Question I can't get full gigabit speed on Windows, but I can with Ubuntu on the same PC ?

Jun 3, 2022
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Hi,

I just opted in for a gigabit plan from my ISP but I can't get the full speed on my Windows gaming PC. However if I try a Ubuntu from a usb drive, I get the full speed (about 900mbps down, 900mbps up).

Here are the speed test results;

Windows PC:
https://www.speedtest.net/result/13232935266.png

Ubuntu 22.04 running on the same PC:
https://www.speedtest.net/result/13232946857.png

Ubuntu can even go up to 900/900 sometimes while Windows can even go down to like 300/25. It can't get over ~500/300.

What might be the problem? It's the exact same setup. I also tested it with my MacBook and it can also get 900/900.
MacBook:
https://www.speedtest.net/result/13232951893.png

So it's obvious that the problem is not about my ISP, hardware or my router but rather Windows itself but I'm not sure what might be the issue and how to address it.

My motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z690-I GAMING WIFI
 
Not sure on this motherboard but asus likes to ship some garbage bloatware they call gamerfirst or other things that claims to give priority to games. It sometime is called CFOSspeed also. This causes all kinds of strange issues so if it or anything similar that claims to be QoS or give priority to certain traffic you want to uninstall the app. This also comes bundled with some video cards.

There also is a history of flaky windows drivers for the 2.5g chipset. I would try to get the latest from intel site. Be sure windows has not been "helpful" and auto updated the driver with a older one.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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Not sure on this motherboard but asus likes to ship some garbage bloatware they call gamerfirst or other things that claims to give priority to games. It sometime is called CFOSspeed also. This causes all kinds of strange issues so if it or anything similar that claims to be QoS or give priority to certain traffic you want to uninstall the app. This also comes bundled with some video cards.

There also is a history of flaky windows drivers for the 2.5g chipset. I would try to get the latest from intel site. Be sure windows has not been "helpful" and auto updated the driver with a older one.
There's this "GameTurbo" option in Power Options which I believe was added by my motherboard so I changed it to Window's native "High performance" option but that didn't have any affect on my internet speed. Other than that, I'm not aware of any other QoS app that installed on my PC. There's only this "Asus Armory Crate" app but I couldn't find any options in it about game performance or anything. Maybe there's something in the BIOS? I'm not so good with Windows computers so I don't know what to check.

Actually I already updated the drivers yesterday and the funny thing is my PC's internet speed was much slower before I updated to latest ethernet drivers. It bumped from 250mbps to around 500mbps after that but still not even close to Ubuntu's or Mac's. It should've reached 900/900 since even Ubuntu on the same PC reaches that speed. Upload speed, particularly is much lower on Windows.
 
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Maybe they have learned that software is crap and stopped shipping it. They have many other setting related to cpu/memory etc etc that are valid. It is only the so called "gamer" network stuff that causes this issue. The issue is that at high traffic rates the overhead at looking at every packet can slow things down. It also many time is stupid and tries to limit your test traffic so what it thinks is game traffic does not get delayed.

Although I am not sure you can run it on a macbook try a tool called IPERF. It is a very simple line mode command used to test networks. It is a very simple tool that is not affected by things like browser or cpu or memory. It pretty much just tests the drivers and the hardware. You should see over 900MBPS in both direction between the 2 machines in your house you test on.

Problem is if it tests good with IPERF you are still stuck looking for what software in windows is causing it. IPERF can also run to the internet but the last time I did it the servers on the internet were not working correctly.
 

RBDtimes3

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Dec 31, 2015
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Not sure on this motherboard but asus likes to ship some garbage bloatware they call gamerfirst or other things that claims to give priority to games. It sometime is called CFOSspeed also. This causes all kinds of strange issues so if it or anything similar that claims to be QoS or give priority to certain traffic you want to uninstall the app. This also comes bundled with some video cards.

