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I was able to install the Boot Camp Windows software using the executable that it provided, and there are no unrecognized or unknown devices in Device Manager.

Wi-Fi works but it seems to be limited to an extremely slow 1.5Mbits. Network Center reports an 802.11n connection (at 65Mbps usually) but transfers never reach above about 200kB/s. Being limited to 1/20th of the connection speed of my internet service is quite frustrating.

Does anybody experience the same issue? I have been trying to identify the Broadcom Wi-Fi chipset and a driver that I could try to upgrade to but I have made very little progress on Google on this front.

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I guess my Google-fu was stronger than yours today, because I Googled for broadcom Wifi chip in macbook air mid 2011 and found an iFixit teardown that identified it as a "Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi® Single-Chip 802.11n Wi-Fi Transceiver".

And then I searched for broadcom 4322 windows 8 and found this Microsoft Answers article, which may help you:

Slow WiFi with Broadcom 4322 and Windows 8 CP

Basically, that user had similar slow performance to yours, with a different preview of Windows 8, and found that the BCM4322 driver Microsoft had included with that version of Windows 8 ( from 6-Jan-2012) had problems, which he was able to resolve by force-downgrading to version from 06-Apr-2011.

It would be interesting to know which version of the BCM4322 driver Microsoft distributed with your version of Windows 8, and which version Apple distributed as part of the current Boot Camp Windows driver package.

By the way if that doesn't solve your entire issue, I should point out that you may have two issues here:

  1. Why are you only connecting at single-stream, HT20, long guard interval (long GI) rates? Are you connecting to a single stream, 2.4GHz-only AP (on of those "N150", non-MIMO, N-in-name-only cheap crappy APs)? All Macs with N support have always had at least dual-band 2x2:2 support, with short GI in either band and HT40 in 5GHz (but Apple devices only do HT20 in 2.4GHz as a "good neighbor" policy so that things like Bluetooth still work), so you should be able to get a 300mbps signaling rate with a good AP.

  2. Why is your throughput so slow? Even if a cheap/crappy AP explained the 65mbps signaling rate, you should still be able to see TCP throughput of at least 33 megabits/sec at that signaling rate, if you're measuring properly.

So if you need to troubleshoot this further, I suppose standard Wi-Fi troubleshooting steps apply:

  • Try a different channel (use a 5GHz channel in 40MHz mode if you can).
  • Make sure you have strong signal.
  • Eliminate sources of radio interference in your environment.
  • Make sure your AP firmware is up to date.
  • Do your speed tests using a tool that uses TCP efficiently, such as IPerf, between your wireless client machine and a wired Ethernet machine plugged into the LAN port of your AP. Don't introduce uncertainty by trying to measure performance using software of unknown efficiency, or by trying to measure wireless-to-wireless, or by including your Internet connection in the speed test.
  • And in your case, you should probably see if this works fine under Windows 7, since I don't think Apple has announced Boot Camp support for Windows 8 yet. Apple may be planning to update Boot Camp with Windows 8 support once they get fully Windows 8-tested drivers from their chipset vendors.
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Awesome awesome answer, I'll post back with results and experiences! – Steven Lu Jul 6 '12 at 1:47
What is generally a good way to find drivers like this? Searching for that particular version of driver on Google (Well, searching for any particular version of any driver on Google) leads me to a lot of questionable-looking sites that have me downloading .exe's. – Steven Lu Jul 6 '12 at 22:56
@stevenlu I can't help you on that front, I'm not really a Windows guy. – Spiff Jul 7 '12 at 3:27
I confirm that Broadcom driver is solution. Macbook Air mid 2012. I downloaded driver here… – Roman Truba Jul 18 '13 at 16:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Spiff I wish I could accept your answer but it wasn't what led me to the solution.

It's true I don't have a way to tell which version of driver it is that I am using now (whether it was the one provided by Microsoft with Windows 8 or the one provided by Apple from the Boot Camp Software) but basically what I did was go to "Update Driver Software" for the device from Device Manager and chose the "Browse Computer" and then "Let me pick from a list" options. Here it listed two signed drivers, one from Microsoft and one from Broadcom. The Microsoft one is the one I am using and it is version from 6/16/2011.

My guess is the driver provided by the Boot Camp software suite works badly with Windows 8 for whatever reason, so for anybody else who is doing what I am doing, just go ahead and pick the older Microsoft driver.

A quick run shows 20Mbps which indicates we are doing a lot better than before and I should not have problems anymore. A lot more of the Windows 8 apps (like Weather) are fully functioning now also. This machine is very pleasant to use now in both OS flavors.

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