• What does “NIC is not offload-capable” mean?

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    On my laptop (Win10/Pro 21H2, local ID, Modern Standby), the Command Prompt powercfg /a says that “Sleep state S0 Low Power Idle (Network Disconnected)” is supported. I know that S0 is Modern Standby (in general terms, the the PC works like a mobile phone in that when put to sleeep, it is on but not using much power, and when awakened, it is instantly on and ready to go). I know that Modern Standby comes in two flavors: Network Connected and Network Disconnected. Elsewhere, I have read that “Network Disconnected’ means that “the NIC (Network Interface Card) is not offload-capable”. I know what a NIC card is and I understand in general terms what it does.

    However, “not off-load capable” puzzles me. I’d like to know in practical terms/plain English what “not off-load capable” means here as it relates to S0 Low Power Idle (Network Disconnected). What can’t be off loaded? And if it (whatever it is) were able to be downloaded, what would become possible?

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    • #2475134

      The term “Network Disconnected” pretty much sums it up.

      In that state the NIC is not connected to the internet so there’s no “work load” it could possibly off-load to another device (such as a network controller.)

      Under normal “Network Connected” conditions, some NIC’s (especially Gigabit & 10 Gigabit versions) off-load part of what they do to a network controller (a “separate” part of the NIC itself) to reduce the work involved in handling TCP/IP protocols.

      It’s done for the same reason modern CPU’s off-load the heavy duty work involved in processing videos onto a separate GPU (which may or may not be a part of the actual CPU) so it can operate more efficiently.

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    • #2475135

      what kind or brand of NIC card do you have on that computer, WCHS?

      open Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) and expand the “Network adapters” section and look for at least one of those NIC adapters listed

      • #2475177

        This is what I see under Network adapters, for the Intel Wireless-AC 9560 entry:


        And here is its driver:


        If you want to know the driver details, let me know.

    • #2475398


      Especially with Broadcom nics and servers for many many years we recommended disabling this offloading because it caused side effects/errors etc.  Intel chipsets had the reputation of being much more robust and didn’t cause as much side effects/cursing by network engineers.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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