I am having issues with the WiFi performance on a Lenovo X1 (5th Gen). For a while it has shown bad download speeds. I am basically comparing it to an HP EliteBook 8440p with the same software (Windows 10), obviously connected to the same network, on Chrome, and via Speedtest.net. The EliteBook 8440p (6-8 year old computer) blows the new X1 out of the water. It has double the throughput in download and upload speeds. The performance is 20 mbps upload and download for X1 vs. 45 mbps for EliteBook.
I was thinking there might be some background process taking up some network capability, but there is none. And, it would have to be a HUGE network consumption to account for such a difference. I tried updating the WiFi driver and that seemed to help a little (up to 30 mbps at times), but still lacking.
When using the same network but on a 5 GHz channel, speeds are normal (same to HP laptop). Also, when the laptop is very close to the router (Apple Extreme), speeds are as expected (equal to HP Laptop).
Any suggestion is very much appreciated.
Check if Bluetooth* is active, if it is, please turn it off if not needed as it can impact on the speed. Bluetooth* signal uses the same 2.4 GHz band. A possible solution to this is to use 5.0GHz to avoid interference.
We are checking on this thread and were wondering if your wireless connection speed on the 2.4Ghz band has improved after disabling Bluetooth*.
Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.
Thank you for your reply and for following up.
Yes, it did help but marginally; maybe an improvement of 10% - 20%. The throughput speeds are still 20% - 30% below the HP laptop. And the HP has Bluetooth on!
When sitting in front of the router, the throughput is equal. So, either the wireless card in my new ThinkPad is significantly worse than the wireless card in my 8 year-old HP, or there is a software issue, or there is damage on my card (which I doubt since it works well, only with lower performance).
We would like to gather more information about your Lenovo* X1.
Please download and run the https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25293/Intel-System-Support-Utility Intel® System Support Utility (while connected to your network) and share the resulting report with us. Please do this twice, one report while the system is connected to the 2.4 GHz band, and another one while connected to the 5 GHz band.
To enable file attachments, you will need to switch to the advanced editor mode while replying.
Thanks for sharing the two Intel® SSU logs.
We noticed that when the system is connected to the 2.4 GHz band, it does at Wireless-N (802.11n). However, when using the 5 GHz band, it connects at Wireless-AC (802.11ac).
As 802.11n is a legacy standard, it goes much slower than 802.11ac. This could explain the difference in speed between the bands. In hopes to improve the speed for 2.4 GHz connection, we recommend the following:
- Update the router firmware if available.
- Verify if the router is prioritizing 802.11n before 802.11ac in some way.
- On the advance settings for Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, change option "802.11n Channel Width for 2.4GHz" from "Auto" to "20 MHz Only".
- Still on the adapter's advance settings, lower the value for "Roaming Aggressiveness" from "3. Medium" to "1. Lowest".
Please let us know the status of the connection after applying these changes.
Thank you for following up and for the detailed suggestions.
- I disabled 802.11n on my router (Apple Airport Extreme) and ran the test. Same throughput (no improvement)
- I changed the options for channel width and roaming aggressiveness. No improvement.
I am attaching the configuration report for 2.4 GHz after these changes.
I should note that upload speeds are fine and the same. It is only with download speeds that I have an issue. So, upload speeds are always 40 - 45 Mbps with both laptops and both networks (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). Download speed with the 5GHz network is 40 - 45 MBps on both laptops. Download speed with the 2.4 GHz network is 20 - 25 Mbps with X1 laptop and 40-45 Mbps with older HP laptop.
Thanks for taking the time to test our suggestions.
In a further analysis of the Intel® SSU files shared in the previous replies, we noticed the connection rate for the 2.4 GHz band is 144.4 Mbps. The connection rate is the speed at which a connection is established between two devices, showing the adapter is negotiating at a healthy speed with the router.
At this point, we don't believe there's an issue with the wireless adapter. The problem might originate at operating system or network level. We recommend checking if Windows* 10 is performing downloads on the background. You may also run another speed test while temporarily disabling the antivirus.
Thank you again for your reply.
I do not think the problem is at operating system or network level, caused by, for example, downloads in the background, etc. The reasons are explained in my previous posts:
- The deterioration in download speeds are immediate and clear when switching from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. As soon as I switch back, the speeds revert. If there were issues with software, network, background downloads, etc., then the type of network chosen 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz would be irrelevant.
