Real World Timings and our Conclusion
Although we've taken a peek at the performance of the X-Micro Router and PCMCIA card using SiSoft Sandra, we wanted to give some real-world examples of the kinds of time differences one can expect when moving files across a network. We set up various kinds of connections, including a completely wired network using integrated LAN chipsets and patch cables, and then again when using the X-Micro PCMCIA card installed in a Compaq laptop in both Super G Mode with or without Turbo mode enabled.
To start the testing, we copied a single 803MB file from a folder within a Star Wars Battlefront installation to the desktop of our "server". Using the completely wired network setup, we saw that in a best case scenario it can take just about a minute and a half to move that file in either direction, from server to client and back. Starting with the standard 802.11g connection, that time ballooned to just over 4 minutes when receiving that file and over 8 minutes when sending it back. The good news is that by enabling Turbo Mode on the X-Micro router, we were able to cut those times pretty much by half. Of course, that should be expected for the most part, since the maximum transfer rate with Turbo Mode enabled is exactly double that of standard 802.11g (108Mbps over 54 Mbps). These tests were performed under somewhat ideal conditions, however, so times will vary with placement and distance.
We were impressed by the X-Micro WLAN 11g Turbo Mode Broadband Router and PCMCIA card. Installation and configuration of both devices was painless, and we were up and running in no time. The router is a stylish silver box, and is small enough to fit anywhere in the house (along with the broadband source) to maximize coverage area. While 802.11g may be the norm for wireless connectivity these days, enabling Turbo Mode in the easy to navigate configuration screens allowed us to nearly double the transfer rates, something that we're sure many users will be glad to hear. Throughout our testing we constantly received excellent, strong signals, whether we were testing 15 feet away from the router on the laptop, or on a desktop PC placed on the other side of a house through a solid wooden wall. With the plethora of security features placed in the router, and the fast transfer rates that we were able to achieve, we're confident in recommending X-Micro's products to anyone looking into building a home network, or simply wanting to surf the web on their laptop while in the bathtub.
We're giving the combination of the X-Micro WLAN 11g Turbo Mode Broadband Router and PCMCIA card a 9 on the HotHardware Heat Meter...