Killer Wireless-N 1103 Review: Can Qualcomm Take On Centrino?

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mortsmi7

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[citation][nom]blazorthon[/nom]Some needed the keyboard removed or the case taken apart, but all were easy and accessible in under three minutes of work.[/citation]
I think I grasp where the confusion lies here. Differing definitions of 'easily removable'.

To me, easily removable is taking a panel off the back and there's your card. Having to dig deeper is too far to many people. Sure it may be easy to do, but it's a defined bridge your crossing to do so.
 
[citation][nom]mortsmi7[/nom]I think I grasp where the confusion lies here. Differing definitions of 'easily removable'.To me, easily removable is taking a panel off the back and there's your card. Having to dig deeper is too far to many people. Sure it may be easy to do, but it's a defined bridge your crossing to do so.[/citation]

Sorry, but I can't call a three minutes or less job difficult, especially when it's just unscrewing the keyboard (some even just snap off and back in). Besides that, most of the laptops just needed the back panel removed. For example, my M-1624 just needs it's back panel removed with 3 screws to reveal two mini PCIe slots.
 

A Bad Day

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[citation][nom]blazorthon[/nom]Sorry, but I can't call a three minutes or less job difficult, especially when it's just unscrewing the keyboard (some even just snap off and back in). Besides that, most of the laptops just needed the back panel removed. For example, my M-1624 just needs it's back panel removed with 3 screws to reveal two mini PCIe slots.[/citation]

My Dell Inspiron 6400 required the following to reach the motherboard:

-About half of the case removed
-Screen detached
-Keyboard removed
-Tons of screws removed

My Asus N61Jq's requirement:

-Medium sized backpanel with six screws removed (exposing rest of the motherboard would require the entire case to be removed)


I've seen a few laptops that came fairly close to Apple's approach of locking out hardware modifications. So remember, when shopping for laptops, check how they're dissembled, or your next laptop cleaning/upgrading will be a nightmare.
 
[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]My Dell Inspiron 6400 required the following to reach the motherboard:-About half of the case removed-Screen detached-Keyboard removed-Tons of screws removedMy Asus N61Jq's requirement:-Medium sized backpanel with six screws removed (exposing rest of the motherboard would require the entire case to be removed)I've seen a few laptops that came fairly close to Apple's approach of locking out hardware modifications. So remember, when shopping for laptops, check how they're dissembled, or your next laptop cleaning/upgrading will be a nightmare.[/citation]

I've never had a computer that was as difficult as your Inspiron 6400. I've had some laptops where they have one SO-DIMM slot on top of the motherboard and one on the bottom (those old P4 Inspirons I mentioned were like this) and the second SO-DIMM took more effort than most of the other machines to get to and install a memory upgrade into.

At that point, I can say that the second memory slot wasn't easily accessible. However, the first memory slot, wireless card, and hard drive were. I've had some machines where some parts were a little hard to get to, but never were the wireless cards hard to get to.
 

mortsmi7

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I think someone just simply feels the need to have the last word in for every single comment made.

In contrast, replacing a wireless card on my pc is a total pain in the ass. It takes a whole ten minutes most of which is figuring out which cord is the keyboard and getting it plugged in to the one USB that runs during start-up so I can skip the 9 sec wait on the Linux boot menu.
 

LLJones

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Thumb me down, say whatever. I have been using their products since they hit the market. I've never seen suddenly fantastic ping rates or huge increases in fps, what I have noticed is far smoother game play during heavy battle scenes. I have done my own backyard testing over the years and consistently see better performance with the killer. so the fact their product is at the top is no suprise.

The best thing about them however is their customer support. Second to none. Email in morning, response next day. Once contact was established, responses were no more than 1 day. They went above and beyond to help me out with my dead card. 5 stars 10/10 etc. The best support ever.
 
