At the 2018 CES, Netgear had introduced the Nighthawk XR500 gaming router and the SX10 (GS810EMX) NBASE-T switch as part of the Nighthawk Pro family to server the needs of gamers. Today, they are launching the XR700 router that brings the capabilities of the router component to be a more powerful complement to the SX10 NBASE-T switch introduced earlier.

Similar to the XR500, the new XR700 router runs the DumaOS firmware developed by Netduma. DumaOS has been receiving frequent updates to enable compatibility of features such as geo-filtering with the latest games. The capabilities of DumaOS have been well-marketed by Netgear earlier. The main difference between the XR500 and the XR700 lies in the internal hardware.

While the XR500 was an AC2600 router with the Qualcomm-based Nighthaws X4S platform, the XR700 makes the step up to AD7200. This platform was last seen in the Nighthawk X10 launched in Q4 2016. It integrates an Annapurna Labs AL-314 SoC along with 802.11ac / 802.11ad radios from Qualcomm. In addition to the 802.11ad capabilities, the router also comes with a 10G SFP+ port. A direct-attach cable / SFP+ module (Netgear AXM765) to convert to 10GBASE-T is available separately. On the firmware side, we get the pre-installed Plex Media Server (similar to the Nighthawk X10).

The main differences between the Nighthawk X10 and the XR700 are:

  • A different industrial design for the chassis, to better reflect the Nighthawk Pro gaming branding
  • Replacement of the traditional firmware with the gaming-optimized DumaOS
  • Abilitiy to use the 10G SFP+ port as a WAN port (the Nighthawk X10 restricted it LAN duties when it was launched).
  • Value addition in the form of a 6 month unlimited Amazon Cloud backup

With the launch of the XR700, Netgear now has a powerful flagship in their Nighthawk Pro Gaming lineup. Combined with the S8000 and SX10 switches, Netgear is able to offer a complete solution for LAN gaming parties, while fulfilling the other requirements of the gaming crowd.

The Netgear XR700 has a MSRP of USD 500, and will be available for purchase in September 2018 for USD 500. The launch price of the Nighthawk X10 was also the same, but that product is available for $420 currently - a better price for those who need 802.11ad and 10G SFP+ without all the gaming features.

Source: Netgear

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  • pyrrh0 - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    It's positioned as part of their "Pro Gaming" line, though, which is juvenile. From their product page:
    - Power to Win
    - designed for the very best in gaming performance
    - concentrate on what matters, your gaming
    - gaming features for more wins
    - create express lanes for gaming traffic
    - stay in the game and not in the queue
    - keep your lag low and your servers close
    - create a perfect 10G gaming setup

    ...and the best one, "speed up the link between your router and gaming PC by up to 10 times faster when playing online." Who has faster than 1 Gbps WAN connections? How will this make *ANY* difference in your online gaming experience? Network games are designed to use as little bandwith as possible. No benefit.

    Or maybe, "go ahead and stream your gameplay in 4K on Twitch like you always wanted to." Which sounds cool, until you realize Twitch doesn't support 4K. And if it did, it'd only need 15-20 Mbps. Their marketing people know this. They're hoping you don't.

    .11ad usable range is line-of-sight out to less than 15'. There aren't really any .11ad PCIe or USB NICs available. If you're dropping $500 on a router for "ultimate gaming performance", you're using a desktop PC and connecting it via an Ethernet cable to minimize lag.

    .11ad is for replacing a short high-throughput cable run, like to a wireless VR headset or 8K display that none of us have yet. And by then both the price of .11ad wireless routers and the capabilities of their firmware will have significantly changed.

    This is an overpriced solution waiting for a problem.
  • Valantar - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Completely agree. Besides the obvious point that this will never be a replacement for regular WiFi (line-of-sight required for coverage, ffs!), if .11ad devices are to have any utility at all, they _need_ to be small and easy to place optimally, not integrated into a huge, hulking router. I suppose that's another use for the 10GbE port? Add PoE, and you could have a good solution. If not, we'd need to start placing our routers as visibly as possible in the place where they'd be most likely to be utilized, rather than placing them optimally for wireless coverage. That's just stupid.
  • halcyon - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    I agree it's overpriced. You can has most of the feature for half the price in XR500.

    Also, the 10Gb SPF+ is probably for 10GBE NAS or switches. Like you, I doubt many have a SFP+ 10Gb connection.

    The only thing interesting are the actual routing performance of this under multi-user, multi-use scenario (streaming, gaming, etc). One can get a basic baseline of this browsing the XR500 user comments, even though XR700 has a beefier SoC:

    XR500 has Qualcomm IPQ8065 (2-core @1.7Ghz, 2-core at 800Mhz) SoC
    XR700 has Qualcomm XXXX (?) (4-core, 1.G7Ghz??) SoC

    It is difficult to say if there are any meaningful routing upgrades in performance. We'll have to wait for real tests.

    To me, the price is silly, but some people just want "the best" (whatever they believe that to be, and which marketer they happen to trust).
  • Kevinson - Thursday, October 4, 2018 - link

    The Pro Gaming WiFi Router named as XR700 Router has full support on the game with the cut edge hardware. For more information regarding Routers, one can also check Linksys Support, here one may get more help regarding routers (if Any).
  • Samus - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link


  • Hxx - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    its marketing BS nobody needs this. Plenty of fantastic routers made by netgear in the sub 200 range. Folks always like to throw future proofing as a reason but lets be honest... by the time we actually need something like this, there will be many more models to choose from.
  • Makaveli - Friday, August 31, 2018 - link

    Serious gamers don't game on wifi so it doesn't even matter :P
  • RiZad - Thursday, September 6, 2018 - link

    what games require more than 802.11b speeds? Considering most games are SUB 100MB an hour i don't see your point at all
  • austinsguitar - Thursday, August 30, 2018 - link

    netgear always lets me down on reliability... i dont trust these things to not reset every week and you need to unplug and wait for them to work again. trust me netgear is not on the cutting edge.
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, August 30, 2018 - link

    $500 for a router, wow. The performance better match the price tag this time, the older XR500 wasn't the best performer in the reviews I read of it. The DumaOS looks pretty and I've heard good things about it, people seem to like it, an easy to use interface with all the main features someone would want is a plus but all I care about is performance. This thing better smoke all the other routers out there if they want people to drop $500 for it. Looking forward to the Anandtech/Smallnetbuilder review of this baby.

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