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Linksys Velop Pro 7: A high-speed Wi-Fi 7 router at a more competitive price
4:15 pm | May 15, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets Servers & Network Devices | Comments: Off

Linksys Velop Pro 7: One-Minute Review

Linksys originally announced the new Wi-Fi 7 version of its Velop Pro mesh system back in October 2023, but the final technical details of the Wi-Fi 7 standard weren’t actually ironed out until the official announcement at CES earlier this year.

So, like several other Wi-Fi 7 products, it’s taken a little while for the Velop Pro 7 router to actually go on sale. It’s a welcome arrival, though, as while the Velop Pro 7 isn’t exactly cheap, it’s considerably less expensive than some of the other Wi-Fi 7 mesh systems and routers that we’ve seen so far - ushering in some hope that Wi-Fi 7 is starting to become a little more affordable for ordinary home users.

It’s not a top-of-the-range Wi-Fi 7 system, mind, offering tri-band Wi-Fi with a top speed of just over 10Gbps. That’s actually fairly mid-range for the blazing fast Wi-Fi 7 standard, but it’s still more than fast enough to cope with most domestic broadband services and tasks such as online gaming or streaming 4K video.

Wi-Fi 7 is also backward-compatible with older PCs and mobile devices that use Wi-Fi 5 or 6, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility problems if you decide to upgrade with a Wi-Fi 7 system such as the Velop Pro 7.  And, as we’ve seen with previous Velop systems, you can buy either one, two or three Velop mesh routers to suit the size of your home.

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Price And Availability

  • How much does it cost? $699.99 / £749.99 (around AU$1,060)
  • When is it available? Now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK

Each Velop router unit can cover an area of around 3,000 square feet, so people in smaller homes will probably find that a single router meets their needs perfectly well for a price of £399.99 / $349.99 (around AU$530).

However, the two-piece system that we tested costs £749.99 / $699.99 (around AU$1060), and there’s a three-device option also available for £999.99 / $899.9 (around AU$1,365). The Velop Pro 7 is currently available in the US and UK, although – as we’ve seen with other Wi-Fi 7 products – poor old Australia seems to be a bit of a Wi-Fi deadspot, having only recently caught up with last-gen Wi-Fi 6E.

That’s still fairly expensive, of course, but the Velop Pro 7 is only around half the price of rival Wi-Fi 7 mesh systems such as Netgear’s extravagantly expensive Orbi 970, which costs a hefty £1,499.99 / $1,699.99 (around AU$2,600) for a similar two-piece system - and a whopping £2,199.99 / $2,299.99 (around AU$3,475) for a three-piece system. 

  • Value: 4 / 5

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Design

Velop Pro 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • Slim, compact design
  • Lots of Ethernet ports
  • Available with one, two or three routers

The design of the Velop Pro 7 will be familiar from previous Velop models, with each router consisting of a slim white tower, topped off with the Velop’s trademark tapered ‘teardrop’ shape on the top panel.

The router devices are slim and light enough to fit easily onto a shelf or table – although the height of each unit, at 221mm, means they’ll need a bit of headroom if you want to place them on a bookshelf or something similar.

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Specifications

Wi-Fi: Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 (2.4GHz/5.0GHz/6.0GHz)
Wi-Fi Speed: 10.7Gbps
Ports (per router): 1 x 2.5Gb Ethernet (WAN), 4 x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN)
Processor: Qualcomm 1.5GHz, quad-core
Memory: 1GB SDRAM
Storage: Unspecified
Dimensions: 221 x 95 x 95mm, 0.95kg / 2lbs

The Velop routers are identical, so you can connect one of them to your existing router to use your broadband connection, and then place the other router(s) further away to extend the mesh network right across your home or office.

But while the Velop Pro 7 routers look very similar to previous models there are some significant differences. The Velop Pro 6E that we reviewed recently only included two Gigabit Ethernet ports on each router, with one required for the connection to your existing router and only the second port available to provide a wired connection.

In contrast, the Velop Pro 7 routers all have five Ethernet ports – a 2.5G port for a high-speed Internet connection (WAN) and four Gigabit Ethernet ports to provide wired connections for devices such as a games console or laptop.

There are no USB ports, though, which would allow you to connect a hard drive or other storage device to your network, but that’s not likely to be a deal-breaker for most users.

It’s a little odd, though, that Linksys avoids any mention of the Velop’s speed on its website, preferring to simply state that Wi-Fi 7 is a lot faster than Wi-Fi 6 (gosh, really?). After a little digging, we found a reference to a speed of ‘over 10Gbps’ before eventually locating a datasheet that specified a speed of 10,680Mbps (or 10.68Gbps).

  • Design: 4 / 5

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Features

Ports of the Velop Pro 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi 7
  • App feels a little unfinished
  • Parental controls are still in beta

As mentioned, the Velop Pro 7 provides tri-band Wi-Fi 7, using the 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz and 6.0GHz frequency bands, which will be more than fast enough to cope with most home and office broadband connections.

Getting started is fairly straightforward, although the process is a little cumbersome at times. There’s a QR code printed on the base of each router, but this didn’t allow us to automatically connect to the Velop network, as is the case with many rival mesh systems.

Instead, we had to write down the network name and password that were printed on the base of the router and enter these by hand, before subsequently changing the network details and creating a new name and password of our choosing.

You also have to start the setup process with the two Velop routers placed close to each other while you create your new network, and then move the second router – referred to as a ‘node’ - to another location once that’s done. And, oddly, the app told us several times that we had no internet connection - even though we were already streaming the BBC News channel on an iPad using the Velop network.

The app continues to be something of a mixed bag later on, as well. It creates a single network that combines the three frequency bands, which does keep things simple for new users - but more advanced users might prefer to have greater control over the network settings.

The app does include features such as a guest network, and the option to create a schedule to control your children’s internet access. However, the parental controls are a work in progress, with the app’s ‘Safe Browsing’ mode still being labeled as ‘beta’. This provides content filters that can block unsuitable material, although this feature isn’t clearly explained in the app. Furthermore, at present it seems to block content for all devices on your network, rather than allowing you to create different profiles and settings for children of different ages. 

  • Features: 3.5 / 5

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Performance

Image 1 of 3

Performance in action

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

Velop Pro 7 performance

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

Linksys Velop Pro 7

(Image credit: Future)
  • Top speed of 10.68Gbps
  • Good performance and range
  • Zaps through walls and other barriers

The Linksys app may be a little rough around the edges, but we didn’t have any complaints about the performance of the Velop Pro 7.

Our aging office router can’t even handle the full 150Mbps provided by our broadband connection, and even devices that are in the same room rarely get more than 100Mbps for either Steam downloads or the Ookla speed test. We also have a room at the back of the building that our office router can barely reach at all, forcing us to rely on Powerline adaptors to provide a wired connection for our office computers in that room. 

Therefore, we set up the Velop Pro 7 with the first Velop unit connected to our normal office router, and the second Velop ‘node’ placed in a hallway just adjacent to that tricky Wi-Fi deadspot in the back office.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 benchmarks

Ookla Speed Test - Single merged network (download/upload)

Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps / 150Mbps

Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps / 150Mbps

20GB Steam Download - Single merged network

Within 5ft, no obstructions:  150Mbps

Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps

Unsurprisingly, the Velop easily hit 150Mbps for both Steam downloads and the Ookla speed test when connecting to devices in the same room. And, more importantly, the Velop’s far-reaching network didn’t bat an eyelid as we picked up our laptop and wandered along the corridor to that back office, continuing to maintain a speed of 150Mbps the whole time.  

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should You Buy The Velop Pro 7?

Linksys Velop Pro 7 lifestyle

(Image credit: Linksys)

Buy the Linksys Velop Pro 7 if...

You’re An Early Adopter
It’s still early days for this new technology, but PCs, laptops and mobile devices that support Wi-Fi 7 are already starting to appear, so upgrading to a Wi-Fi 7 router or mesh system is a good way of future-proofing your home or office network.

You Have A Large Home
You can buy a single Velop Pro 7 router on its own, but it’s really intended as a mesh system that uses two or more routers to cover a wider area, up to 6,000 square feet or more.

Don’t buy it if...

