In our Storage Performance test, I use a SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive formatted with the EXT4 filesystem. I mount the volume as a network drive and test with NAS Performance Test 1.7.
On the storage side of things, I was blown away by the capabilities of the R8500. As you can see in our charts, I was able to reach 41 and 45 MB/s in read performance. Write performance topped out at 81 and 92 MB/s, the quickest I have ever seen.
Netgear is one of the very few companies that continue to churn out high-quality products time after time. Since I have been reviewing routers, we have gone from seeing the launch of consumer 802.11ac with the first Nighthawk R7000, to several Nighthawk routers later the biggest and possibly best of them all, the R8500.
The X8 is quite possibly the largest router ever designed, it measures in at a whopping 12.4 x 10.3 x 2.4 with an impressive weight of 3.7lbs, and if you had a gander at page two of this review, you can tell from the moment you lay eyes on this router that it's a beast. Build quality is quite good though I don't really care for antennas that can't be removed but being part of the design, it makes sense. Internally, all the solder joints appeared top notch and everything was shielded and heatsinked appropriately.
On the performance of the router, I was happy with the LAN throughput reaching 931 Mbps, but would have liked to see more with the WAN to LAN as there really is no reason a beast such the R8500 should lack in any area. On the wireless side of things, I was unable to get 1024QAM working correctly in testing and as such we had just our standard test which showed us a peak of 119 Mbps. However, swapping over to 5GHz, we were able to do our standard testing along with 1024QAM and as you should have seen in our charts were able to reach a stunning 920 Mbps without issue. MU-MIMO testing showed little gain on 2.4GHz, while 5GHz did get some improvement at 292 Mbps across three devices.
Switching gears to storage performance, I was impressed to see the R8500 reach 45 MB/s read and nearly double that on write at 92 MB/s, making it hands down the quickest router for storage. Adding to this as a package is all the additional functionality Netgear has packed in including Link AG, Dynamic QoS, and the entire ReadyShare Vault and Cloud.
The Netgear R8500 at this point in the game is one step above every router on the market and depending on what ASUS does with their RT-AC5300, and if we have a chance to test it, this may be the quickest solution I have ever tested overall.
|Quality including Design and Build||92%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||90%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: It may be big and expensive, but the Nighthawk X8 aims to prove it can handle whatever you can throw at it, with Tri-Band Quad Stream and some of the best storage performance I have ever seen.
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