4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2016 7:27 AM by SimplyJLH999

    Intel Dual Band AC3160 slow wireless N

    Chrifister

      Recently purchased an MSI GE72 2QF-247US running Windows 10 that comes with an Intel Dual Band AC3160 wireless card. I happened to notice later that my downloads seem to max out around 4.5 MB/s or roughly 36 Mb/s. I have an Asus RT-N66U router on a 200/40 connection from my ISP. Connecting directly to the router with a cable will reach the full speed. My old laptop had an Atheros AR9285 single stream wireless card and could reach speeds of 110 Mb/s on the 2.4 Ghz band, along with both of our Samsung Galaxy S5's. The 5 Ghz band doesn't work as well due to the range from the router.

       

      So the first tests I did were some speed tests from the new laptop on both bands. On 2.4 Ghz it normally reaches 36 Mb/s and occasionally as high as 54 Mb/s. On the 5 Ghz band, I get from 12 to 24 Mb/s. Very poor results. Performing the speed tests standing beside the router gave a more consistent 54 Mb/s on the 2.4 Ghz band and there was no change in the 5 Ghz band. Curiously enough, the upload speed on 2.4 Ghz is usually faster than the download speed? The adapter status in Windows shows the 2.4 Ghz connection speed as 72 Mb/s and the 5 Ghz considerably lower.

       

      I've tried updating the wireless card driver with the driver from the OEM website as well as Intel's latest one. I've tried a few different configuration options found in these forums from other users having similar problems. I've tried multiple different settings on the Asus router. No matter what I do, I cannot increase the connection speed.

       

      I've ruled out the router or any interference issues so it comes down to this wireless card. Possible causes could be poor reception (even though it's showing 5 bars in Windows) due to the design of the laptop, poor reception from the antennas (possible connector problem? will check later), a driver problem, or a problem with the card itself.

       

      Since most of our devices now support the AC wireless standard, I am picking up an Asus RT-AC87U on the way home today. It supports MU-MIMO and is an AC2400 router. Since this wireless card only supports one stream, I have also ordered an Intel Dual Band AC7260 wireless card that should be here in a week. It supports two streams and should have twice the performance of this AC3160.

       

      In the meantime however, is there anything I can try to improve the speed of the AC3160? It doesn't seem right that this card can't compete with a 6 year old Atheros. Judging by the number of posts regarding people having similar issues with this card, I would hazard a guess that this card was designed for and only works well on the wireless AC standard. Am also disappointed with MSI and will be contacting them as an expensive gaming laptop should not come with an inferior wireless card.

       

      Edit: A good indication that there is a problem is the fact that in the adapter status in Windows the link speed says 72 Mb/s when a single stream wireless N connection should say 150 Mb/s, like my old Atheros card does. I'm wondering if the card is even connecting with wireless N and not G as 54 Mb/s is the maximum speed for G I think? I've tried setting the router to only accept N connections and I can still connect to it so it can't be connecting with G? Also, we're having issues with dropped connections from both of our S5's and they seemed to have started when I received the new laptop. Thinking back, we only seem to have the issue when the laptop is connected to the router. Normally I wouldn't assume the AC3160 would be causing interference except for the few posts I've run across, one of them on here, where the user is complaining about this card breaking the wireless connections of other clients when using certain routers.

        • 1. Re: Intel Dual Band AC3160 slow wireless N
          aleki_intel

          Hello Chrifister,

           

          Considering you informed you have tried the drivers from the OEM and Intel Support Page. Please try the following:

          1 - Disable Power Functions: Control Panel >> Hardware and Sound >> Power Option >> Set the High Performance and apply to default.

          2 - Check the Change Plan Settings:  >> Change Advanced Power Settings >> Wireless Adapter Settings >> Power Saving Mode and make sure both on Battery and Plugged in are set to Maximum Performance.

          3 - On Device Manager >> Network Adapters >> Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160 and then select and right click on it, then choose Properties.

          4 - On Property, select the Advanced tab and set the U-APSD support to Disabled. U-APSD is not spported bt this adapter.

          5 -  Check the value of transmit Power and make sure it is set to 5. Highest.

          6 - Change the current channel used to a less crowded one on the router.

          7 - Set the Wireless Mode to 802.11a/b/g/n according to that of the supported mode on your router.

          8 - Set the preferred band to Prefer 2.4GHz band.

