If you've got a PC with a Killer network card in it — and that could include something from Alienware, Razer, MSI or Gigabyte — you could have an instant ticket to lower pings during online gaming. That ticket is the new Linksys WRT32X, a router that demonstrates a 77 per cent drop in latency during online gaming, and has plenty more PC-friendly features to boot.
The WRT32X is the latest and greatest in Linksys' storied WRT line, which started way back when with the WRT54G in 2003 but that has since evolved to new levels with the WRT1900AC and WRT1200AC. It's a gutsy dual-band 802.11ac router with AC3200 speeds and MU-MIMO support, but it's a partnership with networking hardware company Rivet Networks, who make Killer network cards and hardware for laptops from Alienware, Razer and the like, that promises the biggest improvement for gamers.
A Killer Prioritisation Engine bumps gaming-related network traffic to the front of the queue when it's switched on, with most routers normally prioritising streaming video or downloads above all else. Bumping gaming to the top of the pile reduces pings massively, but online gaming doesn't actually take up that much speed — it just needs priority. You can still stream and game, as long as you've got network smarts putting those gaming packets front and centre, and that's what the WRT32X promises to do. You can even prioritise non-Killer devices manually using the WRT32X's management interface.
Linksys' estimation of the 77 per cent reduction in ping times, for what it's worth, is gleaned from a pretty standard real-world example: a network with a PC on it using a Killer NIC, with a bunch of other devices on it sharing a 10Mbps/2Mbps download/upload internet connection. That partnership with Killer drops network latency from 74ms to 17ms This is backed up by early reviews. Those early reviews have also heaped praise on the WRT32X's simplified GUI, which is far more straightforward than most routers and gives a good look at important stats for your home network in real time. [Linksys / JB Hi-Fi]