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File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby tylor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:46 am

Hi Guys,

I was wondering if anybody could help/offer suggestions around a sporadic issue I am having with Windows 7 and file transfer speeds, I have tried to provide as much background as possible as well as my configuration settings..

Recently upgraded my netwrok to gigabit by introducting a Netgear 1Gig switch, this is connected to a Linksys router 160N (100m/b).

Main server - Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)
HTPC1 (Asrock Ion dual core) - Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bit)
HTPC2 (Asrock Ion dual core) - Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bit)

Server is hard wired to the switch via a cat5e cable as is the HTPC1, HTPC2 is hard wired over dlan.

I expect to receive gigabit file transfer speeds between Server & HTPC1 but my exprience is completely sporadic. Transferring a 4gig file over the LAN runs between 3MB/s and 12MB/s, if I run an extended cat5e to the bedroom and connect it to HTPC2 I get a whopping 65MB/s. both of the HTPC'2 are identical from a hardware/driver perspective so I am really confused as to why the speed is differing.

Things I have tried:

Swapping the cat5e cables around to see if one was faulty,
Changing the ports from HTPC1 to switch,
Complete format and reinstall of Windows,
Turning Jumbo Frames on/off (no difference)
Updating NIC drivers
Router has latest firmware
Turning off differential comression

(After the format/reinstall of Windows I did [as a one-off] achieve a 50MB/s transfer between Server & HTPC1 but now it has just reverted back to an average of 9MB/s)

I have ordered some cat6 cables to see if this makes a difference but I dont think this is the main issue as I have managed to achieve a 65MB/s transfer on my HTPC2 using cat5e.

Any suggestions or reasons why I am experiencing such a variance in speed would be greatly appreciated,

Kind Regards
Tylor
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby augie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:47 pm

Welcome aboard Tylor. :yesnod: Hope our networking guru will be on soon.
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby jbullard » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:24 pm

Tylor,

The two HTPC's, do they have the same exact HDD's in them as well? Even if they are, most of the transfer speed rates come from the restrictive nature of accessing those drives. Are there any software differences on them?
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby tylor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Same Hard drives in both Pc's (hardware is identical), in terms of software I use both machines for media centre use only (via MediaBrowser). The only software I install is...

CoreAVC
SharkCodec
ACS Filter
CCleaner
MediaCentreStudio

So they are pretty lean, as both machines are small form factor pc's I just use them to stream my meda. Really not sure why the speed is so different as the 2nd HTPC gives a constant 60MB/s transfer?

Thanks for your reply btw..
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby jbullard » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:41 pm

Hrm. That is odd. I wonder if something might be going bad. Have you tried to swap hardware (HDD, NIC) to see if it might be one of those?
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby tylor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:57 pm

I'm afraid I don't have any spare hardware to swap, is there anything else I can check or that I have already missed?
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby jbullard » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Well, I was just thinking that you know the one system gets the transfer speed you are looking for. Since they are identical, I would first take the NIC card out of the one I know is up to par and swap it with the other HTPC. If both systems maintain the same transfer rates then it is not the NIC. I would then swap the HDD's and see what happens. If the transfer rate stays the same then it is not that. Other than the MB, there is nothing else that should affect the transfer rate other than software.

It could be a configuration issue as well; however, I would check the above first because software is a little more difficult to troubleshoot. I normally choose the easy route which would be to create a backup image of the HTPC2 and use that image to restore HTPC1. That way I know they are identical and Windows didn't make any changes.

I am not a network guru but under device manager you can check things like BAUD Rate and other settings that may be different.
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby tylor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:00 pm

Thanks, I will have to try and put aside some time to try this...

I have just tried another copy to HTPC1 and the speed jumped to 23MB/s, the problem seems so sporadic!
Could this be related to anything running in the background/CPU utilization?
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Re: File Transfer Speed sporadic on gigabit network!

Postby ar1stotle » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:24 pm

Yea, CPU utilization has a lot to do with it. When sending packets across the network, both computers are sending packets as to whether or not a packet was received, you're generating calls to read more data off the HDD and writing to it, etc. And the whole time, the scheduler is switching between these transfer threads and the threads your background programs are running on (which is actually kinda a random process). So yea, your CPU can be a bottleneck for network traffic. The fewer background processes you have running, the more stable your transfer speeds should be. I'd actually recommend booting both to a NAS specific OS (like freenas) where the only processes running are the file servers and checking your transfer speeds there.
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