- Category: Frequently Asked Questions
- Last Updated: 13 August 2018
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Questions about the Killer Wireless-AC 1550
Q: Will the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 work in a converter?
A: Yes. Please see this page - https://www.killernetworking.com/driver-downloads/kb/faq/109-installing-the-killer-1550-with-an-m-2-to-pci-e-converter
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. You can also purchase the 1550 directly from Amazon at this link: https://smile.amazon.com/Killer-Wireless-AC-1550-Module-Dual/dp/B079LW5SPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518720135&sr=8-1&keywords=killer+1550.
Q: I do not live in the USA. Where can I buy the Killer Wireless-AC 1550?
A: We are currently working toward making the 1550 available for purchase outside of the United States through that same Amazon link. Expected availability currently includes at least the UK. Other availability will be explored at a later time.
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 that is keyed for a Wi-Fi adapter. However, some machine manufacturers do use a BIOS whitelist to allow only certain hardware to be installed in their machines - usually the same hardware that was an option when the machine was released. Please check with your machine's manufacturer to make sure that your machine will recognize the 1550. You will also need to make sure that you can attach your antennas to IPEX-MHF4 receptacles, and that you rmachine'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 keep up with exactly 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 just 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:
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.This 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 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 3 antenna leads while the 1550 only has 2 connectors. Will it work?
A: This will depend on what each of the 3 antenna leads for your specific machine are connected to. You will need to refer to your specific 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 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 definitely outperform the 1535. However, in 2018, there are still very few 160 MHz access points, so it is possible that the 1535 will have better range due to its range extending amplifiers.