I found my Qualcomm!!!

Discussion of hardware related issues
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tlmiller
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I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by tlmiller »

So, I've been wanting to get away from EVERY laptop I own having an Intel wireless. However, the issue was that the only other modern wireless card I had used that was any good is the Qualcomm/Atheros QCNFA765, which is IMPOSSIBLE to find until recently for sale. The Realtek 8852BE doesn't seem bad actually (it's what came in my HP), but none of the OS's I use other than Endeavour come with a package to automate a dkms build of it. The Mediatek/AMD 7922A/RZ616 works GREAT with Wifi, but the Bluetooth isn't supported in any Linux OS I've used, and I've used both OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and EndeavourOS with it. But AliExpress has a few stores that just started selling the QCNFA765, so I have 3 of them on the way to upgrade my older Intel AX200's (no 6e) to.
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crosscourt
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by crosscourt »

Ill be interested to see how that works out. Ive had a lot of issues with wifi internal and even more issues with wifi usb external.
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tlmiller
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by tlmiller »

Also an update on the MD7922A/RZ616, bluetooth is now working with kernel 6.1 on Endeavour (Arch).
wove
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by wove »

Atheros is the chipset Apple choose for their AirPort and it is a very solid robust chipset. I have replaced a few stock Intel cards on Thinkpads with Atheros cards. The intel card that came in the IdeaCentre is a flakey fussy card, that gives me configuration problems everytime Fedora updates. I have a wired connection at the desk, so I have just switched over to using that. I have an older RealTech USB dongle, that was nothing special or expensive but has been very reliable at making a connection with Macs, Linux and Windows.

Overall Bluetooth is a fussy/messy protocol. I have Bluetooth devices that work with some machines/OSes and fails on others. I have a nice Bluetooth keyboard that I really like, but it only works reliably with a few setups and remains totally hidden and non functional with others. The same can be said about my Bluetooth speaker. But then my wife has a Bluetooth speaker that picks up any Bluetooth nearby and works fine with everything even showing up as an audio playback source on my machines.
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crosscourt
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by crosscourt »

My experience is just the opposite as Intel has always been the best choice regardless of the distro. Atheros has always been an issue. Realtek recently has improved.
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tlmiller
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

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In my experience, Intel and Atheros are both incredibly reliable and stable, but Atheros generally performs better since AC days (prior to that, Intel performance was better). Not sure if it's the cards or just Ath10K (AC drivers) improved a lot over Ath9K (N drivers) and prior. Realtek is barely functional garbage generally, although in my EXCEEDINGLY limited testing of the 8852BE that's in the new HP for a few weeks, it's working pretty good. The issue is that if I were to install OpenSUSE or Debian, I would have to manually install the drivers, as I can find no packages outside Arch for getting that card to work (and even Arch I had to customize the drivers before compiling them, as by default the package only builds 8852AE drivers, which aren't compatible with the 8852BE card).
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crosscourt
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by crosscourt »

Atheros hasnt been bad but with my hardware it tends to have issues. Im speaking to getting it to work not whether it performs better or worse than other wifi cards. Realtek has gotten much easier recently and Ive used on quite a few of my systems. With my hardware Intel just works and performance has been good. Both of my Ryzen systems came with Intel and their performance has been excellent.
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

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For getting it to work, Atheros and Intel are still tied for me. Both are (if not Debian), turn on, it works. If Debian, install non-free firmware (firmware-iwlwifi or firmware-atheros, respectively), reboot, and it works.

Realtek is...awful. Compile modules because the drivers aren't in the kernel. Copy over firmware because it's not always included (this has been much better in the last couple years). Reboot and if all the stars align, it works. If the stars aren't happy, it doesn't work for any good reason.
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crosscourt
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by crosscourt »

Im using older Realtek not newer but it was still a challenge. Recently its become a plug and play. Most of the Atheros I have is older so thats probably why there are issues. Intel is really the only completely plug and play option ive had. You use newer hardware so outside of my Ryzen systems I cant comment on recent products as I dont use them. Perspectives are completely based on how old your hardware is and in that experiences can be vastly different.
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tlmiller
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Re: I found my Qualcomm!!!

Post by tlmiller »

Yeah, eventually Realtek does get easier, such as the REaltek on my el' cheapo machine is the 8822(b,c?)e Wifi 5 chipset, which is now supported in the kernel for drivers, and just needs the realtek firmware to work.
Is your Atheros stuff Ath5K (A/B/G)? While TODAY those drivers are great, they were absolute GARBAGE for quite a while. In fact those cards nowadays are big for the Libre folks, as the Ath5k devices DO NOT require firmware, so they're still held onto by that group.
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