Wrt54gl overclock

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Razor512, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Razor512

    Razor512 LI Guru Member

    What is the highest average overclock for everyone here?

    I am currently running my wrt54gl at 250MHz

    I am running tomato 1.23

    BusyBox v1.12.3 (2008-12-14 02:54:58 PST) built-in shell (ash)
    Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

    # cat /proc/cpuinfo
    system type : Broadcom BCM947XX
    processor : 0
    cpu model : BCM3302 V0.8
    BogoMIPS : 249.03
    wait instruction : no
    microsecond timers : yes
    tlb_entries : 32
    extra interrupt vector : no
    hardware watchpoint : no
    VCED exceptions : not available
    VCEI exceptions : not available
    unaligned_instructions : 2
    dcache hits : 1877474162
    dcache misses : 4105898690
    icache hits : 1427853733
    icache misses : 130337011
    instructions : 0

    I am not sure if I should go higher or not.

    I have a heatsink on the CPU

    Full sized image: http://flickr.com/photos/razor512/3248641940/sizes/o/

    I will later on add some heatsinks to the memory

    while every CPU will overclock differently, I want to be sure that I wont be getting a unsupported frequency or risk bricking the router
  2. peyton

    peyton Network Guru Member

    Is it really useful to O/C your router ? Do you really need it ?
  3. fyellin

    fyellin LI Guru Member

    I was about to ask the same question as peyton. I don't remember the last time my load average was more than .10. Is overclocking gaining you anything useful other than amusement and a possibly shorter-lived router?
  4. digitalgeek

    digitalgeek Network Guru Member

    overclocking :(

    Is there real a performance gain? Overclocking is just going to add strain to the CPU, with very little gain. If this performance of the GL is a problem, your probably using the wrong device???? :argue:
  5. Planiwa

    Planiwa Network Guru Member

    If I wanted to mess with it, I'd add a GB of NVRAM, as shown on Victek's site.

    BTW, I am currently running a WRT54G v2 at 25mW in a 200GB/month building.

    And my own WRT54GL runs at 5mW. Both with 7db areals.

    BTW, the biggest performance secret, IMHO, is to *reduce* the Conntrack table size.

    #2: reduce connection timeouts
    #3: connlimits
    #4: limit DNS bandwidth
    #5: make a QoS "crawl" class for DNA and similar vermin
    HitheLightz likes this.
  6. spicoli

    spicoli LI Guru Member

    I'm overclocked to 240mhz on air (no heatsink) and for no reason at all. Should I go down? haha
  7. Razor512

    Razor512 LI Guru Member

    for me, I noticed with my QOS rules and my WPA2 security when a lot of bandwidth is used, the cpu usage can sometimes say .3 so there may be spikes that go up to 100% not sure
  8. Planiwa

    Planiwa Network Guru Member

    Given that "unexplained sudden reboot crash" is a common problem with Tomato-running-routers, I wonder if there's research studying such factors as processor load and temperature, etc. prior to reboot-crash. (As well as process-activity, such as dnsmasq, of course.)

    I have observed that connection-storms are extremely dangerous to such routers, and that connection storms are extremely sudden onset, unpredictable, short-lived, and difficult to measure.

    I wonder whether overclocked routers have been observed to sudden-crash more often, and if, therefore, possible causes have been identified.
  9. Razor512

    Razor512 LI Guru Member

    for me I have not had any crashes but if you have lots of QOS rules and torrents going, the cpu usage can go up to the range of .14 and .30 in some cases i have not been able to get it up to 100% though
  10. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Planiwa's comments on his performance secrets are well worth noting...

    Re. the actual overclocking - it will increase the speed of transfer on the LAN, snappiness of the GUI response, everything in proportion to the % increase.

    My comments:

    1) I've got a total of something like 250+ WRT54GL AP's and routers running here. All overclocked happily at 250MHz and showing an increase in performance (knocking spots off the (slow) ASUS WL500gP v2's which I also use). The advantages? An almost instant response to the Web GUI is one ...

