Is there a way I can disable the power saving functionality of the wireless in OS-X Sierra (10.12.6)?

The issue I'm trying to address is where the wireless goes to sleep and wakes up every few hundred millisecond to check for incoming data. This is extremely annoying as I have latency sensitive applications which send data to my laptop.

I've been able to work around the issue by doing:

ping -i 0.2 # <- my router

This keeps the wireless card from going idle and into power save mode.

Also note that I am not even on battery. I'm plugged in to power.


This is the result of me pinging my laptop from another machine on the network:

64 bytes from icmp_seq=383 ttl=62 time=102 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=384 ttl=62 time=38.1 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=385 ttl=62 time=47.8 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=386 ttl=62 time=80.5 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=387 ttl=62 time=96.0 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=388 ttl=62 time=120 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=389 ttl=62 time=37.3 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=390 ttl=62 time=67.7 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=391 ttl=62 time=93.4 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=392 ttl=62 time=115 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=393 ttl=62 time=140 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=394 ttl=62 time=37.0 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=395 ttl=62 time=100 ms

This is the result of the same ping from another machine but with doing ping -i 0.2 from the laptop:

64 bytes from icmp_seq=396 ttl=62 time=42.3 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=397 ttl=62 time=37.3 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=398 ttl=62 time=38.0 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=399 ttl=62 time=37.2 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=400 ttl=62 time=37.5 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=401 ttl=62 time=37.5 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=402 ttl=62 time=37.0 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=403 ttl=62 time=37.6 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=404 ttl=62 time=36.9 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=405 ttl=62 time=37.2 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=406 ttl=62 time=39.1 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=407 ttl=62 time=43.0 ms

Notice how low, and stable it is now?

I've been able to address this issue in other operating systems by disabling the wireless card's/driver's power save functionality. I just don't know how to do it in OS-X.

The Laptop is a 2017 MacBook Pro 13-inch
Network card is AirPort Extreme. Firmware Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0

  • 1
    Which card do you specifically have? This is definitely a driver function and so it'll be a bit of a weird solution depending on your card. – Sirens Feb 24 '18 at 5:37
  • Added hardware specs to bottom of question. – Patrick Feb 24 '18 at 6:05
  • How about using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter for wired access? – Matt Sephton Mar 13 '18 at 0:32
  • I frequently unplug my laptop and go somewhere with it for a bit (e.g. a meeting). Wired connections are extremely annoying as any existing connections get killed. – Patrick Mar 13 '18 at 3:12

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