MSI gaming laptops get a perfect companion in new RadiX Wi-Fi gaming routers
MSI's new line of gaming routers come with slick, unique RGB lighting and beefy network specs
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: MSI RadiX gaming routers
📶 MSI RadiX AXE6600 and RadiX AX6600 are available today
⚡️ RadiX AXE6600 uses Wi-Fi 6E, which is higher throughput but shorter range
🤔 RadiX AX6600 is Wi-Fi 6, meaning it’s limited to the 5GHz band
🕹️ Both are tri-band, but RadiX AX6600 should have better support for most folks
🏎️ RadiX AXE6600 is likely faster, but only for people with the newest hardware
👍 RadiX AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB adapter brings Wi-Fi 6 to older hardware
MSI has made a name for itself in the gaming hardware world, with supremely capable laptops and desktops – read our MSI Aegis RS 13th review of one of MSI’s best gaming PCs and it’s easy to see why.
Now it’s entering the gaming router world with two powerful routers with three products, all available starting today – the RadiX AXE6600 Wi-Fi 6E and the RadiX AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 tri-band gaming routers – as well as the AX1800 Wi-Fi USB adapter. Wi-Fi 6 and 6E are perfect for gaming, as they use new techniques to beat the kind of interference that can cause slowdowns in gaming, particularly with Wi-Fi 6E, which uses the mostly-empty 6GHz band.
MSI RadiX AXE6600 gaming router
Save $100 on the MSI RadiX AXE6600 at Newegg with code LUCKYHUNDRED
The RadiX AXE6600 is a Wi-Fi 6E-capable tri-band. That means it uses the Wi-Fi 6 protocol on the 6GHz band as one of its three bands, enabling faster data transfers of up to 6,600Mbps combined across bands (you won’t see this to a single device, mind – that’s the total of all simultaneous streams).
If it works like the best Wi-Fi router for gaming, you’ll see not just fast speeds (I’ve seen as much as 1,300Mbps in the past, when testing a Galaxy S21 Ultra using the network testing tool Iperf), but also supremely low latency. My standing pick for gaming, the TP-Link GX90, kept ping around 20ms during gaming sessions when I was within a few feet of the router, and more in the 40-50ms range from another room. If the MSi RadiX AXE6600 can achieve that and brings a great user experience with it, it’ll be a serious contender for best gaming router – I’ll have tested impressions up soon to confirm.
On that 6GHz band, you’ll get up to 160MHz channel bandwidth (that’s what does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to making it fast), while the 5GHz band is limited to 80MHz – the fastest throughput you’ll see here is probably between 600 and 800Mbps as a result.
The MSi RadiX AXE6600 has a nice host of standard gaming router features. It’s got a 1.8GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, fancy auto-tuning QoS settings (including a “game accelerator” setting), fanless passive cooling and, of course, RGB lights. For owners of MSi gaming laptops and desktops, activating a feature called MSi First will prioritize those devices over all others.
MSi’s RGB lights are actually pretty neat – the lights run up the antenna stalks, which other routers don’t do for a reason: LEDs can wreak havoc with a Wi-Fi signal if they’re that close to the transmission point. How MSi handled it is like those lightsaber spoons you used to get with breakfast cereal in the early aughts – there’s a diode placed at the bottom of the antenna that propagates up through a tube.
Finally, it has a 2.5Gbps WAN port on the back and four gigabit LAN ports, with a USB 3.0 port rounding out the selection that you can presumably use for outboard direct-attached storage.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
MSI RadiX AX6600 gaming router
That the MSi RadiX AX6600 gaming router is limited to the 5Ghz band doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a slower router. In fact, because it’s a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router, for most people it will actually be faster. That’s because its third band uses 160MHz channel bandwidth on the 5GHz band. In layman’s terms, that means it can move more data at a time, and because most people still use older network hardware, they won’t be able to take advantage of the higher throughput offered by the 6GHz band.
Most of the remaining specs and features match those of the RadiX AXE6600, so I would expect the same QoS performance, latency and throughput for non-Wi-Fi 6E computers and other devices.
MSI AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB adapter
There aren’t enough good Wi-Fi 6 USB adapters in the world, so the MSI AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB adapter is a welcome offering. MSI’s latest adapter, now available at Newegg, features up to 80MHz channel bandwidth on the 5GHz band. That’s enough for decent near-gigabit throughput while a close distance to the router and should lead to decent low-latency performance otherwise. It’s supported on Windows 10 and Windows 11, and you’ll get the best throughput with a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (though it’s backward compatible down to USB 1.0).