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Old September 24, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Default range and speed of usb wireless adapter

Here's my setup:

1) A desktop with a USB D-Link wireless N adapter
2) A laptop with its internal wireless adapter that I bought back in 2007

These two computers are placed next to each other (so I don't think the distance from the router has any effect in my comparisons), but my laptop gets 3 bars of signal while my desktop only gets 1~2 bars. After doing speed tests, my laptop has a 5~7 Mbps download speed but my desktop only gets 1~2 Mbps. Why is this?

Would replacing the USB adapter on my desktop with a PCI one help to solve this issue?
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Old September 24, 2010, 07:07 AM
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I haven't had too much luck with USB adapters in general, they work, just not very well in most cases. I find the laptops I've owned have had great reception in comparison.
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Old September 24, 2010, 07:21 AM
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USB adapters are weak in comparison to a "real" wireless unit. the antenna is internally contained in the USB device, whereas your laptop's antenna usually is in the screen bezel, which makes for better reception.
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Old September 24, 2010, 07:33 AM
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So, would using a PCI card on my desktop give me similar performance as my laptop?
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Old September 24, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happynoobing View Post
So, would using a PCI card on my desktop give me similar performance as my laptop?
Theoretically?

Yes.
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Old September 24, 2010, 09:44 AM
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to add to this, USB device performance generally scales with the performance of your CPU; therefore if your desktop is an old Celeron (for example) the PCI interface offered by an expansion card will inherently give you a performance boost. Couple this with the fact that you will get some antenna options with the card.

Another thing to consider when comparing the two is that a laptop may use a diversity antenna (left/right) for noise/signal-reflection cancellation. I would bet a USB stick wifi-adapter has a single antenna and lacks this feature.
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Old September 24, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
to add to this, USB device performance generally scales with the performance of your CPU; therefore if your desktop is an old Celeron (for example) the PCI interface offered by an expansion card will inherently give you a performance boost. Couple this with the fact that you will get some antenna options with the card.
i got i5 quad core, maybe i should try the metal strainer modification first :P
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