Laptop downloads faster than Desktop. Why?

L2D

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I was downloading something of Megaupload yesterday with my laptop and saw it got past the 150kb/s mark. However with my desktop. I can only get a measly 50kb/s. What can make the laptop superior comapred to the desktop.

Specs on the desktop are
E8400 - 3.0ghz
2GB ram
500GB drive to which I download
8800GT - doubt that matters

Not sure if it matters, but I only have about 600mb left in my main drive on the desktop, and the 500gb is partioned so that there is 30GB for the OS and a few programs and the rest is for my stuff.

Specs on the Inspiron 13 are
2.1ghz Core 2 Duo
2gb ram
160gb hard drive
Some shitbox video card.

Theres like 20gb free in the laptop.

time for a format of my desktop? Also my desktop is on a wired connection, the laptop is not. I dont get it.
 
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gaasc

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you do power cycle your modem and router every once in a while, you do right?
 
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narf

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two things come to mind:

- try something else, not megaupload. Maybe your desktop got a slow server, and your laptop gets a fast one. Try speedtest.net for example
- low space on the OS drive isn't good. Temp files, virtual memory, etc - should not influence download speed though, only everything else.
 

PacketCollision

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I once again find myself agreeing with narf. You may well have gotten a slow server on your desktop. Try downloading something from http://mirrors.kernel.org/ to check. They have more bandwidth than you can hope to saturate, and plenty of power to push it out the tubes to you.

Write speeds can go way down when you have such a small amount of space left (the drive has to seek all over the place to find room to put stuff), but assuming it's the system partition that is almost out of space and you're downloading to another partition with plenty of room, that should not affect it. A defrag would probably be a good idea though, along with freeing up some more room. Rule of thumb is that a partition should never be more than about 90% full if you want it to perform well.
 

narf

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no real point in defragging if there is no room to maneuver. Some major cleaning should go first.
 
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der_jackal

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4.41mbps from the laptop
5.23mbps from the desktop.

I tried defragging, nothign happened.

Network drivers / chipsets on the devices themselves have as much impact as anything.

Also any firewalls, A/V differences between the two?
 

narf

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4.41mbps from the laptop
5.23mbps from the desktop.

Well, the initial problem was 50kb/s on the desktop, 150kb/s on the laptop?
Those 5mbps are significantly more, and a slight advantage of the wired network for the PC looks sound, with retransmission and all that over wifi. It's 15% difference...

Chipsets should not influence loads like this, it's only 5% of Fast Ethernet. Any chipset will do that.
 
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PacketCollision

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4.41mbps from the laptop
5.23mbps from the desktop.

Based on that, I'd say you just happened to get a slow server on your desktop the first time. You should still fix that space issue if you can though.
 

L2D

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Network drivers / chipsets on the devices themselves have as much impact as anything.

Also any firewalls, A/V differences between the two?

Thats a good point..I have shitty F-secure on my desktop, and NOD32 on my laptop. What are AV differences?
 

Vette Boss

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Network loads are always changing, it's nigh-on impossible to compare results from one PC to another, from the internet. The speeds you get from the internet don't really equate to much, in terms of PC bandwidth. As long as everything is configured right, it goes at whatever speed it can.

For general upkeep of the PC, you should dig around and delete all the stuff off the OS drive you don't need anymore. Getting rid of crap there will speed up the PC immensely, since the drive is nearly full.
 

narf

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If your AV is able to scan something coming off a CD or DVD at 5Mbyte/s or more, then it should be able to scan something coming off the internet at 5Mbit/s.
 

der_jackal

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If your AV is able to scan something coming off a CD or DVD at 5Mbyte/s or more, then it should be able to scan something coming off the internet at 5Mbit/s.

Not really. An optical drive uses different I/O patterning than a NIC.

An optical drive is more likely to larger buffers per request, far fewer I/O operations per file transfer and less fragmentation of requests than a NIC.

A/V scan operations are expensive and if the file system filter drivers in use by the scanner are not optimized to account for the various pattern types of I/Os, you can see this kind of latency introduced.

However, the most likely culprit here is simply the NIC drivers between the two devices. As with the A/V scanner filter drivers, some NIC drivers are not terribly efficient.
 

PacketCollision

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You'd have to run the test multiple times (preferably over a link of a known guaranteed speed) in order to rule out simple luck-of-the-draw here. It's quite possible that difference is within the margin of error.
 

L2D

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Well. This is really bugging me. There's almost 5GB free in the OS drive. I got rid of F-Secure and put on NOD32. I got a rapidshare PREMIUM account and yet, I'm hovering around 50kb/s. I'll do some speed tests after I finish downloading.
 

narf

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Well, those 50kb/s compared to the 5mbps you quoted earlier are solely down to the source server or network in between.
 

L2D

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I'm using the laptop ATM and downloading stuff off rapidshare, I'm currently getting around 250kb/s.

Same Anti-virus
More powerful from the desktop
Downloading to the OS drive for both (although the desktop is downloaded to a partitioned drive)

I'm so lost as to how this happens.
 

narf

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You shouldn't be using rapidshare as a means of comparison. There are too many factors, especially different source servers on different networks that cause loads of variables. Another huge variable: According to wikipedia their servers sit in Germany, which means there is a huge distance to cover to get to Sydney, both in terms of geographical distance (length of wire/fibre) and networking distance (number of routers in between, greater chance of different paths taken).

Use a server relatively close to you, if possible on the same ISP. Make sure both your laptop and desktop are getting data from the same data center. Only numbers derived like that can tell you if your local setup (LAN, software, disks, etc) has a significant impact on your internet speed.
 
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