I’m totally new at this OpenWRT venture and am very interested in installing on my router for gaming. But I have NO IDEA where to start & what to use. I have Netgear N900 router that’s been sitting around for a couple years & my current Netgear R7000. I’m interested in utilizing the best option for playing Call of Duty on Xbox & PS4.
Thanks for the quick response! It’s the WNDR4500. I will be utilizing the WiFi for regular household but I’d be hardwired into it for gaming as well, which is my main concern for quality gaming. I have 400/20 Spectrum cable right now but may go down to 200-10. But it looks like I’d have to use my R7000 since the WNDR is not supported. I’ve seen people having issues & bricking their routers so just was a little shy.
Neither one is a "great" choice for OpenWrt due to the lack of open-source wireless support for the Broadcom chips involved. Of the two, the R7000 has the more powerful processor (older, dual-core ARM A9 vs. old, single-core MIPS). Both are relatively ancient, being of 2008 or 2011 vintage.
I'd "cut your teeth" on the R7000 and, if you like what SQM does for you, consider a well-supported alternative that will likely out-perform the R7000 in terms of both wireless and wired performance. There are good upper-tier routers available starting around US$75 using current, multi-core, ARM-based SoCs.
To be crystal clear, the BCM4360 WLAN in your r7000 will never work satisfactorily (not sufficiently for "regular household" wifi usage!) under OpenWrt, due to the lack of Broadcom softmac WLAN drivers (other than b43).
While I have no personal experience with the r7000, it might work in a(n effectively) wired-only fashion, but that hardware is very unlikely to achieve 400/20 MBit/s doing QoS/ SQM (which would be what most gamers want, reducing ping/ bufferbloat under load).
You really want different, significantly faster hardware for this.
I bought the R7000 thinking it was great for gaming since it was very common. But I know QOS on most routers are pretty limited. I literally just bought it a month ago. Lol . What are your thoughts on routers like the Linksys? I think it’s the WRT3200 (blue & black) among others?
All of them have their own quirks -- there is no "perfect" router.
I don't have direct experience with Marvell-based devices. The processor performance in them, from what I understand, is very good. There has been a great deal of improvement with the Marvell wireless drivers over the last couple years. Nobody knows how this will change after Marvell was acquired by NXP. It really could go either way.
The other two SoC series that I'd recommend looking at are the IPQ40xx and IPQ806x.
Personally, I use the EA8300s (IPQ4019), but that choice was driven by it being one of the few three-radio devices, which is an advantage for a wireless-mesh deployment (OK, and a certain forum member convincing me that it would be trivial to support). My situation prevents wiring between APs, or even reliably using power-line modems. The "normal", two-radio EA6350v3 has been running around US$75 and uses a very similar SoC (IPQ4018, basically an IPQ4019 without the PCI bus for the off-chip wireless) and seems like a good choice in that price range, at least for US-based purchasers. The IPQ40xx is "quirky" in terms of advanced VLAN setup, but can generally be managed through config files, rather than directly through the GUI.
The IPQ806x-based devices are generally a step up in processing power from the IPQ40xx. I don't have any personal experience with them. The reports that I read are that the performance is good. It's quirk seems to be that there aren't (yet) drivers for its special, network co-processors. IPQ8065 devices tend to be in the US$150-200 range. The slightly older IPQ8064-based routers seem to have been discontinued on the US market.
It comes down to budget and which of the quirks bother you the least.
A well-supported IPQ40xx router could well be repurposed into a second AP for more years of use if you decide to upgrade in a couple years or move over to something like an x86_64 router if your bandwidth requirements get close to the gigabit range. (I've still got one of my "ancient" Archer C7v2 units running as an AP.)
Take some time, "grab a beer" and skim through the opinions at
read a few of the threads on what you've narrowed it down to (realizing that the most popular devices get the most posts and very seldom does anyone post "I bought a BrandX 9999 and it just works perfectly"), then ask some questions.
My personal, very biased, ill-informed, "short list" for up-range all-in-one devices easily available in the US (different in different markets) would be
Linksys EA6350v3 -- IPQ4018
ZyXEL NBG6817 / Netgear R7800 -- IPQ8065
Linksys WRT3200ACM / WRT32X -- Marvell ("mvebu")
Edit: Read the next post, as slh has more experience with SQM on the IPQ40xx than I do. My SQM runs on AMD64.
While IPQ40xx and IPQ806x are very good and solid SOCs, with very good WLAN, I wouldn't recommend either for traffic shaping a 400/20 MBit/s link - that is just slightly beyond their abilities (without SQM, yes, at least ipq806x - but not with traffic shaping).
I may go back down to 200/10.......I upgraded to 400/20 just for testing purposes.....to see if it’d make any difference for gaming. Not anything noticeable since it’s definitely quality over speed that matters.
I’ve seen a lot on the Linksys WRT3200 & I’m assuming it comes set up?
@cbourke Your bandwidth doesn't matter for Call of Duty. I mean NOT AT ALL. You could have 1gbit symmetrical or 512kbit symmetrical. The games' algorithm handicaps players based on skill level and connections. There is no difference between a $50 or $300 router.
This has definitely been the consensus! I have just recently switched to full fiber 300/300 so in theory, this is as clean a connection you can get, regardless of speed. BO4 may not benefit from it due to their algorithms but other titles should. At least fiber is a great “foundation” to build from....as far as hardware is concerned, between the fiber connection and the console.