I can plug my Windows 7 laptop (an MSI GE60) directly into the router using a cat5e Ethernet cable, and it pulls 150-170 Mbps, no problem.
But if I unplug that same Ethernet cable from the laptop and plug it into a desktop (also using Windows 7), it will pull only 68-80 Mbps. Am I missing some kind of setting on my desktop or something that is limiting the speed?
The NIC in the desktop is a Realtek PCIe FE Family controller. I tried my other desktop—which I built myself (and is running Windows 8.1)—and that also will pull a max of only 60-80 Mbps. The second desktop I tested has a Realtek GBE PCIe Family controller NIC. I set it to 1.0 Gbps, no change; set it to auto negotiate, no difference; set it to 100 Mbps, no difference.
What is it about my laptop that will allow me to get the speed I pay for, but my desktops are getting only about half?