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Released on October 23, 2012. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Apple Fusion Drive.

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Replace the wifi card with a current 802.11ac card?

Is it possible, with the existing antenna setup in a late 2012 MacMini to replace the wifi card with a current 802.11ac card?

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Not really - as with a laptop there's more to it than just a card. You'd need an 802.11ac router, and, a very fast internet connection to the router. Additionally the problem is that the new board is lots shorter than the old board so the antennas don't connect.

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I'm sure someone will make an external USB3 add-on dongle. You'll have to wait just like the rest of us ;-}


Works with Mac, Cheap and Worth every penny! (I don't work for the manufacturer.)


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I have been looking for the same thing, but for the older Mac Mini 2011, which appears to have a similar interface.

Mac Mini 2011 wifi card

Mac Mini 2012 wifi card

Currently there is no replacement for the internal WiFi card, but there are alternatives.

I would hope that Apple doesn't change the Mac Mini style and releases a new Mac Mini with WiFi ac support in a similar minicard style as the 2011/2012 models, so I can order a spare part to replace the existing one.


QuickerTek used to make a WiFi ac product called uCard which was an internal replacement for the AirPort card within the Mac Mini, however it was discontinued before I had even heard of it. :(

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As much as you might want a faster WiFi card. You do realize the architecture of a given system (as well as the network and the pathways the data flows) does limit the throughput. 802.11ac interface connections with older gear doesn't offer enough improvement to waste ones money. Think of it this way does your car get more miles with the premium gas Vs the regular gas? So unless your car needs the antiknock of the premium gas it makes no sense buying it does it. This is the same thing here with 802.11ac retrofitted into older systems. But I would agree it does make sense upgrading to 802.11n as the added bands offer better connection.


The fever of 802.11ac in the current crop of systems also makes me question its benefit. Until teaming is available allowing the full 802.11ac data flows and when one has the storage locally in ones systems that can support sending or receiving of the full bandwidth of this connection data flows. This is where the current SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drives just don't have the throughput unless they are RAID'ed with 4 or more disks. Then you still need to have the bandwidth within your local network (local client-server connection). Presently no one has the needed internet connection to even access from a data provider. And don't forget ones internet connection is asymmetrical so the upstream flow is much less than the downstream flow unless you pay big bucks for a symmetrical business connection at home. Yes, things will improve with better storage options that can support the flow rates here and I'm sure the internet network providers will offer better options. But thats still in the future (5~10 years)...


So don't go crazy here in the rush to upgrade as I bet you you'll have a newer computer (or two) by the time you can take advantage of these faster 802.11ac connections.


The ac standard IS faster, a lot faster. Enough to be noticed if you do large bandwidth dependent transfers - AKA video editing etc, a common theme for Mini's esp. the server grade mini mentioned here (which is actually better CPU than the new ones - hyper threaded quad core i7's. especially with an SSD you can and will see a difference in transfer rates. Actually the Apple Airport Extreme ac router is one of the better ones related to ac speeds. It can be faster than the gigabit lan.

totally different subject than whether / how to upgrade the late 2012's wifi card, but wanted to counter Dan's comments a bit there...

Upgrading the card is not really feasible here since the newer Minis have different mainboards and a different configuration for the WiFi card. The 2012 card connects with a little ribbon cable, the 2014 is a slot (mini PCIE or something of that nature). You'll be way ahead to use an external USB dongle WiFi if you want/need the ac speed.



Sorry Joe, First the first upgrading older one antenna designed systems with a AC board only gave you a slight improvement. If you had a MIMO antenna setup you saw the most gain. But if you had a unbalanced antenna setup (short & long) the improvement was inconsistent. Then you still have to have a newer AC AP unit and then you needed to have a local server to really gain the higher throughput and one that can offer the throughput its self. Internet access speeds for a lot of people is still slow! So if you were thinking you could get a faster connection from a remote service it may require upgrading your ISP connection if you can. Basically, a lot of added costs here before you gain the higher speeds just for a single system . The second gen of AC offers concurrent multiple streams to support multiple users MU-MIMO which most of us need in the workplace. But again most of us use this for local access use not internet.


