Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 router swoops in at CES

For whatever reason, few computer accessories get the "gaming" treatment quite as often as networking products. With its Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500, Netgear seeks to prove that a router's gaming credentials don't just rely on styling and the number of antennae it sports.

The Nighthawk Pro Gaming is an 802.11ac MU-MIMO router with beamforming capabilities powered by a dual-core processor clocked at up to 1.7 GHz. 512 MB of RAM and 256 MB of flash provide plenty of memory for the router's duties. The Nighthawk should offer wireless speeds up to 1.733 Gbps over the 5 GHz band and 800 Mbps over the 2.4 GHz, for a combined peak theoretical maximum of 2.53 Gbps.

Netgear's Gaming Dashboard software provides a number of features that gamers might find useful, especially those who stream. The router can mitigate lag by limiting allowed distance to servers, and its QoS functionality can prioritizes gaming devices and allocate bandwidth by device. The Nighthawk Pro Gaming is available now at Amazon for $300.

Comments closed
    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    “Netgear seeks to prove that a router’s gaming credentials don’t just rely on styling and the number of antennae it sports.”

    It doesn’t look like an upside down mechanical spider, but it still has 4 large antennae and styling that looks like a sports car, so I want to disagree.

    • Audacity
    • 2 years ago

    “The router can mitigate lag by limiting allowed distance to servers”

    So, what, if the ping is too high to your game server it just drops the connection? How, specifically, would this “feature” work?

    • thedosbox
    • 2 years ago

    The antennas aren’t big enough, nor do they have enough LED’s. How else are you going to tell which one is being used?

    /s

    • demani
    • 2 years ago

    Still, how many people have the client-side support for MU-MIMO? My understanding is that most shipping devices don’t support it.

      • Vaughn
      • 2 years ago

      MU-MIMO is meh not even worth worrying about.

    • hungarianhc
    • 2 years ago

    Geez. These things are getting so stupid and desperate. These gaming oriented firmwares usually introduce more bugs than features. After a bunch of “gaming” routers, I just went the enterprise route and got a Ubiquiti Edgerouter + access point. I haven’t had to restart the router in MONTHS, and even then, it was just for a firmware update.

    I’m not saying this product, in particular, is bad, but all these weird wifi things they stick in there aren’t supported by 90% of the client devices out there, so they’re essentially useless.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve yet to see a review of these “gaming” routers that show them as anything as other than snake-oil.

      Does it route fast enough to not be significant alongside the 20-50ms trip for each packet to and from the game server? Then it’s a gaming router. Think how much CPU or GPU you could buy to improve your gaming instead of wasting $300 on this gimmick!

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    Guys, do not buy this router. It’s a R7800 in a different package with a “gaming orientated” firmware. Please don’t buy this thing for 300 dollars.

      • Vaughn
      • 2 years ago

      i’m on the original R7000 running asus merlin firmware overlocked to 1.2Ghz and router runs great now when I do decide to upgrade it won’t be something like this. Firmware is important and speed of updates due to exploits.

      The R7800 goes for $329 CAD at Newegg.ca…..

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Well down here in Trumpland it’s $198. You can see why I am telling people not to buy this.

          • chµck
          • 2 years ago

          I got it for $95 during black friday. It’s a seriously fast router with ridiculous range. Pity the stock firmware allows for minimal customization.
          It would be great if we could install the XR500 firmware on the R7800 to unlock extra functions.

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