You’re On A Budget
The Velop Pro 7 is one of the most affordable Wi-Fi 7 systems we’ve seen, but it’s still pretty expensive. Most domestic broadband services just don’t need the sheer speed of Wi-Fi 7, so most of us can stick with more affordable routers that use Wi-Fi 6 or 6E.

You Only Have A Couple Of Bedrooms
Mesh systems like this are very much designed for larger homes and offices. If you only have a small family home, or share an apartment with friends, then a single, conventional router will be all you really need.

Velop Pro 7: Scorecard

Velop Pro 7: Also Consider

  • First reviewed: May 2024
FlumeIO 5901 U.2 SSD review: as good a PCIe 5.0 enterprise drive as you’re going to find
3:30 am | April 29, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Comments: Off

FlumeIO 5901 U.2 SSD: Two-minute review

Mainstream customers looking for fast storage have had a pick of dozens of M.2 PCIe 5.0 SSDs on the market over the last year and a half, but enterprise customers, creative industry professionals, or those who have been looking to upgrade their cloud server storage from older SATA or racks of PCIe 3.0 U.2 drives haven't been as lucky. 

With U.2 PCIe 5.0 drives only now just starting to make it to market, storage newcomer FlumeIO just might be a godsend with its FlumeIO 5900-series U.2 NVMe PCIe 5.0 SSDs, offering a massive speed upgrade for I/O-heavy devices like network servers at a surprisingly affordable price for an enterprise-grade SSD with this level of performance.

With budgetary pricing starting at $643 for 4TB, and scaling up to $2,059 for 16TB, the FlumeIO 5900-series (comprised of the FlumeIO 5900 and FlumeIO 5901 models, the latter of which I tested for this review), is often cheaper than slower, last-gen drives like the Samsung PM9A3, a Gen 4.0 drive with substantially lower read/write speeds, fewer IOPS, and higher latency.

A FlumeIO 5900-series SSD in a masculine hand

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

It goes without saying that this affordability is relative, as customers in enterprise channels are used to paying many thousands of dollars for new drives on a rolling basis as their existing SSD drives near the end of their drive-write lifespan.

But while this drive is almost exclusively for data centers or similar high-throughput, high-volume network devices and systems, there are many creative or engineering and research workstations out there with U.2 compatible motherboards, and this drive might be especially interesting for those in these industries who need both massive storage capacity as well as speed.

A FlumeIO 5900-series SSD in a masculine hand

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Fortunately, the FlumeIO 5900-series promises a lot and effectively delivers on those promises, at least as far as my testing is concerned. After an extensive couple of weeks putting this drive through its paces, it was ultimately with a heavy heart that I had to send it back to FlumeIO, as it's the kind of SSD I'd have loved to have incorporated into my test bench in the NYC TechRadar office.

A FlumeIO 5900-series SSD in a masculine hand

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Starting with a simple, single direct I/O operation with 4KB read/write blocks and a 4GB file size, the FlumeIO 5901 scored lower than the promised IOPS and sequential read speeds, but that's to be expected when using a single process and blocks so small, but it is instructive as to the performance of a single process on this drive. Multiple processes in a production environment will be able to push these numbers much higher, as we see when increasing the block size, process pool, and I/O queue depth.

Moving things into a more "production" like environment starts to push up against the promised 14GB/s sequential read and 10GB/s sequential write performance, while its random read IOPS likewise increases considerably, while its random write IOPS decreases a bit, given the increased block size.

Increasing the block size to 128KB slows things down a bit, especially with random I/O IOPS, but increase the number of processes to a true production environment of 128 processes or higher and these numbers too will likewise increase considerably.

For content creators or researchers with workstation-class hardware capable of mounting a U.2 drive and who might be considering this drive over an M.2 PCIe 5.0 SSD like the Crucial T705 or similar, this drive has a lot to offer you as well, including substantially faster random read and write speeds, while still maintaining top-tier sequential read and write performance that you'd expect from a PCIe 5.0 drive. 

Even better, rather than having to configure several M.2 SSDs into a RAID configuration to get a solid storage device for very large files, this drive can give you a one-and-done solution thanks to its significantly larger capacities.

In the end, then, whatever your needs might be, this is one of the best U.2 SSD options on the market, and if you're looking for a PCIe 5.0 SSD, there aren't really many to choose from, making it relatively lower price point all the more impressive.

FlumeIO 5901 U.2 SSD: Price & availability

The FlumeIO 5900 series SSDs will be available in Q2 2024 with budgetary pricing kicking off at $643 for 4TB, and topping out at $2,059 for 16TB.

FlumeIO 5901 U.2 SSD: Specs

Should you buy the FlumeIO 5901 U.2 SSD?

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Netgear Orbi 970 review: a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 7 mesh system for larger homes and offices
5:37 pm | April 16, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets Servers & Network Devices | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Netgear Orbi 970: One-minute review

Netgear was quick off the mark with its RS700S, one of the first routers we’ve seen supporting the new Wi-Fi 7 standard. The Orbi 970 mesh system was announced around the same time and promised to be one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market, but faced some delays and has only just become available in the US and UK.

However, the Orbi 970 goes even further and faster than the standalone RS700, offering a three-piece ‘whole home’ mesh system with a phenomenal top speed of 27Gbps, that is capable of covering areas of up to 10,000 square feet. It’s also phenomenally expensive, with the three-piece system that we review here costing £2199.99/$2299.99 – and that’s before you add the cost of the extra subscription services that Netgear tries really hard to sell you.

The Netgear Orbi 970 mesh Wi-Fi system.

(Image credit: Future)

The cost of the Orbi 970 will probably rule it out for most home users – especially since most of us are still muddling along with domestic broadband services running at around 150Mbps.

However, Wi-Fi 7 isn’t just about speed – it also brings improved capacity and reliability, and the Orbi 970 claims to provide fast, reliable connections for up to 200 devices on your home or office network. It also includes new Wi-Fi 7 features, such as ‘preamble puncturing’, which helps to reduce outside interference and improve the reliability of your wi-fi connections. 

And while there aren’t many computers or mobile devices that currently support Wi-Fi 7, the Orbi 970 will still be backward-compatible with older devices that are still using Wi-Fi 5 or 6, so it’s a good way of future-proofing the wi-fi network in larger homes and offices, or public venues such as hotels and restaurants.

Netgear Orbi 970: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $2,299.99 / £2,199.99 / around AU$3,475
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK

The Orbi 970 is the first mesh system we’ve seen that supports Wi-Fi 7, so it’s hard to draw comparisons with any of its mesh rivals. It’s also very much a high-end option, offering quad-band Wi-Fi 7 with a top speed of 27Gbps, for a somewhat daunting price of £2199.99/$2299.99 (it’s not currently available in Australia, although those prices equate to roughly AU$3475.00). 

There are certainly less expensive Wi-Fi 7 options, such as Amazon’s Eero Max 7, which costs £1699.99/$1699.99 (approx. AU$2568.99) for a similar three-piece system. However, the Eero is a far more modest performer, offering basic tri-band Wi-Fi 7 with a top speed of just 4.3Gbps – which is barely one-sixth of the speed of the Orbi.

Netgear states that this three-piece system can cover areas of up to 10,000 square feet (quoted as 8,200sq.ft in Europe due to differences in local regulations). However, there’s also a two-piece option available as well, which covers up to 6,600sq.ft (5,400sq.ft in Europe) for a still rather hefty £1499.99/$1699.99 (approx. AU$2600.00). And, if you’re a Silicon Valley zillionaire, you can buy additional add-on units for £799.99/$899.99 (approx. AU$1350.00) each.

  •  Value: 3 / 5 

Asus RT-AX59U: Specs

The Netgear Orbi 970 mesh Wi-Fi system software interface.

(Image credit: Netgear)

Netgear Orbi 970: Design

  • Newly refreshed Orbi design available in black or white
  • Primary router with two 'satellite' routers
  • Plenty of Ethernet ports, but no USB

The upright rectangular design of the Orbi range is a familiar sight in many homes and offices, but the Orbi 970 has had a bit of a facelift. The sheer speed of Wi-Fi 7 requires a lot more power than previous models, so the new Orbi units have a taller, more cylindrical design that stands 294mm high and 144mm deep, and houses no less than 12 internal antennae.