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I just read this thread. Quickertek does still make the ucard 4 upgrade for the 2012 Mac Mini, and pretty much any MacBook made between 2008-2012. As of today in January 2020 the company asks $149 for the card. Here's the current link. If the product page goes dead over time, do what I just did, and check their site menu product page…

I bought a Late 2012 Mac Mini Server today. I'm excited!

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what sup man? did it fit to your mini?


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Actually, that QuickerTek answer is the best one (as they're planning on releasing a new version of the card - it's currently in development). Keep an eye on their website to see when it's released.

No only for faster speeds, but also new Apple features use the "time in flight" feature found in 802.11AC cards to determine proximity. This is used by the Apple Watch for auto unlocking as well as the new Apple earphones (AirPods and Beats3 Wireless) - both with the W1 chip. The proximity is used by the headphones to auto-switch between devices (as well as automatic pairing through the icloud - there's likely a secure token passed).

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An sources for those statements? As excited about it as I am, I am still skeptical, as I couldn't find any of this information on QuickerTek's website, twitter feed, facebook, etc.


Maybe you should have invested your efforts into e-mailing them to get on the notify list when the new card is available?


Have anyone had a chance to test a QuickerTek uCard 4 in their Macbook Pro ? So many years have passed with people calling it vapourware, but now they say it is available for order, yet I cannot find a single person who have reviewed or own such a card and can tell how it works.

One could expect even QuickerTek produce a Youtube video showing their card in action. But nothing.


Yeah, you would think that they would do more to promote their own tech. :) Holding off myself as I'm hoping the Mac Mini gets an upgrade in 2018.


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So I emailed QuickerTek and this was the interaction or lack there of.

I emailed the following:

Hi I am interested in the ucard 4 but it seems to be under revision. I also researched this part and have yet to find a actual review on it.

Many people stating they have purchased the product only to have to seek a refund after several months as the product is vaporware, and once ordered the purchase had no movement after several months. That their orders never received updates from quickertek. I am very skeptical of this card, with all available information it seem to good be to be true and more than likely vaporware. So my questions are….

1.Is this an actual product that you have produced and have current physical stock?

2.Is this product currently available and if ordered how long does it take to ship out?

3.Was there issues with the product or production that keep others from actually receiving the product?

4.If this product is not real why is it still available on your website?

Sorry for being so skeptical but a quick google search does no justice for this product or quickertek.

Their response...

Mr. R,

Thx for your email

So I would definitely feel comfortable calling this card a scam or a least vaporware. I don’t believe the card exists.

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Umm. All you pasted in for their response was "Mr. R, Thx for your email" - I'm guessing they said more than that?

There's definitely something strange going on though, as the uCard 4 has been removed from their product page.

The former URL for the card was:

Would be interesting to see why they pulled the product page.


BTW - These guys aren't a scam. I have their mCard 2 (since replaced in their product lineup by the qCard2) in my 2008 MBP 17". Providing 802.11ac and BLE 4.0 (unlocking with Apple Watch and all of the continuity features work).

I know at least one other guy that got their mCard 3 (now qCard 3) for his MBP.

Trying to find out why they've removed this from their product lineup.


Quickertek is a very small outfit (maybe three or four people as a side business).

As for the lack of a Unibody AirPort card upgrade: Broadcom the supplier kept a few people waiting for the production run of the newer board. Quickertek got ahold of engineering samples which they sold for a short time then they kept taking orders expecting the part to be released. Sadly, Broadcom pulled it. All of the last Unibody systems (13" &15") use a surface mount connection as seen here: MacBook Pro Unibody (Early 2011 through Mid 2012) AirPort/Bluetooth Board unlike the newer retina series which uses an edge connection. So unless you were lucky on getting one of the engineering samples your SOL!

As for the Mac mini 2011 & 2012 it is still a different board (narrower and also has the surface mount connection) and there was no upgrade offered (802.11a/b/g/n only). The newer Late 2014 uses the edge type of board.


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