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USB 2.0 vs PCIe 1.1 bus speeds?

Posted on 2013-12-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I am in the process of updating my network and I bought a Linksys AC 900 EA6200 router with speeds up to ~840 mbps.

Until I can upgrade my PC's They have USB 2.0 ports, I was going to install a PCI express x 1 USB 3.0 card to get more speed but I just found out they are v1.1 slots and if I understand correctly they only get 250 mbps speeds so I am better off using the USB 2.0 ports, is that correct?

From what I was told a wireless USB adapter might get half of the advertised speed so would it be to my benefit to get a USB 3.0 with max speed of ~840 mbps even though I know it won't get those speeds it seems like a better option than a USB 2.0 adapter that advertises 450 mbps.

Is there anything I am missing that would allow me to get faster network speeds?
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Question by:REIUSA
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 39689044
I have an Intel N 6205 wireless card connected on a PCI bus in a fairly new 64-bit laptop. The maximum speed copying a very large file over my network is about 90 mbits/second.

The network is a Cisco RV042G with 800 mbits/second throughput. The wireless is a Cisco RV220W wireless router.  

So if you are using a USB connection to give you wireless, 250 mbits/second seems quite high. Remember that wireless speeds are rarely up to the top limit specified.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:CompProbSolv
CompProbSolv earned 125 total points
ID: 39689080
Is it really impractical to use wired Ethernet in your situation?  It would be much more reliable and predictable.

I have seen too many clients use wireless because "it was too much trouble to run cable".  While that can be the case, it is often much less of a burden than troubleshooting wireless problems in the future.

Of course, if you are looking for portability with a laptop, the disadvantages of wireless can make up for the disadvantages.  I try hard to avoid wireless when dealing with stationary computers.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 39689081
"...  I was going to install a PCI express x 1 USB 3.0 card to get more speed but I just found out they are v1.1 slots and if I understand correctly they only get 250 mbps speeds so I am better off using the USB 2.0 ports, is that correct? " ==>  NO !!   Not at all.    With a single PCIe v1.1 lane you'll get 250MB/s of bandwidth, which is FAR more than any USB 2 or wireless adapter can come close to.

I think you're confusing Bytes/second with Bits/second in comparing the various devices.

As for whether or not there is  "... anything I am missing that would allow me to get faster network speeds?"  ==>  It depends on whether you mean networking, or wireless networking.    By far the BEST thing you can do to increase your networking speed is to run Cat-6 cable to all your devices and use Gb adapters with a Gb router and switches.    But if you're referring to your wireless infrastructure, your already pressing the limit on what you're going to achieve -- about the only other improvement you can make is to replace all of the adapters with dual-band Wireless AC adapters that can maximize the speed when connected with your new router.

But no adapter will overcome the most basic rule of networking:  Wired is ALWAYS better than wireless :-)
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Author Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 39691550
Ahhhhhh, I am glad you brought that up. I was looking online comparing and I had a brain fart and saw MB/s and mentally compared it to mbps. I thought that was really odd, I thought for sure the PCIe would be much faster than a USB port, now I know why.

I am dealing with two PC's now and one I will keep wired, I need to install a gig NIC in one of the PCIe slots and the other PC I will have to have wireless so for that one I will look at a PCIe wireless card instead of a USB adapter.

So if I have a gig Ethernet/AC~840mbps and use a gig NIC in a PCIe on one and a wireless PCIe card rated for as high a mbps rating as I can afford (at least ~840) what kind of LAN speeds could I expect? 1/2, 3/4 top speed?
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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 39691621
I've not used any AC wireless adapters, but with Wireless-N if you get 50-60% of the rated speed you're doing well; so I'd expect the same with Wireless-AC.

With wired Gb you can get very close to the rated speed => I routinely get 120MB/s transfers (960Mb) ... which is about 95% of the theoretical max.    That's with all Gb infrastructure and wired Cat-6 throughout my home.
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Author Closing Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 39696500
Thanks for the help all.
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