[citation][nom]LLJones[/nom]Thumb me down, say whatever. I have been using their products since they hit the market. I've never seen suddenly fantastic ping rates or huge increases in fps, what I have noticed is far smoother game play during heavy battle scenes. I have done my own backyard testing over the years and consistently see better performance with the killer. so the fact their product is at the top is no suprise.The best thing about them however is their customer support. Second to none. Email in morning, response next day. Once contact was established, responses were no more than 1 day. They went above and beyond to help me out with my dead card. 5 stars 10/10 etc. The best support ever.[/citation]

The killer NIC's improved performance is just as good as free third party software that optimizes network traffic and Tom's proved that already. This Killer is a different story because it is wireless and there are a lot more ways for a company to improve wireless performance than there are to improve wired performance.

[citation][nom]qiuwan298[/nom]I would like to try this out. If they can make a good pci-e/pci version of this card then definitely[/citation]

Why make a PCI version when almost every PC made in the last ten years has PCIe support? That would simply be supporting an old, outdated bus that is oftentimes not even included on newer motherboards anymore. Sure, PCI is fast enough for this, but it's getting phased out and no one who wants something like this for performance would use a computer so old that it doesn't even have PCIe slots.

[citation][nom]mortsmi7[/nom]I think someone just simply feels the need to have the last word in for every single comment made.In contrast, replacing a wireless card on my pc is a total pain in the ass. It takes a whole ten minutes most of which is figuring out which cord is the keyboard and getting it plugged in to the one USB that runs during start-up so I can skip the 9 sec wait on the Linux boot menu.[/citation]

It's not about having the last word, it's about something being resolved. We're talking about laptops, not desktops and your desktop seems to have some serious problems. Even if desktops were the topic, your wouldn't even be relevant to the conversation if it is that messed up. Also, if you don't mind me asking, why does it take you so long to find out what each cord is? Even then, why do you think it's okay to blame something that is not the PC's fault (the PC probably didn't tangle any wires or whatever the problem is).

Also, if you have such trouble finding out what each wire goes to, why don't you label them? Just get a piece of tape or whatever and write what it is like "keyboard", "mouse", etc.
 

NightbladeXX

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[citation][nom]caedenv[/nom]Indeed, it is an issue. I ended up wiring the house through the HVAC ducts, which is a terrible idea (breaks all sorts of building codes), but better than drilling holes all throughout the house only to move to wireless within the next 5-10 years.[/citation]

You just have to use Plenum rated wire and "Fire Stop" caulking material to seal the holes, and then you dont violate the building codes. Just be really careful with the wiring along the sharp sheet metal edges I like to use a couple layers of the plenum wiring casing as added insurance against the sheet metal
 

cyberstatic

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We ran across two small mysteries here. First, several download tests performed slower in Location 1 than Location 2, which appears backwards. But we confirmed the results in repeated tests.
Mr. Van Winkle,

I believe this is most likely the result of the way 802.11n works. It is specifically designed to take advantage of RF multi-pathing and will actually perform better in environments with lots of multi-path signal reflection, diffraction, and scattering. When you had the laptop closer and in direct line of sight it had less objects in the signal path to create the multi-pathing it needs to operate at maximum capacity. It is also quite possible you were getting poorer performance at the first location due to even Fresnel zone signal cancellation if you happened to have the laptops and access point at the right height to create even Fresnel zone bounces. Or it could simply be you were getting more interference at the first location than at the second.

I am curious though why you didn't use a program like InSSIDer (http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/) to monitor your receive signal level on the laptops so you could find the best positioning for them. If you did use such a program why not include the receive signal level in dBm and the SNR in the data you presented? Knowing what kind of signal levels and SNR each laptop is getting would give us an idea if the throughput improvements are due to improvements in the antennas and transmit/receive hardware or due to software enhancements.
 
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Wasn't that the same brand that was reviewed some time ago( Ethernet) and the results were awfully bad?...again!
 

