Different internet speeds on laptop vs desktop

I got 70Mb down/ 20Mb up internet today and so far so good. I was even able to livestream a 1080p gameplay video on Twitch, and the person watching it reported no problems. I also uploaded a 660MB MOV file to Youtube, which took about 50ish minutes.
However, I've noticed a massive speed inconsistency. For a few hours, I was using the desktop, (when the new internet was installed in the morning, I had tested it wired and wireless on my laptop and gotten great results). However, my desktop is net slow for some reason. I had gotten worried when random tests during the evening on Speedtest.net constantly reported barely 1 or 2 Mbps down, and only a couple times did I go above 4 Mbps upload. I tried different servers no luck.
The desktop is an Asus P8Z68 Deluxe (Gen 2) motherboard, Intel Core i7 2600K at stock, 16GB 1600MHz RAM, single Geforce GTX 560 Ti at stock, Creative SB sound card. To connect to the new modem (Eircom Zyxel F1000), I use a Netgear WNDR3100(or 3400 can't remember which) Wireless N USB adaptor, with latest software.
The laptop is...well, shit, dual core 2.2GHz and Intel HD 3000 graphics. All Device Manager says about its wireless chip is 802.11n Wireless LAN Card, from Ralink...nothing about its exact model name or number.
I've run a few Speedtests on the laptop, and the results are great there, 50+ Mbps down, and 10+ up.

So, I'm at a loss as to why my desktop is reporting such slow speeds. I'm not far from the modem, just about 3 meters on the other side of the wall in a different room. I would have expected the desktop to have the more consistent and faster net speed, given its greater specs, but its not. Any theories anyone?

P.S. I have accounted for everything I can think of desktop side. I'm not running P2P programs (have yet to try them with the new service), and there's very few programs open that use the internet (Skype and Live Mail basically). I have latest Windows and Avast updates and while I am looking for a good VPN, I've yet to try one.

UPDATE: I tried one last thing, I switched the Wireless USB adaptor on the desktop to a different USB port and that seems to have cured the issue...mostly. However, it's still slower than my laptop. I'm testing on the exact same server on Speedtest.net (Manx Telecom, Douglas). Desktop gets 30-35 Mb down, laptop gets high 40s to 50. Upload speed on both is about the same, 13.4 Mb.

My guess is the wireless USB adapter. You should try with a proper wireless pci card, if it's a desktop you really should be on wired internet though.

My guess is the wireless USB adapter. You should try with a proper wireless pci card, if it's a desktop you really should be on wired internet though.

I'm going completely wired in a few days in fact, just got to get a friend to drill a small hole in the wall so I can run an ethernet cable from the modem in the living room, to a 16 port switch in my room, which has CAT5 cables for all my devices (desktop, laptop, PS3, Xbox, Wii, and once they're built, home server and video encoding/livestream PC)


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