X-Micro WLAN 11g Turbo Mode Broadband Router and PCMCIA card

Some formal testing with Sandra

HotHardware Test Systems
Building the perfect network
Test Machine 1 - (Compaq Laptop)
  • Athlon XP 1400+ 1.2GHz
  • 368MB SDRAM
  • Windows XP Professional SP1
  • IBM Travelstar 20GB HD
  • TI PCI-1410 CardBus Controller
  • X-Micro WLAN 11g Turbo Mode PCMCIA Card
  • Integrated Realtek RTL 8139 10/100 LAN Chipset (Wired)
Test Machine 2 - (Epox 4PDA2+)
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz

  • 1024MB SDRAM

  • Windows XP Professional SP1

  • WD 80GB HD (8MB Cache)

  • Broadcom BCM5705/5788 LAN Chipset

  • Integrated 1GBPs Fast Ethernet Controller (Wired)
Test Machine 3  - (Asus P4P800SE)
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz
  • 512MB SDRAM
  • Windows XP Professional SP1
  • WD 80GB HD (8MB Cache)
  • ASUS WiFi-b 802.11b LAN card
  • ASUS WiFi Slot (proprietary)

To make our comparisons, we needed systems with varying connectivity rates.  Our first system was a Compaq Evo laptop where we installed the X-Micro WLAN 11g Turbo Mode PCMCIA card.  Using the administrator mode for the X-Micro router, we can change the data rate from 11Mbps up to 108Mbps.  Our other two base systems were an Epox 4PDA2+ rig that was hard-wired, that is, connected directly to the router using CAT5 cabling, and then an Asus P4P800SE board which comes with a built-in WiFi slot and 802.11b WiFi LAN card.

Once we had our network completely up and running, we ran some synthetic tests from the laptop with the X-Micro PCMCIA card to the Epox 4PDA2+ system.  Each test was run using a different data rate setting; first with SuperG disabled, then three more times with SuperG enabled, but varying the way Turbo mode was being used.

Sandra Network Performance Tests
How does it stack up?


Our first two sandra benchmarks were done with and without "Super G mode" enabled in the router's control panels.  To keep the testing as close as possible to the database scores, we did not enable WEP or any other security authentication.  In each case, the router restarted after we made our selections and then we ran the Network Performance benchmark.  The first test left us somewhere between an 802.11b connection (11Mbps) and an 802.11g connection (54Mbps).  We're actually reaching transfer speeds of a little faster than half of the typical 802.11g connection.  Re-enabling 802.11g brought us right back to expected levels.  In fact, the score we achieved was only 234 kB/s faster than the stock score, or about 7 percent faster.



What we really want to see, however, if how the performance increased when enabling "Turbo" mode for the 802.11g connection.  There were two options to chose from: Super G with Dynamic Turbo, and Super G with Static Turbo, which will cause the router to run in 11g mode only thus preventing 802.11b devices from connecting to the router.  It's best to use the Dynamic Turbo setting if you're planning on using a variety of devices.  Unfortunately, when we ran Sandra using the Super G with Dynamic Turbo setting, the transfer rates only went up a slight bit, from 3494 kB/s to 3676 kB/s.  This amounted to barely a 6 percent increase.  Super G with Static Turbo was much, much better, where we topped out at around 7 MB/s.  This was a full 1MB/s better than the 6MB/s that Sandra was expecting.  Obviously, if you can do so, it's best to equip all systems in your network with devices that can support the same standard.

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