Airport card performance - plugged in vs. running on battery

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mark2288, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. mark2288 macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    Hey all,
    I was running some networking performance tests the other day for some research project. Essentially I have 7 computers on a LAN that is not connected to the Internet - all computers are connecting wirelessly. I have one computer function as a server and it multicasts pings to the other 6 computers at a constant rate (e.g. sends a packet every 2 seconds).

    I noticed some odd behavior - 4 computers received the packets in about the right time intervals (every 2 seconds), but 2 would get packets at intervals of roughly .92 seconds and 1.12 seconds consistently. I realized that these 2 computers were running on battery and not plugged in. Plugging in all computers got all the computers receiving packets at the same time.

    I speculate that when a computer is unplugged, the Airport card works at a lower frequency to save energy...any thoughts?

    Also, would it be possible to tell the Airport card to function at full power regardless of the power state? Any chance we could "overclock" the airport card to make it work at a faster rate?

    These are all Macbooks I'm working with.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Interesting. I don't have a whole lot to offer, but I'm definitely curious. Does the difference also show up in file transfer speeds?

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