Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

PC/laptop working and processing so much harder on low quality connection

Why PC, mainly laptop, wifi is working and processing so much harder and more heavily when the internet data it receives is at low speed and/or intermittent, as opposed and not due to weak wifi signal strength i.e. its low dB.

What actually is whichever processor(s) is/are working and/or searching on, and what actually has triggered it/them to obligatorily working and processing in such very hard?
How do we mitigate or solve this (mainly my) problem ?
 
Last edited:

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
In my experience, a lot of programs aren't good at waiting for something that was expected to be nearly instant.

As far as I can tell, the program sends a request for data, and then repeatedly and rapidly requests if the data has arrived.

It's the equivalent of the parent to child conversation in a car:-
Child: "When do we get to the seaside?"
Parent: "Soon."
Child: "Are we there yet?"
Child: "Are we there yet?"
Child: "Are we there yet?"
Child: "Are we there yet?"
Child: "Are we there yet?"
etc.

It probably takes more effort on the part of the programmer to reduce the frequency of requests if the data is slow arriving, and that would risk making the program slower when the data arrives nearly instantly. It is likely that the programmer was writing the program and testing in a situation where the data was available nearly instantly, so the problems triggered by slow data are not seen and fixed.

Where the program's main function is to send and receive data, and the program is more mature, it's clear that some effort has gone into making the program work better in situations where data is slow. Moving and downloading files using file explorer seems not to cause the computer to work very hard, and a useful progress indicator is shown to the user. Similarly, the video streaming services have ways of indicating that the initial buffering is happening, and some will start videos at low quality, and then increase quality when it's clear that higher data rates are available.

Those improvements have taken a lot of programming to get to work seamlessly. Programs that mainly run within a PC, but just need occasional data from elsewhere may not have that sophistication.
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If the signal is weak then it will get corrupted many times and need to be resent many times.

There's also the question of transmit power, many devices (especially phones) will increase the transmitted power (and receiver sensitivity) to try to get a better signal with corresponding increased battery use. Try leaving your mobile in a metal locker for a while and see how fast the battery drains.

Mike.
 

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If the signal is weak then it will get corrupted many times and need to be resent many times.

There's also the question of transmit power, many devices (especially phones) will increase the transmitted power (and receiver sensitivity) to try to get a better signal with corresponding increased battery use. Try leaving your mobile in a metal locker for a while and see how fast the battery drains.

Mike.
I don't think that the transmit power on a laptop's WiFi can have nearly as much effect on it's battery power as the larger transmit power on a cellphone can have on the cellphone's smaller battery. I think it's all down to processing power in the laptop.

Also, if you leave your phone in a really good faraday cage, where it can't see any signals at all, the battery can last longer, as it won't bother trying to transmit at all. That does depend on exactly how the phone is designed. I know that weak and intermittent signals will usually make a cellphone use a lot of power.
 

Latest threads

New Articles From Microcontroller Tips

Top