Netgear also states that this design helps the antennae to transmit the wi-fi signal through a full 360 degrees all around so that it can reach every corner of your building. And, as with previous Orbi models, you can choose a model in either black or white to suit your décor. However, the larger design means that each Orbi unit weighs 1.8kg, so you’ll need a sturdy shelf or table to support them – preferably with plenty of free space on all sides as well.

The Netgear Orbi 970 mesh Wi-Fi system.

(Image credit: Future)

It’s also worth noting that although the three Orbi units look identical, they do differ in some ways. There is a primary router that needs to be connected to your existing wi-fi router, while the additional units are referred to as ‘satellites’. Reflecting the state-of-the-art performance of Wi-Fi 7, the main router has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port for your Internet connection, with a second 10 Gigabit port to provide a high-speed wired connection (LAN) for a device such as a gaming PC or console that needs maximum performance.

The router also includes four additional ports with 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet for additional wired connections. The two satellite units also have a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port as well, but only two ports that provide 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet. You can’t fault the Orbi 970 for its high-speed connectivity, although – at this price – it’s a little disappointing that there are no USB ports provided, which would allow you to connect a shared hard drive or other storage device to your network. 

  • Design: 4 / 5 

Netgear Orbi 970: Features

  • Easy-to-use companion app
  • Relatively feature-light
  • Comes with a one-year subscription to Netgear Armor

The Orbi’s hardware features are state-of-the-art, but the Orbi app is something of a mixed bag. To be fair, the app is very easy to use and guides you through the initial setup process quickly and easily. It’s a little irksome, though, that the app requires you to provide your email address in order to create an account with Netgear before you can finish setup – and then hits you with an ad for extended technical support before you can even look at your new network settings.

But while the Orbi app is easy to use, it is a bit lightweight when it comes to additional features. The app combines its different frequency bands – 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz, and 6.0GHz – into a single network and then automatically connects all your devices to the fastest band available. That keeps things simple for newcomers, but more advanced users might like to have more precise control over the network settings.

The Netgear Orbi 970 mesh Wi-Fi system software interface.

(Image credit: Netgear)

The Orbi does include a one-year subscription to Netgear’s Armour security service – as it should at this price – but after that, you’ll need to pay $99.99pa/£84.99 per year to continue the service. The app’s parental controls are also pretty basic, consisting of little more than a ‘Pause’ button that will pause Internet access when you want to get the kids to come to the dinner table. However, additional features, such as schedules for Internet access or content filters for unsuitable websites require another subscription for Netgear’s Smart Parental Controls service.

You only get a one-month free trial for this, and then have to pay $7.99/£6.99 per month, or $69.99/£49.99 per year for the service. There are rival routers that provide better parental controls free of charge, so the Orbi’s hard sell on its additional subscription services seems a bit cynical.

  • Features: 4 / 5 

Netgear Orbi 970: Performance

  • Stellar connection quality
  • Good penetration inside buildings
  • Satellites allow for wide-range use

Whatever the shortcomings of the Orbi app, we can’t fault the system’s high-speed performance.

We have an office at the back of our building that normally struggles with weak wi-fi, forcing us to rely on some PowerLine adaptors to provide a wired network connection. So, to test the Orbi 970, we connected the Orbi’s main router to our existing office router, then positioned one Orbi satellite in a hallway that is roughly halfway between the main router and the back office. The second Orbi satellite was then set up in the back office itself.

Netgear Orbi 970: Benchmarks

Ookla Speed Test (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150/150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150/150Mbps

20GB Steam download
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps

Unsurprisingly, the Orbi just shrugged its shoulders as it effortlessly cruised along at the maximum 150Mbps provided by our office broadband connection (note that our benchmarks below don't actually demonstrate the true potential of the Orbi 970, as we were constrained in our testing by that 150Mbps limit).

It may be wildly expensive, but this is one of the best routers out there. If you’re looking for state-of-the-art performance for a larger home or office – and you don’t need too much in the way of parental controls – then the Orbi 970 really is state-of-the-art.

  • Performance: 5 / 5 

Should you buy the Netgear Orbi 970?

Buy it if...

You’re An Early Adopter
It’s still early days for Wi-Fi 7, and we’ve seen very few computers or mobile devices that can take full advantage of the blistering speed of the Orbi 970. But Wi-Fi 7 is still backward-compatible with older versions of Wi-Fi, so it’s a good way of future-proofing your wi-fi setup at home or in the office.

You Need Long-Range Wi-Fi
The Orbi 970 three-pack can cover areas of up to 10,000sq.ft. Few people who aren’t called Elon Musk have homes that large, but there are lots of offices and public locations, such as hotels and colleges, that could benefit from that sort of far-reaching wi-fi coverage.

Don't buy it if...

You Just Want To Watch Netflix
One day, when we’re all streaming 8K video to our VR headsets, you might actually need a router or mesh system with super-fast Wi-Fi 7. But, if you just want to watch 3 Body Problem on Netflix, then a more modest router with Wi-Fi 6 is all you need. 

You’re On A Budget
Unsurprisingly, the state-of-the-art performance of Wi-Fi 7 comes with an equally state-of-the-art price. If you want to boost your wi-fi without taking out a second mortgage then there are plenty of less expensive routers and mesh systems available.

Netgear Orbi 970: Also consider

How I tested the Netgear Orbi 970

  • Tested it for 3-4 days
  • Used it as our main office router
  • Used the Ookla Speed Test app and tested game download speeds

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Linksys Velop Pro 6E review: high-speed Wi-Fi for homes and offices of all sizes
5:26 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets Servers & Network Devices | Comments: Off

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: One-minute review

It’s taken a while, but Wi-Fi 6E is finally becoming a mainstream technology that is now available in many new computers and mobile devices. Along with improved wi-fi speeds, the key advantage of Wi-Fi 6E is that it introduces a new 6.0GHz frequency band that works alongside the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands used by previous generations, such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5.

Needless to say, routers and mesh systems that support Wi-Fi 6E are still quite expensive, but the new Velop Pro 6E from Linksys is competitively priced and provides a number of options that allow you to tailor your new mesh system to suit your own particular home or office. But is it one of the best routers you can buy?

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E router.

(Image credit: Future)

We tested the top-of-the-range mesh system, which includes three identical Velop routers, but you can also buy just one or two routers depending on the area that you need to cover. This also allows you to upgrade and extend your system by purchasing additional routers in the future if you need to.

And, as the ‘Pro’ name suggests, the new Velop provides high-end Wi-Fi 6E performance, with a top speed of 5.4Gbps that should be able to handle demanding tasks such as video-conferencing, streaming 4K video, and even the latest virtual-reality headsets.

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? Starts at $199.99 / £199.99 / around AU$310
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK

The Velop Pro 6E is competitively priced when compared to many Wi-Fi 6E systems and, as mentioned, you do have the option of buying one, two, or three routers depending on the size of your home or office.

Each router covers an area of approximately 3,000 square feet, and is capable of handling up to 200 devices connected to your network all at once. A single Velop router should therefore be perfectly adequate for many small and medium-sized homes, and costs $199.99/£199.99. Larger buildings may require a pack with two routers for $349.99/£379.99, while the three-pack system that we test here costs $449.99/£499.99.

The Velop Pro 6E is now on sale in the US and UK, but isn’t currently available in Australia (which seems oddly bereft of Wi-Fi 6E routers in general, for some reason).  

  •  Value: 4 / 5 

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Specs

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E router's app interface.

(Image credit: Linksys)

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Design

  • Fairly large, but not heavy
  • Only one Ethernet port per unit
  • Decent companion app with simple single-band option

Linksys seems quite proud of the ‘droplet’ design that gives the top panel of the Velop routers a slightly tapered shape, rather than sticking with a boring old rectangle. It’s a very subtle detail though, and if you look across the room at the Velop routers they do still look like a large, upright rectangular lump of white plastic. Each router stands 194mm high and close to 100mm on each side, so you’ll need a shelf or table with a fair amount of space to set each one up.

