Question about Mac/PC internet speed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bumblebuzzard, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. I'm hoping someone who knows about these things can suggest an answer to this.

    I was fooling around yesterday and discovered that my wife's Mac G5, connecting to the same cable network through the same modem, has a download speed that's about 65% faster than my PC's.

    I've spent several hours trying to figure this out and doing everything I can think of to make the PC go faster, but the numbers remain the same. The last check was PC 4523/913 kbps versus Mac 7449/953 kbps.

    I'm not technosmart enough to do more than speculate about why this difference is occuring, let alone do anything about it; and if anyone could suggest something I would really appreciate it. The smug look on my wife's face is driving me crazy.
  2. xiaodre


    what kind of pc have you got, and please, may I ask what version of windows you are using?

    EDIT: oh, and one more question: please may I ask, which G5 is it? Is it a single or dual processor?
  3. The Mac is a single processor, about 3 years old.

    The Pc I built 2 years ago. Processor is an AMD Athlon 64 3700+.
    Mobo is Asus A8N32-SLI Delux. OS is Windows XP Pro SP2.
  4. How are you testing the connection? How are the computer connected to the network? Is the G5 caching some of the data that the PC might be redownloading? What is your advertised download/upload speed from your ISP?

    There are a lot of little nuances that can make the difference.

  5. xiaodre


    The first thing I would check is your amount of hard drive space on both systems. Do they both have a bunch (gigs) of hard drive space available? (they prolly do...)

    (if you are doing dl tests, you are probably not using a browser, but an FTP program I'm guessing, but if you are using a browser for the dls, clear it's cache...)

    Next, I would rebuild the TCP/IP stack in the windows box - see if that makes any difference. Take out Netbeui and Novell netware clients if they are installed (although this will not make any difference unless you are running other computers or are on a cable modem), but it cannot hurt at any rate, and it's quick and dirty.

    Next, I would like to ask another question - how do you have your LAN set up if you have one, or are you plugging each computer into the modem by themselves and testing each in turn?

    The point of this is - given the operating systems peak connx performance, the speed of each machine should not be appreciably different. mac os is not so much better than windows in this regard, or windows better than mac os, or linux. They should be comparable.

    I would hazard a guess that there's something going on with your windows box, or your router if you have one.

    DISCLAIMER: these are just guesses from the limited info we have.

    EDIT: I should add, you may not want to take out the Novell netware depending on how you connect to play Starcraft... :)
  6. I was testing the connection at I've now used several different sites and come up with similiar numbers.

    The ISP is Time-Warner cable and the advertised rate is "up to" 10Mbps/1Mbps.

    I suppose the G5 could be caching some data the PC isn't, but I don't know (or how to find out). I'm a little surprised it would make that much difference but it's an interesting possibility.
  7. Yeah, there's lots of HD space, so that's probably not it. I have been using a browser to do the tests, did clear the cache, and that didn't make any difference.

    There really is no LAN other than each computer plugged directly into the modem/router with an Ethernet cable, so no NetBEUI or Novell. The Mac is about 40 cable feet away, the PC is about 3 feet away. I have tested each machine alone on the modem and still no difference.

    So still a mystery. I'm continuing to fiddle with it. Many thanks to you and FT71 for the input.

    Starcraft, yes!
  8. On windows xp and vista, the network parameters are not set to their maximum potential. There is a small network optimizing program thats free and really great to unlock the full speed of your internet connection (it optimizes the stacks and MTU parameters etc

    and the app is this one

    load it up and set it at 10 000kpbs (or more depending on your line speed) and select ''optimal settings'' and press ok
  9. xiaodre, forgot to mention that I followed your suggestion to rebuild the TCP/IP stack. It did seem to run about 100 kbps faster after that, but that, of course, could be from other causes.
  10. Silvermotion, thanks. Very good suggestion. I ran the utility and definitely improved the speed. Before I was consistently getting around 4525 kbps, now I'm getting 4825.

    Of course, the stupid Mac is still getting 7500, so I don't have the final answer. Could it be that the Mac is just ---- better?

    (Sorry. I don't want to go there.)
    #10     Dec 9, 2007