2019 MacBook Pro 16" - slower Wi-Fi speed compared to 2015 MBP?

jpiszcz

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
310
51
Summary:
2015 MacBook Pro 15 download speed: 76.2 MiB/s (megabytes per second)
2019 MacBook Pro 16 download speed: 48.4 MiB/s (megabytes per second)

Remote = remote server on gigabit ethernet

Create an test file locally (and then place on the remote server)
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=bigfile bs=1M count=5000
5000+0 records in
5000+0 records out
5242880000 bytes (5.2 GB, 4.9 GiB) copied, 1.62912 s, 3.2 GB/s

2015 MacBook Pro 15 - Same Wi-Fi Router (5GHZ/802.11ac)
username@macbook:~$ /usr/bin/time scp username@remote:bigfile .
bigfile 100% 5000MB 76.2MB/s 01:05
65.93 real 0.62 user 6.99 sys


2019 MacBook Pro 16" - Same Wi-Fi Router (5GHZ/802.11ac)
mbp16:~ username$ /usr/bin/time scp bigfile username@remote:
bigfile 100% 5000MB 48.4MB/s 01:43
103.34 real 28.96 user 10.08 sys


I also tested in boot camp on Windows 10 for the MacBook Pro 16" and it is slow there also, this isn't a deal breaker but was curious if others had seen it as well?
 
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dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
Hi mate,

I was trying to figure out what's going on, but I am so glad others have experienced the same problem!

I have the MBP2015 that is doing 60MB / ~500Mbps over 802.11ac/Wave2 Wifi (tested with iperf3)
My MBP 2019 16" only makes 28-30MB / ~200Mbps within the exact same condition (they're literally next to each other, connected to the same Access point and everything). I don't know if it's a driver issue or what, but it is supper annoying.

My upload speed is great though. They both manage to achieve 75-80MBs / ~700Mbps.. Have you tested your upload? Have you noticed any difference there?
 

jpiszcz

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
310
51
Hi mate,

I was trying to figure out what's going on, but I am so glad others have experienced the same problem!

I have the MBP2015 that is doing 60MB / ~500Mbps over 802.11ac/Wave2 Wifi (tested with iperf3)
My MBP 2019 16" only makes 28-30MB / ~200Mbps within the exact same condition (they're literally next to each other, connected to the same Access point and everything). I don't know if it's a driver issue or what, but it is supper annoying.

My upload speed is great though. They both manage to achieve 75-80MBs / ~700Mbps.. Have you tested your upload? Have you noticed any difference there?
I have since returned the 2019 16" MBP but during my tests the upload performance was good, same as you 75-80 MiB/s (megabytes per second)
 

Pacyjent

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2019
5
2
CZ
I have same issue with my macbook pro 16". I noticed it today when I was trying to play 50GB movie from Synology NAS over wifi and it was super laggy. I run speed test from my provider and I get various results. About 10-30Mbps, 50-70 sometimes and max about 100Mbps. iPhone XS and 6S says 280-285Mbps everytime..
After restart I get full speed on macbook. But after wake up I get about 10-30Mbps. I need to turn off and on wifi from menu bar to get full speed back after wake up. So I thing it's software issue.
 

dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
Thanks for adding to this thread @Pacyjent!

I get exactly the same speedtest results too (30-30Mbps) whereas my other devices get the whole bandwidth available from the ISP (200Mbps).

I will test the restart & get back to share the results.

I haven't actually tried to restart & see if it gets improved, but it's a great shout! Might be worth flagging this with Apple!
 
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dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
I just tried to restart and see if it'll be any better - but unfortunately I had the same results :( My MBP2015 next to it makes double/triple these speeds... :|
 
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monkeydax

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2012
360
101
I’m facing the exact same problem. If you go into Network Utility, you’ll see it’s dropping a whole bunch of packets. I’ve tested on multiple 2019 MBPs with the same issue.

not sure if it’s a fix thats required.

first noticed the issue when I had trouble transferring a file smoothly from my Mac to my NAS.
 

dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
I just checked mine - it doesn't look too bad. I only have 1,750 packets dropped out of 16,550,000+ (which is 0.01%) at sent for about ~24h

If you have more you should check what are those. one easy way to do so is running Term and executing this:

sudo netstat -sv | egrep '[1-9].*drop|error'

Or alternatively you can go through Network Utility-> Netstat -> Display comprehensive network statistics for each protocol and check where your errors come from.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,876
2,122
I’d guess it’s a compatibility issue with some specific router chipsets. IIRC the Veloso has been problematic.

Maybe you guys can post the specifics of the router you’re using?
 

dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
I am connected to Cisco Wave2 / 802.11ac compatible network running using AP1852 access-points. I think the problem follows the device - not the network. I haven't yet tested my 2019 16" elsewhere (other Wifi network) but my 2015 next to it performs absolutely fine, implying WiFi network isn't the problem...
 
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monkeydax

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2012
360
101
I am connected to Cisco Wave2 / 802.11ac compatible network running using AP1852 access-points. I think the problem follows the device - not the network. I haven't yet tested my 2019 16" elsewhere (other Wifi network) but my 2015 next to it performs absolutely fine, implying WiFi network isn't the problem...
Yep that’s exactly it. The thing is the same packets test shows totally no packets dropped on a 2015 MBP. I also upgraded from a 2015.
 

jpiszcz

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 28, 2010
310
51
I am connected to Cisco Wave2 / 802.11ac compatible network running using AP1852 access-points. I think the problem follows the device - not the network. I haven't yet tested my 2019 16" elsewhere (other Wifi network) but my 2015 next to it performs absolutely fine, implying WiFi network isn't the problem...
Agreed. I have tested multiple laptops with the same router (Synology RT1900AC) and they are able to achieve 70-90 megabytes per second.