The power and reset buttons are tucked away on the base of each router, and the only other visible features are the two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back panel. However, one of these ports is reserved for connecting the Velop to your existing broadband router or modem, which means that there’s only one Ethernet port available to provide wired connections for devices such as a laptop or games console. That’s a little disappointing for an expensive, high-performance mesh system such as this - two or three Ethernet ports are more common on some of the Velop’s rivals - but it may not be a deal-breaker if you’re primarily interested in using the Velop simply to boost your wi-fi performance.

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E router.

(Image credit: Future)

The Linksys app takes an equally minimalist approach. It includes basic features such as the ability to create a guest network or prioritize devices such as a games console for maximum performance. You can also set a schedule for Internet access for your children, but it’s disappointing that there are no content filters that can automatically block websites that contain unsuitable material, and the app simply leaves it up to you to manually type in the addresses of any web sites that you want to block.

The app also sets up a single network that merges the 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz, and 6.0GHz frequency bands. That keeps things simple for less experienced users who may not know very much about networking technology, but more advanced users might prefer it if the app provided more detailed control over the network settings during the initial set-up process.

  • Design: 4 / 5 

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E router.

(Image credit: Future)

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Performance

  • Stellar connection quality
  • Good penetration inside buildings
  • Satellites allow for wide-range use

Getting started with the Velop Pro 6E is fairly straightforward, although you do need to follow the instructions in the Linksys app very closely. The app is available for iOS and Android, and uses Bluetooth to initially connect to the Velop routers and set up your new network.

The first Velop router has to be connected to your existing router or modem using the included Ethernet cable in order to use your broadband connection. The other two routers - which are referred to as ‘nodes’ - have to be set up and powered on within 10ft of the first router. We initially placed the two node routers slightly further away - simply because that was the closest available power socket - and the app simply failed to detect the additional nodes. We had to go searching for an extension lead so that we could move the two nodes closer to the main Velop router in order to complete the set-up process.

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Benchmarks

Ookla Speed Test (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150/150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150/150Mbps

20GB Steam download
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps

Thankfully, though, the Velop system performed admirably once it was set up. We do have an office towards the back of our building where we have to use PowerLine adaptors to provide a wired network connection as the wi-fi signal from our normal router is so weak. We therefore placed one of the nodes halfway along a hallway that leads to that back office, while the second node was placed in the office itself. 

Using a laptop that supported Wi-Fi 6E, we were impressed to find that the Ookla Speed Test app reported a consistent 150Mbps download speed for our laptop, which is the maximum speed provided by our office broadband. That was confirmed when using Steam to download some games onto the laptop, which again ran smoothly at 150Mbps the whole time. It's comfortably fast enough to sit among the best mesh Wi-Fi systems.

The Linksys Velop Pro 6E router.

(Image credit: Future)

You don’t have to buy a brand new PC with Wi-Fi 6E to get those speeds either, as we also tested an older MacBook Air that only has Wi-Fi 6, and the MacBook also recorded the same 150Mbps download speeds in that office as well. Of course, not everyone will need a state-of-the-art mesh system with Wi-Fi 6E right now, but if you do have any new PCs or mobile devices that support 6E then the Velop is a good way of upgrading your home or office network with the latest wi-fi tech.

  • Performance: 5 / 5 

Should you buy the Linksys Velop Pro 6E?

Buy it if...

You Have A Lot Of Gadgets
As well as being seriously fast, Wi-Fi 6E is also designed to handle networks with dozens - or even hundreds - of connected devices. Each Velop router can cope with 200 connected devices all at once.

You Have A Lot Of Bedrooms
Linksys states that each Velop Pro 6E router can cover an area of up to 3,00sq.ft, so it’s ideal for larger homes with lots of bedrooms on multiple floors.

Don't buy it if...

You’re On A Budget
It’s still quite new, so routers with Wi-Fi 6E are fairly expensive. Although the Velop Pro 6E is competitively priced, most homes will be able to get buy with a less expensive with a less expensive router or mesh system that uses the slightly older Wi-Fi 6 standard.

You only need basic performance
The Velop Pro 6E provides tri-band wi-fi with a top speed of 5.4Gbps per second, which is far faster than most domestic broadband services. Routine tasks like web browsing or streaming music and video really don’t need that sort of speed. 

Linksys Velop Pro 6E: Also consider

How I tested the Linksys Velop Pro 6E

  • Tested it for 3-4 days
  • Used it as our main office router
  • Used the Ookla Speed Test app and tested game download speeds

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Samsung 990 EVO review: great for the price, just don’t expect true PCIe 5.0 speeds
8:00 am | March 25, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Samsung 990 EVO: Two-minute review

The Samsung 990 EVO steps into the spotlight following the well-received Samsung 990 Pro, setting the stage for an SSD to carry forward the EVO series' legacy of performance and reliability. 

The 970 EVO Plus, this SSD's predecessor, was one of the best SSD picks when it was released a couple of years back, and it's still celebrated as one of the best cheap SSDs you can get even now, despite lacking the kinds of data rates you'll get with a modern PCIe 5.0. 

That leaves the 990 EVO with the ambitious task of following up a beloved budget model while introducing a hybrid PCIe 4.0/5.0 interface aimed at carving out a niche in an increasingly competitive SSD arena, and in that, it kind of succeeds - but also disappoints.

Right out the gate, the 990 EVO distinguishes itself with an interface capable of toggling between x4 PCIe 4.0 and x2 PCIe 5.0, which gives PC users a decent amount of wiggle room for their PCs if they've got a lot of drives plugged in. Coupled with a newly minted 5nm controller designed to enhance efficiency, the 990 EVO should be set up for success. 

The drive opts for a DRAM-less configuration, however, that somewhat tempers expectations with its more modest bandwidth, leading to speeds that clock below what the best PCIe 4.0 drives are capable of. 

Despite this, the single-sided 2TB variant I reviewed presents a versatile option for both PC enthusiasts and PlayStation 5 owners, a nod towards the growing standardization of high-capacity, single-sided drives. It lacks a heatsink, so PS5 users especially will want to look at an add-in heatsink just to be safe, but given the speeds involved, this drive doesn't really get hot enough that you'll need to be too concerned.

A Samsung 990 EVO slotted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Targeted primarily at the laptops, OEM, and pre-built PC markets, the 990 EVO promises to deliver sufficient performance for gaming and everyday use, and positions itself as a compliment to the far more robust 990 Pro. It's a more cost-effective solution for gamers and others while still benefiting from Samsung's solid software support and reliability, and the option to toggle between PCIe 5.0 and PCIe 4.0 is a real value add for this drive.

Price-wise, the 990 EVO entered the market with a recommended retail price of $149.99 for the 1TB model and $239.99 for the 2TB variant, according to Samsung's website, but even there, these prices have been marked down quite a bit, and you can find the 1TB model for about $90/£100/AU$219, depending on where you look.

This pricing strategy places it in a good balance with its Pro sibling and other competitors, especially in a market where SSD prices are on the rise.

Performance specifications for the 990 EVO boast up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,200 MB/s in sequential reads and writes, respectively, alongside impressive random read and write IOPS. These figures are complemented by a standard five-year warranty and support for TCG Opal 2.0 encryption, making it an attractive option for security-conscious laptop users.

In terms of real-world performance, I more or less achieved these speeds across the board, and the drive's flexibility to operate across both PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 interfaces is a highlight. Despite the drive's low-ish 5,000MB/s advertised sequential read speed (which doesn't come close to maxing out the PCIe 4.0/5.0 lanes available to it), the drive does at least hit or exceed this claimed speed.

Despite these technical intricacies, the 990 EVO's broader challenge lies in its identity within the highly competitive SSD market. It seeks to offer a balance between performance, efficiency, and price - a task complicated by the competitive pricing and superior performance of PCIe 4.0 alternatives like the 990 Pro, PNY XLR8 CS3140, or Patriot Viper VP4300

All together then, the Samsung 990 EVO represents a solid addition to the SSD market. It doesn't bring you the kind of PCIe 5.0 speeds we see with the Crucial T705, but it's not meant for full-on performance. If you want that, you'll be better off investing in a 'real' PCIe 5.0 SSD, but for what it is, the 990 EVO hits the mark it needs to hit.

A Samsung 990 EVO with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Samsung 990 EVO: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? MSRP starting at $149.99/£100/AU$219
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Samsung 990 EVO starts at $149.99/£100/AU$219 for 1TB and maxes out at 2TB for $239.99/£169/AU$359, at least officially.

