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USB modem slows down system performance

Last response: in Components
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December 11, 2001 1:42:00 PM

I just got a 256 Kb DSL, trough an ISP offer that included a "3 Com" brand USB modem. The surfing and downloading are ok, but THE MODEM ITSELF TAKES ABOUT 10-15% OF THE CPU WORKLOAD, making it impossible to work with CPU intensive applications. Is that normal at all?. I have queried my ISP, and they told me to change the power management settings. I did it but with no results. They won´t change the modem for an ethernet or PCI type. The modem model is discontinued. No new drivers, no support. I tried with other computer, and the same occured.
Please tell me if any of you has the same problem, of if there is a way to solve it. Thanks very much.


My main specs are not too high, but should manage any USB device without problems:

Athlon 1.1 MHz
Aopen AK73 Pro Mainboard
512 Mb RAM
Anonymous
February 24, 2002 6:03:09 PM

I was looking if anybody have had a problem similar to mine in the past. And sure enough here it is.
I too see about 15-20% slow down caused by my USB cable modem. I am more lucky however in that i have motorolla SurfBoard4100, which can be connected via EITHER USB OR Ethernet cable. When I benchmark memory-bus-CPU subsystem with SiSoft Sandra I see that when connected thru USB it's about 15% slower then with Ethernet. Actually I wouldn't even notice it if I didn't have a TV adapter inside my box and watched television on my monitor. with USB conection it's all fussed up, wuth ethernet it's just like normal TV (xcept smaller). So I was wandering if it'specific for my cable modem or is it intrinsic USB thing.
February 24, 2002 10:49:28 PM

USB cable modems are not very efficient, when compaired with their ethernet conterparts. I would recommend buying an ethernet card, if your DSL provider gives you problems with this, tell them you will go to another company in order to utilize the PCI card. If you threaten or "suggest that you would go to another company in order to get good service, most DSL companies will try to make you happy in order to keep you, that is provided that there is competition where you live, and that you did not sign any contracts, then they will treat you even worse.

Again, I recommend that you get an ethernet DSL modem, and a separte ethernet card. Internal DSL modems I have found have simular problems.

If it works for you then don't fix it.
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March 4, 2002 1:13:16 AM

Are you USB 2.0 or 1.1, and does that make any difference? I just bought a new system and was contemplating setting my cable modem (Toshiba PCX1100U) through USB (I have the option for either that or NIC). Although the board (P4T-E) only supports USB 1.1, I did pick up a USB 2.0 PCI card for only $27 at Newegg.com(regardless, I will use this for digital video, digital camera, and Handspring). Thanks.

-Rick
March 4, 2002 7:09:37 AM

I am using an Toshiba PCX1100U too. It only support USB 1.1. If you plug it into a USB 2.0 port then the port will just act as a USB 1.1 port. I cannot notice any difference when I connect it to the USB port.
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