The MacBook Pro 16 for the short time I had it could not sustain downloads over 20 megabytes per second sustained.
 

dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
Here is a visual comparison. Both tests were ran within 2min. It's like day and night ... :|

As you can see, WiFi parameters are almost identical (and also ideal). For this particular setup I had reduced the channel width to 40Mhz (as opposed to 80Mhz). RSSI for both is ~ -46dBm with SNR of almost 50dBm!

For me it's a no brainer the problem resides on 16"..

Macbook pro 2019 (16") - Download: ~126Mbps / Upload ~375Mbps
macbookpro19.png


Macbook pro 2015 (13") - Download: ~405Mbps / Upload ~440Mbps
macbookpro13.png
 

high3r

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2015
109
89
Hungary
Initially I also had slow wifi on the MBP 16" compared to my old MBP 13". My download speeds from a gbit nas topped at 35 MB/s. This is with 2.5 metres from the router (AC68U) in the same room. This bothered me so I checked router settings and set channel to 40 (was 44 previously). Lo and behold download speeds went up to 75-90 MB/s, upload speeds 40-45 MB/s. It might be worth a trying different channels.
 
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dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
It is a fair point, but as you can see from the results above - both devices using the same channel (test repeated 10+ times - always the same results) it's clearly not related to interference or channel utilisation. I have however tested within the whole spectrum available at 5GHz and the results were almost the same. So in my case at least this doesn't work any better :/
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,469
2,735
SF Bay Area
Strange. I am see very good performance with speedtest.net

On my 5GHz link and MBP 16", I see 302.81 Mbps down and 41.68 Mbps up.

When I ran the test on my Windows 10 machine with 9900K processor and 1 Gigabit/sec Cat 6 ethernet I see 298 Mbps down and 42.19 Mbps up.

My Wifi Access point is a Ubiquity Unifi AC Pro. I am one room over and 20 feet down the hall from the Access Point.
 

high3r

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2015
109
89
Hungary
It is a fair point, but as you can see from the results above - both devices using the same channel (test repeated 10+ times - always the same results) it's clearly not related to interference or channel utilisation. I have however tested within the whole spectrum available at 5GHz and the results were almost the same. So in my case at least this doesn't work any better :/
Anyway, why did you change the channel width from 80Mhz to 40Mhz? If I do this my download speeds from the NAS are cut in half if not worse. I can see that your MBP 13 performs better with the same router settings but the Tx Rate in the Wi-Fi menu on both machines show 600 Mbps while my MBP 16" connects at 1300 Mbps on 80Mhz and at 600 Mbps when channel width set to 40 Mhz. Why don't you give it a try on 80Mhz?
 

dpetrov

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2014
9
5
The rational behind this decision was because of the way WiFi is working. Narrowing down channel width reduces chances of interference (basically, 80MHz means you're using now 4x20Mhz channels. If there is a problem/utilisation/interference/whatever on any of these 4 channels then your traffic will be in trouble). So I decided to narrow channels down to 40 in order to eliminate such problems. However, if you check the below you'd see it's exactly the same even if I utilise all the 4x20Mhz channels.

Screenshot 2020-01-20 at 20.53.26.png
 
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widemos

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2019
1
1
Hi there, this will sound a bit of absurd but I've noticed that Keynote was interfering with my wifi speed, yes Keynote. :)

When the program is loaded, the wifi speed (measured with fast.com, sorry) drops to 40-80Mbps. If I go to Keynote preferences and disable the remote controllers feature, the speed is back to normal, the 300-400Mbps I was expecting from my router.


Hope it helps.
 
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Zenter009

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2020
3
0
The MacBook Pro 16" that I received has consistently 30% slower WiFi speeds than my 2015 and 2017 MacBook Pros, and is about 20% slower than my iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone XS.

I really like this machine, but am considering a return because the download speeds are very disappointing. I have fiber Internet (1,000 mb/s) and I'm used to 600-750 mb/s over wifi with my other MacBooks and this 16" MacBook Pro only gets between 320-475 mb/s. This is the opposite of future-proofing and I spent more than $4k. I'm hoping it is just a bug or software/firmware issue. I hate spending hours with Apple Support, especially when they don't fix the problem.

At this point, I think they used a cheaper hardware WiFi component in the 16", since the older MacBooks run fine and much faster.
- - Post merged: - -

Here is a visual comparison. Both tests were ran within 2min. It's like day and night ... :|

As you can see, WiFi parameters are almost identical (and also ideal). For this particular setup I had reduced the channel width to 40Mhz (as opposed to 80Mhz). RSSI for both is ~ -46dBm with SNR of almost 50dBm!

For me it's a no brainer the problem resides on 16"..

Macbook pro 2019 (16") - Download: ~126Mbps / Upload ~375Mbps
View attachment 889858

Macbook pro 2015 (13") - Download: ~405Mbps / Upload ~440Mbps
View attachment 889857

Have you contacted Apple? Any idea if this is a hardware issue? Or will it be resolved with a firmware update. I may return mine. My MacBook Pro 16" is at least 30% slower than my 2015 and 2017.
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Oct 18, 2008
1,775
304
UK
The wifi used in the 2018 onward at least do seem to be a bit troublesome.. think they all use similar or same chipset. Using apple watch unlock seems to cause wifi problems too.
 

monkeydax

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2012
360
101
The wifi used in the 2018 onward at least do seem to be a bit troublesome.. think they all use similar or same chipset. Using apple watch unlock seems to cause wifi problems too.
Yup that’s right - it’s affecting all models from 2018. Kinda annoying but just dealing with it and hoping a software fix will resolve it.

Any luck with working around this anyone?