We used PerformanceTest 6.1 by PassMark which you can find out more information about here. It has a handy Advanced Networking section which is perfect for our testing.
We decided to compare the TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N USB 2.0 adapter against the built-in Intel adapter on a new, high-end Hypersonic notebook kindly provided to us by our friends over at OCZ.
When testing the Intel chipset on the Hypersonic notebook, we set our D-Link DIR-655 wireless router to 802.11g and 802.11n mixed mode, and when testing the TRENDnet adapter, we set the router to 802.11n mode only. The Hypersonic notebook was set to work only in 802.11g mode as to provide a comparison against the USB 2.0 802.11n adapter. All tests were completed with WPA2 Personal (with the AES cipher as is proven to provide better performance) enabled on each setup.
We set the Advanced Networking section of PerformanceTest 6.1 to send and receive data for up to 120 seconds to gauge an average transmission speed. Previously we left it at the default of 60 seconds, but have since doubled the time to gain a more accurate result in our opinion. We now also test send and receive speeds which roughly emulate client and server environments.
We did not use the included USB cable in the TRENDnet package - the adapter was instead plugged directly into the Hypersonic notebook.
- Connection Speed
You can see that at short range the TRENDnet adapter connects to the D-Link router at 270Mbps, 54Mbps at about 10m range and on the second floor a rather dismal 13.5Mbps. On the second floor the 802.11g adapter on the Hypersonic was able to connect at a much faster 48Mbps. I scratched my head on this for a few moments and then remembered that most new notebooks (and even older ones) have antennas built into the LCD panel and that is what would have given it the edge over the USB 2.0 adapter.
- Bandwidth (TCP receive)
Here at the 1m and 10m range the TRENDnet adapter is a little faster than the Hypersonic notebook, but when we move things to the second floor, we see the TRENDnet adapter begin to struggle and only be able to receive data at up to 11Mbps.
- Bandwidth (TCP sent)
Here the Hypersonic notebooks 802.11g connection is able to make a pretty big mess of the TRENDnet adapter except for at 1m short range.
You can see here (and also in the receive test above) that the distance doesn't affect the Hypersonic notebook as much as it does the TRENDnet adapter.