There also is a history of flaky windows drivers for the 2.5g chipset. I would try to get the latest from intel site. Be sure windows has not been "helpful" and auto updated the driver with a older one.
Yeah - complete garbage. The very basis of Quality of Service (QoS), is by its very nature and definition: ARTIFICAL LATENCY. However, "artificial latency", but with a bit of a brain to it... It still has to learn everything about the environment it's being deployed in to (whether it be network-centric QoS, Storage-centric QoS, or whatever they'll tout next as needing some form of Quality of Service... And once the application / algorithm learns all it needs to learn, it combats the legitimate "latency" (or "bully") by heading it off at the pass and slowing it down, preventing it from getting where it was intended to or impacting more than just you or your associated workload / application (the "victim").

But as we all know with this stuff, especially when it's our own environments, home PCs, etc....something like that may appear to be doing its job, but it's most likely causing a whole crap-ton of other issues behind the scenes.

QoS solutions, applications and such may have their place in the corporate world, larger datacenters, hyperscalers, etc....but stay the f*ck off my toys at home! :)

Back on topic, though....make sure that the NIC settings (adapter settings, not IP, DNS, etc...) do not have anything along the lines of "Green Ethernet", "Gigabit Lite" or "Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)" enabled. Also, once you get rid of anything that may be on there like GamerFirst, CFOSspeed, etc..., make sure speed / duplex is set to "Auto Negotiate" (to ensure no mismatch while troubleshooting), as well as the values of "Receive Buffers" and "Transmit Buffers".

Linux and Windows (and MacOS) transmit packets and header data differently so if it's something at the ISP layer, that would make sense. It's most likely some <Mod Edit> software (like bill001g) stated, and here's a good link to check out that outlines option / recommended NIC settings for both Linux and Windows if you need to go down a deep troubleshooting rabbithole... :)

https://supportcenter.pleora.com/s/article/Configuring-Your-Computer-and-Network-Adapters-for-Best-Performance-KBase#Configuring_Socket_Buffer_Size_Linux
 
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Jun 3, 2022
10
0
10
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Maybe they have learned that software is crap and stopped shipping it. They have many other setting related to cpu/memory etc etc that are valid. It is only the so called "gamer" network stuff that causes this issue. The issue is that at high traffic rates the overhead at looking at every packet can slow things down. It also many time is stupid and tries to limit your test traffic so what it thinks is game traffic does not get delayed.

Although I am not sure you can run it on a macbook try a tool called IPERF. It is a very simple line mode command used to test networks. It is a very simple tool that is not affected by things like browser or cpu or memory. It pretty much just tests the drivers and the hardware. You should see over 900MBPS in both direction between the 2 machines in your house you test on.

Problem is if it tests good with IPERF you are still stuck looking for what software in windows is causing it. IPERF can also run to the internet but the last time I did it the servers on the internet were not working correctly.
I'm assuming I'll see the same results as Ubuntu if IPERF works the way you described. Since I already tested with Ubuntu on the same computer and got 900/900 I'm not sure what difference can IPERF tell me.

In the end I still need to find and fix why Windows capping my speed.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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Yeah - complete garbage. The very basis of Quality of Service (QoS), is by its very nature and definition: ARTIFICAL LATENCY. However, "artificial latency", but with a bit of a brain to it... It still has to learn everything about the environment it's being deployed in to (whether it be network-centric QoS, Storage-centric QoS, or whatever they'll tout next as needing some form of Quality of Service... And once the application / algorithm learns all it needs to learn, it combats the legitimate "latency" (or "bully") by heading it off at the pass and slowing it down, preventing it from getting where it was intended to or impacting more than just you or your associated workload / application (the "victim").

But as we all know with this stuff, especially when it's our own environments, home PCs, etc....something like that may appear to be doing its job, but it's most likely causing a whole crap-ton of other issues behind the scenes.

QoS solutions, applications and such may have their place in the corporate world, larger datacenters, hyperscalers, etc....but stay the f*ck off my toys at home! :)

Back on topic, though....make sure that the NIC settings (adapter settings, not IP, DNS, etc...) do not have anything along the lines of "Green Ethernet", "Gigabit Lite" or "Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)" enabled. Also, once you get rid of anything that may be on there like GamerFirst, CFOSspeed, etc..., make sure speed / duplex is set to "Auto Negotiate" (to ensure no mismatch while troubleshooting), as well as the values of "Receive Buffers" and "Transmit Buffers".

