When it comes to online gaming, it doesn’t matter if you have the fastest desktop in town if your router can’t give you enough bandwidth to keep up with your competitors. If network lag is holding you back, you might want to spend $349.99 on a gaming-specific router like the MSI Radix AXE6600. With its Wi-Fi 6E technology, powerful CPU, and multi-gigabit wired connections, the Radix AXE6600 did well in our performance tests when it was close by, but its signal strength when it was far away was weak. If you don’t need multi-gig connectivity, the $200 TP-Link Archer AXE75 offers better all-around performance and network security software for less money.
MSI RadiX AXE6600: Description
The Radix AXE6600 is made for gamers, and you can tell just by looking at it. The gray and black enclosure has sculpted cooling grills and beveled edges that make it look like the front of a sports car. When the antennas are fully out, it is 7.8 inches tall, 13.3 inches wide, and 8.8 inches deep. The LED light strips inside the six non-removable antennas change color depending on the Quality of Service (QoS) mode that is currently being used.
On the top of the cabinet are four LED lights that show LAN activity, lights that show power and internet, a WPS button, and buttons that turn on and off the LED lights and Wi-Fi. Also on top is a backlit button called Dragon Shield that lets you switch between the router’s QoS modes. Like the antennas, the Dragon Shield button will change color based on the QoS mode that is currently active.
Around the back are a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port, a 1Gbps WAN/LAN port, three 1Gbps LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, a reset button, an on/off button, and a power jack. In addition to the cooling grills mentioned above, the Radix has special heat pipes and heat sinks to help cool down all of the internal components, such as the 1.8GHz CPU, 256MB of flash memory, 512MB of DDR4 memory, and the Wi-Fi 6E circuitry.
MSI RadiX AXE6600: Pros and Cons
- Fast setup
- LED light-up antennas
- Lacks network security software
- Middling signal range
|Total Rated Throughput||AXE6600|
|Number of USB ports||1|
|Number of Antennas||6|
|Quality of Service||Yes|
|VPN Client Pre-Installed||Yes|
|Official link||Visit Website|
MSI RadiX AXE6600: Design
The MSI RadiX AXE6600 is thin and strong, with angular cutouts on the sides. It is 13.3 x 8.5 x 2.0 inches and could be mistaken for a spaceship model. It is much smaller than Netgear’s Nighthawk RAXE500, which is 40% smaller than the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000. The six antennas on the AXE6600 can be aimed, and they add 5.8 inches to the height of the device. They can’t be taken off, though. They can do something that no other router can do: the LEDs along their edges light up. Unlike the logo that lights up on the GT-AXE11000, this is more than just a show. The six antennas show what Quality of Service (QOS) method is being used.
Green means AI-based QOS, red means Gaming mode, purple means Streaming, and blue means Work from Home. When manual QOS settings are used, the antennas are orange. There is also a row of blue LEDs that show if the router is on, online, and if wired data is flowing. These lights can be turned off with a nearby button, but the antenna lights can only be turned off with MSI’s app or a connected browser. Underneath, there are holes for mounting the router to the wall and big vents that let in a lot of cool air. The graphene-coated heat sink fins on the router let more heat escape without using a fan.
Even when playing games, the router never got hotter than 92 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 20 degrees less than the Nighthawk RAXE500. On the back of the router, there is a power connection, an on/off button, and a reset key that is set into the back of the device. The AXE6600 has a Multi-Gig 2.5Gbps WAN input, four downstream gigabit wired LAN connections, and a USB 3.2 port that lets you share a drive across the network.
MSI RadiX AXE6600: Wi-Fi Capabilities
The AXE6600 has Qualcomm’s QCN9024 Wi-Fi chip, a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 512MB of DDR4 RAM, and 256MB of flash to store the device’s firmware and settings. The router is black on the outside. The triband router uses the latest Wi-Fi 6E tricks, such as OFDMA, 1024QAM, MU-MIMO, and 160MHz data channels, to move data on the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands.
The AXE6600 can handle up to 5.879Gbps of data at once and can handle up to eight data streams at the same time. That’s a little more than half of the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000’s theoretical performance, but it should be good enough for most home gamers. With the Game Turbo Booster on the AXE6600, MSI takes a different approach than with other routers that speed up popular games. It lowers latency for any game and chooses the best QOS settings.
On the other hand, the AXE6600 is missing security software to keep hackers and malware out of your network. Both Netgear and Asus make their gaming routers with this extra level of security. But after the trial, Netgear’s Armor software costs as much as $100 a year to use if you want to keep it.
MSI RadiX AXE6600: Software and Functionality
In terms of software, the RadiX’s dashboard is clear and full of useful information. On the left is a menu that starts with the Dashboard. Across the top are the different Ai QoS modes, which are AI Auto, Gaming, Streaming, WFH, and Traditional QoS. The Dashboard also shows other high-level information, such as how much CPU, NPU, and Memory are being used, as well as a traffic analyzer, the status of device connections, and a list of wired clients.
I’d like to see a change where you can change the name of your devices. Most things have labels that tell you what they are, but sometimes you need more information. On my network, for example, there are a lot of Alexa devices and LG TVs. We tell them apart by putting Bedroom/Living Room in front of them, which makes them easier to spot at a glance. The Wi-Fi settings page has almost everything you could want.
Here, you can set up multiple SSIDs and change your settings and channels. Below that is an option called “Guest Network,” which lets you set up a separate network for guests. In the advanced section, there are a lot of options for WAN, Firewall, Parental Controls, QoS, USB, LAN, IPv6 settings, VPN, and an Administration section with even more advanced options. If you need it, this router can probably do it.
Pricing and Availability
The MSI RadiX AXE6600 gaming router has a list price of $350, but you can get it for $300 at a number of online stores. This is less expensive than the $450 Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, which has better performance. Still a lot? The MSI RadiX GRAX6600, which has Wi-Fi 6 and uses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, costs around $200.
With its ability to send more data to a variety of devices at mid-range distances, the MSI RadiX AXE6600 could set the gaming world on fire. It’s also great for people who can’t play games close to their router. In fact, it can hold more than enough information to keep aliens away, find car thieves, or change the course of European history. Its adjustable Quality of Service (QOS) technology, software for speeding up games, and long three-year warranty make it stand out from other high-performance routers.
The RadiX AXE6600 has more than enough speed for most casual gamers, but it doesn’t have the features and speeds that gamers want. In other words, the AXE6600 isn’t a perfect router, but it has the power to put data where it’s most needed: on your gaming rig.
MSI’s new routers have a Multi-Gig WAN/LAN port with a speed of 2.5Gbps. By default, you can use it as a WAN, but you can also switch the router’s first LAN port to that role, making the Multi-Gig port work as a LAN.
In fact, WiFi 6E is the same as WiFi 6, except for the “E,” which stands for “Extended.” This means that the 6 GHz wireless band can be used for a greater number of devices. So, WiFi 6E just means that WiFi 6 has been added to the 6 GHz band.