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In IEEE 802.11 DCF networks, a packet is discarded if the maximum number of retransmission attempts is reached. This paper studies how the retry limit affects the throughput performance of a saturated IEEE 802.11 DCF network. In particular, the network steady-state operating point is derived as an explicit function of the retry limit, based on which the saturation throughput can be further characterized. The analysis shows that the maximum throughput is independent of the retry limit. To achieve the optimal throughput performance, however, the initial backoff window size should be carefully tuned according to the value of the retry limit. Explicit expressions of the maximum throughput and the optimal initial backoff window size are obtained, and verified by simulation results.