This doesn't include a heatsink, but given the rather modest speeds and energy usage of this SSD, your motherboard's heatsink will be more than enough since you really don't even need the extra heat spreader for this drive.

While the above are retail prices for this SSD (according to Samsung's website), even Samsung can be found offering these drives for up to 40% off, making this one of the best cheap SSD options out there if you're hoping to find a good balance between price and performance. 

Samsung 990 EVO: Specs

Should you buy the Samsung 990 EVO?

Buy the Samsung 990 EVO if...

You want good performance for the price
This isn't the fastest PCIe 5.0 SSD, but for the price, its performance is great.

You need a laptop SSD
The biggest selling point of this SSD is that it's geared more towards efficiency than high performance, so it'll be good for laptops where battery life is a concern. 

Don't buy it if...

You want PCIe 5.0 speeds
The speed of this drive is ok for what it is, but don't let the PCIe 5.0 interface fool you; you're not even going to get max PCIe 4.0 speeds with this drive.

You just need any ol' SSD
If you're just looking for an SSD for extra storage and you don't actually care how fast it is, save your money and buy a cheaper SSD, maybe even the Samsung 970 EVO Plus or similar PCIe 3.0 drives.

Samsung 990 EVO: Also consider

If my Samsung 990 EVO review has you looking for other options, here are two more SSDs to consider...

How I tested the Samsung 990 EVO

  • I spent about two weeks testing the Samsung 990 EVO
  • I used it as my main system drive on my workstation PC
  • I used my standard battery of benchmark tests along with content creation and general use

I spent about two weeks testing the Samsung 990 EVO, using it as my primary system drive on my workstation PC that I used for content creation, general work use, and some light gaming.

Primarily, though, this drive is best reserved for mobile devices like laptops and possibly PC gaming handhelds that can better benefit from its improved energy efficiency. 

I've been reviewing PC hardware for several years, in addition to earning my Master's Degree in Computer Science in 2024, so I know very well how a drive like this should perform with its given architecture and price point — knowledge I leverage to ensure you find the best SSD for your needs and budget, whether it's the Samsung 990 EVO or a competing drive.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Crucial T705 SSD review: fantastic speed for those who can afford it
2:14 pm | March 22, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

Crucial T705: Two-minute review

The Crucial T705 SSD is inarguably one of the fastest PCIe 5.0 drives to hit the market in recent months, making it a must-have for gamers, content creators, or anyone who needs outstanding storage performance.

Starting at $239.99/£245.99/AU$379.99 for 1TB without a heatsink, this isn't the best cheap SSD on the market, but you're getting a lot for what you pay for, and given that it is a strong contender for the best SSD you can get in 2024, the price isn't out of line with what you should expect to pay.

What you get for that investment is an incredibly fast SSD that reaches speeds that deliver on the promise of PCIe 5.0, including nearly 14,400MB/s sequential read speeds, so gamers especially are going to love the incredibly fast loading times you're going to get from this drive. 

Its sequential write speed topped out at 12,465 MB/s in my testing, so this drive is also going to be great as a working drive for content creators like video editors who need to save or export massive files on a regular basis.

That said, seeing as it is PCIe 5.0, this isn't the best PS5 SSD since you won't be able to take full advantage of the PCIe 5.0 lanes (the PS5 is limited to PCIe 4.0, which caps out at about 7,500MB/s), so you're better off with a Samsung 990 Pro, PNY XLR8 CS3140, or a Patriot Viper VP4300, which will get you the absolute fastest PCIe 4.0 speeds on the market (and will probably save you some money too).

In a properly capable PC motherboard though, this SSD will absolutely fly. All this performance comes at the price of significantly higher thermals though, so you will need a heatsink for this drive, whether that's the one on offer from Crucial or the one that comes with your motherboard.

And honestly, you're better off with either the Crucial or a more 'powered' heatsink that has some form of active cooling like a fan, because the heat generated by this SSD is not for the faint of heart.

So, in the end, the question is really whether you should be buying this SSD for your next rig or workstation, and the answer is unequivocally yes, assuming you have a setup that can take advantage of the PCIe 5.0 tech built into this drive.

Right now, all the best graphics cards are PCIe 4.0, so you don't have to worry about splitting any PCIe 5.0 lanes just yet, but if you're planning to run a top-tier system in the coming years, make sure your motherboard can support both your GPU and this SSD, since it's quite an investment and the rollout of PCIe 5.0 drives like the Crucial T705 has driven down the price of the best PCIe 4.0 drives a good bit.

If your motherboard can only support one or the other, and you're looking to snatch up the Nvidia RTX 5090 when it drops in late 2024/early 2025, you're going to get a lot more out of a PCIe 5.0 graphics card than a PCIe 5.0 SSD. If that's your situation, you might be better off opting for the top-of-the-line PCIe 4.0 SSDs like the 990 Pro, which you can get for much cheaper than this drive. But if high-end graphics card performance is less of a concern that fast loading times for gaming and rapid exports to disk from Adobe Premiere Pro, AutoDesk, or other similar content creation apps, than the Crucial T705 SSD is a fantastic drive to get you the kind of performance you need at a reasonable price-per-terabyte.

A Crucial T705 SSD on a pink desk mat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Crucial T705: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? Starting at $239.99/£245.99/AU$379.99
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Crucial T705 is available in the US, UK, and Australia, starting at $239.99/£245.99/AU$379.99 for 1TB, without a heatsink. 

For those with beefy motherboards with M.2 slot heat sinks, this should be fine, but for high-performance machines and workstations, I recommend upgrading to an included heatsink for an extra $16/£20/AU$50, which does a better job of keeping the SSD cool.

The T705 is also available in 2TB ($399.99/£454.79/AU$729, without heatsink) and 4TB ($713.99/£833.99/AU$949, without heatsink), which puts it on the higher end of the best M.2 SSD options out there. The Samsung 990 Pro, for example, is the best PCIe 4.0 SSD currently and retails for $169.99 / £155 / AU$265 for 1TB, and going as high as 4TB for $464.99/£284/AU$699, before including an option for a heatsink.

This puts the Crucial T705 on the high-end of SSDs, but it's only slightly more expensive than the best PCIe 4.0 SSD going but delivers about twice the performance, so it's hard to argue that the T705 isn't an incredible value in the end. 

Crucial T705: Specs

A Crucial T705 SSD on a pink desk mat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should you buy the Crucial T705?

Buy the Crucial T705 if...

You want fast loading times for games and apps
With incrediblly fast sequential read speeds, this drive will load your games, apps, and even your OS in no time.

You need to write large files to disk frequently
If you're a content creator, exporting a work-in-progress to disk can be time consuming, but this drive makes it much easier.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
This is hardly the cheapest PCIe 5.0 drive out there.

You're looking for a PS5 SSD
This drive's PCIe 5.0 interface makes it way more expensive than a PCIe 4.0 drive, so PS5 users are better off going with a cheaper SSD since you won't get the full performance of this drive on a console right now.

Crucial T705: Also consider

If my Crucial T705 review has you looking for other options, here are two more M.2 SSDs to consider...

How I tested the Crucial T705

  • I spent about a week testing this SSD
  • I used it for gaming, content creation, and general storage use
  • I used my standard suite of SSD benchmarks as well as daily use

To test the T705, I ran it through our standard benchmark suite, including CrystalDiskMark 8, PassMark, PCMark 10, 3DMark, and out proprietary 25GB file copy test.

I used this drive as my main system storage (C:\) drive for over a week on our test bench, where I used it extensively for loading games for benchmarking purposes, content creation, and more.

I've been reviewing PC hardware for several years now, in addition to earning my Master's Degree in Computer Science, so I know how an SSD of this caliber should perform for the price, and I leverage that knowledge to help you find the best SSD for your needs and budget, whether it's the Crucial T705 or an alternative.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5: the best DDR5 RAM you’re going to find at this price
6:08 pm | March 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5: Two-minute review

The TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 isn't the effective default DDR5 RAM for most custom builds just for its pretty aesthetics, as it turns out.

