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Wireless Reviews

The Test

802.11g wireless performance test results are presented in the table below:

Test Conditions:

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: Linksys WRT54G router
Firmware/Driver Versions:

AP f/w:
V2.04.4
Wireless client driver:
WinXP 1.1.2.2
Wireless client f/w:
No Info
Test
Description
Transfer
Rate
(Mbps)
Response
Time
(msec)
UDP
stream
Throughput
(kbps)
Lost
data
(%)

Client to AP -
Condition 1

21.2
[No WEP]
20.7
[w/WEP]

1 (avg)
1 (max)

500

0 %

[Details of how we test can be found here.]

Since I don't have a notebook with USB 2.0 interface, I had to skip my usual four location test and stay put for all my testing. So I concentrated instead on checking throughput for four security modes:

  • No security
  • WEP 128
  • WPA-PSK TKIP
  • WPA-PSK AES

Figure 5 shows that the RaLink chipset turns in very acceptable performance in all modes, with 21Mbps average throughput and only about 8% worst-case throughput degradation when using WPA TKIP. WPA AES actually had throughput faster than the no-security case, but I chalk this up to normal measurement variation and the built-in hardware encryption engine that the chipset has for supporting AES' beefier computation requirements.

Security mode throughput comparison

Figure 5: Security mode throughput comparison
(click on the image for a larger view)

Figure 5 also shows nice even throughput with a few "dropouts" that are not unusual for 11g adapters. This is my first experience with the RaLink chipset and I have to say I'm impressed, at least from these close-range results. Note that all these results are for uplink tests. I ran one downlink test that clocked in at 22Mbps average and 23.9Mbps max.

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