__-_-_-__

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[citation][nom]jaquith[/nom]Lastly, very few Notebooks have the option to accept a half-mini PCIe Card.[/citation]
Where do you live? Siberia? 90% of the notebooks accept a mini pci-e card. If it accepts a full size mini pci-e it will accept an half-mini one. Actually I don't known any notebook or netbook or even win tablet that doesn't have at least 1 fully functional mini pci-e slot.
 

casemods

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I paid $1 or $2 on ebay for my packet injection supported ar 9285 card

It's range is pretty weak and I have to use an external USB wifi adapter to get a better signal, even at my house

internal cards are a joke.
 

alcalde

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[citation][nom]dvanburen[/nom]This is so incredibly wrong I can't find the words to express it. I have yet to encounter one notebook where you could not remove and/or replace the wireless network adapter, which is almost always a mini-PCIe card. Sure, sometimes you have to remove the keyboard or an access cover, but it's nothing anyone with basic knowledge of how to use a screwdriver can't handle.[/citation]

You're forgetting about evil vendor lock-in. Many notebook vendors employ a whitelist/blacklist in their BIOS to prevent you from using anything other than their network card. They'll also fiddle with the other slot if there is one to make it work with 3G/4G cards only and not WiFi.

For instance, the popular HP DM1-Z does these things - and the BIOS in encrypted as the cherry on top making it a PITA to try to get around the whitelist and I'm not sure it's even possible today. In fact, it may be worse as HP now offers no options for WiFi on this model other than the one default. Bizarrely, I think the tech manual lists the antenna as being dual-band, but now there's no way to get a 5GHz WiFi card to work inside it, which is insane.

There's another big manufacturer besides HP that does this with their laptops, but I forget which. I've been asking lots of places to run a story about it so that some pressure could be applied and maybe people would actually get back the open standard they're supposed to have with PCIe, but no one's done so yet.
 

alcalde

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A great way to test this would have been to use the Killer Wireless running both Windows and Linux. Same hardware, different drivers - it would be easy to see just how much the driver is adding to performance. It would be interesting in general to see the difference in performance between a proprietary and open source driver. Who knows? Maybe the Killer driver isn't good so much as stock Windows drivers are really bad. :) Those were some wild performance gains on the upload side, almost enough to suspect the other guys are doing something wrong.
 

rjoshuaw

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Wireless conditions change constantly, it's very hard to give a good benchmark on performance unless it's way off. I for one would like to know a few things; what version of drivers were you using on each card, what security was on the SSID you were connecting to, what power/mw were the cards using at each location, what was the db of each card at each location. You turned a bunch of stuff on to create a noisy RF environment, but did you power up a wifi spectrum analyzer to see the results of those devices and of the clients transmitting? I would be interested in other factors to such as what different types of security do all the cards support, or roaming performance etc. Also, you should look at something like iperf or jperf to do your data throughput tests with.
 

prohiki

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Intel WiFi developer:
what was the driver version tested? (13.x/14.x/15.x)
was the Intel Application installed?

Thanks
 

jack85

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Hi William,
I want to buy a few Killer cards for my gaming-internet Cafe. I purchased one and i want to test it like u to make sure i get same performance. Following questions:
1) Other APs : "BG AP" - any traffic or just standby?; "5GHz router" - running the traffic simultaneously or it was just connected (which channel)?
2) Can u tell me what channel the wireless speakers were connected? I will change mine accordingly.
3) The computers tested were plugged into AC during all tests?
4) did u enable QOS-WMM support on the AP? It might increase performance.

Thanks a lot,
Jack
 

hestonwfhdi

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Even though we may get more labor hours for running wires the convenience and idea of avoiding HVAC ducts building codes makes this appealing.
 
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Hate to ask a dumb question, but here goes: I just got a new laptop with an 1103 based on these reviews. But if I'm never connecting to another computer on my local network, (i.e., always hitting the internet) all of this is sort of moot as my cable internet speed is like 15 Mbps down. Is this a correct asumption? Though the 1003 does seem to have great range...
 
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one thing you have to understand is intel is about sustaing battery life & usb was never ment to be used for wireless. as for it doing well id try the cisco usb with another broadcom router manufacturet to see if you get the same resualts
 
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"Proprietary intellectual property?" Corny. Much of the best performance comes from tuned open source. The author has a bizarre bias.
 
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