APU2C0 vs Edgerouter x + unifi vs R7800


#1

Hi there,

My buddy and I are looking for a new wireless router setup (were not living together) . We have different requirements, but would like to buy the same hardware with OpenWrt to be ableto debug and optimize together. I need low bufferbloat and latency for gaming on my 200/200 Mbit line and he needs fair bufferbloat for programming, surfing and downloading utilizing his 1000/1000 Mbit connection (he wont need the wifi to do 1000 Mbit throughput though, just the wired). None of us need need fast VPN connections.

We looked at the three router setups in the subject. I'm leaning towards the Edgerouter X with a unifi AP, as this would be the cheapest solution and still maxing out my connection. I like the fact that the AP and openWrt router is seperated. Even more, your good work on the chipset in the Edge x with HW offloading is impressing and this makes it even more attracting. The only worry is, that my buddy cant utilize his gigabit connection.

The APU2C0 solution is the most expensive but also the most powerful. This would max out both out lines, but are almost double the price compared to X + unifi.

The easy solution, we could go to the nearest hiTech store and grab two Netgear R7800 which has impressingly specs, but I have no idea if it would max out a gigabit connection with Openwrt with SW offload with SQM.

But which of these three setups works best in real life, given wifi, speed, latency and maximizing all are key words?

Thank you for your input!


#2

It currently does not. For routing (and more) at 1 GBit/s you need either x86 or mvebu devices. ipq8065 is a solid SOC and the r7800 a very decent device, both of which can be highly recommended - but (at least currently) not beyond ~450 MBit/s WAN-to-LAN routing.


#3

Offloading and SQM don't work at the same time. In other words, for SQM to be applied, packets have to take the conventional longer path through the kernel. So, even at 200 Mb to optimize gaming you'll want quite a bit of CPU power.

Maybe a WRT32X could run at Gb-- it will at least come close. If it's an apartment or small house, one router with integral wifi is OK.


#4

Guess the R7800 easy solution is out of the way and we'll have to decide between the 'cheap' and expensive solution.

Thx for the suggestion mate, but this costs nearly the same as the APU2C0 built with top wifi and SSD and shipped. The reason R7800 was attractive was the hardware + price almost haft the price of the APU built system.


#5

For gigabit with SQM x86 is the only reasonable solution, edgerouter forget it. Even Wrt32X isn't enough (with SQM).


#6

And even the APU2 is a bit (too-) marginal with SQM being a hard requirement, running linux it can route at 1 GBit/s wirespeed (using FreeBSD slightly less) - but that doesn't leave any margin for SQM on top. With these requirements (1 GBit/s routing + SQM), you need to look at slightly higher spec x86 (the APU2 is solid, one of the very few small'ish choices with enough I/O options for >2 (3) 1 GBit/s ethernet cards and at least two wlan cards for concurrent dual-band operations, but the 4*1 GHz AMD GX-412TC SOC is starting to show its age for very top-end demands (like 1 GBit/s routing plus SQM). This doesn't mean you'd need a ryzen or core i9 for your envisioned tasks, but you do need a bit more than GX-412TC or Atom (although modern/ highend Atom can provide more performance for this purpose than the GX-412TC and might just do).

The delta of performance requirements between you and your friend is big enough to warrant choosing different hardware here - otherwise you'd end up overpaying (considering your rather easy needs, which can be easily served by ipq8065 devices like the r7800 or nbg6817), while your friend really needs much higher-end.


#7

That's very useful information. I'm a bit surprised about the difference in HW requirements for 200 Mbit <> 1000 Mbit, though. I will talk with my buddy about either getting different HW or maybe convince him to scale a bit down and meet eachother halfway. If his gigabit connection is out of the equation, would you recommend the edgerouter x with an AP or the eg. R7800? or maybe a third option I haven't thought about?

Thanks!


#8

I'm probably biased towards the ipq8065 options, because they are the ones I have hands-on experience with and know that they can do the job (decent performance and wireless stability). But given your listed requirements of hard low-latency needs not much beyond your current internet speed (for more than that, you will need to look at mvebu or x86).

Your performance needs are pretty much still medium- to high-end consumer needs and can be served by corresponding 'cheap' prosumer hardware, but 1 GBit/s is still almost enterprise territory (in particular combined with low-latency requirements). While OpenWrt can provide SQM very well, it can not always make use of all hardware acceleration methods available to the vendor firmware (this comes into play for ipq8065 devices and is the reason why it can 'only' do up to ~450 MBit/s (without SQM or flow-offloading) on OpenWrt).


#9

Your friend is looking for 5 times as fast as you. This may not quite mean 5x the hardware cost, but it is significant.

With one or two users it is hard to actually consume at a rate of 1 Gb. A lot of people buy the 1 Gb service not so much for the speed, but because it includes unlimited gigabytes (around here, cable has a monthly GB limit except at the highest tier). In that case you may not mind too much if your router is slower than the line.


