MP 1,1-5,1 Mac Pro 4,1 > 5,1 WiFi slows down and then dies

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 25, 2014
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Tatooine
I just bought this machine from an eBay seller who builds them for people and it seemed fine at first. (It’s running Mojave.) But twice in the first 24 hours I have had the WiFi get very slow. When I try turning it off and then on again, it will refuse to connect to any access point from then on (telling me it could not be joined and to move closer to the wireless router). Restarting fixes it but obviously I can’t be restarting every 12 hours. Any ideas about this? I could ask for a partial refund if it turns out to be a hardware issue, but what are my other options for WiFi on this machine?
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 25, 2014
1,555
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Tatooine
wifi_issue.jpg

Here's a screenshot from iStat Menus showing when the problem occurs. You can see that I restarted the computer at around 8:10 and the network connection worked normally until around 9:10, when it dropped way down and for all intents and purposes stopped working (I couldn't get websites to load anymore, but I was still seeing a few kb of activity on iStat Menus.)

I don't have an ethernet connection nearby, but I am currently using the computer via ethernet by sharing the Wifi connection from a 2009 MacBook Pro, and it is very noticeably faster than even when the WiFi was working. Web pages load faster and more consistently, and I get considerably higher throughput. I imagine that's because the MBP has a better antennae or is in a better position than the Mac Pro, but it doesn't explain why Wifi suddenly dies.

I'm considering just using some kind of wireless bridge instead of the onboard Wifi.
 

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
567
what is your system configuration ? Your cMP's WiFi antenna are on the bottom of the chassis - hardly an ideal location for bandwidth .

also , you should be able to obtain a SNR by pressing the option key and the wifi logo on your menu bar . signal ( rssi ) - noise = SNR . it'll fluctuate some , but what is it average ? both rssi and noise should be negative numbers and when subtracted will become positive . A SNR of 25 or higher is desired .

An USB wireless dongle will give you 802.11n performance at best . you will never get ac or higher , unless you use Apple branded products in approved interfaces . You also will not get Continuity features with third party gear , if that is something you desire .
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 25, 2014
1,555
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Tatooine
Thanks for your help. I haven't had the issue reoccur since I posted about it, so I can't collect more info at this point. I'm not sure what to think, but I'll be keeping an eye on it.
 
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