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I want gigabit speeds, but the best I can get is only 12mbps. I am transferring from my computer over a gigabit Ethernet (Built-in Realtek adapter) on an Asus motherboard (I checked the specifications and it's gigabit) through a Cat 5E cable to a Netgear WNDR4500 router and then to a WD Live TV hub. My desktop plays all the latest games at the maximum settings with no problems, and my hard drive is 7200 RPM. All my firmware and hardware drivers are up to date. So what am I doing wrong here?

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"So what am I doing wrong here?" - A few misconceptions: Gigabit is the actual speed of the data on the wire. But your PC and WD LiveTV unit do not use that capacity (put data on the wire) 100% of the time. There's a lot of dead time on the wire. So you end up with just an average data throughput of just 12 megabytes (?) per second. – sawdust Oct 4 '12 at 20:14
Usually using a little "b" means bits not bytes so 12 mbs could also mean 12 mega-bits per second. – HeatfanJohn Oct 4 '12 at 20:16
How long is the Cat5E cable? Is the WNDR4500 a gigabit router on all the ports? What about the WD Live TV Hub? Do you have Cat 6 cabling laying around to try it with? Is it just to/from the WD, or for everything? – Canadian Luke Oct 4 '12 at 20:17
Maybe you could test throughput with jperf. Also remember that 12 Megabytes per second => Megabits per second and 1 Gigabit => Gigabyte. – Sampo Sarrala Oct 4 '12 at 20:44

Every point to which your traffic goes through ( Router, HUB, Switch, etc ) needs to be Gigabit, as well as the cables between all of them. After looking up your devices, it looks like they are all indeed Gigabit.

With a 7200RPM HDD, you're only going to get about 120MB/s read/write. However your WD Live TV hub may not have a 7200RPM HDD, so this could be slowing it down. So the reality is, you're not going to get anything better than what your slowest Hard Drive, or cable/port will get you.

  • Verify that all your cables to every device are quality cat5 cables.
  • Check with WD to verify the speed of the hard drive in the 'WD Live TV.'
  • Keep in mind that your speeds are limited to your slowest hard drive/cable/port
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12 MB/sec (I'm assuming your 12mbps was a typo) is extremely close to a 100mbit connection. If I had to guess, you have a 100mbit piece of hardware somewhere in there.

100 mbit / 8 bits per byte = 12.5 MB

As you are using WDTV, I'm guessing this next does not apply to you, but on lower speed devices, doing things over an encrypted connection can bottom out the CPU very very easily.

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Just to add a little more to Tillman32's answer, the data rate of a 7200 RPM drive as of 2010 on Wikipedia is 1,030 MBits/sec. This is a sustained rate which means it can be reached IFF all of the data is in one contiguous block. If it is scattered around then that rate drops dramatically.

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