    2) The processor does not take any extra current and does not get measurably hotter at 250MHz, so there's absolutely no need for any additional cooling. If you feel the need to put a heatsink on the chip that's OK - but adding fans is a bit ridiculous. The memory does not need a heatsink.

    While on the subject, the wireless in most WRT54GL's is linear up to about 100mW output. The majority are still OK at 150mW but degrade rapidly above this power level. At 150mW again no significant increase in chip temperature is noted. Why use more power anyway? Because most traffic is downloaded from your router, a stronger signal from the router DOES measurably improve performance, in spite of some opinions to the contrary. [Yes, I know it won't help your PC or Laptop uploading TO the router - that's another matter entirely].

    Increasing signal strength for both upload and download signal by swapping the antennas to higher-gain types will also affect the radiation pattern, and will DECREASE signal strength in some directions - so this is not always a desirable thing to do in a residential block.

    Incidentally, there are several companies in the US advertising on the web, providing long distance outdoor solutions, who run these routers in full Californian sunlight in an enclosed box, also running at 250 Mhz with no extra cooling and no problems.

    Ref. the unexplained crashes that these routers do suffer from, we're also currently trying to get to the bottom of it. We do know that it can happen when the router is not at all stressed, and can occur from just simple causes like connecting to the web gui. Previously, the old wireless driver could cause a reboot when someone connected to the router - etc.

    To answer Planiwa's last question, I have not noticed any difference in the stability between 200 and 250MHz.

    More information on overclocking efforts: http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/showpost.php?p=340922&postcount=60.
  11. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Planiwa... When you say "performance" do you mean will reduce processor usage, or actually increase WAN throughput? Can you suggest some sample "optimum" values? Thanks....
  12. peyton

    peyton Network Guru Member

    Toastman are you saying that you can put your broadcom chip to 250Mhz with 100mW transmit power and it won't be hot ?
    Could be interresting but i guess it's not the same with buffalo one isn't it ?
  13. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    peyton - yes, that's what I'm saying. Definitely no need for liquid nitrogen cooling here :biggrin: The total power consumption of the whole router is only about 2.5 watts. All of the samples I've measured have been pretty linear at 100mW, and the majority have been quite acceptable at 150mW. Don't go higher than this.

    I never had a buffalo to test - but is that the one with a built-in amplifier? If so, then not the same kettle of fish.

    Also, the WRT54GL at stock 200MHz is faster than the ASUS WL500gP v2 at 240MHz. At 250MHz the WRT54GL outperforms it by far.
  14. spicoli

    spicoli LI Guru Member

    *prepares for LUDICROUS SPEED*

    BTW, are you overclocking on modded firmwares or ....
  15. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Any, doesn't matter what the firmware is. On Victek's mod you can change the clock speed from the GUI, which is useful. Don't expect an incredible increase - 20% is noticeable but not startling - just as when overclocking a computer.

    While on the subject of speed, Safari v4 is just out.... with many improvements. Try it if you'd like to see a fast response to the tomato GUI.
  16. darthboy

    darthboy LI Guru Member


    any guesses or explanations as to why the WRT54GL @ 200MHz would be faster than the WL500GP-v2 @ 240MHz?

    possibly non-optimsed drivers?
  17. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Perhaps someone can post the answer to that one.. I know the difference smacks you in the eye when you swap routers. And the Asus becomes even slower if you run the USB mods.

    I did find this comment by Oleg somewhere on a forum:

    AL37919: According to Oleg, there is a considerable hardware difference between wl500gP and wl500gPv2: http://oleg.wl500g.info/devices.html It seems that wl500gPv2 is a top model from wl520g* line. So, its more "honest" name should sound: wl520gP

    OLEG: Exactly it should be named wl520gP, as it's much slower than original wl500gp. :D
  18. peyton

    peyton Network Guru Member

    Yes it is, i don't think i'll put higher value for transmit power but i may o/c the chipset some day if it's not heating much.
  19. darthboy

    darthboy LI Guru Member

    alright. I'm thinking of getting a WL520GU for a cheap NAS cum gateway. Any ideas how the speed is compared to WRT54GL?
  20. Planiwa

    Planiwa Network Guru Member

    My context: remotely managed houses with about a dozen heavy BT/P2P users who won't report problems.

