[Article] - MU-MIMO Retest: Six Routers Compared

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RMinNJ

Regular Contributor
Based on the SNB recent second review of MU-MIMO routers I want to cry not fair! Many people buy these routers based on the fact that they say they do MU-MIMO ..but from the second test results some will pass no traffic at all if one has several MU-MIMO devices? I do not think they should be allowed to sell them ..they are $200+routers..ie the EA7500. .how does one know firmware can fix it..I bet some need a hardware revision also?

Bless you for reviewing them. I punted and said I dont have any MU-MIMO devices ...I just need a router with good range and picked a router on top of your test results list.
 

Event_Horizon

New Around Here
Someone gave me a new C2600, perhaps a firmware update will improve performance? Either way range should be better than my older Asus AC 66U, even if MuMimo is screwed.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Likely it'll be fixed via Driver/Firmware updates - hard to change silicon...

This is all very new stuff - and hella complicated...
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
Bless you for reviewing them. I punted and said I dont have any MU-MIMO devices ...I just need a router with good range and picked a router on top of your test results list.

and not to mention smart connect , its not actually working as promised yet ether
 

RMHC

Occasional Visitor
Likely it'll be fixed via Driver/Firmware updates - hard to change silicon...

This is all very new stuff - and hella complicated...

Doesn't QCA provide reference drivers? I would think so, and so I'd think that all the router manufacturers would use them and that there would thus be much more similar performance among the various products, considering that they're using very similar, and in some cases identical, QCA radios.

But since the silicon is so similar, I do have to believe that the issue is in firmware. But what do the various manufacturers do so differently?

I do note that the well-performing Netgear R7800 is the only one using the latest generation QCA9984 radio. So maybe there is something superior about that hardware?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Manufacturers have different development and QA processes. Consumer router makers have to decide which revision of chipset drivers to release to their customers. Each release involves testing, so is an expense.

Bottom line is it is very common for there to be different version drivers in the wild for the same device. Also keep in mind just because the same chipset is used, there can be performance differences due to board layout, RF and antenna design and matching.

And yes, the QA9984 could be making a difference, too.
 

RMHC

Occasional Visitor
Someone gave me a new C2600, perhaps a firmware update will improve performance? Either way range should be better than my older Asus AC 66U, even if MuMimo is screwed.

I see that TP-Link is now selling a Broadcom-based 4x4 router, the C3150, that had been introduced at CES: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/Archer-C3150.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AK9TC0Y/?tag=snbforums-20

Odd that they're selling the comparable QCA and Broadcom platforms side by side....
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
As with all Broadcom MU-MIMO routers, the C3150 does not yet have working MU-MIMO.
 

RMHC

Occasional Visitor
As with all Broadcom MU-MIMO routers, the C3150 does not yet have working MU-MIMO.

Right, but according to your tests, the C2600 doesn't really have working MU-MIMO either!

But since they claim it does, it seems like the newer C3150 is a step backward, except for the claimed higher speeds from NitroQAM that aren't really achievable given the lack of clients.

It just seems curious that TP-Link is selling these two similar products side by side. How are they going to differentiate them?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Right, but according to your tests, the C2600 doesn't really have working MU-MIMO either!
Big difference. All QCA based AC2600 class products have shipped with MU-MIMO support. It's just the Archer C2600's MU-MIMO doesn't work very well.

But since they claim it does, it seems like the newer C3150 is a step backward, except for the claimed higher speeds from NitroQAM that aren't really achievable given the lack of clients.
A step backward from what? As to MU-MIMO support, scroll to the very bottom of this page to find this disclaimer:
Future firmware upgrade is required to enable MU-MIMO technology.

It just seems curious that TP-Link is selling these two similar products side by side. How are they going to differentiate them?
1) Bigger # on the box; 2) Possibly price.
 

TonyH

Very Senior Member
Big difference. All QCA based AC2600 class products have shipped with MU-MIMO support. It's just the Archer C2600's MU-MIMO doesn't work very well.

A step backward from what? As to MU-MIMO support, scroll to the very bottom of this page to find this disclaimer:


1) Bigger # on the box; 2) Possibly price.

Not only in router market. They do it all the time in the auto industry. GMC truck vs. Chevy for an example.
 

RMHC

Occasional Visitor
Big difference. All QCA based AC2600 class products have shipped with MU-MIMO support. It's just the Archer C2600's MU-MIMO doesn't work very well.

A step backward from what? As to MU-MIMO support, scroll to the very bottom of this page to find this disclaimer:


1) Bigger # on the box; 2) Possibly price.

I just meant a step backward in the sense that the C2600 has already-working (albeit poorly, according to your testing) MU-MIMO and the C3150 has only the promise of MU-MIMO working in the future.

But I guess the lure of "3150" vs. "2600" may be enough to get people to spend more money to buy the newer one...........
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
But I guess the lure of "3150" vs. "2600" may be enough to get people to spend more money to buy the newer one...........

never ceases to amaze me how the average man on the street with the average home and average network needs are willing to throw hard earned cash at that next latest and greatest for the most part for bragging rights

here in australia the netgear r8500 has just been released with a price tag of $700 aud , $700 is around a weeks wage after tax yet they seem to be flying of the shelf , why because some very sus paid for comments type reviews are making it sound and look like its something you cant live without , i really believe these type of buyers will go out and splash the cash no matter what anyway but unless we get some clarity and rules regarding reviewing v paid for comment commercials we are never going to address the mis information both by shonky reviewers and manufactures using big numbers and mis leading statement in their blurbs
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Here in the US - it's tax season, so folks feel a bit flush with funds...

I'm a bit amazed though, that folks throw big money ($700 AUD which is about $580 USD), in the US, one can pick up the same device for $349 USD on the Amazon (with Prime free shipping, lol).

Still silly, as the basic HW that the vendors pay is around hundred bucks...

Sheep to the slaughter perhaps?
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
I'm a bit amazed though, that folks throw big money ($700 AUD which is about $580 USD),

that is the RRP price and not the street price yet as the 8500 has just arrived and so the online re sellers havnt started the price battle yet , but still i cant see it getting below $600 , the asus rt-ac5300 is around $500 aud street price
 

TonyH

Very Senior Member
never ceases to amaze me how the average man on the street with the average home and average network needs are willing to throw hard earned cash at that next latest and greatest for the most part for bragging rights

here in australia the netgear r8500 has just been released with a price tag of $700 aud , $700 is around a weeks wage after tax yet they seem to be flying of the shelf , why because some very sus paid for comments type reviews are making it sound and look like its something you cant live without , i really believe these type of buyers will go out and splash the cash no matter what anyway but unless we get some clarity and rules regarding reviewing v paid for comment commercials we are never going to address the mis information both by shonky reviewers and manufactures using big numbers and mis leading statement in their blurbs

Beauty and evil of free market system? My target in the market is prosumer level product. As far as I am concerned that is the sweet spot. My current router is Netgear R7800.
I didn't pay for it.
 

Mordred

Regular Contributor
Well no matter how good the HW inside these routers is, the two with the best results have the worst firmwares. If you logon to netgear webif you get the feeling they did not add any feature in the last 10 years. Linksys has a fancy gui, but misses dozens of nowadays standard features.
Still the best choice right now a R7000 loaded with Tomato or DD-WRT. Absolutely stable with consistent performance.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Still the best choice right now a R7000 loaded with Tomato or DD-WRT. Absolutely stable with consistent performance.
That may be true. But the article is reviewing MU-MIMO performance, which is not supported by the R7000.
 

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