Linux and Windows (and MacOS) transmit packets and header data differently so if it's something at the ISP layer, that would make sense. It's most likely some <Mod Edit> software (like bill001g) stated, and here's a good link to check out that outlines option / recommended NIC settings for both Linux and Windows if you need to go down a deep troubleshooting rabbithole... :)

https://supportcenter.pleora.com/s/article/Configuring-Your-Computer-and-Network-Adapters-for-Best-Performance-KBase#Configuring_Socket_Buffer_Size_Linux
This app called "Asus Armory Crate" which installed automatically when I installed Windows has a list of suggested apps which contains GameFirst and some others but I didn't install any of them.

I fiddled around with this Speed / Duplex thing which was "Auto Negotiate" by default, I tried both 1gbps and 2.5gbps and there was no change. I checked the adapter thing on Windows settings (Ethernet Status) and this Receive/Transmit thing and they all display 1gbps so it seems no issues on that either.
 
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Chrys

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Try disabling both windows firewalls and any antivirus software. When doing the test, open up Task manager intthe CPU usage Tab, showing "Logical Processors" you should have a bunch of CPU graphs showing not just 1. If one of those is spiking to 100% when running the speed test, open up the "Processes" tab and determine what process is slowing you down.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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Try disabling both windows firewalls and any antivirus software. When doing the test, open up Task manager intthe CPU usage Tab, showing "Logical Processors" you should have a bunch of CPU graphs showing not just 1. If one of those is spiking to 100% when running the speed test, open up the "Processes" tab and determine what process is slowing you down.
I don't have any antivirus software and Windows Defender and Firewall are both off. I did the test and no change in speed. I'm not quite sure if I checked correctly but I don't see any spikes in Task Manager in CPU section under Performance tab when doing a test, if that's what you're referring to.

There's only one graph which contains a single blue line. This is what it looks like;
 

RBDtimes3

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Dec 31, 2015
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This app called "Asus Armory Crate" which installed automatically when I installed Windows has a list of suggested apps which contains GameFirst and some others but I didn't install any of them.

I fiddled around with this Speed / Duplex thing which was "Auto Negotiate" by default, I tried both 1gbps and 2.5gbps and there was no change. I checked the adapter thing on Windows settings (Ethernet Status) and this Receive/Transmit thing and they all display 1gbps so it seems no issues on that either.
Yeah....I've dealt with the 'ROG Armory Crate" with 1 or 2 builds ago when I had an ASUS motherboard. Even if you uninstall the software suite itself, it injects itself into Windows via a Service that never goes away.....until you explicitly disable it in the BIOS. There's an uninstaller from ASUS specifically for the Armory Crate, I believe (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1041654/#1. [Armoury Crate] Installation/Uninstallation).

Sounds like something in Windows is definitely getting in between the data path, whether it's the Windows Firewall or something within Defender Anti-Virus.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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Yeah....I've dealt with the 'ROG Armory Crate" with 1 or 2 builds ago when I had an ASUS motherboard. Even if you uninstall the software suite itself, it injects itself into Windows via a Service that never goes away.....until you explicitly disable it in the BIOS. There's an uninstaller from ASUS specifically for the Armory Crate, I believe (https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1041654/#1. [Armoury Crate] Installation/Uninstallation).

Sounds like something in Windows is definitely getting in between the data path, whether it's the Windows Firewall or something within Defender Anti-Virus.
I just uninstalled Armory Crate with the uninstaller from the link you provided and no change. I also disabled auto installation of Armoury Crate in BIOS.

I already disabled Windows Defender and Firewall. This is a freshly installed PC btw so there's not much software installed in it other than like Steam and Discord. Basically nothing other than games-related stuff. Only thing was Armory Crate and now it's also gone but still no improvement.

