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Linksys WRT32x AC3200 Wireless Gaming Router Review

By: Tyler Bernath | Routers & Access Points in Networking | Posted: Aug 22, 2017 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Linksys

Gaming Latency

 

I'll start this by saying my office network is typically run with an Ubiquiti ERL Lite and Unifi AC LR AP. For comparison in gaming tests, I put my standard network, the Ubiquiti setup, up against the WRT32x and its Killer technology. I used my gaming notebook, the Alienware 15 R3 and its Killer E2500 and 1535 Wireless to test both situations.

 

The test consists of running a game while simultaneously loading your network with traffic, in my case I had four 4K YouTube videos on a loop in the background.

 

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What we have above is a game of Team Fortress 2, freely available on Steam. We use the console or ~ key with the "net_graph 1" command to show the latency, PS, and others during the match.

 

These first two images are on the left the Killer 1535 connected to my Ubiquiti AP and on the left connected to the WRT32x. With no setup involved, the WRT32x takes a ping of 175ms and pushes it down to 44ms.

 

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Doing this exact test with the Wired Killer E2500, we see a ping of 93ms move down to 33ms.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The WRT32x is easily my favorite WRT to date and I think that says a lot because I have owned all iterations, some multiple times. The build quality is on par with the best in the market and further, I love the all black, silver logo of the WRT branding on this solution.

 

Setting this unit apart is the Killer prioritization which for gamers nearly all gaming notebooks have at least a 1435 or 1535 Killer NIC, and some like my Alienware have the wired NIC as well. This is being seen even more with desktop platforms too with the AMD X370 motherboard platform offering several options that include Killer technologies.

 

Performance as a router was quite solid. I had peak LAN throughput at 933 Mbps, and WAN throughput touched 929 Mbps. Wireless performance was quite good as well, 2.4GHz offered 228 Mbps with 5GHz topping out at 745 Mbps. Mobile throughput was solid with the AW15 and peaked out around 530 Mbps while range testing showed consistency on the 2.4GHz band and only a small performance loss for 5GHz at 30Ft.

 

I think the gaming test completed here will be the most relevant for consumers that want to purchase a solution like the WRT32x as most will already have a gaming machine like a Razer, Alienware or MSI notebook, or be in the market for a motherboard with Killer technology packed into it. That's not to say the WRT32x doesn't work well with non-Killer devices, for those devices it will just take manual setup to reap similar benefits.

 

Apart from this, I am pleased with how clean the interface is for the WRT32x; it's very simple to see what's going on and manage your devices right from the dashboard with a few clicks.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality95%
Features99%
Value93%
Overall TweakTown Rating96%

The Bottom Line: For those in the gaming community that use Killer NICs on a daily basis, the Linksys WRT32x is a game changer. For those that don't, well, you are falling behind.

    PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:

     

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