in Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update). 

Have a question about your Killer product that isn't answered in our Knowledge Base?  Contact Us.