Best Router for WiFi Gaming

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sekta

Occasional Visitor
I'm in a situation with temporary housing where I am flatting, and can't really expect to be able to connect an ethernet cable from my PC to the router, especially when the room im renting is at the opposite end of the house. So I need to use WiFi, which isn't good for gaming, but will buy a router that can make that experience somewhat bearable.

I am in need of a router that has excellent WiFi range and consistently low latency and bufferbloat for PC gaming (Counter-Strike). My main focus is latency rather than throughput.

The router will be connected to a Fiber ONT and the internet speeds are 100Mbps/20Mbps.

At my current housing, the router is located at one end of the house, where all potential WiFi devices will be located in one direction. There is currently 4 LAN ports that are in-use, for security cameras, television, SKY box, and ONT.

For interference, there are no cordless phones in the house, and my PC picks up 4 other networks, with one being 5Ghz.

My system has an ASUS PCE-AC88 network card.

These are all of the routers (and prices) available to me in my country: https://pricespy.co.nz/category.php?k=386
Although i'd prefer not to spend too much, I will pay extra for the best experience. I was looking at the ASUS RT-AC88U and the RT-AC5300, both are pretty much the same price.
 
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avtella

Very Senior Member
Get an LEDE (OpenWRT) compatible router, as in not Broadcom. A cheap Atheros based unit with the newly released “Cake QoS” (its really amazing) with LEDE running should solve your problems. I don’t think you need to spend that much for what you want. If you want to spend more then the Netgear R7800 has a very good QoS as well (Qualcomm’s Streamboost) and should get you good bufferbload mitigation, it is $129.99 refurb on Amazon and it uses a more advanced CPU/WiFi chipset than the two you mentioned, plus has better 5Ghz range and performance. You could still spend less ie $60-70 for a decent LEDE capable unit TBH, for your gaming needs. The Asus units are pretty decent but I’ve not tested QoS on them so I can’t comment on that aspect, and LEDE in my experience doesn’t work on the new Broadcom chipsets very well.
 
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avtella

Very Senior Member
Look at reviews from CNET for simplicity or SNBs for more in depth ones.
 

sekta

Occasional Visitor
Thanks for the replies. I have been looking for the R7800 but they don't seem to sell it here. They have the D7800 though, with a modem but it seems to have lower specs still.

I just read about broadcom being pretty bad and MU-MIMO being pretty useless as well.

Just to add, in my current housing, we have my computer with the ASUS PCE-AC88 network card, my phone Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, an older Windows based HP laptop, an Apple Mac book, Apple iPhone, Apple tablet, and another flatmate is moving in so there will be more devices.

Is Qualcomm stream boost the same QoS that OpenWRT used before Cake? Fq_codel or something. I remember having that on an old ASUS router and it was amazing.
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
Streamboost utilizes FQ_Codel I believe, Cake is by the same people from CeroWRT that worked on Codel and is an improvement over it.

The D7800 hardware is pretty similar to the R7800, just slightly lower clocks and and slightly older WiFi chipset. A bit too expensive due to the modem feature. I wouldn’t get it if you don’t need the modem aspect.

The 88U is good, just make sure you get a laptop cooler for it, if you are in a warm climate because it runs hot. In fact the 68U should be cheaper and do well enough for gaming. You really don’t need an ultra powerful router for gaming, just one good enough to have proper bufferbloat mitigation especially when under load.

MU-MIMO on QCA and Intel (ie Intel 8265ac) clients is pretty decent, but not a deal breaking feature though even if your router doesn’t have it.
 

sekta

Occasional Visitor
This is my DSLreport speed test result. Not sure why it can't grade the bufferbloat and speed. Quality C concerns me though, and it has been C every time I have tested it since I moved in. I am hoping a better router with stronger WiFi coverage will fix this.

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sekta

Occasional Visitor
I ordered the R7800 from Amazon. Half the price that I expected to pay for a high-end router, and half the price of the RT-AC5300. The open-source support, 5Ghz performance, overwhelmingly high reviews, and the price sold it for me. The other high price, high performance routers had really mixed reviews in general.
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
I ordered the R7800 from Amazon. Half the price that I expected to pay for a high-end router, and half the price of the RT-AC5300. The open-source support, 5Ghz performance, overwhelmingly high reviews, and the price sold it for me. The other high price, high performance routers had really mixed reviews in general.

Use LEDE 17.01.3 Stable build, don’t use the experimental master build, where the 5Ghz is unstable. Also if you want stock based custom rom you can use Voxel’s builds available here in the Netgear section. LEDE builds by hnyman are the ones you want.

https://forum.lede-project.org/t/build-for-netgear-r7800/316

Another thing is, use “Piece of Cake” in SQM QoS options not the regular “Cake” which is layered. If you have questions on that you can PM me.
 

sekta

Occasional Visitor
Thanks dude. Should I flash to hnyman's firmware straight away or do I need to flash to the latest official firmware first? Do I have to build the firmware?
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
You can flash to LEDE directly if you want.
 

sekta

Occasional Visitor
Is it the 'sqfs-factory.img' file for initial flash, and 'sqfs-sysupgrade.tar' for upgrading?
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
img is initial, tars are for upgrades.
 

consorts

Senior Member
honestly? serious twitch gamers don't do it over wifi unless they have no neighbors :p



wired latency is much more an ISP choice issue, a router can help with wan qos control.
i anecdotally have found linksys ddwrt does a better job at control than asus merlin does,
but i would not focus on buffer bloat because the more you try to reduce it, the higher your
average retry errors will rise above 1% and then penalize you that way.
bottom line is your area last mile isp install matters a lot more than any router you buy,
so all these "gamer" marketed routers get pretty much wasted on people with a suck isp,
and higher ghz/thread count routers matter more to usb3 file hosting than twitch games.

 
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escape75

Regular Contributor
Pretty good, what router is that ?

Of course I had to turn off web filtering temporarily on my UTM to complete the bufferbloat test as it does
not support byte range requests, I'm guessing because it's filtering web traffic through a transparent proxy.
 

escape75

Regular Contributor
Ok, very similar devices then ... i was going to put pfsense on mine if the UTM did not work out but so far so good.

I believe your appliance is using the C2358 rated 961 passmark,
and mine has the E3827 rated 849 on passmark, other specs
look similar 4 ports, etc. I was lucky to get mine used for
$130 USD though, and it retailed at $800 a year ago :)
 
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