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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:09 PM   #1
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Software Slowing Some Wi-Fi File Transfers on New MacBook Air




Networking code in OS X Mountain Lion is slowing down file transfers over the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) and Microsoft's Server Message Block (SMB), according to examinations done by both Ars Technica and AnandTech.

The issue affects the new MacBook Air models that come equipped with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology. The new MacBook Air and Apple's new AirPort Extreme base station are the first Apple products to use the new Wi-Fi technology.

Anandtech discovered that the TCP window size for file transfers in OS X was too small to reach the potential throughput on many file transfers, slowing data transfers from a potential 533Mbps down to 170Mbps.
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The bad news is that in its shipping configuration, the new MacBook Air is capable of some amazing transfer rates over 802.11ac but you won't see them when copying files between Macs or PCs. The good news is the issue seems entirely confined to software. I've already passed along my findings to Apple. If I had to guess, I would expect that we'll see a software update addressing this.
Ars Technica confirmed AnandTech's findings, and went a bit further. The site discovered that when running Windows 8 in Boot Camp, the new MacBook Air saw file transfer speeds significantly higher than under a comparable setup in OS X Mountain Lion.
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Some variation between the two operating systems is to be expected. They're very different under the hood, after all, and Microsoft's strong commitment to the enterprise (and the file servers therein) makes it unsurprising that Windows' file transfer speeds are generally a bit faster than OS X's. However, the discrepancy between the Windows 802.11ac speeds and OS X speeds is too large to be explained away by networking optimizations alone. Windows is, at best, about nine percent faster over Gigabit Ethernet and 30 percent faster over 802.11n, but it's 218 percent faster over 802.11ac.
Ars' OS X wireless setup saw transfer speeds of 21.71MB/s on SMB, and 47.26MB/s on a comparable Windows 8 setup under Boot Camp.

The issues also exist under the developer beta of OS X Mavericks, but both sites expect Apple to release a software fix for OS X that will solve the file transfer issues.

Article Link: Software Slowing Some Wi-Fi File Transfers on New MacBook Air
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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some people are feeling this:
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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Darn I still want an ac device for my new time capsule! I wanna see what the fuss is about when its put to its proper power!
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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Not a big surprise. New hardware often has driver/software problems. No need to return new MacBook Airs. They will be fixed in a software update
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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In other words, a typical 1st revision Apple product.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ValSalva View Post
Not a big surprise. New hardware often has driver/software problems. No need to return new MacBook Airs. They will be fixed in a software update
One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
Haha the delusion of integration! It took a third party for Apple to do their testing and analysis for them after the product release. The Windows part gotta hurt the fanboys real bad
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:14 PM   #8
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some people are feeling this:
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Nothing beats good ol' GigE.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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People must be holding it wrong .
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:19 PM   #10
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Haha the delusion of integration! It took a third party for Apple to do their testing and analysis for them after the product release. The Windows part gotta hurt the fanboys real bad
How quickly things change (sigh)
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by star-affinity View Post
One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
Disappointing, but no need to panic. Now that awareness has been raised, it'll be addressed in a future software update.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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One would think these would have been caught in testing and development, however...

Unless they were all on a special "802.11ac" build of 10.8.4 that was meant to be released with the MBA, but for some reason was not (or perhaps testing was done on 10.8.5)?

As noted, I expect 10.8.5 will fix it or there will be a special patch of 10.8.4 for MBA users.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ValSalva View Post
Not a big surprise. New hardware often has driver/software problems. No need to return new MacBook Airs. They will be fixed in a software update
For all we know, it's already been taken care of in Mavericks.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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Windows is, at best, about nine percent faster over Gigabit Ethernet and 30 percent faster over 802.11n, ...
Wow. I do a lot of Mac-to-Mac, Mac-to-Windows, and Windows-to-Windows transfers. Mac-to-anything transfered always seemed slower to me but I always thought I was imagining it. Am feeling disappointed now with the Mac's performance here. 30% over 802.11n is a large difference.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by star-affinity View Post
One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
Yes, one would think that. Despite owning the stack Apple still has its share of problems.

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For all we know, it's already been taken care of in Mavericks.
Unfortunately the problem also is in the Mavericks developer preview
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 08:17 PM   #16
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"Windows is, at best, about nine percent faster over Gigabit Ethernet and 30 percent faster over 802.11n, but it's 218 percent faster over 802.11ac."

Unacceptable for any protocol. Apple needs to correct this. There is no reason that a Unix based OS should be slower than Winblows in file transfer speeds.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 08:44 PM   #17
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Haha the delusion of integration! It took a third party for Apple to do their testing and analysis for them after the product release. The Windows part gotta hurt the fanboys real bad
One case = delusions of integration
Hundreds of cases of fail because of lack of integration = ???

I think you need to return your logic unit, it appears to be the old Pentium 100 type with the math error in it.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 08:47 PM   #18
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Unfortunately the problem also is in the Mavericks developer preview
OK, how about "For all we know, it's already been taken care of in Mavericks Preview 2"?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 12:09 AM   #19
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Nothing beats good ol' GigE.
But dude, you don't understand - wires are old fashioned and wireless is high tech and modern! /s

In all seriousness, did they benchmark Thunderbolt -> Ethernet connector on the MacBook Air?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 12:36 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by star-affinity View Post
One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
Quote:
Originally Posted by parapup View Post
Haha the delusion of integration! It took a third party for Apple to do their testing and analysis for them after the product release. The Windows part gotta hurt the fanboys real bad
Integration doesn't mean there wouldn't be bugs. This is a software issue that can be fixed in a future update. It only affects SMB/AFP. The rest works fine.

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Originally Posted by NewbieCanada View Post
For all we know, it's already been taken care of in Mavericks.
It hasn't been fixed in Mavericks according to Anand.

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Originally Posted by Cubert View Post
"Windows is, at best, about nine percent faster over Gigabit Ethernet and 30 percent faster over 802.11n, but it's 218 percent faster over 802.11ac."

Unacceptable for any protocol. Apple needs to correct this. There is no reason that a Unix based OS should be slower than Winblows in file transfer speeds.
It's just a bug in the TCP window sizing system for both AFP/SMB stacks. It's not resized to 256KB properly. Once they fix the bug, it'll just be normal fast.

Last edited by MikhailT; Jun 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 01:13 AM   #21
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Haha the delusion of integration! It took a third party for Apple to do their testing and analysis for them after the product release. The Windows part gotta hurt the fanboys real bad
Don't be silly. Ever read the non-iOS cell forum? True fanboys will defend it no matter what ... Watch this space
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 01:33 AM   #22
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In other words, a typical 1st revision Apple product.
Replace “product” with “driver”.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 05:01 AM   #23
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One would still think these issues should be more uncommon on Macs than they are since ”Apple makes both the hardware and the software”, no?
I'd think one would think that, since Apple makes both, they can deal with the problem quicker than if they didn't have that control...
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 10:40 AM   #24
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Sighs....

being a software issue, that can be fixed via a Software Update. Dont like a shinny piece of software with network bottlenecks......


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Old Jun 25, 2013, 10:50 AM   #25
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It's just a bug in the TCP window sizing system for both AFP/SMB stacks. It's not resized to 256KB properly. Once they fix the bug, it'll just be as fast as Windows.
No it won't it says right in the article that transfers are slower on OSX and that isn't the particular issue here. Resizing the window is only going to get it up to normal levels of slower than Windows, not up to Windows speed.
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