It's been about two years now since the best DDR5 RAM kits started hitting the market, and as more and more consumers have upgraded their systems to DDR5-capable processors from Intel and AMD, TeamGroup's T-Force Delta RGB has been a mainstay for builders and casual upgraders alike for its mix of fantastic design, awesome performance, and accessible price.

The RAM kit I reviewed, currently priced at $109.99 (about £90 / AU$150), is not the cheapest DDR5 RAM on the market, but it is the best RAM at this price point that we've tested, offering an incredible value on balance against much more expensive kits on the market.

A set of TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 RAM modules in a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The design of the Delta RGB DDR5 modules is sleek as hell, featuring an aluminum heat spreader finished in matte black. This choice not only provides an attractive (if aggressive) look but also ensures effective heat dissipation. 

While the branding on the heat spreader may not be to everyone's taste, it does little to detract from the overall design quality. Standing at a height of 46.1mm, these memory modules are built to fit comfortably under the best CPU coolers, though a compatibility check is always recommended before buying.

Given its RGB branding, illumination is a key feature of the Delta RGB DDR5, with RGB lighting integrated through a diffuser along the top, enhanced by a distinctive 'R' cut-out on the heat spreader for an even more captivating display. You'll need to check your motherboard compatibility for the RGB scheme, but given TeamGroup's prominence, you're likely to be fine as far as RGB compatibility goes.

Out of the box, the memory operates at DDR5-4800 with standard timings (which aren't great, to be honest), but engaging XMP profiles can raise the performance to DDR5-6000, with a slight adjustment in voltage and timings. This fine-tuning capability highlights the memory's balance between default efficiency and the potential for enhanced performance.

Overclocking the memory revealed substantial headroom, with minimal voltage increases yielding significant performance improvements, raising it to the top of the list of RAM kits running at 6000 MHz.

For most people, this is going to be more than sufficient for their needs, underscoring the TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5's appeal to enthusiasts who want both out-of-the-box efficiency and the ability to push their hardware beyond standard specifications.

A set of TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 RAM modules in a motherboard

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

In the end, it's easy to see why TeamGroup's T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 is often found in custom PCs and topping the lists of sought-after components for the PC build community, given the excellent balance of price, performance, and design. As far as midrange DDR5 RAM kits go, you really can't get much better.

A set of TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 RAM modules in a motherboard

(Image credit: TeamGroup)

TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $109.99 (about £90 / AU$150)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 RAM kit is available in the US, UK, and Australia. There are a whole plethora of speeds and timings available that make it unwieldy to track here, but the kit we reviewed, a 2 x 16GB kit running at 6,000MHz / CL30, will run you $109.99 (about £90 / AU$150).

 This is the lowest price of the various DDR5 RAM kits we've tested that are running at 6,000 MHz, and given that its performance generally outpaces its rivals, there's no question that this is among the best values you're going to find for a midrange DDR5 RAM kit right now.

TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5: Specs

Should you buy the TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5?

Buy the TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 if...

You want the best performing DDR5 RAM for the price
The best thing about this RAM kit is the level of performance on offer for the lowest price at this speed.

You want great looking RAM for your build
Between the stylish silouette and the RGB trim, this is some great looking RAM.

Don't buy it if...

You want the absolute fastest RAM
While I tested a midrange RAM kit, the T-Force Delta RGB caps out at a lower level than some other RAM kits.

You're on a restricted budget
At more than $100 (about £80/AU$140), this RAM kit is hardly the cheapest DDR5 kit on the market right now.

TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5: Also consider

If my TeamGroup T-Force Delta RGB DDR5 review has you looking for other options, here is another DDR5 option to consider...

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: AMD’s China-only card goes global—and upends the midrange market
7:42 pm | February 28, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Two-minute review

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE was originally launched in China back in July 2023, and from what everyone was told, that card was going to be exclusive to that region. 

Well, following the launch of the RTX Super series of GPUs last month, AMD's decided to surprise everyone and launch the RX 7900 GRE globally, starting this week, and it looks primed to upend the midrange GPU market in a pretty huge way.

That's because the RX 7900 GRE (Golden Rabbit Edition) is going on sale starting at $549, which puts it directly in competition with the Nvidia RTX 4070 on price, and undercuts the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super by offering competitive performance for just over 90% of the cost.

To be clear, the card that is being released globally is the same card that has already been available for Chinese consumers, and so it has been extensively benchmarked for months, with much of that data freely available online for everyone to see. 

This has no doubt driven much of the global interest in the RX 7900 GRE since it originally launched back in July, and I fully expect this card to fly off the shelves since it is without question one of the best graphics cards for the midrange you're going to find.

In terms of raw synthetic performance, the RX 7900 GRE follows the familiar AMD-Nvidia pattern where the Radeon card is better at pure rasterization while the GeForce card is the better ray-tracer, but the difference between the RX 7900 GRE and the RTX 4070 Super in ray-tracing performance isn't as wide as it might have been last generation.

What's more, when it comes to gaming, Nvidia's advantage in native ray tracing is overcome by the RX 7900 GRE as soon as you bring upscaling into the mix, which you invariably have to do whenever ray tracing above 1080p is involved.

The RX 7900 GRE is even a much more capable creative card than I was expecting, so long as you're not working with CUDA, but for graphic designers, photographers, and video editors, this is a surprisingly powerful GPU for a lot less money than it's rivals.

Overall, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE isn't so powerful that it completely knocks out Nvidia's RTX 4070 Super, but it's hitting Nvidia's newest GPU a lot harder than I think Nvidia was expecting so soon after launch. Unfortunately, this does put the only-slightly-cheaper-but-not-as-good AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT in a bit of an awkward position, but for gamers looking to get the best performance for their money, more options are better in this case.

An AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE from PowerColor on a desk with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $549 (about £440/AU$770)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE is available starting February 27, 2024, with a US MSRP of $549 (about £440/AU$770). This is the same price as the Nvidia RTX 4070, $50 less than the RTX 4070 Super, and $50 more than the RX 7800 XT.

This launch doesn't include an AMD reference card, so you will need to buy the RX 7900 GRE from third-party partners like ASRock, Gigabyte, Sapphire, and others. The sample I was sent for review is the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 GRE, a model line that typically sells for AMD's MSRP or below (when on sale).

An AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE from PowerColor on a desk with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Features & specs

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE is a modified Navi 31 GPU with four fewer compute units than the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, as well as slower clock speeds. It's power requirements are also officially lower at a starting TGP of 260W, but this will vary by which card you go for.

The Radeon RX 7900 GRE also has 16GB GDDR6 VRAM to the RX 7900 XT's 20GB, and while the RX 7900 XT has a 320-bit memory bus, the RX 7900 GRE has a slimmer — but still sizeable — 256-bit bus. With a memory clock of 2,250 MHz (compared to the RX 7900 XT's 2,500 MHz), the RX 7900 GRE comes in with an effective memory speed of 18 Gbps and a memory bandwidth of 576 GB/s, which is a notable decline from the RX 7900 XT's 800 Gbps and 800 GB/s, respectively.

Also notable are the two 8-pin power connectors, which won't require you to fuss around with a 16-pin connector like Nvidia's latest graphics cards require you to do, whether that's through an adapter or an ATX 3.0 power supply.

An AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE from PowerColor on a desk with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Design

While there is an AMD reference card for the RX 7900 GRE, AMD has said that global availability will only come through AIB partners, so the design you get with your card will vary by manufacturer.

The card I tested, the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 GRE, sports a triple-fan cooler with RGB lighting in the fan. It's a long card to be sure, and even though it's technically a dual-slot card, the shroud makes for a tight fit.

The backplate of the Hellhound RX 7900 GRE has some notable features, like the Hellhound logo, the exposed GPU bracket, and a hole in the backplate opposite the third fan to leave an open path for air to pass over the GPU cooler's heatsink fins to improve cooling efficiency.

An AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE from PowerColor in a test bench

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Performance

Now we come to the heart of the matter. I can't tell if AMD was inspired by the release of the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super or not, but whatever convinced Team Red to bring the RX 7900 GRE out of China to the rest of the world, midrange gamers everywhere should be grateful because this is easily the best midrange graphics card on the market right now.

