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First Peek At Wi-Fi 6: ASUS RT-AX88U & NETGEAR RAX80

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    Our first look at the performance of NETGEAR's RAX80 and ASUS' RT-AX88U shows little benefit functioning as AC routers.

    Read on SmallNetBuilder
     
    David B, Razor512, avtella and 2 others like this.
  2. idesign

    idesign New Around Here

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    Great review. So it seems the R7800 is your pick of the bunch.
     
  3. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Quite likely that Lenovo is using a whitelist card list in the BIOS, so only pre-approved cards will be supported by the laptop. A few manufacturers do that unfortunately.
     
    TheLostSwede likes this.
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    There is no "pick" at this time other than my recommendation to not buy any draft 11ax product right now.
     
  5. Peter_M

    Peter_M New Around Here

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    Good job even for a first look :) and I lol when you mentioned that there is a fan in the Netgear. I'm the one with whom you had a conversation about the problematic existence of a fan in the R9000. I appreciate that you talk about it.

    I have another request :D. I saw an information on a German website about the consumption of each router and it might be that they are quite different. Since they have nearly the same hardware, I find that odd. Would you mind to check that information? and in general it would be great to have that information. It's up to you to decide.
     
  6. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    Great article, just one correction @thiggins ; RAX 80 has 1GB RAM just like the AX88U.



    I get a bit better HT160 results on the RAX80 vs the R7800, guess our different test environments account for that. As for the 5Ghz 80Mhz and 2.4 20 Mhz uplink I’m getting significantly higher than that flat line, was similar to the R7800 if not higher. My test client was a 9260ac though.

    On HT160 it can hit (1,120 Mbps) 140 MB/s downlink from the Samsung T5 SSD I connected to the router, the 88U could probably do the same as they both use the same chipset.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  7. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Broadcom supports CPU throttling/frequency scaling on the BCM4908. This could make a difference depending on whether or not this is enabled by either manufacturer. Personally I would prefer it to not do any scaling, since networking can be very latency-sensitive. On the RT-AX88U:

    Code:
    [email protected]:/sys# cat devices/system/cpu/bcm_arm_cpuidle/
    admin_max_freq         enable_auto_clkdiv     oper_max_freq          percent_inside_clkdiv  time_inside_clkdiv     time_outside_clkdiv    valid_freq_list
    [email protected]:/sys# cat devices/system/cpu/bcm_arm_cpuidle/enable_auto_clkdiv 
    0
    [email protected]:/sys# cat devices/system/cpu/bcm_arm_cpuidle/valid_freq_list 
    1800
    900
    450
    225
    
    
    I doubt it would save a lot of power, since these CPUs are already pretty low-power.
     
    avtella likes this.
  8. heidarren

    heidarren Occasional Visitor

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    I noticed "For reference, I also retested NETGEAR's R7800 with v1.0.2.60 firmware" which known as buggy firmware especially Wi-Fi part and ppl talks about this in whole forum, why still using it for the test?
     
  9. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    @avtella I’ll correct the RAM, thanks.

    I doubt you’d see the uplink bug. It requires running downlink traffic all the way down to a very low signal level (MCS 1 or so), then running uplink traffic.

    Interesting idea to use transfer from attached SSD to bypass single Gigabit port throughput limitation.
     
    avtella likes this.
  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Because I always test with latest publicly available firmware.
     
    Rooter, Clark Griswald and avtella like this.
  11. Cosmin Cazan

    Cosmin Cazan New Around Here

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    This is very interesting - so the SSD is attached to a USB port and you are seeing 1120Mbps ? Very cool.
    I have tried USB ports on older generation routers (even the R7800), and in most cases speeds were less than expected, and less than the Wi-Fi rate. This would be a big improvement (and quite a bit more efficient than a NAS in certain ways).
     
  12. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    Yeah the R7800 in terms of storage performance wasn’t that great, the RAX80 is a pretty strong performer in comparison and USB 3.0 is also a good way to truly test HT160 performance as you can bypass the Ethernet limit. The Broadcom chipset supports 2.5Gb Ethernet but unfortunately the device only has 1 Gb Ethernet ports.

    Using my NAS I get around 114 MB/s down and 70-100 MB/s up, downlink being limited by ethernet.

    The R7800 possibly could hit similar WiFi speeds but its storage performance isn’t that great and so you would not be able to utilize its HT160 ability to the fullest due to that bottleneck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  13. follower

    follower Regular Contributor

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    RAX80 looks like kids potty if it's flipped.
     
  14. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    That really adds to the discussion.
     
    Makaveli and TheLostSwede like this.
  15. idesign

    idesign New Around Here

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    Is the increased storage performance in the RAX80 at all attributed to the 1GB of ram vs the 512MB in the R7800?
     
  16. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

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    Probably not because the Linksys WRT3200AC which has weaker CPU and 512MB RAM also outperforms it storage wise.
     
    Makaveli likes this.
  17. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    I wonder, it seems like no modding groups are working on modified bios anymore. For older Lenovo laptops, it used to be possible to just flash a modded version that disables the whitelist, some even unlocked the full range of settings (which made overclocking possible where allowed by the CPU). Did something change to make it now impossible for the user to modify the bios?
     
  18. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Probably a number of potential reasons:

    - Too many different models
    - UEFI instead of BIOS now, might make it more difficult
    - UEFI is possibly signed/crypted to prevent tampering against viruses that would otherwise insert themselves in the UEFI
     
    Razor512 and sfx2000 like this.
  19. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Interesting data - but I think the best part is the conclusion...

    11ax isn't final yet, and this is first gen silicon and firmware... it's really early here, and with the lack of client support, it's a good time to wait and see...
     
  20. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    The Marvell-based WRT's have always been strong on storage performance - that's a given... keep in mind that prior to the Belkin sale, WRT was supposed to be a base for something more, including a NAS like chassis plugged into the eSATA port on the WRT.

    The only SoC's that were competitive against the Armada 38x have been either Annapurna Labs AL series, or Intel on x86... and that goes for NAS boxes as well.
     
    avtella likes this.