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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?

  • Seems like the issue is 100BT connection versus 1000BT (Gigabit Ethernet) connection. Also, what OS are you using? Can you add that info to your question? – JakeGould Feb 6 '15 at 4:08
  • Note that if autonegotiate is disabled on one end, but enabled on another, it will result in a poor connection. – grawity Feb 6 '15 at 7:51
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    I'd look into Flow Control, QoS/WMM. – Tetsujin Feb 6 '15 at 9:43
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How exactly you test the speed? If your desktops have slow or highly fragmented HDD and you just trying to download file it may be culprit.

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Ok guys I finally figured it all out. It was a hardware problem and nothing else. The First desktop I connected only had a 10/100 ethernet connection on the motherboard. The second desktop I was connecting, was connected to a second router, that was connected to the first router, but the second router only supported 10/100 speeds. I appreciate all the help, especially JakeGould for mentioning it sounded like a 100/1000 problem because that's exactly what it was.

Note: Diagram image link is no longer valid and has been removed.

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