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Linksys' WRT32X is a router designed first and foremost for gaming

By John Law & Ng Chong Seng - on 10 Nov 2017, 11:15am

Linksys' WRT32X is a router designed first and foremost for gaming

Linksys recently launched the WRT32X, a AC3200-class dual-band Wi-Fi gaming router with Rivet Networks’ Killer Prioritization Engine built in.

Sporting the iconic Linksys WRT router series design but fully dressed in black, the WRT32X is a high-end consumer router equipped with a 1.8GHz dual-core ARM CPU, a 3 x 3 radio design with four high-performance antennas, and simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi (one 2.4GHz, one 5GHz) for up to AC3200 speeds (N600 + AC2600).

It also has a feature called Tri-Stream 160, which basically makes use of the 160MHz channel bandwidth in the 5GHz band to achieve 2.6Gbps peak speeds (i.e., three simultaneous 867Mbps streams). On the router’s back you’ll find one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, as well as a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA (USB 2.0) port for hooking up to external storage devices.

All that said, the WRT32X’s main story is its Killer Prioritization Engine, which in a nutshell is a highly optimized QoS system that can recognize network traffic - be it video streaming, online gaming, huge file downloads, or just system updates - and prioritize them automatically to ensure a lag-free gaming performance.

Gamers who have Killer Networking-branded Wi-Fi or NICs on their notebooks or desktops (brands that use Killer solutions include Alienware, Gigabyte, MSI, and Razer) will know all too well what this gaming-focused QoS engine is capable of.

What’s different this time round is that Linksys is bringing the QoS engine into the WRT32X router, along with a custom-built firmware and UI for controlling gaming traffic. For example, the Killer Control Center software that users of Killer-equipped notebooks and desktops use to adjust their system’s performance will additionally sport an extra router tab when it detects the presence of the WRT32X on the network. Through it, you can quickly adjust common router settings (e.g. set bandwidth limits) without the need to fire up the router’s web interface.

And in case you’re still wondering why there’s a need to bring the Killer engine to the router level, the idea is that since the router is able to communicate with Killer-equipped endpoints and know the types of packets that are passing through the entire network, it can now more effectively prioritize gaming traffic without adversely impacting other traffic and the experience of other users on the network who may or may not be playing games.

How the Killer Prioritization Engine prioritizes traffic: game packets on Killer PCs first, followed by voice on Killer PCs and video on Killer PCs.

At the time of writing, Linksys had yet to announced when the Malaysian market will be receiving its new router, but given that the device has already launched in Singapore, it's only a matter of time before we'll start seeing this gaming-centric router start hitting our shelves.

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