Power consumption by your home’s electronic devices continues to be a very important issue so we have made an attempt to present some simple power consumption tests on the various routers that we had. To measure idle usage, we reset each wireless router to the default settings and plugged them with no devices connected to them. We then measured the power draw from each router at the wall with our P3 International P4400 Kill-A-Watt electric usage monitor.
Benchmark Results: It is quite apparent that the Netgear Nighthawk X8 AC5300 is very power hungry under idle conditions. We measured the Nighthawk X8 at 56% higher than its cousin the Netgear R8000 and ASUS’ RT-AC3200 router. All three of these routers are Tri-Band routers with the only difference being in the “Active Antennas” the Nighthawk X8 has introduced.
For the most part, when people start using these routers into their network, they really don’t think about the power usage. In the above chart we have examined how each of these devices do when they are idle, but for power users who are using Bittorrent, playing online games, or who have busy small office, their routers are almost always in constant use. We were curious to see if there were any power differences between these networking devices at idle and when they are under full load.
The way we measured the power draw at load is that we started multiple instances of LAN Speed Test, our application to test the routers wireless throughput speeds. We did multiple instances of large packet sizes (5 GB) to keep the processors on each device busy. Each router was connected to our P3 International P4400 Kill-A-Watt electric usage monitor and the results are plotted below:
Benchmark Results: Under load, the Netgear R8500 uses 21.5 Watts of power making it the most consumptive router we have tested. Under load, the R8500 uses about 10% more power than when it is at idle. What is interesting is that both the ASUS RT-AC3200 and Netgear R8000 had similar power spikes (of around 10%) when running under load as well. In comparison, the Linksys WRT1900AC had an almost 60% jump in power consumption.