8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2017 4:57 PM by Intel Corporation

    New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network

    ghostm42

      Hi,


      I just got the Dell Inspiron that includes an Intel Dual Band 3165ac wireless card. The max speed I can get this to run at is 150mbps on my AC network. Meanwhile, my Lenovo with an Intel 7260ac wireless card gets upwards of 400mbps on the same network. I realize the 3165ac is a 1x1 card with a max speed of 433mbps, but I'm not even coming close to that. I have a gigabit broadband connection.

       

      I am located 2 feet from the wireless router at this point. I've updated the drivers to the latest ones:

      Download Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software and Drivers for Windows® 10

       

      I configured it to the optimal settings in the advanced tab of the NIC, as recommended by previous posts. I disabled bluetooth.

       

      Meanwhile, my Ubee router is set to AC only (or N/AC only, I've tried both). I'm using channel 112 of my 5Ghz band, where I am the only user based on a Wifi Analyzer. It is set to 80Mhz bandwidth.

       

      I've used various speed tests from Ookla, Google Fiber, Fast.com, Xfinity and they all show it is 150mbps or slower. Meanwhile, my Lenovo that is right next to the Dell gets 300-400mbps on the same speed tests.

       

      I've attached a file from the Intel System Support Utility. If someone can help, please let me know. At 150mbps, it's actually slower than my 3 year old Lenovo and my 5 year old MacBook Pro (that only supports wireless N protocol).

        • 1. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello ghostm42,

           

          We understand you're unhappy with the download speeds on your new laptop using the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 adapter on Windows® 10.

           

          As you're already aware, the 3165 is a low cost 1x1 adapter, meaning it uses one antenna for wifi, supporting one data stream.

           

          Looking at the report attached, we noticed that your adapter is already achieving it's maximum Receive/Transmit Rate of 433.3 Mbps.

           

          It's important to note and understand the difference between connection rate and download speeds, as these are similar and can often be confused.

           

          Connection rate is an accurate measurement of wireless network speeds, it takes into account all the network overhead (such as routing information, and network encryption packages). This relays the speed at which your adapter is communicating with your router or access point.

           

          Download speed on the other hand is a simple average measured by how fast different sized files are downloaded from the nearest server available through your Internet Service Provider. This number can be 30 to 50% smaller than your connection rate depending on a lot of factors which can affect wireless signals, such as latency, network encryption, interference, etc.

           

          You can verify your connection rate by opening a command prompt session and issuing the netsh wlan show interface command:

           

          show interface.jpg

           

          Since your adapter is already performing at it's maximum speed and your settings look OK, it's unlikely that any suggestions we can make will help increase your current download speeds.

           

          Best regards,
          Carlos A.

          • 2. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
            ghostm42

            Hi Carlos,

             

            Thank you for the response. I understand the difference between connection rate and download speed. I don't expect to achieve 433mbps. That, however, doesn't solve the problem. At 150mbps, it is performing at single stream wireless N protocol. Are you suggesting that realistic download speeds for the AC protocol on a single stream for the 3165ac is 150mbps, at one third of the theoretical maximum? This would imply that single stream AC underperforms 2x2 N protocol. I have a 5 year old MacBook pro with an AirportExtreme b/G/N card that easily pulls 250mbps on the same speed tests. It has a theoretical maximum of 300mbps. The brand new Dell with the 3165 is underperforming that.

             

            The router is within 6 feet of the wireless card, direct line of sight. I used a wifi analyzer to select an empty channel. I use multiple speed tests. The Dell with the 3165 card hits 150mbps and stays there, not fluctuating at all above 150mbps, as if it hit a ceiling/cap. Meanwhile, my Lenovo with the 7260ac gets 400+mbps, on the same network. So it's not the ISP or the speed test server. The Dell is always 150 or less.

             

            So while I agree that the cards established a 433mbps connection, I disagree that 150mbps is an appropriate/expected download speed in this situation.

            • 3. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hello ghostm42,

              We understand your frustration. However, if your adapter is already communicating at full speed with your router, we would need to look else where to increase your download speeds.

              In this case we can recommend the following:

              1. Make sure that your router is using the latest firmware version available.
              2. Toggle or adjust your router's Quality of Service (QoS) or priority list settings.
              3. Consider how many devices are connected to your router. Test your download speed while the computer in question is the only one connected to the network. If this results in an improvement, consider upgrading to a newer router or one with more external antennas.
              4. Consider other factors. In some cases upgrading your RAM Memory or switching to a solid state drive will help boost your over-all system performance resulting in better download speeds as well as other system wide benefits.

              Best regards,
              Carlos A.

              • 4. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
                ghostm42

                Carlos,

                 

                I appreciate your reply and agree that there may be another cause for the slow download speed, but I think your suggestions are heading in the wrong direction. I had been in IT for over 10 years and was Cisco certified in the past. I think we can put suggestions like upgrading RAM or to an SSD to rest; neither would improve my network speed.

                 

                The Dell Inspiron is running Windows Home. I booted to an Ubuntu Linux live USB. The 3165ac was automatically detected. Under Linux, the 3165ac was able to get spectacular download speeds on all the speed test sites. I'm getting 250-360mbps consistently on every speed test site. When I boot back into Windows 10 Home, my max speed is again limited to 150mbps.

                 

                So the good news is that the 3165ac hardware is fine, the router config is fine, the network environment is fine. The problem is clearly software. Either the 3165ac driver is not working properly (I have the latest Intel driver), Windows Home has a bug, there is a software component capping the speed or a combination of these issues. Unfortunately, I don't have a good way of figuring this out.

                • 5. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hello ghostm42,

                  Any Linux* distribution using Kernel version 4.1 or above will by default come embedded with our wireless drivers for this adapter.

                  We do generally recommend choosing the latest driver provided by your computer manufacturer over our generic version of the same. However, since you're already achieving your adapter's maximum speeds, there must be something else slowing down your actual downloads.

                  For example, remember that Windows® 10 runs updates silently in the background for several of it's components, perhaps this, or your antivirus could be factoring in. Some OEM systems will have an additional update utility for the computer manufacturer provided software.

                  Best regards,
                  Carlos A.

                  • 6. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hello ghostm42,

                    Has the issue continued with your OS fully updated? Let us know if you would like any further assistance.

                    Best regards,
                    Carlos A.

                    • 7. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
                      ghostm42

                      Thanks for the response. I was able to get better speed after installing group policy, then b changing the QoS packet scheduler setting soi that it would not reserve a percentage of the speed to Windows related downloads.

                       

                      I now get over 250mbps, which I consider reasonable consider the 1x1 card.

                      • 8. Re: New Dell Inspiron with Intel 3165ac only gets 150mbps max on AC network
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        Hello ghostm42,

                        We're glad to hear that managing to receive much more acceptable download speeds now.

                        If there's any other way we may be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us again.

                        Best regards,
                        Carlos A.