2021 MacBook Pro specs reveal slower Wi-Fi than previous generation Intel models

According to newly released specifications for Apple’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the new laptops have slower Wi-Fi than the previous generation 802.11ac Intel models despite gaining Wi-Fi 6 support.

Apple - 2021 MacBook Pro

Apple’s new MacBook Pro models feature slower Wi-Fi than its Intel-based models

As spotted by graphic designer Anton Bulzomi (via 9to5Mac) the M1 MacBook Pro supports a maximum PHY data rate of 1200 Mbps when connected via 802.11ax@5 GHz. In contrast, the 2017-2019 Intel MacBook Pros support a PHY data rate of 1300 Mbps when connected via 802.11ac@5 GHz.

The difference is more notable when both are on 802.11ac. The previous-generation MacBook Pros will reach 1300 Mbps while the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros reach a maximum data rate of 866 Mbps. The speed gap is likely due to the M1 MacBook Pro’s support for a maximum of two spatial streams versus the Intel-based model’s support for three.

While this may seem like a notable downgrade, you should not worry much. Bulzomi conducted a few tests which revealed that there is only a slight speed difference between the old and new Macs. Wi-Fi speed can be impacted by a number of factors so it is unlikely you will notice a significant difference when using the new MacBook Pros in day-to-day use.

The much-awaited 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were unveiled at Apple’s virtual ‘Unleashed’ event alongside third-generation AirPods and new color options for HomePod mini. These new powerful machines feature M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, an updated design, a mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display with 120Hz ProMotion technology, MagSafe 3 charging, 1080p camera, 6-speaker audio, studio-quality mics, SD-card slot, and HDMI port, and more.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.