I have an OpenSUSE machine running a Samba server to provide files to my network. Now when I use the MacBook Pro to access those files, this happens awfully slow, with 80-200 KiB per second. I never figured out why, since rsync and sftp work very fast (for WiFi at least), at speeds of around 1.2 MiB per second. Today I googled for it, and it turns out that OS X delays ACK packages. I have no clue why it does that and what good this does, but you can disable it by running:
sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
After that, my SMB transfers jumped to 1 MiB per second, minimum. You can presumably make this change permanent by adding “net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0” to the file /etc/sysctl.conf. This will then be applied during system startup.
Update: Here is a nice explanation why the performance of OS X suffers sometimes, when using delayed ACK, and also why it might be useful in some cases.