- Another laptop running the same software (Windows 10) placed alongside the malfunctioning laptop performs well. Though, of course, there might be some process using up a lot of bandwidth on the first laptop, this does rule out network configuration issues. If there was an issue with the network, then it would affect both laptops running Windows 10 in similar fashion.
- Also, just for clarity, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks are provided by the same router so, basically the same network.
- I have monitored network activity on the malfunctioning laptop and there is nothing going on in the network to merit a deterioration of 15 Mbps.
- This deterioration in throughput has been consistent for a couple of weeks, at least. It is very unlikely that we have background processes running at this rate for weeks without me noticing.
- I have booted the laptop with all services --except Microsoft signed services-- disabled. The same symptoms are observed 15 Mbps slower with 2.4 GHz and normality when changing to 5 GHz.
- The receive rate and transmit rate for the 2.4GHz network before the changes (first report) was ALSO 144.4 Mbps. I do not think this is a test of throughput. Maybe maximum rate? In any case, it has not changed so not a good indicator of something being fixed.
- I have run the speed test with firewall off and antivirus off. The symptoms remain unchanged: normal speed with 5 GHz and deteriorated speed with 2.4 GHz
Because speeds normalize as I get closer to router, I am pretty sure it has to do with the network card. That is why I posted this here. Is there a setting that controls the power sent to the card? Or some other test that can be used to measure signal strength?
Thanks for your detailed reply.
As you mentioned, the receive and transmit rate is not exactly a measure for throughput, but it reflects the connection rate. In other words the negotiated speed between the access point and the clients (connected devices), meaning the adapter itself is working properly.
Throughput can be defined as the amount of data moved successfully from one place to another in a given period. Depending on your bandwidth, or the capacity of your wireless access point, adding more clients to your network may decrease the throughput, resulting in lower download speeds while maintaining the same connection rate.
We noticed the signal strength for 2.4 GHz was optimal at 99%, but as you reported, the download speed is still low. You could test changing channels on the 2.4 GHz band to one with less noise. Channels 1, 6 and 11 are recommended since they don't overlap. However, it'll be advisable to use the 5GHz band instead.
As for the adapters power, this option is already set to maximum at the advance settings (Transmit Power).
Please let us know is there's anything else we can do for you.
While I thank you for your efforts, this does not seem to be the answer either. I checked with channels 1, 6 and 12. The first test with channel 1 seemed to perform closer to normal speed but then on subsequent tests, fell back to underperforming download speeds. Channels 6 and 12 showed no change from previous lackluster download speeds.
Do you know of an app that can monitor how congested a channel is?
If, without changing anything else, I move close to the router, download speeds are normal. Why are only download speeds that are affected with distance and not upload? Of course, it still begs the question as to why the new laptop, side by side the old HP, underperforms? The HP is not affected by whatever it is that is affecting the new one.
Thanks for your reply.
We don't have a proprietary tool to check wireless channels congestion, but we know there are a few free tools available for it. The following articles contain a lot of useful information regarding wireless channels:
- https://www.extremetech.com/computing/179344-how-to-boost-your-wifi-speed-by-choosing-the-right-channel How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Speed by Choosing the Right Channel
- https://www.lifewire.com/best-wifi-channels-for-your-network-818278 How to Choose The Best Wi-Fi Channels for Your Network
You mentioned that when the distance between the Lenovo* X1 and the router affects the download speed, but not the upload speed. However, the transmit and receive rate have the same value, pointing to some kind of configuration issue with the router.
Some routers may discriminate one system over another based on priority lists or quality of service (QoS) settings. We recommend connecting the computer to a different 2.4 GHz network to confirm if the issue persists.
On your network, you may also try the following:
- Hard reset your router and make sure the first device that connects again is your Lenovo* X1. Please bear in mind that you'll have to setup the router again:
- https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201945 How to reset your AirPort* base station
- https://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1644/en_US/airport_extreme_80211ac_setup.pdf AirPort* Extreme Setup Guide
- Make sure that you're using the latest firmware released for your router:
- https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201519 Update the software on your AirPort base station
NOTE: Links to third party sites are being offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel of the content, products, or services offered there.
I am also having similar issues, same network adapter. I cant get more then about 30mbps because the network card will not connect with the new standards, I get a link rate of 54mbps. Please check my thread and provide any input you may have
I am using a netgear R6400 which is an AC1750 router, I should be getting more then a 54mbps link using the 5ghz signal.