Performance Over Range
Time for more abuse. We moved our client system to the opposite end of the house and down to the lower level, thereby adding significant obstacles and distance to the wireless data path.
If there was any doubt about the necessity of having three antennas, whether power-boosted or not, this should lay the issue to rest. Differences between the Asus, R6300, and Nighthawk almost seem insignificant in comparison.
Any concerns about hitting a ceiling in PassMark are long gone. At best, the Nighthawk delivers half of the TCP throughput realized on our baseline test. Asus and the R6300 get whacked in approximately similar amounts. And poor Amped is left holding its innards, 90% of its lifeblood lost over the 70-foot distance.
Our IxChariot 5GHz TCP results largely mirror those of PassMark. Netgear’s Nighthawk once more emerges as the easy victor, losing half of its throughput while competitors take on far more damage.
Interestingly with UDP traffic, both Netgear routers emerge nearly unscathed. Asus takes a hard knock to its performance floor but still manages to keep its average throughput largely intact. Only Amped takes another body blow. The key take-away here is this: if you’re going to stream data over a long and/or obstructed path, particularly if using the inherently shorter-range 5GHz band, try to give preference to UDP-based applications (such as video streaming) and make sure your router has three or more antennas.
Very quickly, let’s spin through the 2.4GHz range comparisons and see if they fare any better or worse than 5GHz.
Once again, we see added distance and obstacles wreak havoc with copy times—with two exceptions. On the client-to-server transfer, Asus only takes about a 20% hit to its performance. That same test for the Nighthawk takes nearly twice as long as the baseline, but the Nighthawk’s server-to-client test takes a measly two seconds longer than the baseline.
With PerformanceTest, we see the stressed routers lose roughly half of their throughput. More significantly, note how the distinct gap between TCP and UDP performance in the baseline all but disappears in the range results. Asus is the only model to keep its UDP speed up, which is why it won this test.
Once again, the Nighthawk shows its fortitude under IxChariot. Amped, Asus, and the R6300 each take a 2x to 4x performance shave. But the Nighthawk’s TCP numbers barely suffer. Impressive.
UDP tells the same story as TCP.