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Settle a bet - Net speed bottleneck - modem or PC?

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posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 03:27 PM
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Which is it?

My brother insists his 3 y.o. AMD PC is slow. I told him if he upgraded to DSL he'd think he got a new speedy PC, since the CPU is not what's causing delays in loading web pages. He keeps saying he needs more memory! (he means HD space or something)

He won't listen to me and spend 12 bucks a month for DSL. Using an old buggy 56k modem, he spends more time waiting for pages to load than a Vulcan Tree Sloth, and you know how slow -they- are!


TIA




posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 04:03 PM
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Modem. Guaranteed.

Of course, it could also be the other way around, if his computer was an old 286 or earlier, and using DSL. In that particular scenario, I thingk the PC would be slowing things down.


BTW, My modem is supposed to be 56k, but I believe it is closer to 20k. Sometimes pages here on ATS for example take literally minutes to load.

Of course he may just be hinting for what he would like next Christmas, or Birthday too.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 02:29 AM
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Yep definitely modem aka connection speed. Although some extra RAM can't do any harm - but that's an unlikely suspect in most "slow speed" cases. HDD space has very little to do with Internet speed, unless you're at the end of your rope (i.e. you're completely out of HDD space.)

There's also shareware such as Tweakmaster and Accelerate 'tweak' your computer settings and delete unnecessary files to speed up your download time. (Both those pieces of software are free for a certain period of time, then a small charge is required to buy it with added features.) Or you could try freeware, here are two examples: Easy MTU and Morpheus Internet Accelerator.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 01:29 PM
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Just to pick at nits, you say his PC is slow, and then move on to say it's slow loading web pages...

How does the computer perform elsewhere? I mean, at 3 years, I'm sure he's not playing the latest high-end video games on it (unless he has upgraded it, in which case he wouldn't be complaining about needing more memory.) But does it take forever to start when you boot it up? Starting up IE with no home page take a long time? Starting up anything taking a long time? If that's the case, get more memory; DSL won't make the PC itself any faster. Memory is pretty cheap most of the time too. Also, big difference in memory (RAM) vs. hard drive space.

56K is comparatively slow nowdays, so he probably should upgrade anyways. A lot of sites now don't care about the low-end of the totem pole, and they fill up their pages with tons of images, useless scripts that make the pages bigger, references to other sites, etc. But, it may seem like it's moving slower than it should if he's low on RAM--it may take a few seconds to download the images, etc. from the web, but loading those images into an already-full RAM will take an eternity.

All the memory in the world won't help a slow internet connection though. Something else you may want to consider is whether the phone line has too much noise on it--static. I had issues with that when I had dial up; called the phone company, they came out and did their thing, and it worked great for a while. Well, as great as 56K can...

As Mechanic 32 says, a 56K modem rarely works at 56K--at least, I've never seen one do it. I think the best I ever got out of one was around 40K. Also, looking at download speeds in the IE download window can be confusing. It'll say something lik 5K p/ sec. 56K modems transfer ~56,000 bits per second; 5K p/ sec download speed is ~5,000 bytes. At least, that's what I remember hearing someone tell me once upon a time. There's a fair difference between a bit and a byte also--I think a byte is 8 bits. Maybe 4. Been a while since Comp Sci. 101...

Hope there was something useful in this little ramble...



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