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WHR-HP-G54 vs WRT54G-TM (or GL) Performance and Stability

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by The Doctor, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. The Doctor

    The Doctor LI Guru Member

    I've been running the Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 for a few years now, using tomato for all that time, I have been extremely impressed with its stability. I have enjoyed uptime of over a year, would be even longer except I upgraded the firmware.

    I picked up a couple of the WRT54G-TM routers recently for a few friends, and kept one for myself to experiment with. I have not had a single crash with any of these, but none have been running for more than a few weeks, so I don't really have any feel for their long-term stability.

    Okay, now on to the reason for my question. I have an Internet connection which is actually a little more than the Buffalo can handle, Verizon FiOS at 20/20. The router seems to function okay to beyond 30Mbps with hundreds of connections open, but gets a bit choked up past 35. There is a persistent rumor that in June or July, Verizon is going to upgrade their speeds, my connection will probably then be 25/25. I don't need the throughput to max it out in both directions at once, but I think the Buffalo is going to become quite marginal at this point.

    Now, on to the two questions I have. First, by specs I can see that both of these routers use the same processor. Can I infer from this that both routers will be able to have the same throughput with the same CPU frequency? I ask this because the Buffalo does not seem to overclock at all (a thread at DD-WRT seems to confirm this), but the Linksys very easily overclocks to 250 MHz. Testing it between two computers, this seems to give it a throughput increase of about 25%. I have tested under maximum load for several days straight at this frequency, no crashes. If they both get the same performance per clock cycle, this would allow the Linksys to be quite a bit faster, a strong reason to switch to it.

    Second question, are the Linksys units capable of running continuously for months at a time (under heavy load)?

    A third, and supplemental question, is there a router capable of running Tomato which is likely to be faster than the Linksys overclocked to 250 MHz?


    Thank you
    Ed
     
  2. szfong

    szfong Network Guru Member

    A bcm5354-based router at 240 MHz such as the newer asus units, or the whr-g125 will always be a bit faster than the bcm5352 running from 200-250 Mhz. This newer chip is a bit more efficient it seems. For fios, you may need an draft-n router, which always have a much better cpu, though tomato won't run, however dd-wrt do support a couple of draft-n linksys routers, possibly openwrt as well. I'd personally recommend an old laptop or an embedded board board as a router for such higher speeds.
     
  3. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    szfong, I have to disagree with you. Not all of the ASUS routers are fast. I used 2 ASUS WL500gP v2 routers on one of my sites because of the extra stability I believed I would get with my large number of clients due to the extra memory. The extra memory IS useful, but I was quite disappointed when I found that these routers are actually much slower than the WRT54GL at 200MHz, due to the use of the "budget" chipset.

    Web pages open noticeably slower, and even the response from the GUI has a significant delay, whereas the WT54GL is immediate. This is quite well documented - the same comment has been made by "oleg", who writes third party firmware for ASUS routers.

    Ed's choice of the TM seems a good one. I don't have a TM, but I believe they are essentially the same as the GL but with more memory and flash. That would make them my choice for the future.

    Ed, I have approaching a hundred WRT54GL's in service for varying periods of up to a year, the conditions of use are as follows. All of them in enclosed boxes for security, no extra cooling, all overclocked to 250MHz and all of them set to 150mW transmit power. No failures (unless you count a bad flash) and they don't run hot. Power consumption of the whole router is approximately 2.5 watts.

    As our speeds go up you will, as szfong says, need a better solution. We don't have high speeds in Thailand, so my experience is limited to reading about it. But I'm not particularly impressed with the "N" routers - sure - they're a bit faster, but the speed increase is mostly on the LAN connection. The processor speeds and WAN speeds are hardly a "quantum leap". Until someone markets a better and faster SOHO router with a decent processor that will properly handle NAT with 50Mbps+ internet access, then what szfonf suggests is going to be the best solution.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. gingernut

    gingernut LI Guru Member

    Maybe something like the Netgear WNDR3700 would be the way to go. It's not released yet but you can see the spec and estimated cost $179.

    IEEE 802.11n draft version 2.0
    Simultaneous Dual Band - 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz operation
    High-efficiency power amplifiers and eight sensitive metamaterial antennas enhances range and reliability
    680MHz powerful MIPS 32-bit Processor
    8 MB flash and 64 MB RAM
    1 x Gigabit WAN port
    4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
    USB NETStorage – support FAT16/32, NTFS Read/Write
     
  5. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Thanks for posting that, gingernut! At last, some progress (except for the price)....
     

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