8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2014 9:10 AM by MorelandFamilia
GRbenji Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have 2 new macbook pro connect to my home network.  Router is set to wireless N only (N900 router).  In the Network Utility Link Speed, one shows 450Mbit/s and the other 217 Mbit/s.  Why is this so?  Is there a way to set the latter to the higher speed?  Thanks in advance.

  • 1. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Are both MacBook Pros exactly identical? When taking these measurements were both in the exact same location relative to the wireless router?

  • 2. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    GRbenji Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply Tesserax.  One is 15" MacBook Pro retina (mid 2012) and the other is 13" MacBook Pro retina just arrived (early 2013). Both OSX are 10.8.2 and have same wifi card type. Both sitting side by side connected to a Asus RT-N66U wireless router set to wireless N only.

     

    In the System Info under Wifi, the 15" channel shows 149,1 while the 13" shows only 149. Could this be the latter only connected to the 5GHz band and not the 2.4GHz?  If so, how to make it connect on both band?

  • 3. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Although both MBPs are similar they are not identical and I have seen wide disparities between models for the Transmit Rate value.

     

    The "149,1" value does not mean that that particular MBP is connected to both the 2.4 & 5 GHz radios simultaneouly, even though the wireless router is capable of providing both networks.

     

    I would like for you to go back to the System Information utility for both MBPs and note the following under the en1 (wireless) interface:

    • Card Type
    • Firmware Version

    Under the Current Network Information (for your Wi-Fi network):

    • PHY Mode - These should be identical for both MBPs
    • BSSID - These should be identical for both MBPs
    • Signal / Noise
    • MCS Index
  • 4. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    GRbenji Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again and below are the info:

     

    MBP 13" Early 2013

    en0:

    Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x10F)

    Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.106.98.100.16)

     

    PHY Mode: 802.11n

    BSSID: 08:60:6e:cc:dd:1c

    Signal / Noise: -64 dBm / -88 dBm

    MCS Index: 15 (this changes with every view)

     

     

    MBP 15" Mid 2012

    en0:

    Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0xEF)

    Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.106.98.100.16)

     

    PHY Mode: 802.11n

    BSSID: 08:60:6e:cc:dd:1c

    Signal / Noise: -64 dBm / -89 dBm

    MCS Index: 14 (this changes with every view)

     

     

    Just for info, I checked on a much older MBA 11" Late 2011 and it has a Link Speed of 300 MBit/s.

  • 5. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    Tesserax Level 8 Level 8 (48,245 points)

    Thanks for the additional information. One area to look at is the MCS Index value. This index number can scale up or down depending on signal strength and interference, but its top limit is bound by the hardware on both the client and the wireless access point.

     

    If you want to "decode" MCS, please take a look at the following Wikipedia reference.

     

    All Mac models that support 802.11n employ multiple antennas and can support at least two spacial streams. This should allow them to achieve an MCS of 15 which has a top data rate of 130 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band or 300 Mbps when connected to a 5 GHz network running 40 MHz wide channels.

     

    The very latest Thunderbolt-equipped Macs incorporate three send/receive antennas. This should allow them an MCS of 23 with a top data rate of 450 Mbps on those same wide channel 5 GHz networks. Note also that you need to be running at least OS X Lion as well.

     

    So with all this said, there is nothing you can configure on either of your Macs to "change" the MCS value. You may want to experiment and have your Macs connect to other routers to compare their MCS.

  • 6. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    GRbenji Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again.  I didn't record the changing MCS Index and what the highest it can go, but I did notice the Tx Rate.  For the newer MBP 13", the highest it ever gets to is 217 MBit/s (never sbove it) which is the same as the Link Speed shown in Network Utility.  For the slightly older MBP 15", Tx Rate can go as high as 270 MBit/s with Link Speed as 450 MBit/s.

     

    My curiosity is why would a newer (few days old only) MBP 13" Tx Speed limit (ie the Link Speed) be lower, below half, of a older MBP.  Even lower than a 2011 MBA?  Guess I have to live with it.

     

    Thanks anyway for your responses. :)

  • 7. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    SWWMSWWM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same issue. My newly purchased MacBook Pro Retina late 2012,

     

      Model Name:          MacBook Pro

      Model Identifier:          MacBookPro10,2

      Processor Name:          Intel Core i7

      Processor Speed:          2.9 GHz

      Number of Processors:          1

      Total Number of Cores:          2

      L2 Cache (per Core):          256 KB

      L3 Cache:          4 MB

      Memory:          8 GB

      Boot ROM Version:          MBP102.0106.B03

      SMC Version (system):          2.6f57

     

    Having wifi connected to 2013 Time Capsule, only have 1 channel connected and limited speed.

     

    Software Versions:

      CoreWLAN:          3.3 (330.15)

      CoreWLANKit:          2.0.2 (202.10)

      Menu Extra:          8.1 (810.9)

      configd plug-in:          8.4 (840.22.1)

      System Information:          8.3 (830.5)

      IO80211 Family:          5.3 (530.4)

      Diagnostics:          2.0 (200.24)

      AirPort Utility:          6.3 (630.34)

      Interfaces:

    en0:

      Card Type:          AirPort Extreme  (0x14E4, 0x10F)

      Firmware Version:          Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (5.106.98.100.17)

      MAC Address:<Removed>

      Locale:          APAC

      Country Code:          HK

      Supported PHY Modes:          802.11 a/b/g/n

      Supported Channels:          1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165

      Wake On Wireless:          Supported

      AirDrop:          Supported

      Status:          Connected

      Current Network Information:

    Safari-AC:

      PHY Mode:          802.11n

      BSSID: <Removed>

      Channel:          36

      Country Code:          HK

      Network Type:          Infrastructure

      Security:          WPA2 Personal

      Signal / Noise:          -48 dBm / -90 dBm

      Transmit Rate:          217

      MCS Index:          23

     

     

    But my 2012 MacBook Air and even 2009 MBP also have connect much higher speed with this new TIme Capsule.

     

    Any idea ?

     

    Thanks

  • 8. Re: Network Utility Link Speed
    MorelandFamilia Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello Tesserax. I've been researching ways to improve my wifi performance and you seem to be an expert on this stuff. I have an Asus RT-AC66U router and a late 2013 15" Macbook Pro with Retina display. I'm trying to figure out why the MCS index number is so low on this laptop. My 2007 24" iMac has a higher MCS Index number at 15 and it's sitting right next to the laptop so I wouldnt think interference is the issue. Any suggestions? Here are my specifics:

     

    PHY Mode:          802.11ac

      BSSID:          bc:ee:7b:7e:61:44

      Channel:          153

      Country Code:          US

      Network Type:          Infrastructure

      Security:          WPA2 Personal

      Signal / Noise:          -58 dBm / -92 dBm

      Transmit Rate:          878

      MCS Index:          7

     

    Thank you.