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Thread: USB wireless - does it eat cpu cycles?

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    USB wireless - does it eat cpu cycles?

    I think I need to get a wireless adapter of some sort for my gaming pc for use up until it becomes a media pc. there's not really any room in the pci slots without sacrificing the audigy card or something, so I figured USB might be the answer. My one worry is a USB wireless adapter that uses up a lot of cpu cycles to do it's wireless-ing? Anyone have any idea if the wireless usb sticks are cpu munchers at all?

    additionally, would a USB wireless adapter necessarily have any more delay than a pci equivalent?

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    I just find the USB dongles are a bit of a pain.

    I use these access points. It says access point, but it can work in reverse to bridge something with ethernet onto a wireless lan. You also get a spare 4 ports on there, so you can hook other devices with it (games consoles etc).

    I presume your PC has ethernet?

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix
    I presume your PC has ethernet?
    indeed it does just don't want to trail ethernet cables across the room! ...interesting idea on the access point-as-a-bridge though... I shall look into it


    any particular reason why you find usb dongles a pain?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Actually, I do find wireless very slightly impacts the speed of my computer. I'm not sure I'd notice it outside of benchmarks, but it definately affects benchmark runs (memory etc.)

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    USB dongles are a bit of a pain if the place they are put doesn't recieve that great wireless signals. The last USB ones I had really suffered if there were a few walls between it and the accesspoint, but when the PC had a card put in, the signal quality was much improved.

    I would however suggest something like the accesspoint Dancing with Unix suggested, or if you want something that can connect multiple ethernet equipped devices without having to add a switch etc, it might be worth considering the WGPS606 from netgear, as it has as good reception as their accesspoints with the added benefit of a 4 port switch, and even a USB print server

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Currently I have Telewest broadband being fed into a D-link 802.11b router/switch (4 10/100 ports as well as the wireless) which is the distribution hub. Up until now it's only been used for light work/email/browsing, a little audio streaming and smallish downloads via laptops. I've recently shifted my gaming rig onto this network but it's wired-only at the moment. I've put it in a media-pc case as that will be it's job as and when I buy a new system and have kind of used up the available PCI slots with an audigy2 and a DVB-T & video capture card.

    it'll be used in the same room as the router (for now at least) so signal strength should be good (laptops generally show "full" strength) but due to the shape of the room the only way to wire it acceptibly would be to drape a cat5 cable right around the room (I have a cable that will do for now I guess...)

    I'd like a cheap solution, and was just concerned that a usb wireless unit might chew cpu cycles (xp-m 2500+ slightly overclocked) the same way other cheap devices sometimes do...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamena
    any particular reason why you find usb dongles a pain?
    It is yet another driver loaded into Windows to go wrong, need updating and lose settings for.

    Perhaps someone out there makes 100% reliable USB adaptors, but all the drivers I have used so far are tripe.

    I even gave my mum one of those wireless to ethernet boxes. Turn it on, and it gets on with the job. The configuration is stored in flash on the device, so no matter how much of a wobbler the PC throws the connection is OK.

    I am told the PCI cards are worse. You get the driver hassles of USB, but the antenna is harder to locate for a good signale as it isn't on the end of a nice long USB cable.

    Oh, BTW if you do get one of those devices (they turn up on Scan today only quite often) they don't come with an ethernet cable so order one of those as well.

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    Good idea on the Wireless AP...hadn't really thought about that.

    You should be able to have more power to a PCI antenna than a USB version should you not? If true, this could compensate for a worse location.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noni
    What the hell does "WTH" mean


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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    I've also seen a number of PCI cards coming with antennas that are on the end of a shortish cable so you can bring the antenna out/up to a better position

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    You could try Homeplug instead of wireless,
    http://www.shopmagenta.com/product/HP85.aspx
    http://www.solwise.co.uk/net-powerline.htm

    or you could get a directional USB adapter if you are worried about signal strength.
    I have this and it works very well.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=167184

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