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Home network speed advice needed

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#1 skypilotpete


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Posted 01 May 2015 - 06:47 AM

I would appreciate some expert advice on speeds I am getting using a gigabit ethernet switch to transfer large files between 2 computers on a home network.

I use a Netgear GS605 5-port gigabit ethernet switch and a Fritzbox 7272 router, which has 2 gigabit ports. One of them is taken up by my fibre internet input. I run an ethernet cable from the other gigabit port to the ethernet switch, and then run ethernet cables from the ethernet switch to the two computers. All of the cables are Cat 5e. Both computers are running Windows 7 64, but one is much newer than the other.

The ethernet switch shows different coloured lights, indicating whether the various ports are detecting gigabit/100MB/10MB connections. All the lights are indicating active gigabit connections.

When I transfer files from Computer A to Computer B, I get speeds of between 10 and 14 MB/sec.
When I transfer files from Computer B to Computer A, I get speeds of around 87 MB/sec.

I have read online that transfer speeds can be affected by CPU speed, motherboard and hard drive speed. However, this seems a very big difference to me and I don't have the technical knowledge to know if this is normal, or if it indicates that there is a problem somewhere. I hope that someone can tell me if these speeds make sense in the light of the following specs:

Computer A: Windows 7 64 Home
CPU: intel Core i7 4770 3.40GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro4
16 GB Ram DDR3
Hard Drives: Seagate ST240HMO (SSD - operating system drive); Samsung HD103SJ; Western Digital WD10EZEX-08M2NA0
(The files are being transferred from and to the Western Digital hard drive.)

Computer B: Windows 7 64 Home
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz
Motherboard: Micro-Star MS-7519
RAM: 8 Gb DDR2
Hard Drive: WDC WD5000AAKS-22TMA0

I have been told that I can eliminate the router and ethernet switch as the potential cause by connecting the 2 computers directly using a crossover cable and seeing what the transfer speed is then. However, I had never heard of crossover cabling before, and I'm finding it difficult to understand from what I've found online. Some sites say that crossover cabling is no longer necessary and that you can connect  computers directly using a standard ethernet cable. Allegedly any computer that supports gigabit connections includes the ability to recognise the direction of data transfer and adapt accordingly. However, it is not clear to me what network settings (if any) need to be changed on the computers to get this to work. I've tried connecting my computers directly with a cat 5e ethernet cable, but I can't get it to work and I have no idea if this is because I actually need a crossover cable, or if it is because I need to change some network settings.

Help with all or any of the above questions would be very gratefully received.

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#2 Wand3r3r


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Posted 01 May 2015 - 09:34 AM

It is true you don't need a crossover cable anymore due to mdi/mdix support [google it]

You have to manually assign ip addresses to the interfaces since with a crossover cable there is no dhcp server on the network.  You need to know a little about ip addressing to do this correctly.


Router doesn't come into play.  Only the switch does.  Hopefully you are using as large a file as possible for your testing.

#3 CaveDweller2


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Posted 01 May 2015 - 11:20 AM

I don't think it will make any real difference directly connected or not.


There is a thing called sliding window protocol that comes into play when transferring files. Basically a computer(PC1) will try to send as many packets as it can until the receiving computer(PC2) can't handle them all and says "whoa slow down". And then PC1 sends less. This is why when you are transferring files the eta to finish fluctuates a good bit at the start but then settles down but still moves a little bit up and down because PC1 from time to time will try to sneak more packets in.


Your statement that the PC hardware plays into transfer speeds is spot on. So lets look at your computers, Computer A has a quad core compared to a dual on Computer B. Computer A has 16 gbs of ddr3 vs 8 gbs ddr2 of Computer B. And the biggest thing are the hard drives, Computer A has 64 MB cache and 6 GB/s vs Computer B's 16 MB cache and 3 GB/s. And both are connected to speed appropriate connections. So yeah Computer A is going to be able to handle a much larger window than Computer B, that is why the transfer speeds are so different going one way than the other.


But if you want to try it, just plug them directly together. If you plug them together after they are started, they should have IP addresses in the same subnet so you shouldn't have to fiddle with them.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College

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