Mini Card vs. Half Mini Card

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Mini Card vs. Half Mini Card

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I have been looking at the Studio XPS 16 system and when I go to select the wireless card, I have the option between Intel 5300 Mini Card and Intel 5300 Half Mini Card. I know that the Half Mini Card is half the size of the Mini Card, but what is the reasoning for this? Some websites state that you could put 2 half mini cards in a system instead of 1 mini card, but does the Studio XPS 16 system have 2 slots to support this? Another reason I read somewhere is that the half mini card is designed for smaller systems where space is limited, such as netbooks. The Studio XPS 16 isn't a small system, and obviously there is room for the mini card, so I don't really understand why Dell would offer both sizes. Is there something else I'm missing? Are there any other advantages/disadvantages between the two?

Thanks for any help!!

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  • Comparison: Intel 5100 and 5300 Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards

    The Intel 5100 wireless and the 5300 wireless are offered by Intel in both PCIe Mini Card and Half Mini Card forms for the Draft N wireless standard.

     

    A comparison of the Intel Product Briefs for these products (see: http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/adapters/5000/ ) fails to indicate any performance difference between the 5100 and 5300 wireless cards.  The Intel 5100 Wireless Cards are available in 4 card options that come in both Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards that are either in wireless G only, or Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards versions that include Draft N wireless.  The 5300 comes in 2 options, Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards, each of which include Draft N wireless.  A picture of both the Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards are available on the Intel 5100 and 5300 Product Briefs.

     

    The Intel Product Briefs for both the 5100 and 5300 wireless cards provide that "support for the PCIe Mini Card form factor enables the Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link ... to be designed into existing laptops while support for the PCIe Half Mini Card form factor enables thinner and smaller laptops."  There appears to be no performance distinction between the Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards versions that Intel provides in their Product Briefs for both the 5100 and 5300 Wireless Card.

    The Dell Studio XPS 16 offers the wireless Intel 5100 Half Mini Card (1x2) as included in the price and and the wireless Intel 5300 Mini Card (3x3) for an additional $45.00, which Dell recommends.  Based on the Intel Product Briefs for these products, there would appear to be no basis for the recommendation other than the fact that the 5300 is the newer card (with no apparent performance advantage). 

    Based on the Intel Product Briefs, the size difference Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards appears to be not relevant regarding any distinction in wireless performance for both the Intel 5100 and 5300 Mini and Half Mini Wireless Cards.