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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS USB-N53 Dual Band Wireless-N300 USB Adapter
Closer Look: ASUS USB-N53 Adapter
ASUS USB-N53 Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing & Results

ASUS_RT-N56U_Passmark_Networking_Configuration.jpgTesting Methodology

To test the ASUS USB-N53 Adapter we are using the Passmark Performance v7.0 Advanced Network Test. This test measures throughput between two clients connected to the router to be tested. In order for this test to work one PC must be set up as 'Client' and the other must be set up as the 'Server'. Each test is run five times with the highest and lowest result omitted and the remaining three results averaged to give a final result.

At Benchmark Reviews we like to be comprehensive so you will find results here for many different configurations such as WLAN to LAN (Wireless G 54Mb/s), WLAN to LAN (Wireless N 150Mb/s) and finally WLAN to LAN (Wireless N 300Mb/s). To eliminate any variables Test System 1 was always set to 'Server' and results were monitored and recorded on the 'Client' system (Test system 2). In these tests the ASUS USB-N53 adapter was connected on the 5GHz band.

Test System 1

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
  • Router: ASUS RT-N66U Dark Knight
  • Network: Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN
  • System Memory: 8GB Corsair LP CL9 1600MHz
  • Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.2GHz
  • Disk Drive 1: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB
  • Disk Drive 2: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB
  • Enclosure: Lancool PC-K63
  • PSU: Corsair HX750W 750 watt Modular
  • Monitor: HKC 22" Widescreen (1920x1080)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (SP1)

Test System 2

  • Laptop Model: Compaq Presario CQ61-110SA
  • Network Adapter 1: Integrated Atheros AR5007 802.11b/g
  • Network Adapter 2: Belkin Wireless N150 USB Network Adapter
  • Network Adapter 3: ASUS USB-N53 N300 USB Network Adapter
  • System Memory: 3GB DDR2 PC2-6400
  • Processor: Pentium Dual Core T4200 @ 2.0Ghz
  • Disk Drive: WD Scorpio Blue 160 GB SATA
  • Operating System: Windows 7 SP1 (x86)

Results

There are many variables that are difficult to avoid which can interfere with your wireless network, such as neighbouring wireless networks and every day household appliances. Since this is the case you will never see maximum throughput saturation in this uncontrolled testing environment. I like to present my results like this as it gives a true indication of real world usage and as such Wireless speeds are lower than maximum potential.

Equally important as speed is range when looking at wireless internet, sure you get faster speed with wires but you also lose portability. The next three tests look at wireless G, Wireless N150 and Wireless N300 speed and range. Points 1~4 are downstairs rooms and points 5~8 are upstairs rooms. This gives a good idea of what sort of coverage we can expect in a fairly sized three bedroom house.

Wireless_G_Throughput.jpg

The wireless G test shows that while throughput is not excellent the signal strength of the router is very promising indeed, the integrated Wireless G adapter was able to deliver a consistent speed at all test points.

Belkin_Wireless_N150_Throughput.jpg

When we tested throughput with the Belkin Wireless N150 USB Adapter the speeds were much more promising but not as close to 150Mb/s as I was expecting, the windows connection status dialog showed that the Belkin USB adapter was connecting between 75 ~ 120Mb/s but actual throughput was much lower. Throughput was not as consistent as the Wireless G throughput in all of the locations. As we see it here, the further away you get the worse the throughput is.

ASUS_USB-N53_N300_Throughput.jpg

When we tested throughput with the ASUS USB-N53 Wireless N300 USB Adapter the speeds were very good but not as close to 300Mb/s as I was expecting. The ASUS configuration utility and the windows connection status dialog showed that the USB-N53 was connected at 300Mb/s throughout all of the locations, but as you can see actual throughput was much lower. The results for the ASUS USB-N53 follow a similar pattern to the N150 results, albeit at higher speeds but still taper off the further away you get from the router.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS USB-N53 Dual Band Wireless-N300 USB Adapterwhynotv2 2012-03-07 03:32
"Price is slightly high for most home users". I'm only making note of that simply because how many home users actually match brands of router and adapter? It would be more informative if a brand or two of router was used that "most home users" actually use (Linksys, Belkin, D-Link, Netgear, Motorola...) rather than a $200+ router which is more than slightly high for most home users :)
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# RE: RE: ASUS USB-N53 Dual Band Wireless-N300 USB AdapterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-07 12:56
The RT-N66U is actually $179.99 and is aimed at enthusiasts, as is the USB-N53 Adapter.
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# RE: RE: ASUS USB-N53 Dual Band Wireless-N300 USB AdapterSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-03-07 13:15
I guess the main point I was trying to get across is that if ASUS were to lower their margins then they would widen their audience.
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# 2.4 and 5 Ghz at once?linuxwarrior 2012-06-22 14:12
Will it connect to the same access point in 2.4 AND 5 Ghz at the same time to improve throughput? I am thinking of the Asus RT-N56U.
Will I get a 600Mpbs link between the two?
Thanks
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# RE: 2.4 and 5 Ghz at once?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-06-22 14:24
No, it's one or the other.
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# I'm confusedMichael G 2012-11-03 19:44
How exactly can your Pros mention great performance but in you Cons you say it doesn't meet the 300Mbits speed reported? If they report the it will achieve 300Mbits (in ideal conditions, of course) then that is the bar that has been set. It appears that UDP performs the best and you didn't get speeds half of the 300Mbps the unit reported.
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# RE: I'm confusedSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-11-04 04:46
You will never get rated speeds unless you test in a scientifically controlled environment. Regardless of ratings it still performed very well for a wireless USB adapter.
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# speed from routerDon 2012-12-26 23:08
Confused about speed from the router. Using speedtest.comcast.net as the test site, I get 26 Mb/s using my laptop with the built-in network. I was assuming I would get close to that being a few feet away and line of sight to the router and have a full 5 bars (100% signal strength according to a network gadget). I only get 5 Mb/s, on both bands. Also, went to neighbor and got only 10 Mb internal but the same 5 Mb with the N53. This normal behavior for these devices? At a loss...
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# RE: speed from routerSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-12-27 03:01
Sorry to hear that Don.

The first thing I would do is check for different drivers. What Router are you using and is it compatible with B, G or N for wireless networking?
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