The ASUS PCE-AC66 802.11ac wireless PCIe adapter is currently the only wireless adapter I know of, that allows you to experience the wonders of 3-Stream IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It won’t be the last, for sure, because the gains in wireless throughput are too good to pass up. There are several significant changes in the new 802.11ac standard, and upping the maximum allowable number of spatial streams is one of them. Theoretically, eight individual streams are supported by 802.11ac, but the new chips from Broadcom top out at three streams on a single IC. That’s enough to push 1.3Gbps across the airwaves on the 5GHz Wi-Fi band, which is probably where the consumer devices will stay. There are several wireless adapters on the market that are capable of handling two streams, but right now the PCE-AC66 is alone at the top of the 802.11ac heap, with three streams and the data rates to match.
Tag Archive: Bruce Normann
The ASUS RT-AC66U 802.11ac wireless router builds on the success of the RT-N66U model that Benchmark Reviews also tested recently. ASUS has been busy looking to the future, and the new IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. While it’s not officially approved, it does appear to be stable, and there are products on the market already from all the serious players in wireless networking. While 802.11n was a step forward, and many of us have been appreciative of the additional legroom that the 5GHz band allows, there is still plenty of room for improvement in Wi-Fi performance. The ASUS RT-AC66U looks great sitting on the shelf, better than the majority of routers on offer today, but it’s the higher throughput and expanded signal coverage that’s going to win over most consumers.
There’s a new Ethernet in town called 10GbE, and its blazing fast. Benchmark Reviews recently gave you the inside scoop on the newest 10GbE networking hardware, and I mentioned that the first thing I did was to hook up a 10GbE NAS. Plain old Gigabit Ethernet has been holding back mid-range NAS servers for a while now. With 10GbE starting to enter the mainstream, QNAP is now making their 10GbE-capable storage products more affordable. The QNAP TS-870U-RP Turbo NAS is part of a new model line that trades off some CPU power and a couple of build features in order to lower the cost of entry. With eight 3.5″ drive bays available there is a potential for 32TB of drive space, and the Intel Celeron CPU, with 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture, has enough horsepower to make file transfers fly by. It also has two x8 PCIe slots for 10GbE NICs and these make a huge difference in real-world performance. Take a closer look with us, at the current value leader in NAS speed demons.
Everybody needs a NAS, I’m convinced. Maybe if I described what the modern NAS has become – a Private Cloud, then everyone would agree. Years ago, when Benchmark Reviews started reviewing NAS servers, they were made to sit on your network as a sort of file server and you used proprietary, vendor supplied backup software. Today, as we all know, everything is wide open. Access anything, anywhere, with any application is not just a dream anymore. Hardware is still important, but the depth and breadth of the software is becoming more of a differentiator. The ASUSTOR AS-604T NAS Network Storage Server uses a familiar hardware platform – Intel Atom and a Linux distro, but the design team didn’t stop there. There are some fundamental improvements that were ready to be solved from a slightly different perspective. Join in, as we see how this new 4-bay device compares to its competitors.
Pervasive computing has taken over as the dominant technology market for consumers. Users who want to stay productive, or merely connected while away from their desk, have found the Smartphone to be a mobile workhorse. Today, Benchmark Reviews brings you a hands-on review of Motorola’s top-line device, the DROID RAZR MAXX HD. Both the RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD have a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a 4.7″ 720p HD Super AMOLED display. The RAZR HD has a 2530 mAh battery, and the RAZR MAXX HD has 3300mAh of go juice inside. This is not an all-day battery; this is a 2-3 day battery, depending on your usage pattern. Let’s take a closer look at Motorola’s latest flagship phone.
Until recently, there were only two types of network switches, un-managed and managed. Today, there is a new class, called Smart Switches. A blend of the two previous extremes, they’re targeted to both corporate users and what the industry politely calls “ProSumers”. Switches aren’t reviewed by the press that often, but they are a necessary part of many home and SMB networks, so we need to look at what’s available now and then. NETGEAR is a major player in the networking market, and today Benchmark Reviews looks at the GS110T, one of the less expensive offerings in their ProSafe SmartSwitch line. It’s got enough GbE ports to future-proof most home installations, plus two fiber optic interfaces.