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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE synthetic benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)

Starting with synthetic benchmarks, the typical rasterization-ray tracing divide between AMD and Nvidia remains, but like we've seen with other cards this generation, the gap is narrowing. The Nvidia 4070 and RTX 4070 Super definitely pull ahead in terms of raw compute performance, but overall, the RX 7900 GRE is the champ of the under-$600s.

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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)
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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE creative benchmark results

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For creative use, the RX 7900 GRE is the strongest rasterizer, but lags Nvidia with video editing, and serious stumbles when it comes to 3D rendering as seen in Blender Benchmark 4.0.0. 

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1080p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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RX 7900 GRE 1440p gaming benchmarks

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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Rx 7900 GRE 4K gaming benchmark results

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When it comes to gaming, though, the RX 7900 GRE is the clear winner among midrange cards, with spectacular 1080p and 1440p gaming performance, with only slightly worse ray tracing performance than the RTX 4070 Super. 

As a 4K graphics card, however, the RX 7900 GRE isn't that far behind the RTX 4070 Ti, with the former getting an average 55 fps (30 fps minimum) and the latter getting an average of 63 fps (minimum 42 fps). The RTX 4070 Super, meanwhile, only averages 41 fps at 4K, with a minimum of 28 fps. 

Ultimately, the RTX 4070 Super can't really be considered among the best 4K graphics cards, but the RX 7900 GRE definitely can, thanks to its wider memory pool and larger memory bus.

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Power and Temperature benchmarks for the RX 7900 GRE

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Power and Temperature benchmarks for the RX 7900 GRE

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Of course, this performance comes at the cost of power draw. You can throw the official 260W TGP right out the window here, with the RX 7900 GRE pulling down 302W, but the strong cooling performance on the PowerColor Hellhound card did manage to keep the RX 7900 GRE below 53 degrees Celsius.

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Creative benchmarks for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Final benchmark results for the RX 7900 GRE

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Overall, then, there's just no getting around the fact that the RX 7900 GRE effectively outperforms any other card in the midrange. And despite the RX 7900 GRE falling well short of the RTX 4070-series GPUs overall, it's worth keeping in mind that with Photoshop and similar rasterization-dependent programs, the RX 7900 GRE performs the best, and it doesn't fall too far behind the RTX cards when it comes to video editing. 

The weakness of the RX 7900 GRE is that most, if not all, 3D modeling software relies so heavily on Nvidia's CUDA that it heavily skews the creative performance averages, that it can be somewhat deceptive—unless you NEED this graphics card for 3D modeling. If that's the case, nothing else matters, and you need to go with an RTX 4070-class graphics card despite the RX 7900 GRE's superior performance everywhere else.

How many people will that stipulation apply to ultimately? Not enough to hold the RX 7900 GRE from claiming the crown as the best graphics card in the midrange, and since its final value score is just shy of the RX 7800 XT's, there really isn't any reason to opt for any other card right now. The RX 7900 GRE is honestly just that good.

An AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE from PowerColor on a desk with its retail packaging

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should you buy the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE?

Buy the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE if...

You want the best midrange graphics card
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE is the best overall graphics card for under $600 you can get.

You want to game at 4K
Thanks to the RX 7900 GRE's 16GB VRAM and wide memory bus, you can absolutely game effectively at 4K with this card.

Don't buy it if...

You want the best ray-tracing graphics card
The AMD RX 7900 GRE is a good ray-tracing graphics card, but it's not as good as the RTX 4070 Super.

You do a lot of 3D modeling
If you're a 3D modeling professional (or even a passionate amateur), you need an RTX card, full stop.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Also consider

If my AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE review has you looking for other options, here are two more graphics cards to consider...

How I tested the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE

  • I spent about a week with the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE
  • I tested its synthetic, creative, and gaming performance
  • I used our standard suite of benchmarks
Test system specs

This is the system I used to test the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE

CPU: Intel Core i9-14900K
CPU Cooler: MSI MAG Coreliquid E360 AIO Cooler
RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-6000
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi
SSD: Samsung 990 Pro 4TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Thermaltake PF3 1050W ATX 3.0
Case: Praxis Wetbench

I spent about a week testing the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE, including extensive benchmarking as well as general use of the card in my primary work PC.

I also made sure to benchmark other competing graphics cards in the same class with updated drivers to ensure correct comparable data, where necessary.

I've been reviewing computer hardware for years, and I have tested and retested all of the best graphics cards of the past two generations, so I know very well how a graphics card in a given class ought to perform.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2024

Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC review: a flashy makeover for those who want that RGB
5:00 pm | February 25, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC: Two-minute review

Following years of anticipation, Intel jumped into the GPU market dominated by AMD and NVIDIA with some respectable results last year. 

Both the Intel Arc A750 to the Intel Arc A770 showed real promise and managed to undercut the best graphics cards both chipmakers had to offer despite, at least on price if not necessarily matching performance benchmarks. 

Regardless, the A770's price just kept it from being one of the best cheap graphics cards for those looking for a GPU that could provide good ray-tracing alongside hardware-accelerated AI upscaling. Though it couldn’t match the sheer raw 1440p power of an AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT or Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti, general performance was more than respectable for the $349 launch price. 

With third-party variants of the A770 available, the Acer BiFrost Arc A770 OC might be a more attractive buy, especially now that the Intel Limited Edition cards are no longer being manufactured. There are a few things that lean in its favor including customizable RGB lighting through the Predator BiFrost Utility and overclocking capabilities. 

Sure, the lighting that comes with the BiFrost Arc A770 OC looks more attractive than the original A770, but that’s pretty much the biggest plus when it comes to this GPU over the Intel reference card. Performance power doesn’t increase much even with overclocking, which means that the dual-8-pin connection pulls even more power for no real reason, but you can make adjustments to its power draw if that's an issue. Be sure to make sure Resizable BAR is activated through your motherboard's BIOS settings as well because performance will absolutely tank if you don't. 

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An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

As mentioned previously, the Acer BiFrost Arc A770 OC comes feature-packed with ray-tracing and AI upscaling capabilities. When it comes to ray-tracing, it’s not going to deliver performance that matches AMD let alone Nvidia, but that doesn’t mean that ray-tracing performance wasn’t good. 

When tested with the Dead Space Remake and Cyberpunk 2077, framerates stayed within the 30 fps ball-park. On the other hand, Intel’s XeSS AI upscaling technology is as good as DLSS and AMD FidelityFX in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023), Forza Horizon 5, and Hi-Fi Rush. Though 1440p performance is generally great, for more fps, brining it down to 1080p delivers better overall results.

There are around 70 games that support XeSS so far with more popular games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Counter Strike 2 missing from the list. During playtesting some games performed horribly including Crysis Remastered and Forza Motorsport (2023) even when dropped down to borderline potato settings. 

An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

As in TechRadar's original A770 review, older games may have performance issues due to driver compatibility, since games developed with DirectX 9 and Direct X 10 were not made with the Arc GPUs in mind, meanwhile, AMD and Nvidia drivers have over a decade of legacy support for these games built-in since earlier versions of the drivers were developed back when those games were first released. That said, DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 performance is much better, and Intel's drivers are being actively improved to support these games.

One thing that surprised me is that the A770 provides pretty decent performance when using Adobe Suite software like Premiere Pro and Photoshop if your project scope is kept reasonable. In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to see Adobe provide official support for the graphics card in the future.

Acer does have a Predator BiFrost Utility that allows users to change RGB lighting within its card, but outside of that, it’s not as useful as Intel’s own Arc Graphics utility driver. Both allow users to have various system overlays alongside overclock power limit, temperature limit, and fan speed. One thing's for sure, even when running at full power, the Acer BiFrost Arc A770 OC wasn’t incredibly loud compared to other power-hungry GPUs available.

An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC: PRICE & AVAILABILITY

  • How much does it cost? US MSRP $399 (about £320 / AU$560)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC is currently available now in the US, UK, and Australia. Right now, there are ways to get around the $399 MSRP with some stores like Newegg selling the GPU for around $279. With the original A770 going for as high as $429, the BiFrost Arc A770 OC could be considered a better buy. 

For gamers on a more restricted budget looking for the best 1440p graphics card capable of playing many of the best PC games of the past couple of years, the BiFrost Arc A770 is definitely more accessible than comparable Nvidia and AMD graphic cards. Individuals who are working with a higher budget should definitely consider getting the AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT, which is just $50 more at $449 and provides much better 1440p performance. 

