ASUS RT-N66U Dark Knight Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router Reviewed

Discussion in 'ASUS N Routers & Adapters' started by thiggins, Feb 6, 2012.

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  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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  3. njweb

    njweb Senior Member

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    Nice write-up so far Tim!
    The E4200 v2 indeed has the best USB read and write performance, as expected given what cNet observed.

    I am glad the RT-N66U did very well in the WAN to LAN and LAN to WAN testing, albeit not chart-topping (that title still belongs to its predecessor the RT-N56U) and that it has more than enough total simultaneous throughput ("more than anyone could ever use" as you put it) and maxed out the simultaneous connections test.

    Looking forward to the wireless performance tests in Part 2.
    I think that, at least on the 2.4 GHz band *, wifi performance is where, based on my comparison tests and those of Geraner and others on amazon etc., it will hopefully excel overall relative to other N900 competitors.
    I know you don't test / post signal strength which is what impressed me so much but hopefully the throughput figures in your tests will be near the top.



    * I have not tested 5 GHz throughput yet although the signal strength on my Blu-Ray player's built-in dual band wifi adapter was impressive even in the far corner of the house (better than my E4200 v1).
     
  4. kamaran

    kamaran Regular Contributor

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  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    By the end of the week.
     
  6. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    The reason I don't measure signal strength or look at link rates is that they are very indirect indicators of performance. The bottom line is the throughput you get, which is what I measure.
     
  7. kamaran

    kamaran Regular Contributor

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    Have you completed the testing, can you give us any insights so far? ;)
     
  8. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Two stream tests are posted in the charts. Use this link to compare against Cisco E4200V2 and NETGEAR WNDR4500.
     
  9. RogerSC

    RogerSC Very Senior Member

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    Interesting...I do wonder if the Netgear 4500, in their latest firmware, have gotten better on the 2.4GHz. results, but the rt-n66u looks great relative to the 3-stream router competition. Two-stream is most relevant for me anyways, don't have 3-stream adapters at the moment. Although that's subject to change *smile*.

    I know that you did a re-test of the Netgear some time ago, but with the components that router has, it's hard for me to understand why they can't get better 2.4GHz. performance out of it.

    Thanks for the early posting of wireless results.
     
  10. delair2

    delair2 Regular Contributor

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    This is indeed interesting. A three way shoot-out between E4200V2, NETGEAR WNDR4500 and the N66U (as soon as its testing is complete).

    Talk about a cliffhanger ! :D
     
  11. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Very Senior Member

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    Add the Airport Extreme 2011 to make it really interesting - routing and wireless performance only, would be interesting to see how different 3-stream implementations compare...

    :cool:
     
  12. ric2001

    ric2001 Guest

    Also, since part of the review contained USB storage performance, it would be great to re-test the 4500 with the latest firmware since it specifically states that it was addressed.

    This is the .103 Beta notes:

    [Fixed]: Guest network can’t access internet when client access main wifi network first.
    [Fixed]: can’t find DNS server.
    [Fixed]: when using fix ip, DHCP will send NAK and connection will drop and re-connect.
    [Enhancement]: improve the read/write speed for ReadyShare NTFS file system.
     
  13. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    My retest was done because of an improperly configured client, not anything NETGEAR did. I've yet to see a firmware change improve performance significantly.
     
  14. Shikami

    Shikami Senior Member

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    I think this router tested perfectly, unlike the E4200v2 :). Although, there are two things I must say. The new firmware improves USB speeds, and also a note that there are more than one 3rd party firmware support with more coming for the RT-N56U. So, to say that "which opens up the possibility of alternate firmware support, unlike the Ralink-based RT-N56U" is not true.

    Can anyone say anything about about the USB improvements, if any?
     
  15. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    What new firmware are you referring to Shikami. The router was tested with the latest 3.1.0.3.90 release.

    I will correct the RT-N56U statement. Thanks for pointing out the error.
     
  16. Shikami

    Shikami Senior Member

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    Yep, that is the one, and just noticed on the firmware notes. I took a quick look at the references speeds, since I am at work :p. Man, I wonder what the "improvement" was, as in difference? The USB performance is not that bad though with recent firmware. I think it is the "sweet spot."

    Honestly, 3rd party support has me salivating for this router. The potential, um.

    I wonder why include the SD slot only to make it in accessible unless you open the chassis up?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  17. delair2

    delair2 Regular Contributor

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    Other than Total Simultaneous Input and USB drive performance from the testing I've seen so far on SNB, looks like the N66U may take the lead in averaged 2.4 and 5Ghz up/down--still more to come on its three-stream testing capabilities.

    Not sure what impact if any, very high Total Simultaneous Input capabilities have in a home environment e.g., 810. vs 1268 so maybe the Dark Knight will be the Wireless Router to beat this year for best averaged range and performance :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  18. delair2

    delair2 Regular Contributor

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    Looks like all the N66U tests results are now posted. The N66U seems to be doing very well. However like Tim said there is no one killer wireless router. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
     
  19. delair2

    delair2 Regular Contributor

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    Just curious. Why do you write "I think this router tested perfectly, unlike the E4200v2 :" ?
     
  20. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Sharp eyes there, delair2. Yes, all wireless results are in the Performance Charts. The final review will be up tomorrow.

    I got delayed because I added some new benchmarks to the charts. The new benchmarks show the results for the simultaneous up/downlink tests I've been running in Location A.
     
  21. delair2

    delair2 Regular Contributor

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    Ha. I was wondering what "up/downlink" was.
     
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