    Performance starts with survival -- when the router crashes (for "unknown" reasons) (and stays crashed) network performance is zero for the duration.

    [Aside -- one system -- WRT54GLv2 with 9 hosts of whom half are very heavy BT/P2P users -- keeps getting stuck in a mode where clients associate, get leased, but are not fully connected. Restarting dnsmasq does not fix it. Only effective measure I know is rebooting. Anyone know a fix?]

    Next, the router can either spend its time moving packets, or thrashing about trying to set up, and (almost instantly) tear down zillions of "connections" that never complete.

    These connection storms are possibly amplified by secondary (high-class) DNS storms. A BT/P2P connection frenzy is indistinguishable from an intentional denial of service attack, spam-bot infestation, etc.

    Actual values depend, of course, on whether you have 2 or 20 hosts, and usage patterns.

    1. Connection table size -- increasing this is like increasing the credit limit of an out-of control spendthrift. I use 3072.

    2. Timeouts -- it's annoying to have ssh sessions time out, but it's really annoying having the router crash because it runs out of space for the conntrack table, because too many stale connections are kept. Most connections are practically dead and are just timing out. This is not very well understood (I will be making major usability improvement suggestions for QoS charts, related to this). But not only must stale connections be forced to time out, very short timeouts are an effective way to contain connection storms.

    head /proc/sys/net/ipv4/*timeouts
    ==> /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_conntrack_tcp_timeouts <==
    120 1000 20 60 120 20 20 60 30 120

    ==> /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_conntrack_udp_timeouts <==
    20 20

    (UDP timeouts may need to be reduced to 10).

    3. Connlimits --

    It's a waste to drop a huge number of (mostly UDP) connection request, but whether the limit is 30 or 300, the number dropped is not affected, because of the dynamics of connection storms.

    src: TCP 70, UDP 30

    The dst limits aren't working, for various reasons. At least I am aware that it is *necessary* to have dst limits if you allow port forwarding (UPnP). :-(

    [There's much more to this, which deserves its own thread.]

    4.DNS limits -- you want to guarantee DNS, but if your router is filling the upstream with DNS, there's a problem. I haven't found an effective way to limit these yet, since a single DNS request can be amplified several times, and looks as if it came from either the router or the nameserver, thus escaping QoS classification! [This is a complex problem that goes beyond configuration.]

    5. Crawl class (1%-1%) -- for very reckless things like DNA. Or unregistered hosts. I use Class C, because the red stands out visibly.

    6. Measurement classes -- At this point, the "crawl" rule, like most, serves largely to classify traffic for measurement purposes -- to understand what is actually going on. Thus, I have classes for external origin, high volume. high port, udp.

    I use the UPnP page to see patterns for classification as well.

    But I am still learning and coping. The most difficult network is a house with a dozen university students. 8-20 GB/day, but while they are using most of the upstream channel (350 kb/s), they are only using less than 500 kb/s of the downstream. (Profile speed is 800 up and 6000 down.)

    It's like a 6-lane expressway, where all the traffic is on the shoulder and in the slowest lane, and the remaining lanes are rarely used. But this is what you get when you put BT traffic on an ADSL link.

    Returning to the topic :) -- when the processor is only lightly loaded and for some reason there is very little demand for downstream, it doesn't seem that faster would change that. I would actually be worried that faster would only aggravate the connection storm surges.

    One view is to say "let's speed the surges up and get them out of the way".
    The other view says "let's dampen the surges so they are less damaging".

    I suppose in a well-tuned system, where connection limits actually work completely (no "unclassified" loop-holes, etc.), the former view is the correct one.