#10

Also it's not like the ISP really reserves you a gigabit. My gigabit connection is quite variable depending on time of day etc. If you want guaranteed low latency you are going to have to SQM at 500Mbit or maybe 750Mbit etc realistically.


#11

Had my mind towards the edgerouter, but i suppose R7800 supports ~200 Mbit with SQM and it's one box with OpenWRT running both routing and wireless.

It's limitless. He doesn't really need it, but alternative is 100/100 almost the same price. But now he got it, he wants to utilize it.

The optic line is dedicated with speeds garanteed (in theory).


#12

If you're paying $1500/mo yes, otherwise it's a GPON which is a shared medium. The reality is that you will get the gig for brief periods during testing but the backhaul is oversubscribed and probably a 10gigE so after six months once your neighbors are all subscribed the real world throughput will fluctuate throughout the day. Also the far end of whoever you're connecting to is limited as well. Don't get me wrong, it will be fast and low latency but it won't transfer a gigabit every second of every day. I run my shaper at 750Mbps and it works very very well. I never have VOIP stuttering. I imagine if 20 of my neighbors got the gig package it'd be even more variable and I might have to run lower to guarantee low latency.


#13

Well, I can't really say about the backbone, but I don't think they would have problems deliver a gig to every house. They offer 5/5 gig as well. Anyway, he needs to chose if he wan't to keep his giga and shape it down or scale all the way to 100/100, which is the next step down from giga. I'll probably end up going with the R7800.


#14

Hmm interesting. GPON doesn't do 5/5 gig, so maybe it really is dedicated active fiber to each house (where is this BTW?)

As far as the backbone goes of course all backbones are shared and with a whole neighborhood full of multi-gig connections, it's all down to how much your neighbors are using as to whether you start to hit limits. For example if they use a 40Gbps backbone, you can serve a lot of 100/100 connections. Heck you can serve 40 full gig connections. If they use a 10Gbps backhaul connection it'll be tighter.

One aspect that screws things up is the bursty nature of some traffic. Things like video streaming tend to use the whole connection briefly to grab a video segment and then nothing while it plays, and then the whole connection again... more of an on-off-on-off than a continuous stream at the rated stream speed. 4k video streams are something like 15Mbps. So you might think you could get 666 of them across a 10G backbone, but as I said they're bursty, so they'll use maybe 50Mbps or 100Mbps during their bursts... so you might get only 50-100 of them reliably across a 10G backbone without inducing jitter for games or VOIP etc.

All that being said, anyone who's offering 5/5 to houses is fully aware of this stuff, and they'll probably be careful to design their system to work reliably. But they'll also design for costs, and they will know that traffic from houses doesn't look like "a gigabit continuously all day long" so oversubscription via some statistical model is the rule. If I were going to do it, I'd set it up with equipment in place to allow me to expand the backbone capacity as more people subscribed.

With true dedicated active fiber to each location you probably do fine with a switch that handles weighted round-robin and DSCP tags for your low latency traffic, and don't necessarily need a shaper at all. You can insert a $40 switch between the ISP equipment, and your router, turn on QoS with DSCP tags, and then DSCP tag your low latency streams in your router... and be done with it.


#15

I really couldn't say, I'm not an expert. If he upgrades to 5 gig, there's a 1500$ one time fee, probably covering their need to plug in a 10Gig switch or something but the monthly subscription aren't much higher, around 30$ on top of what he's paying now. It's located in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark. I can't say 100% it's dedicated, I just know the tests he did at different times at different day showed a full connection.

I'll reference it to him, for him to decide, thanks :+1:


#16

Aha, can't say what's going on with those crazy fast Danes :wink:

All I can say to your friend is to get an x86 router, something similar to this: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Minisys-4-Gigabit-Intel-Lan-J3160-CPU-Pocket-Mini-Computer-Support-Pfsense-OpenVPN-AES-NI-Barebone/32893735378.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.1.1ebf9b2bkRBwch&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10065_10130_10068_10890_10547_319_10546_317_10548_10545_10696_453_10084_454_10083_10618_10307_537_536_10902_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103,searchweb201603_6,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=7e54c4e0-5f49-406b-a9a9-92abed531cdb-0&algo_pvid=7e54c4e0-5f49-406b-a9a9-92abed531cdb and go with the 1Gig connection because he won't regret it and you get a lot more bang for your buck... Above 1G requires you to have a 10GigE network card on your machine and this adds a lot of set-up cost and no real benefit for a home user.

I would honestly advise the same for you even at 200/200 Mbps. Get separate APs to wire in, you'll get excellent SQM performance, and have plenty of upgradability when your 200/200 connection in a couple years becomes a 500/500 or a 1G/1G


#17

Heheh, yeah.. still not as fast as Sweden yet, though! :wink:

I just talked to him on phone, he's heading off to Amsterdam soon, should give him some time to think about it. I think he's all bout getting the best and fastest. In my case an x86 is a bit overkill, but I'm considering it. Still not convinced yet :confused: