MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule released by Apple in June didn't have an advertised upgrade, outside of a capacity bump on the Time Capsule. However, Brian Klug at AnandTech has written an extraordinarily detailed review of the new devices and found they are notably improved from the prior generation.


Klug notes that the new devices are virtually indistinguishable from their older counterparts, but in detailed testing, they found increased throughput and range.
At the end of the day, the new Airport Extreme dramatically improves throughput in the best case and in a few regions where signal was previously unusable. In the worst case (location 4), performance improves from being essentially unusable to totally fine, and in the case of the 2010MBP goes from not being able to connect at all to pushing 23 Mbps.

[...]

The main improvements with AFS (real-world file transfer) happen out at the extremes where previously signal was unusable on 2.4GHz, and likewise on 5GHz. That really tells the story of the (sometimes dramatic) difference that the higher power WLAN solution in the 5th generation makes over the 4th generation.
The highest speeds are attained with the 2011 generation MacBook Pro which includes an upgraded "three spatial stream compliant WLAN stack", which basically is next-generation wireless software and hardware.

airport.png
The new Airport Extreme includes a slightly different chipset as well, moving from one sourced from Marvell to one from Broadcom:
The result of the move from Marvell to Broadcom is twofold. First, performance and range is definitely better thanks to more transmit power and the improved sensitivity afforded by newer generation chipsets. Second, the combination of lots of Broadcom in Apple's hardware lineup (from the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks, to iMac and Mac Mini) with Broadcom in the access point likely allows for the use of frame bursting or some other packet aggregation technique that speeds things up in some scenarios. It's another example of how having that complete hardware control can in fact result in some benefit--in this case, faster WiFi.
Klug finishes the review by noting the Airport Extreme is reasonably priced compared to the competition and he prefers it due to it "actually work[ing] without locking up, becoming unstable periodically, dropping the session from overheating when being pushed to 100% for hours, or requiring a daily reboot."

Article Link: Latest AirPort Extremes and Time Capsules Offer Improved Wi-Fi Range and Performance
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
I know they're excellent routers, but they're still a bit expensive for my taste.
 
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res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
What he forgot to leave out is that he got a new house.

^lol. However, this makes sense since I vaguely recall reading somewhere that this new extreme uses more power... It was probably a story on here. Also, what's AFS? Andrew File System? That exists, but... Think they mean AFP?
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,262
2,647
Japan
Slap a Thunderbolt port into that puppy and I'll buy one. (Yeah, I know it's meant to work as a wireless router and hard drive, but I'd still dig a Thunderbolt connection to it.)
 
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modit

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2008
340
37
Canada
Opened my 2011 AirPort Base Station for the 1st time and got my fastest speed to date (wired or wireless).



Granted I'm paying for 10 Mbps with a partly 512 K upload.

Not bad...
 
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diegous79

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2011
5
0
Washington, DC
I just got a new Airport Extreme and believe it or not I am now able to browse my Internet (with my iPhone) from across the street.... and by the way, I live on the 10th floor........

How that is possible I have no idea but 10 floors below and I still get 1 or sometimes even 2 bars !!! And I turned the 3G connection off just to make sure my connection was indeed still working...
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,986
4,091
The thick of it
What he forgot to leave out is that he got a new house.

A yurt.

My Time Capsule has been really reliable, but its WiFi range has been underwhelming. It's supposed to have a range of up to 300 feet, but I'm lucky if it keeps a strong signal over a tenth of that. I know I don't live in a yurt, but I'm also not in a concrete bunker.
 
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res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
Slap a Thunderbolt port into that puppy and I'll buy one. (Yeah, I know it's meant to work as a wireless router and hard drive, but I'd still dig a Thunderbolt connection to it.)

The only issue is the fact that the only two ways of interacting with said port is through either Ethernet or Wi-Fi, neither of which would utilize most of the speed of thunderbolt. However, if Apple were to implement 10gbit Ethernet...
 
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randomrazr

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2011
1,209
1
i found the new 2011 time capsule with 75 dollars off the 299 price tag

is it worth it?
 
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Foogoofish

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2011
222
382
London
Slap a Thunderbolt port into that puppy and I'll buy one. (Yeah, I know it's meant to work as a wireless router and hard drive, but I'd still dig a Thunderbolt connection to it.)

So you can bottleneck a thunderbolt connection over the wireless?! Seems a bit rediculous when you cant get to 5% of 10GB/s with an over the air connection....
 
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motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,199
542
How is $179 reasonably priced? I agree that Apple's consumer wireless routers are best-of-class (or nearly so), but it's hard to say that they're "reasonably priced".
 
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topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,341
504
FEMA Region VIII
My first-gen Time Capsule was a turd bird of the first order and I returned it. I've been happy with my two Airport Expresses, but opted for a Netgear N600 (WNDR3700) some months ago (I HIGHLY recommend it) rather than spending the extra $50 and taking the Airport Extreme plunge.
 
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res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
How is $179 reasonably priced? I agree that Apple's consumer wireless routers are best-of-class (or nearly so), but it's hard to say that they're "reasonably priced".

Well, it's one hell of a reliable router. Routers from many of the top companies are far too often unreliable, and personally, I'd be willing to pay a premium to know that the thing isn't going to brick itself/disconnect randomly and allows me to use both 5ghz and 2.4ghz bands simultaneously, among other things. Actually, the simultaneous dual-band may be the price difference. Lesser routers tend to omit that feature.
 
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modit

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2008
340
37
Canada
How is $179 reasonably priced? I agree that Apple's consumer wireless routers are best-of-class (or nearly so), but it's hard to say that they're "reasonably priced".

School discount or going with the refurb helps soften the hit on the wallet ;)
 
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BlueHedgehog

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2010
35
0
Well, it's one hell of a reliable router. Routers from many of the top companies are far too often unreliable, and personally, I'd be willing to pay a premium to know that the thing isn't going to brick itself/disconnect randomly and allows me to use both 5ghz and 2.4ghz bands simultaneously, among other things. Actually, the simultaneous dual-band may be the price difference. Lesser routers tend to omit that feature.

What about the routers that have a built-in ADSL modem? I'm on the second one (Trendnet TEW-436BRM, first was a Buffalo WBMR-G54) and even that one seems to disconnect/lock up randomly more often. I'm seriously getting pissed off!:mad::mad: (Sorry for the little rant)
 
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boonlar

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2008
259
0
Ugh why do they always use stupid names like "Airport Extreme"?

Just call it a Wireless 802.11N Router and be done with it. Also who would actually buy a router from Apple? Get an Asus rt-n16.
 
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res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
Ugh why do they always use stupid names like "Airport Extreme"?

Just call it a Wireless 802.11N Router and be done with it. Also who would actually buy a router from Apple? Get an Asus rt-n16.

The router you mentioned doesn't support simultaneous dual-band, nor does it seem to support dual-band in the first place... 2.4ghz band only. You really think that router is somehow better than the extreme? You seriously have no idea what you're missing my friend.
 
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