Linksys WRT32X AC3200 is designed for a Killer gaming experience

Gamers looking for a competitive edge will drop serious coin to reduce lag in their displays, get more frames-per-second from their video cards, and obtain more accurate response from their mouse and keyboard. Linksys says the Killer Prioritization Engine in its WRT32X AC3200 router is "built exclusively for gaming." The WRT32X's styling is somewhat restrained for a gaming router, looking like a cross between Linksys' old-school WRT54G hardware and Netgear's spider-spacecraft Nighthawk series.

Linksys says the WRT32X can deliver up to 77% lower ping times during moments of heavy LAN utilization when used in conjunction with clients packing Killer Networking hardware. Higher-end machines and motherboards from Alienware, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and others often use Killer NICs, making them amenable to using this prioritization feature.

The WRT32X AC3200 is built around an SoC of undisclosed provenance with two CPU cores running at 1.8 GHz. The wired networking is of the Gigabit variety all the way around, with a single WAN port and jacks for four LAN clients. Wireless transmissions take place over a quartet of MU-MIMO-enabled antennas. Linksys claims the router can transmit at up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 2600 Mbps in the 5 GHz spectrum using tri-stream technology and dynamic frequency selection (DFS).

The router has a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA jack that allow buyers to connect USB sticks or external hard drives and use the WRT32X as an improvised NAS device. Somewhat surprisingly, the device doesn't appear to have an Android or iOS setup app. Linksys says the router has an automatic firmware update feature that will upgrade the router's software during night-time hours. The company also promises that users will have the ability to install open-source firmware on the WRT32X.

Linksys' WRT32X AC3200 will ship September 21 at a retail price of $300. The manufacturer backs the router with a one-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • jts888
    • 2 years ago

    Anybody with a $300+ budget should IMO look into discrete network devices instead of AIW routers.

    A wired gigabit router (some with even PoE ports) isn’t that expensive and will last probably a decade, and you can get dedicated APs with substantially higher realizable throughout than what these wireless routers offer.

    • christos_thski
    • 2 years ago

    Are these routers only meant for internet gaming cafes and the like? 300 dollars is an insane price. They stick piddly dual-core ARM cpus in there. What costs so much? You get snapdragon 820 phones for less.

    • Blytz
    • 2 years ago

    “Linksys says the router has an automatic firmware update feature that will upgrade the router’s software during night-time hours.”

    So you can wake up to a bricked or broken device.

      • titan
      • 2 years ago

      Or, so it can interrupt your Internet connection just as you realize you’ve jumped into a gate camp with billions worth of cargo in your transport ship. (EVE Online)

      Yay!

    • Sahrin
    • 2 years ago

    When did it become OK for a router to cost as much as a CPU?

    Plus, 10 GBASE-T no deal.

      • jts888
      • 2 years ago

      10GBASE-T receivers are still too expensive and too much of power pigs to be an easy fit in the consumer space, especially when none of these routers can actually push even 1Gb/s over wireless to an adapter sitting 4 feet away in clear line of sight.

      Anybody wanting >1Gb should stick with wired switches for the time being.

    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    unlike the board makers, at least these guys still implement esata.

      • Blytz
      • 2 years ago

      Which is useful for what these days ?

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        Nothing, IMO, since USB 3 is plenty fast.

        • LostCat
        • 2 years ago

        Eh, I still have a drive that’s USB2 or eSATA. The USB2 port obviously isn’t very useful.

    • LostCat
    • 2 years ago

    $300…one year warranty…yeah. Thanks. No.

    I’d consider it if I had several people gaming here, but it’s just me.

    • Axiomatic
    • 2 years ago

    “Linksys says the WRT32X can deliver up to 77% lower ping times during moments of heavy LAN utilization when used in conjunction with clients packing Killer Networking hardware.”

    This comment implies Layer 7 software QoS but what is not listed is what type of QoS is in this router? If its PriQ it’s crap. fq_codel is the only mode that will drop bufferbloat which is the #1 cause of latency in any network communication. (especially gaming) That’s why pfSense and Untangle or Ubiquiti routers are becoming everyone’s favorites, they all use fq_codel.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    The reason why we stuck with the WRT54G so long is because we could stick Tomato on there and enjoy good firmware. In my personal experience, router performance is 90% quality firmware and 10% hardware specs.

      • themisfit610
      • 2 years ago

      The WRT54G was a great router, especially with Tomato, but it’s still old hardware. It bottle-necked my 100 Mbps connection

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        Agreed. I was just noting that pages of hardware specs mean nothing without good firmware.

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 2 years ago

          You should be happy about the second to last sentence in the article then:
          [quote=”Wayne Manion”<]The company also promises that users will have the ability to install open-source firmware on the WRT32X.[/quote<]

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 2 years ago

        [quote=”themisfit610″<]The WRT54G was a great router, especially with Tomato, but it's still old hardware. It bottle-necked my 100 Mbps connection[/quote<] I've seen a number of newer routers do the same thing. Some of these bottlenecks were alleviated by putting on a better quality third party firmware. The WRT54GL saw a marked improvement from third party firmware that extended its useful life significantly.

      • ClickClick5
      • 2 years ago

      Linksys (Cisco) has been more open to firmware flashing as of late due to the popularity. I bought a WRT1900ACv2 last year and have ddwrt installed. It poweres the whole house without a care.

        • curtisb
        • 2 years ago

        [quote<]Linksys (Cisco)[/quote<] Not since 2013. Belkin purchased Linksys from Cisco.

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