          9 - Set the HT Mode to HT.

          10 - Set the Channel Width for 2.4GHz to limited 20MHz

          • 2. Re: Intel Dual Band AC3160 slow wireless N
            Chrifister

            Hi there;

             

            I've seen those suggestions in your responses to other threads. I tried them last night with no difference. I also confirmed with the girlfriend today that the wireless connectivity issues with our S5's did start when I received this laptop a month or so ago.

             

            So I did purchase that router and set it up when I got home. Following is the speed tests I've run with three different devices for the new router:

             

            1. Old laptop with Atheros AR9285 chip. Beside the router, curiously the 2.4 Ghz band has dropped from 110 to 80 Mb/s, maybe I was too close. This card doesn't have 5 Ghz. I used this laptop to set up the router and only ran the one test. Adapter status still shows connected with speed of 150 Mb/s.

             

            2. S5 with Broadcom BCM4354 chip. Beside the router, 2.4 Ghz has increased from 110 to 140 Mb/s. The 5 Ghz band reached my maximum WAN speed of 201 Mb/s. In the living room, 2.4 Ghz drops to 132 Mb/s while 5 Ghz drops to 57 Mb/s. This Broadcom chip has two streams and is wireless AC capable.

             

            3. This laptop with the Intel AC3160. Beside the router, adapter status still only shows speed of 72.2 Mb/s for 2.4 Ghz but shows between 200 and 433 Mb/s on the 5 Ghz band. The 2.4 Ghz band reached a speed of 56 Mb/s while the 5 Ghz maxed out my ISP speed around 200 Mb/s. In the living room, both bands are unstable with 2.4 Ghz jumping between 8 and 55 Mb/s while 5 Ghz is between 25 and 70 Mb/s. The router has AiRadar and beamforming abilities to direct signals toward each device. No idea if it works but I wonder if it's the cause of the instability?

             

            Conclusions.

            The router is in a bad position at the moment as I'm in the process of moving my office, so some of these speeds could probably be better. The only thing this Intel card has done well on is the wireless AC over 5 Ghz while standing beside the router. In that one case, it outperformed the old Atheros card because of its lack of 5 Ghz. The problem really seems to lie with that 2.4 Ghz band. It seems the card is incapable of connecting faster than 72.2 Mb/s according to the status. Real performance is almost half that.

             

            I'd rather not blame everything entirely on this Intel card. The antenna connectors could be loose or poor design of the laptop could be killing the signal. Did I mention the laptop chassis is aluminum? I assume the designers knew it might interfere with the signal and took measures to prevent it.

            • 3. Re: Intel Dual Band AC3160 slow wireless N
              aleki_intel

              Hello Chrifister,

               

              Since the wireless adapter came installed by factory, we recommend that you contact the OEM and see if they have any updates that might resolve this issue: Computer Manufacturer Support Websites - On our best effort to assist you with this, please access the following links below for the solutions we have available.

              802.11n Connectivity Recommended Settings for Wireless

              Advanced Wi-Fi Adapter Settings for Network and I/O

              Improve Your 802.11n Wireless Performance for Network and I/O

              Data Rate Will Not Exceed 54 Mbps When WEP or TKIP Encryption is...

              • 4. Re: Intel Dual Band AC3160 slow wireless N
                SimplyJLH999

                Hi Chrifister,

                 

                I am having the same difficulty only with a HP Envy 15t-k100, 18 mos. old. I replaced the Broadcomm adapter that came in the Envy with the AC-3160 because of the lack of true speed.  I setup as recommended by Intel but no help.  I have Comcast's new Xfinity Wireless Gateway and the "up to 200 Mb/s service".   I get 175+ Mb/s at the rj45 local connection. When I run Xfinity speedtest via my browser, the best speed I get is 38 Mb/s.  The adapter status on my laptop shows speed of 72.2 Mb/s for 2.4 Ghz.  The Broadcomm adapter showed 72 Mb/s.

                 

                My wife has an older HP Elitebook 8620P.  Her adapter status shows 144 Mb/s for 2.4 Ghz.  Her laptop, using the same router, gets a minimum of 80 Mbs/sec. on the speedtest in the browser. 

                 

                Have you heard anything different since you posted on Jan. 7?


                Thanks for any help / info you can give.


                PS - I bought the AC-3160 because it was on HP's whitelist for my laptop.