TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Wi-Fi 6 Bluetooth 5.0 PCIe Adapter Review – Finally an Affordable Wi-Fi 6 PCIe WLAN Adapter for Desktop Users

TP-LINK Archer TX3000E

RM 229.00
8.7

Built Quality

7.5/10

Design

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

User Experience

10.0/10

Value

10.0/10

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • 160MHz enabled
  • WPA3 Encryption protocol
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Magnetized transceiver
  • Detachable antennas
  • Excellent wireless throughput
  • Supports any PCIe-slot on motherboard

Disadvantages

  • No drivers for Linux and Mac users

Wi-Fi 6 routers are making their way to conquer the wireless networking market, succeeding its predecessor, WiFi 5 that slowly fading away. The competitive price between router manufacturers provide a broader option for the user to have a variety of choices of the type of Wi-Fi 6 router that fits their requirement. However, there are some cases, although it is very small in amount, users tend to complaining about not getting their desired speed over wireless despite being advertised of able to transmit, as an example, 1148 Mbps over 2.4 GHz and 4804 Mbps over 5 GHz. Do note that, the rated transmission speed is advertised speed and not a real-world speed. In real-world, there are a few factors that affect the wireless speed.

Figure 1: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Introduction to Archer TX3000E
Figure 1: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Introduction to Archer TX3000E

In order to fully utilize the Wi-Fi 6 technology, you will be requiring a suitable Wi-Fi 6 client adapter. This is where, TP-LINK introduced their all new Archer TX3000E, a Wi-Fi 6 PCIe WLAN adapter for your PC. The TX3000E said to break the gigabit limitation by providing an advertised speed up to 2402 Mbps over 5 GHz and 574 Mbps over 2.4 Ghz. It features Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 chipset that promises to bring a seamless wireless experience when paired with the right Wi-Fi 6 router. Similar with ASUS’s AX58BT, the Archer TX3000E also features Bluetooth 5.0 technology that provides better speed and wider coverage for communication in-between devices. According to TP-LINK further, the Archer TX3000E is backward compatible, means you still can use the unit for Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac/a/b/g/n) standard routers. So it was planned previously by me to buy a PCIe WLAN adapter to benchmark wireless router speed in real-world (real-time) and I decided to buy a unit of Archer TX3000E for myself.

Figure 2: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Standard Accessories
Figure 2: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Standard Accessories

The standard accessories that bundled together with the packaging are, a unit of Archer TX3000E, a magnetized antenna base with 1m RF cable, two 5 dBi high gain antennas, a low-profile bracket, Bluetooth header cable, a quick installation guide and a resource CD.

  • Figure 3: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Top View
  • Figure 3A: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Bottom View
  • Figure 5: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Bluetooth Header Cable Input
  • Figure 6:  TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Side View

The Archer TX3000E has a larger passive heat-sink compared to AX58BT. This is considered a good characteristic for a PCIe adapter that constantly required to work for transmitting and receiving data from the router without degrading the wireless speed.

Figure 7: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Magnetized Base
Figure 7: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Magnetized Base

The magnetized base of Archer TX3000E was uniquely designed in order to allow you to fully utilize the wireless reception required to transmit and receive data from your router. The removable antennas further extends the probability of receiving a better throughput if your PC located further from your centralized networking equipment, i.e. wireless router location.

Specification

The specification of the Archer TX3000E are as follow:

ChipsetIntel Wi-Fi 6 Chipset
Antenna TypeTwo High-Gain Dual Band Antennas
Magnetized Antenna Base
Wireless StandardsIEEE 802.11ax/ac/n/a 5 GHz
IEEE 802.11ax/n/g/b 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth 5.0/4.2/4.0
WLAN Signal Rate5 GHz
11ax: Up to 2402 Mbps(dynamic)
11ac: Up to 1733 Mbps(dynamic)
11n: Up to 300 Mbps(dynamic)
11a: Up to 54 Mbps(dynamic)

2.4 GHz
11ax: Up to 574 Mbps(dynamic)
11n: Up to 300 Mbps(dynamic)
11g: Up to 54 Mbps(dynamic)
11b: Up to 11 Mbps(dynamic)
WLAN Reception Sensitivity5 GHz :
11ax HT160:-56.25dBm
11ax HT80: -59dBm
11ax HT40: -62.25dBm
11ax HT20: -65dBm

11ac HT160:-62dBm
11ac HT80: -65.5dBm
11ac HT40: -69.75dBm
11ac HT20: -73.75dBm
11n HT40: -74.5dBm
11n HT20: -77.5dBm
11a 54Mbps: -77.75dBm
11a 6Mbps: -94.5dBm

2.4GHz :
11ax HT40: -60.75dBm
11ax HT20: -63.75dBm
11n HT40: -73dBm
11n HT20: -76.25dBm
11g 54Mbps: -76.5dBm
11b 11Mbps: -89dBm
WLAN Transmit Power5 GHz : 27dBm(FCC) / 23dBm(CE) (EIRP)
2.4 GHz : 26dBm(FCC) / 20dBm(CE) (EIRP)
WLAN ModesInfrastructure mode
Wireless SecuritySupport 64/128 bit WEP, WPA/WAP2/WPA3, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, 802.1x
Modulation TechnologyDBPSK, DQPSK, CCK, OFDM, 16-QAM, 64-QAM, 256-QAM, 1024QAM
Bluetooth ProfileArcher TX3000E support the native BT profiles implemented in Windows 10.
Dimensions3.7 x 4.8 x 0.8 in
(95.2 x 120.8 x 21.5 mm)
Table 1: TP-LINK TX3000E Specification – Source.

Installation

Two drivers are required in order to fully utilize the Archer TX3000E. A win10_WiFi driver and a win10_Bluetooth driver. The official drivers can be downloaded from your respective TP-LINK region.

Figure 8: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Installation Wizard
Figure 8: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Installation Wizard

A quick scan of WiFi driver and Bluetooth driver come out clean. Means their signature is verified and free from any malicious program, encoded within the package. The process of installing the drivers are pretty quick and easy. It is similar on how you would install a standard software on a Windows machine. The only disadvantage is, there are no driver support for both Linux and Mac OS system.

Wireless Data Rate

The Archer TX3000E utilizes WPA3 security certification and features 160 MHz bandwidth support by providing thrice throughput than old Wi-Fi 5 routers. Two wireless routers used in this test, a standard Wi-Fi 5 router and a Wi-Fi 6 router. The Wi-Fi 5 router located near to the benchmark PC, est. 5 meters and the Wi-Fi 6 was put in an enclosed server rack. The distance between the Wi-Fi 6 router and the benchmark PC used is est. 10 meters. The wireless SSID’s used is different in order to differentiate the router used. The test conducted off-peak hours.

Below is the data rate recorded for Wi-Fi 5 router from the benchmark PC used:

  • Figure 9: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Wi-Fi 5 Adapter Speed (2.4GHz)
  • Figure 10: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Wi-Fi 5 Adapter Speed (5 GHz)

The data recorded for when used with a Wi-Fi 6 router are as shown in the image down below:

  • Figure 11: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Wi-Fi 5 Adapter Speed (2.4 GHz)
  • Figure 12: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Wi-Fi 6 Adapter Speed (5 GHz)

Wireless Throughput Test

The wireless throughput analysis was conducted with a Wi-Fi 5 router first before moving into a Wi-Fi 6 router. Surprisingly, the maximum speed achievable on an ageing Wi-Fi 5 router is excellent, especially, over the 2.4 GHz band. We know how congested the 2.4 GHz bands is, but the Archer TX3000E still manages to surprise me up with excellent speed.

Figure 13: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Throughput
Figure 13: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Throughput

On the other hand, using a proper Wi-Fi 6 router with 160 MHz channel enabled gives a surprise result as well. Locating within an enclosed server rack, the Archer TX3000E able to get an excellent throughput from the router. Overall, the Archer TX3000E gives me a stable internet speed during downloading a large sized files.

Conclusion

Figure 14: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review - Conclusion
Figure 14: TP-LINK Archer TX3000E Review – Conclusion

In a nutshell, the Archer TX3000E certainly is a best choice if you’re on a tight budget. Basically, performance of both TX3000E and AX58BT in terms of wireless throughput is quite similar. I can’t inference that the TX3000E is far superior than AX58BT or vice versa. Both PCIe adapter wins hands-down. The Archer TX3000E certainly delivers the benefit of enjoying Wi-Fi 6 technology. I can certainly recommend the Archer TX3000E to the users who on a tight budget, yet wishing to fully utilize their Wi-Fi 6 router technology.



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