GN-BC01 (Desktop Router)
- Package and Contents
First on the blocks is the GN-BC01 PCI wireless broadband router, in fact the first of its kind. Before we go in to the details of the unit itself, we best have a look at the package and contents that Gigabyte provides.
The box is just big enough to house the PCI card, antenna, CD, user manual and the power leads. The user manual Gigabyte provides is one of the biggest we've ever seen in regards to a router, but then again this is simply no ordinary router. The CD included has no drivers on it, only PDF user manuals and information on the router.
The card itself looks like a pretty standard wireless LAN card with two RJ-45 ports on the back but this is where things change. The unit doesn't have any interface to the PCI bus as far as data is concerned, the only pins that actually make use of the PCI slot are the one that connect to the +5V stand by, this is where the unit get its power. There are two LAN ports - one for connection to a broadband modem (cable or DSL) and a standard 10/100 LAN port. This allows you to connect to your own network port or on your motherboard or to a switch to allow the other computers on your LAN access to the router. No matter which way you do it, you have to hook your own network into either the switch or direct to the card, as there is no LAN functions that allow access over the PCI Bus.
Next is a standard male 2.4GHz antenna port. This connects to a standard antenna to extend the range of the wireless networking...that's right, it does wireless as well as wired. The protocol used is the 802.11g standard, though no turbo or super functions are supported yet, it won't be long before a new version makes it out for Turbo/Super support.
On the back of the card is a 2 pin plug. This is used to supply power when using older motherboards. Some older based boards aren't able to support 5V Stand By on the PCI bus. If the router isn't able to gain its power from the PCI bus, when the system is shut down the router will be disabled rendering is useless to other PC's. This is where the power plug comes in handy.
Gigabyte supplies two different connectors - one is designed for a 20 pin ATX power supply and the other is for the 24 pin. This connector piggy backs between the ATX power connector and the motherboard power plug. A special 2 pin power lead comes off the connector and plugs into the back of the card. This will then allow the card to pull power off the PSU direct from the 5Vsb rail.
Transfer Rate Tests
Rather than having mass results at the end like our normal reviews, we are showing each device separate, as they aren't fully interchangeable.
Here we tested the transfer rates of the 100MB/s networking, as you can see it is completely on par with other routers.
Here we tested between wireless systems, results are on par with typical Wireless Access Points.