Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Amped Wireless RTA15 and ACA1 review-Part One-Combined Performance

Review note update: Please see this: http://remixedcat.blogspot.com/2015/02/issues-that-amped-wireless-needs-to.html

Review Note: This review will come in 2 parts to make it easier to follow and easier to drill down where you want your focus to be. 

Part One: RTA15 and ACA1 combined performance (You are here!)

Part Two: RTA15 range and stress test


1.       Intro
2.       Setup
3.       Performance: Desktop with USB adapter

The Amped Wireless RTA15 is the company’s first router that has the new 802.11ac standard. This means gigabit speeds over wireless. Finally wireless has caught up with gigabit wired LAN ports! They added even more amplifiers (700mW) to increase range even further then the R20000G. The 5GHz has two stage amplifiers that work like twin turbos to compensate for the band’s normal short range. The router also features a faster processor (660 Mhz) as well.

The RTA15 was very easy to set up and it was just like installing the R20000G. They have basically the same UI layout for those who have the Amped Process in muscle memory. Nice.  I did have a problem with the “check internet connection” thing, however the manual setup worked just fine. Reboots are way shorter than the R20000G and at just 10 seconds it really doesn’t faze me. Very glad the reduced the reboot time drastically! Excellent.
For this test I have kept the network config the same as the R20000G as well with the same SSIDs and such and doing this none of my devices thought anything happened. Very smooth transition.

Performance: Desktop with USB adapter: Amped Wireless ACA1
For this test I will be using LAN Speed Test to generate the traffic and will be using PRTG to generate the pretty graphs for it since it presents it very nicely and is easy to read. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc. This is also being used to monitor the uptime of the RTA15 as well. My wired LAN desktop is the PRTG server and it’s in the same room as the RTA15. This will keep track of events that do occur. One thing I do wish that Amped had… SNMP. Using software like PRTG can easily give business users and prosumers the powerful insight into the router’s performance they will need to know if they run mission crucial applications on their systems. I can monitor Ping and DNS and some basic things on the RTA15, however I can’t view things like advanced uptime, CPU/RAM usage, load averages, ISP bandwidth, etc.

I will present these with the real file transfer speed.

Test environment: 

Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.

Specs of server (my machine in the same room as the RTA15): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC

Specs of client (remote machine in other room): AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Amped Wireless ACA1 USB WLAN connection:USB3 via a PCI-Express addon card.

Settings on RTA15 for 802.11.ac mode:

5 GHz 802.11ac mode:

Test 1: LAN speed test: single stream 400MB file: Stayed at 18.22Mbytes/sec or 145.7Mbits/sec

Test 2: LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: Average: 20Mbytes/sec or 160Mbits/sec

Test 3: LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file with 2 other file transfers going (6 music folders with 1.2GB per folder and average file size of 10MB per song or around 300 some songs)

30 day averages: Note that I had a peak of 69Mbytes/second or 552Mbits/sec and another around 55Mbytes/sec or 440Mbits/sec while I was transferring some games from one machine to the other
Note: the downtimes recorded were some upgrades/software maintenance that were being done to the desktop at the time.

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode:

Sensor note: I created a new sensor for the ACA1 to separate the 5Ghz performance graphs from the 2.4Ghz performance graphs. This allows easier comparison and allows me to have clearer insight.

Settings on RTA15 for 802.11.n mode:

Test 1: LAN speed test: single stream 400MB file: 11.08Mbytes/sec or 88Mbits/sec

Test 2: LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: Average 12 Mbytes/sec or 96Mbits/sec


5 GHz 802.11N mode (added on request)

Settings on RTA15 for 5Ghz 802.11n mode:

Test 1: LAN speed test: single stream 400MB file: Stayed at 10Mbytes/sec or 80mbits/sec

Test 2: LAN speed test:25 stream 6GB file: Average 10Mbytes/sec or 80Mbits/sec

Closing notes for this part:

As you can see in 802.11ac the performance difference was twice the speed of the 802.11n connection.

Please read the upcoming second part for range/throughput tests with various devices as well as some hardcore stress tests! 

Update: Added soundcloud version:

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