Follow-up - Playing music severely degrades network transfer performance in Vista

Summary:This post is a follow-up to "Playing music severely degrades network transfer performance in Vista" which I posted earlier.

This is a follow-up to "Playing music severely degrades network transfer performance in Vista" which I posted earlier.

I wan banking that this problem would come down to a single application such as Windows Media Player, but alas the problem seems a lot deeper than that.  Over at the PC Doc HQ we've been able to replicate a similar network performance drop when playing audio using Windows Media Player 11, iTunes and Real Player (these results are from a different machine to the one we tried earlier):

Network performance drop when playing audio on Vista

Video also has the same effect.  Here's the effect that playing random video files using Windows Media Center, Hauppauge Win TV and Nero ShowTime has on network performance:

Network performance drop when playing audio on Vista

Also, bad news for gamers.  This bug also seriously impacts network performance when gaming.  I'm seeing a 50% drop in network performance when games such as Oblivion are running.

Gaming also seriously caps network performance

I wish it ended there.   It's not just music that kills the network transfer speeds, any sound emitted by your system while transferring data seems to have this effect.  Every *ding*. every *donk*, every wok being hit by a spoon, every bit of discordant piano has the effect of flatlining network transfers briefly.  Here's what happened when I encourages my system to generate an Asterisk sound while transferring a file:

Every sound has an effect

Recording audio also seems to have a similar effect, even if there's no mic connected to the system: 

Recording audio (even where no mic is connected) also hits network transfer performance

And the same effect is present when playing a video file that doesn't contain an audio track (the ups and downs in transfer speed prior to the drop are caused by Adobe Premiere rendering the video):

A video with no audio track also has the same effect

Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, the problem doesn't seem to exist under XP:

No problem under XP

Until this bug is fixed I'm switching off sounds on Vista and keeping all other noise to a minimum.

Topics: Networking, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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