Marvell vs. Atheros

Hello there! As the title of the thread shows I'm curious about which of these two chipset makers offers better support. stability and performance for OpenWRT. The reason I'm curious is because I own a Linksys WRT1200AC router which has the Marvell chipset in it as well as a TPLINK Archer C7 that has the Atheros chipset in it. When I search for recommended OpenWRT routers the page that comes up mentions the Archer C7 specifically as recommended whereas the Marvell chipset is mentioned as a bit unstable. Is this still true today? Even though the Linksys router has way better specs on paper, would it be best to stick with the Archer C7 or has the firmware matured enough that the Linksys is the better choice?

mvebu has the lead in terms of routing performance, if your WAN speed is above ~150 MBit/s, you don't have much of a choice.

In terms of wireless support, both performance and even more importantly interoperability and reliability, QCA/ Atheros wins hands down (even more so now, given that it appears as if Marvell had ceased development of their out-of-tree mwlwifi driver).

Both should be solid routers, with mature OpenWrt support, both will continue to be supported by OpenWrt for quite a few more years to come. If you were to look into buying a new router, there are faster/ better QCA designs (ipq40xx/ ipq806x) on the market today (for basically the same amount of money than a archer c7 would cost you), but this only covers new purchases - there is little reason to replace an existing archer c7 (as long as it meets your WAN throughput requirements).


Marvell sold their WIFI business to NXP a while ago. So I wouldn't invest in a device that has Marvell radios right now since it is not clear if they continue supporting the open source wireless driver at all. And the current state of the driver is not great.

If you just need a wired router Marvell is fine.


NXP bought Marvell's wireless division at the end of may, but the acquisition isn't about to actually be finalized until q1 2020, development probably stays in limbo until (at least-) then… which isn't good, at all[0].

[0] early 802.11ax designs are hitting the market just about now, missing the opportunity to participate will be hurtful

If you own both routers why dont you test if they work the way you want with OpenWRT?
It should be pretty easy to determine if wifi functions good or not with Linksys.
I would first try Linksys, as you say, it seems to have better hardware.

WRT1200 has some WiFi problems. It's driver support issue. (WRT32x and WRT3200ACM is very stable, But WRT1200 does not.)

Archer C7 is very slower than WRT1200.

If me, I'll use both. WRT1200 to main router, Archer C7 as AP Mode only.

Lately MediaTek, specifically MT7612, has become my favorite ac chip. I also have been deploying some ath10k Ubiquiti devices. These are the Wave 1 chip and only 64M of RAM though, and ath10k-ct refuses to work (hogs up all the RAM and crashes the whole router). The regular ath10k is OK.

Thank you all for contributing to this thread. I tried to use the Archer C7, but for some reason everytime I try to visit the LuCi page ( it crashes both 2.4ghz and 5ghz wifi so I switched to the Linksys and haven't really had any issues.


Scratch what I said about not really having an issue. Well it turns out I did find an issue with the Linksys router and is one that I can reproduce all the time. I have a Google Pixel 3 and whenever I leave my apartment and go somewhere and come back, the WiFi will not reconnect on the phone. The phone WiFi will display "disabled". I tried forgetting the network on the phone and readding it, restarting the phone and neither works. I have to restart the 5GHz WiFi before the phone will reconnect. VERY annoying. Anyone else experience something similar and/or have any suggestions? Can't say I want to live with having to do that every time I come back home from going somewhere. Would almost just rather use a regular router at that point to not have to deal with that hassle.

I think if you start a new topic on this you might get better answers. I was pretty much ignoring this thread as it had played out.

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