ASUS RT-N56U "Black Diamond" Wireless Router Review
Wireless Performance – Lab Test – Intel Centrino Ultimate N
As we’ve discussed previously, wireless testing here on PC Perspective or anywhere else should always be looked at with the understanding that every location offers unique challenges to Wi-Fi connectivity and your mileage will likely vary from what we saw in our tests. With our Lab Tests, we will have the router and wireless adapter sitting in the same room about three feet from each other. Since we are looking at a single router in this review, we will test use both the Intel Centrino Ultimate N and the ASUS USB-N66 (at High Power setting) wireless adapters and compare their performance when connected to the ASUS RT-N56U, the Apple Airport Extreme and the ASUS RT-N66U that we’ve previously tested and reviewed.
The ASUS RT-N56U is a bit of a strange bird when you look at it from the wireless perspective. Being that it has 3 internal antennas for 5 GHz and 2 internal antennas for 2.4 GHz; it’s both a 2x3:2 and a 2x2:2 router. ASUS has speed claims of up to 300 Mbps on both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz spectrums simultaneously.
Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 Wi-Fi Adapter (633ANHMW) Testing
We’ll run our first wireless tests using the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 Wi-Fi Adapter (633ANHMW) in the MSI Laptop to see how the ASUS RT-N56U stacks up against the Apple Airport Extreme and ASUS RT-N66U routers. The Ultimate-N adapter is 3x3:3 and can theoretically get up to 450 Mbps maximum speeds. If your laptop came with an integrated wireless adapter in the last few years, there’s a good chance it contains some version of an Intel Centrino Wireless adapter. Let’s get things rolling with the 5 GHz tests.
Ping testing show the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 performing the best when connected to the ASUS RT-N56U at 5 GHz. The pings through the ASUS RT-N56U clearly beat the Airport Extreme in both Average, Maximum and Minimum ping times, and edge out the ASUS RT-N66U in both Average and Maximum ping times.
Again, the ASUS RT-N56U outperforms the more expensive Apple and ASUS RT-N66U routers across the board, but this time in download tests. With Average downloads 33.2% faster, Maximum downloads 30.3% faster and Minimum downloads 43.1% faster than its closest competitor, the ASUS RT-N56U does great in 5GHz download speed tests.
In upload speeds we see a reversal of fortunes, with the RT-N56U only winning the Minimum upload speed tests. While it comes close in Average Upload speeds it has the slowest speed at 116.9 Mbps. In Maximum upload speeds, it also comes in last place, but is 28.2% slower than the Apple Airport and 37.6% slower than the ASUS RT-N66U. Next up, the 2.4 GHz spectrum.
Like the 5 GHz tests, the ASUS RT-N56U clearly beats both the Apple Airport and ASUS RT-N66U in just about every ping test.
During the 2.4 GHz Download tests we see the ASUS RT-N66U actually pull ahead, beating out both the Apple Airport and the RT-N56U in every test. The RT-N56U takes 2 of the three tests over the Apple, leading in Average and Minimum download speeds, only falling behind the Apple in Maximum download speeds.
In our last set of tests for the Intel Centrino in our “Lab Test” setup, the ASUS RT-N56U at 2.4 GHz does well in the Upload speed tests. Of all the tests, it only falls behind in the Maximum upload speed test against the ASUS RT-N66U with a speed of 72.1 Mbps versus 109.3 Mbps for the N66U.