I must say that the default drivers were old and even if you check Asus's website for drivers right now, it still shows older drivers especially for Intel's Ethernet and WiFi which isn't working with this motherboard. I had to manually install them in the first place from Intel's website so they could work. Even WiFi wasn't working at first.
 
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Chrys

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I don't have any antivirus software and Windows Defender and Firewall are both off. I did the test and no change in speed. I'm not quite sure if I checked correctly but I don't see any spikes in Task Manager in CPU section under Performance tab when doing a test, if that's what you're referring to.

There's only one graph which contains a single blue line. This is what it looks like;
Right click on the CPU Graph that you showed under % Utilization. A context menu will pop up, choose "Change graph to" -> "Logical Processors".

This will change the graph to showing each logical processor. Which should show you 20 graphs like that one, only showing each "Core/thread/Logical processor". If one of them is maxing out, then a process is trying to use too much of a single thread. This is what I've seen cause more performance problems than anything else.

The single graph shows all processors put together, so if you have one thread maxing out it would only change by ~5% due to your 20 logical cores.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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Right click on the CPU Graph that you showed under % Utilization. A context menu will pop up, choose "Change graph to" -> "Logical Processors".

This will change the graph to showing each logical processor. Which should show you 20 graphs like that one, only showing each "Core/thread/Logical processor". If one of them is maxing out, then a process is trying to use too much of a single thread. This is what I've seen cause more performance problems than anything else.

The single graph shows all processors put together, so if you have one thread maxing out it would only change by ~5% due to your 20 logical cores.
This is what it looks like right after the test;
 

Chrys

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This is what it looks like right after the test;
You have heavy usage of 3 threads, 1 seems to be hitting nearly 100%. Whatever is causing that to hit 100% might be the cause of the slow bandwidth.

Go to the "Processes" tab, sort by CPU, then run speed test. While the test is running determine which process is using the most CPU. A process should be taking ~12% of your CPU, that process is what is probably limiting your speed.
 
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Jun 3, 2022
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You have heavy usage of 3 threads, 1 seems to be hitting nearly 100%. Whatever is causing that to hit 100% might be the cause of the slow bandwidth.

Go to the "Processes" tab, sort by CPU, then run speed test. While the test is running determine which process is using the most CPU. A process should be taking ~12% of your CPU, that process is what is probably limiting your speed.
Okay, I took the test and here's the thing;


Not sure what to look for here but only Chrome peaked during the test since I used it for speedtest.
 

Chrys

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I was expecting to see something taking up 10+% of your CPU but don't see that in the picture. Based on the previous CPU usage charts I'm pretty sure something is being CPU bound, but not showing up in the processes list for some reason.

Next steps:
- try it with the Brave browser.
- Try another speed test
- Look at the TaskManager "Details" tab sorted by cpu usage while running the speed test. Same as the process tab, you're looking for something that is taking a lot (5%+) of CPU Usage.

- Can you transfer files over LAN at gigabit speeds? windows file transfer displays as MB, not Mb so 120MB ~ 1000Mb.
 
Jun 3, 2022
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I was expecting to see something taking up 10+% of your CPU but don't see that in the picture. Based on the previous CPU usage charts I'm pretty sure something is being CPU bound, but not showing up in the processes list for some reason.

Next steps:
  • try it with the Brave browser.
  • Try another speed test
  • Look at the TaskManager "Details" tab sorted by cpu usage while running the speed test. Same as the process tab, you're looking for something that is taking a lot (5%+) of CPU Usage.
- Can you transfer files over LAN at gigabit speeds? windows file transfer displays as MB, not Mb so 120MB ~ 1000Mb.
All check. Still no change.
 
Maybe find something that does not use a browser to do a download might give a hint. Unfortunately almost everything goes through browser now days. Although it has its own issues sometimes what do you see on steam for downloads. How fast can you copy say a large file to or from say you macbook.

Problems like this are why I hate windows so much. They have so many secret settings that you have to find. A idea from a different thread but maybe check that proxy is not somehow turned on.
 

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