Internet speed difference between computers


We have 3 computers, two with a wired connection to the router and the third using a wireless connection. My question concerns only the wired connection speed. On the first XP SP3 (wired) computer, Speedtest and Speakeasy show a download speed of about 3 Mbps and an upload speed of slightly over 6 Mbps. (This in itself is surprising, as I expected the upload speed to be the lower.) Within minutes I ran the same speed test on the second wired computer (also XP SP 3) and found the download speed greatly higher, 7.29 Mbps, and the upload speed 5.41 Mbps. These two computers are in the same room and within a few feet of each other. What can I do to determine the considerable speed difference?
Thank you!
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  1. You need to run the test a few times not just once. Reboot the PCs between each try, and run the test 5-10 times on each PC. Then see if the averages are that much different.
  2. Thank you for your response. I have done this over a period of days, and the results are consistent. The actual speeds vary some from one test to the next, but the significant difference between the two computers remains. This issue is more of an annoyance and curiosity than one of importance, but it continues to puzzle me.
  3. Have you varied which PC you do the first speed test on? Try resetting the router between tests also. Not to factory, but at least unplug the power to reset it.
  4. Yes, I reset the router and attempted to isolate and test the variables using what you have suggested. We contract for 6 Mbps service with Comcast cable, and the upload speeds are excellent on both computers. I don't understand the wide disparity in download speeds, but I am beginning to think it is registry related. I recall tweaking RWIN (I think) settings years ago on the slow downloading computer when we had dialup service, but I don't remember the specifics. The registry settings in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters contain keys not present in the computer with the faster download time, suggesting I made modifications. I am considering using the optimizer. My only concern is making a not-so-bad situation worse!
  5. Dial-up gegistry settings should not work well with broadband, but I think things depend on the ISP also. The speed test sites actually have several places you can go to to tweak your settings. It also depends on how you want to tweak, large file speed, small file speed, etc...
  6. I'm happy to say the solution to this annoying problem has been found. I had concluded the source of the speed discrepancy had to be within the wired-connection computer getting the terribly slow download speed, and I finally checked the NIC card settings for both computers, expecting them to be the identical. I had forgotten, however, that the cards were no longer the same, as there was a computer change a couple of years back. The speed and duplex setting on the Broadcom NetXtreme 57xx Gigabit Controller in the problem computer was 10Mb Half! I changed it to Auto, and the download speed increased by a factor of more than 3.

    Thanks for listening!
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