Customer Review

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Caused DPC latency problems, 6 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WN951N - TP-Link Advd wireless N300 PCI Adapter (Personal Computers)
+ Seems a well-put together piece of hardware

+ Locked on to router and provided a decent-speed, solid connection that did not drop

- After installing it, my PC started to suffer from random, brief "stutters", most noticeably when playing back audio, but it would also affect other operations, e.g. the mouse would momentarily freeze up. After a bit of Googling, I cam across a piece of freeware called DPC Latency Checker, which gives a graphical representation of any DPC problems (no, I'd never heard of this before either - look it up). The software showed regular "spikes", indicating a problem, caused apparently by poorly-written driver software which hogs CPU time. The problem is, of course, working out which driver is causing the problem. The documentation that came with the freeware suggested disabling devices in device manager one at a time to isolate the problem, and also suggested starting with wireless network cards. Sure enough, I disabled the TP-Link card and the problem was immediately solved. I tried different versions of the driver from the TP-Link site, but no joy. So back it went to Amazon, and I replaced it with a Netgear USB dongle - I'd already got one of these, so I knew it would be problem free. Pain though, because I have more free PCI slots than I do USBs!

- The bundled software utility wouldn't install. Not a biggie, but it did say on the box that it was Windows 7 compatible.

Finally, be aware that if you are a Zone Alarm user, you will need to disable or temporarily remove it to get this card up and running, then you can reactivate / reinstall it.

Hardware: Asus P8Z68-v Pro Gen 3 board, i52500k
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2012 17:56:37 BDT
Conners says:
Considering all the positive reviews, I thought your experience may have been an anomaly, and I purchased this card. However, I've suffered the same symptoms - CPU spiking causing audio stutter (very annoying) and high and variable network latency. Running a simple ping test to various devices on my home network I would see latency vary between 1ms to 3 seconds! As well as dropped packets - this meant connectivity to my NAS drive could become very patchy - again, very annoying when all music, photos etc are stored there!

I tried uninstalling, re-installing and using the latest drivers - all to no avail. I've re-installed my old wireless card - and its working perfectly.

I'm running Windows Home Premium 64 bit as well, with an Nvidia NF66 based motherboard. I would advise steering clear of this wireless card if you have a similar set up to mine or jockulousbrown's.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2012 12:06:05 GMT
It's to do with the Intel Sandy Bridge architecture and Windows 7, the drivers for the card are crap. There's no solution except getting a different, non TP-Link branded card. I've got an i5 2500K, and I suffer the same issues. Seemingly whenever download speeds hit more than 1Mbps it will happen.

So, be warned.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2013 09:05:25 GMT
I have exactly the same issue as well on Win7 Ultimate SP1 64 bit. It's a shame because otherwise, download speed and connectivity is stable, but I'm sick of the stuttering now.

Posted on 5 Apr 2013 12:53:50 BDT
A M C says:
Bought in Dec 2011. Same problem with causing audio latency with me too. I bought this card as part of a new build for an audio workstation so audio is imperative. Also, as it was a new build I assumed it was another component as the connectivity and speeds are very good even though I am on another floor and more than 10 metres away from my hub - why should I assume that a component that is otherwise working very well be the root cause of my audio problems?. I have spent hours and hours trying to identify the reason for all the glitches and pops. Finally used DPC latency checker and Latency Monitor to hone in and identify the culprit. Sadly I am now out of date with the guarantee but have got in touch with the supplier to see if they will at least come to some kind of solution. If its positive, I'll let you know.

Posted on 3 Aug 2013 16:51:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Aug 2013 16:53:58 BDT
S. Thomson says:
Just to say I also have this problem; it was so infrequent that I only just got round to narrowing it down, almost a year after purchase. A refund at this point seems unlikely.

It's not *all* TP-LINK drivers, though; I have been temporarily borrowing a TL-WDN4800 and that works fine.

I'm on Ivy Bridge, with an ASUS P8Z77-V LK board, Win7 64 bit.

Oh, and I should add that it works great under Linux. So it certainly is a driver issue.

Posted on 23 Aug 2013 15:10:05 BDT
O. Ashton says:
Same problem here with Asus P8Z68-v Pro Gen 3 board and i7 2600k. I've had the card for about 18 months and it seems to be getting large latency spikes more frequently, especially when watching 1080p streaming video. I wish TP-Link would just sort out a new driver as the card itself functions well and gives me good signal strength. Avoid this card for gaming setups with similar components.

Posted on 14 Jun 2014 16:42:19 BDT
timothydog says:
Same for me - returned.
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