    Especially since, as Toastman has reported, there is no risk of overheating, etc.
  21. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Planiwa, one interesting thing here - I use the ASUS WL500gP v2 with 32MB memory for the largest buildings. While the WRT54GL does get hit by occasional connection storms in spite of all efforts to prevent them, the ASUS survives every case, probably because of the extra resources. I have not tried it yet, but since there aren't many fast routers available now, modding a WRT54GL for 32MB memory might be a better way to go.

    In fact, the problem with the WRT54GL may not always be storm related, as it does reboot under certain circumstances. For example, just connecting to the web GUI will sometimes trigger a reboot. It is very hard to be sure of the cause.
  22. Planiwa

    Planiwa Network Guru Member

    Ah yes. I am reluctantly shifting from trying to ascertain reboot causes to minimizing reboot costs. Especially since reboot seems to be the only remedy for some stuck states (such as the "associating, leasing, but not routing" state).

    This is hard for me, since I am used to Unix systems remaining up for months.

    Yes, more memory would certainly help. Sometimes I think about the 1 GB mod on Victek's web site.
  23. peyton

    peyton Network Guru Member

    I've O/C my 3 WRT54GL to 250Mhz and put 84mW in transmit power.
    Seems to work like a charm, thanks Toastman !
    My Buffalo seems to be hard to o/c. It doesn't keep the CPU value when i reboot it.
  24. landa

    landa LI Guru Member

    How to increase wrt54gl ram to 32 MB? Is possible?
  25. bogderpirat

    bogderpirat Network Guru Member

    i think i'll overclock my wrt54gl some time soon, maybe then it'll do 50mbit/s downstream with qos enabled.
  26. Elanzer

    Elanzer Addicted to LI Member

    I've had a WRT54GL at 250mhz, 100mw transmit, and basic QoS for about 120 days of uptime previously (until I updated tomato for TCP vegas), never seen any instability using about 12 wired clients and 5 wireless clients at any given time.

    It doesn't seem to generate a significant enough heat like Toastman has said, it's barely warm to the touch in a 20'c environment. The gigabit switch actually runs hotter.
  27. lwf-

    lwf- Network Guru Member

    What about WRT54GS v1.1, it cannot be safely overclocked, can it? It's currently running at 216 Mz by default on Tomato.
  28. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Possible, http://www.linuxelectrons.com/features/howto/consolidated-hacking-guide-linksys-wrt54gl but not worth the effort IMHO - buy a WRT54G-TM which has 8MB flash 32MB ram as standard (and same mounting and antenna as your older Linksys devices!). Works fine with Tomato, mine was converted using JTAG and heatsink fitted. See below for dd-wrt links which do not now need the case opened.
  29. spicoli

    spicoli LI Guru Member

    WRT54G-TM works with Tomato? :u *hovers over purchase button*
  30. The Doctor

    The Doctor LI Guru Member

    Yes, the WRT54G-TM works great with Tomato, I've got 1 here and another coming for a friend. The 1 I have happily overclocks to 250 MHZ, which is nice.

    There are a few steps to the procedure, explained here.

    You will be installing DD-WRT, after which you can simply upgrade the firmware to Tomato(read Tomato FAQ about password), or stick with DD-WRT if you like it. Both firmwares have there good and bad points.

    BTW, you can currently get the WRT54G-TM routers on ebay for either $40 or $43 brand new(sealed box) with free shipping depending on who you buy from. It's a great router at that price.


    $40 on ebay

    $43 on ebay
  31. The-Kevster

    The-Kevster Addicted to LI Member

    Anyone know of a UK seller?
  32. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    I purchased via ebay from the USA, it was supplied with a universal PSU so only a plug adaptor needed not transformer.
  33. kardzzz

    kardzzz Addicted to LI Member

    Whenever i try ot OC my wrt54gl (using victek webgui) to 250, it fails. Then i have to re-input my settings manually for some reason.
    I'll stick with my 200.
  34. peyton

    peyton Network Guru Member

    Try it under ssh or telnet and backup your cfe before. :p
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