An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC: Specs

An Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC on a gray deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should you buy the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC?

Buy the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC if...

You need for budget level price with nearly mid-tier performance
With solid ray tracing and AI upscaling capabilities, the 1440p performance on the BiFrost A770 OC is commendable.

You require a GPU to match your RGB ready desktop’s flyness
The dual fan design and RGB lighting does look cool compared to the original A770.

Don't buy it if...

You want the best midrange GPU
Due to developer support at the moment, the A770 lags behind AMD and NVIDIA, which means performance won’t be the best for many of the top-tier games.

You want a GPU that uses less power
The Acer BiForst Arc A770 uses a lot of power but the performance doesn’t really reflect that.

Also consider

If my Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC review has you looking for other options, here are two more graphics cards to consider...

How I tested the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC

  • I spent around two weeks with the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC
  • I used the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC for gaming and creative test

Testing with the Acer Predator BiFrost Arc A770 OC happened over a two-week period on a second home computer where I split between gaming and creative tasks. On the gaming side, titles played during testing included Crysis Remastered, Call of Duty Modern Warfare III, Forza Horizon 5, Forza Motorsport (2023), and Dead Space (2023)

Creative usage was split between Premier Pro and Photoshop.  I’ve been testing gaming desktops alongside components for around three years for TechRadar and fully understand how GPUs are supposed to perform compared to similar tech. 

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2024

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S review: Netgear’s first Wi-Fi 7 router provides blistering performance
1:30 am | February 24, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets Servers & Network Devices | Comments: Off

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: One-minute review

Netgear originally announced the Nighthawk RS700S as its first Wi-Fi 7 router back in March 2023, although it didn’t go on sale in the US until the end of the year. What's more, the Wi-Fi Alliance that oversees the development of Wi-Fi technology didn’t officially launch the new standard until CES 2024 – under the somewhat odd label ‘Wi-Fi Certified 7’ (also known as IEEE 802.11be, for the more technically inclined). 

So, what we have with the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S is some bleeding-edge tech that makes it a shoe-in for a spot on our best WiFi router page, though not without caveats.

Unsurprisingly, the state-of-the-art RS700S is seriously expensive, with a single unit costing $699.99 in the US, and a whopping £799.99 in the UK (not to mention the additional subscriptions that Netgear tries to sell you as well). 

To be fair, Wi-Fi 7 does blow away previous generations of Wi-Fi, with the tri-band RS700S boasting a top speed of 19Gbs using the 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz, and 6.0GHz bands. Netgear also claims that it has the ability to reliably connect to 200 devices all at once, though I don't have nearly that many devices to attempt to test such a claim. 

Of course, all of this is probably overkill for most of us – especially since there aren’t many computers or mobile devices that even support Wi-Fi 7 yet - but the RS700S certainly gives us a fascinating glimpse into a future where 8K video and VR headsets and gaming are the norm. 

And, of course, Wi-Fi 7 is still backwards-compatible with older computers and mobile devices, so it will still work with your existing devices as well, but if you don't have the kind of hardware that can take advantage of the new tech, you're better off waiting until you do.

A Netgear Nighthawk RS700S on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $699.99/£799.99/AU$1499.00
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where is it available? Available in the US, UK and Australia

There are very few Wi-Fi 7 routers currently available, so the RS700S doesn’t have many comparable rivals at any price. However, top-of-the-range Wi-Fi 6E routers such as the Asus Rapture GT-AXE11000, which runs at a still impressive 11Gbps, come in at around $400/£450/$700, so you’re paying quite a premium for the extra performance of Wi-Fi 7. It’s early days, though, so hopefully prices will begin to fall as rival manufacturers start to release their own Wi-Fi 7 routers and mesh systems throughout 2024.

A Netgear Nighthawk RS700S on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Specs

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Design

The tall, upright design and blinking lights of the RS700S are certainly eye-catching, and a departure from the winged ‘Cylon battle-cruiser’ designs of previous Nighthawk routers. 

Standing a lofty 282mm high, the slimline black pillar looks more like the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a series of LEDs on the front panel that provide information about both wired and wireless connections. 

Netgear also claims that this upright design helps the RS700S and its eight internal antennae to more effectively transmit a Wi-Fi signal through a full 360 degrees, giving it a reach of 3,500 sq. ft (quoted as 3,000 sq. ft in some countries due to differences in national regulations).

You also get some idea of the power of the RS700S when you spot the large cooling vents on both the top and bottom panels, and a glimpse at the spec sheet reveals that the router is driven by a powerful quad-core processor running at 2.6GHz, backed up by 2GB of memory and 512MB of internal storage. 

The size of the router also leaves plenty of room for additional connectivity features, including no less than six Ethernet ports on the back panel and a USB-A port for connecting a network hard drive.

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The mobile app interface for the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S

(Image credit: Future)
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The mobile app interface for the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S

(Image credit: Future)
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The mobile app interface for the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S

(Image credit: Future)
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The web interface for the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S

(Image credit: Future)

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Features

The ample ports give you an indication of the performance offered by the RS700S, as they include one 10 Gigabit Ethernet port for your Internet connection (via your existing broadband router or modem), along with a second 10 Gigabit port to provide a high-speed wired connection for a laptop, gaming console or other device that requires the fastest possible connection. 

There are also four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections as well, with the ability to combine two ports (known as ‘link aggregation’) to provide a 2 Gigabit wired connection. 

Just as important, though, are the features provided by the Nighthawk app. It gets the basics right, walking you through the initial set-up process quickly and easily. 

To keep things simple for first-time users, the app has a Smart Connect feature that automatically connects your computers and mobile devices to the frequency band that provides the best performance in that particular room or location. 

However, you can turn this off and create separate networks for each frequency if you prefer, and also set different passwords for each network. And, for more experienced users, there’s also a web browser interface that provides more in-depth control over your network settings.

It's worth mentioning that the RS700S also includes a 12-month subscription to Netgear’s Armor security service, which can protect your network and devices from online threats such as malware and phishing websites. But, after 12 months, you’ll need to pay $99.99 per year to continue with the service. 

The RS700S also seems to be something of a work in progress, as there’s one important new feature in Wi-Fi 7, called ‘multi-link operation’ that allows devices that support Wi-Fi 7 to connect to all three frequency bands at once (rather than a single band, as is the case with previous versions of Wi-Fi). 

Netgear says that this feature will require a software update that is due in Q1 of 2024, so if you’re keen to see the full potential of Wi-Fi 7 it might be worth watching the Netgear website for updates.

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S: Performance

Benchmark results

Ookla Speed Test - 2.4GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 123Mbps/80Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 78Mbps/45Mbps
Ookla Speed Test - 5.0GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps/150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps/150Mbps
Ookla Speed Test - 6.0GHz (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps/150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps/150Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 2.4GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions:  150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 70Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 5.0GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions:  150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbps
20GB Steam Download - 6.0GHz
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 150Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 150Mbp

Even so, the RS700S still provides more than enough speed for most home and office networks. 

Even on the slower 2.4GHz band it outperforms the sluggish 85Mbps of our office router, hitting 123Mbps on the Ookla speed test for devices that are in the same room as the router. 

And, as I switch to the 5.0GHz and 6.0GHz bands, I feel as though the router is giving me the side-eye as both bands breeze along to the full 150Mbps provided by our office broadband. 

Longer, sustained downloads on Steam give the router more time to ramp up to speed and all three bands hit 150Mbps with no effort at all. Moving further away, to a back office separated by some partition walls, the Ookla test slows a little to 78Mbps when using the 2.4GHz band, while Steam downloads dip to 70Mbps. 

Even so, that’s still almost twice as fast as the 40Mbps that our normal router provides for both tests. And, needless to say, the 5.0GHz and 6.0GHz bands don’t have any trouble as I wander along the corridor to that back office, with both the Ookla and Steam tests maintaining a smooth and steady 150Mbps throughout. 

A Netgear Nighthawk RS700S on a table

(Image credit: Future)

Should You Buy The Netgear Nighthawk RS700S?

 Buy the Netgear Nighthawk RS700S if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

  • First reviewed February 2024
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