Amped Wireless R20000G Router and UA2000 Adapter Review
Wireless Performance – Lab Test – Intel Centrino Ultimate N 6300 and ASUS USB-N66
As we’ve said before, Wi-Fi testing is a drastically different than wired testing. Wired testing is pretty straightforward and will generally give you the results within a narrow margin of error from test to test. Wi-Fi testing and benchmarks on the other hand can vary widely based on external factors and random interference of the wireless signal. 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 may certainly vary.
Before we jump into the numbers from the wireless testing, it’s worth the time to give a quick refresher about wireless adapters. You will often see numbers tossed around than an adapter is “3x3”, “2x2” or even “3x3:2”. A simplistic explanation is that the first two numbers describe how many Tx (Transmit) and Rx (Receive) streams the card can handle where the final number lists the number of ‘spatial streams’. Spatial streams allow wireless signals to be transmitted simultaneously from different antennas on different streams to avoid any conflicts or collisions.
A general rule of thumb for theoretical speed capabilities is:
- 1x1:1 – 150 Mbps
- 2x2:1 – 150 – 270 Mbps
- 2x2:2 – 300 Mbps
- 3x3:3 – 450 Mbps
Of course, these ‘theoretical speeds’ are not something most end users will ever see and if you’re interested in learning more, Cisco has a great Youtube video walking through what all the numbers mean that’s well worth a look.
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 R20000G stacks up against the Apple Airport router. 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’s an Intel Centrino Wireless adapters.
The Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 actually performed a bit better connected to the Wi-Fi networks on the Amped Wireless R20000G as opposed to when connected to the Apple Airport on both 5 and 2.4 GHz networks. There were no dropped packets in any of the tests. The R20000G performed better than the Apple Airport in Average pingtimes, Minimum pingtimes and Maximum pingtimes with the Centrino.
The download testing once again showed the Amped R20000G performing better than the Apple Airport router in both the 5 and 2.4 GHz ranges, in some cases by a pretty wide margin. For example, average download speeds on 5 GHz we’re 16 Mbps, or 15.8%, faster on the R20000G. At 2.4 GHz, the margin increased to a whopping 70.3 Mbps, or 64.1%, faster! The Amped Wireless R20000G actually performed better than the Apple Airport did at 5 GHz.
Here in upload speeds we again see the Amped router beating out the Apple Airport in both 5 and 2.4 Ghz spectrum speeds. The numbers between the two were a bit closer at 5 GHz, but at 2.4 GHz, the R20000G showed a clear improvement over the Apple Airport.
ASUS USB-N66 Dual-Band Wireless-N900 USB Adapter Testing
My current favorite Wi-Fi adapters is the space ship looking ASUS USB-N66 that did great in our testing of it in a previous review. A 3x3:3 Wireless-N adapter, it showed some of the fastest wireless speeds we’ve seen to date with over 230 Mbps in some tests. I thought this would be a great adapter to throw into the mix to compare/contrast the speeds we get with both the Amped R20000G router and the UA2000 adapter. We will only be using the ‘High Power’ setting on the USB-N66 as that showed a marked improvement over the standard settings in most tests.
In the ping tests we see the Apple Airport and Amped R20000G trade blows across the tests. Some cases the Apple Airport won, others the R20000G won, but in many cases it is too close to call. The tests that really showed a big difference was the Average pingtimes at 2.4 GHz where the R20000G beat the Apple Airport with 18.6 ms vs. 34 ms. Again at 2.4 GHz we see the roles reverse in maximum pingtimes with the Apple Airport having a max of 209 ms, whereas the R20000G clocked in at 367 ms.
In download tests we once again see the Apple Airport and Amped R20000G go back and forth. Of the 6 different tests, the split was 4 tests going for the Amped Wireless R20000G and 2 for the Apple Airport. Though in almost all tests, the scores were very close. The Amped won Average and Minimum downloads at both 5 and 2.4 GHz, where the Apple took the Maximum download speeds in both.
Upload speeds showed the Amped Wireless R20000G taking the lead with 5 out of 6 tests, only losing to the Apple Airport in Average Upload speeds at 5 GHz, and even then, only by a small margin of 3.9 Mbps or 3.1%.
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