Non-gigabit Ethernet vs Wireless N

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ducatiti, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. ducatiti macrumors 6502a

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    May 18, 2011
    #1
    Which is faster? Reason I'm asking is that I already have a USB Ethernet dongle and don't plan to buy the gigabit adaptor. I will be backing up with time machine via airport extreme and would like to know which is better: 100 base-t or wireless N? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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  3. stevedusa macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #3
    In theory of speed, 802.11n would be faster.

    In real world, depending on how your wireless network condition is, in rare cases, 10/100 Ethernet MIGHT end up being better, but that's a rare case.

    I suggest you try to copy 500M to 1Gig amount of data via both methods and do a compair by yourself.

    Personally I suggest you go with gigabit as long as the whole route is at full gigabit speed.

    Of course there is the disk I/O speed to consider too.
     
  4. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I have a airport extreme and mbpr on order.
     
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Is there a reason you don't want to spend $29 for the thunderbolt one? I think the expense would be worth the gain in speed.
     
  6. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thanks for the input. Pardon my ignorance but what would result a faster backup? Gigabit ethernet or Firwire 800?
     
  7. calderone, Aug 14, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012

    calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    #7
    Derp. Missed AirPort Extreme in the original post.

    Yes, N will be faster that 100Mbit Ethernet*, however as noted above you will be limited by the disk no matter which you use.

    Edit: * based on a late model Extreme and good signal strength.
     
  8. ducatiti thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Honestly, it would only be beneficial for me on the initial backup. Succeeding backups will be minimal and there will also be a powernap backup feature. I don't think it would be worth it for me.
     
  9. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    N will be only marginally faster under IDEAL conditions than the 100mbit usb adapter. Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter is nice but those ports are better used for display outputs. USB adapter is fast enough under most circumstances and more flexible.
     
  10. stevedusa macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #10
    They would be about the same with Gigabit being slightly faster.

    However backing up via network vs via local is a bit hard to compair as the route the data being traveled are different.

    Honestly if you just want to backup your stuff, I'd stick with local and FW800 interface. Hook it up once you are ready to backup then let it run. Same can apply to the network connection.

    Anyway ultimately it all comes down to the disk I/O speed.
     
  11. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #11
    You're mistaken. Wireless N is much faster (three times faster) in my house than a 100mbit wired connection.

    What do you consider ideal conditions? My various devices can saturate anything between from 10Mbps and 1000Gbps.
     
  12. tninety macrumors regular

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    #12
    Not true, if you put a fast SSD on both sides. :cool:
     
  13. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You don't need an SSD to max out 100Mbps. Magnetic drives (not even top end drives) can easily do it.
     
  14. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Really. So you get 300 Mbps down on your wi-fi?

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-charts/view

    Here is a whole site that reviews wireless devices for a living and they have never gotten anything close to what you claim.

    'Nuff said.
     
  15. phyrexia, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012

    phyrexia macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I get consistent ~25MB/s transfer rates between a MBP (5ghz N) and an i7 PC (1000mbps wired) with a Cisco/Linksys E4200. I compare this to the ~9MB/s real life throughput of a 100mb wired network.

    And it's still inaccurate to state a USB 100mbps adapter will provide the same results as a properly tuned N network. I'm sure smallnetbuilder agrees with me.


     
  16. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Disc definitely wouldn't limit you on N or 100mbit. Gigabit should be just enough for a platter-based harddrive.
     

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