Friday, November 19th 2021

AMD to Steer Motherboard Partners Away from Intel WLAN, Toward MediaTek Co-branded Ones

Intel has dominated the client Wi-Fi + Bluetooth network adapter market in the PC space for some time now, particularly with WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E interfaces integrated with motherboards. Even on the AMD platform, motherboard vendors have extensively packaged not just Intel-branded WiFi + Bluetooth modules, but also their wired LAN controllers. In the commercial desktop and commercial notebook markets, Intel leverages this position to push its vPro management suite, with Intel WLAN controllers featuring vPro support. This is something felt lacking in the rival AMD PRO ecosystem, and something the company is looking to change with its collaboration with MediaTek.

AMD RZ660 will be the first controller based on this partnership. Based on the MediaTek Filogic 330P chipset, the controller combines WiFi 6E (6 GHz), with the latest generation Bluetooth (at least Bluetooth 5.2). Driver software and support for this solution will be handled by AMD, as would distribution. MediaTek stated that the first notebooks and desktop PCs (includes DIY motherboards) featuring the AMD RZ660 will debut in 2022. The AMD-supplied driver software would also enable the company to create special "PRO" variants of the RZ660 to bundle with its Ryzen PRO SoCs for the commercial PC and workstation markets. There doesn't appear to be any such collaboration with wired Ethernet, as there is an even competition between Intel and Realtek over the 2.5 GbE PHY market, with both companies offering gaming-specific variants—Intel Killer and Realtek DragonLAN.
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75 Comments on AMD to Steer Motherboard Partners Away from Intel WLAN, Toward MediaTek Co-branded Ones

#1
rares495
Intel has been pretty reliable when it comes to networking. I hope this RZ660 will be just as good.
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#2
DrCR
ngl seeing “Realtek DragonLAN” or any such ‘gamer-centric’ networking would dissuade me from buying that motherboard.
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#3
Vayra86
Oh dear.

AMD... I really hope you wont screw this up. History repeats
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#4
ARF
Well, this is a good move.
Why selling the products of your main rival, when you can just boycott them, and thus hurt their sales?

If I were AMD, I would do absolutely the same.

Actually, I'd go even further - I would launch a global campaign "don't buy anything from Intel".
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#5
stimpy88
Yeah, nice work there AMD. It would actually put me off buying a board with cheap crap components with awful drivers.

Anyone still having fun waiting for working drivers for the Realtek 2.5GB LAN?

Intel LAN/WLAN/BT are the gold standard for both hardware and software.
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#6
ARF
stimpy88Yeah, nice work there AMD. It would actually put me off buying a board with cheap crap components with awful drivers.

Anyone still having fun waiting for working drivers for the Realtek 2.5GB LAN?

Intel LAN/WLAN/BT are the gold standard for both hardware and software.
I don't think Intel's WiFi solutions are that good. They are pretty average, TBH.

My notebook's parts:

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#7
TheLostSwede
stimpy88Yeah, nice work there AMD. It would actually put me off buying a board with cheap crap components with awful drivers.

Anyone still having fun waiting for working drivers for the Realtek 2.5GB LAN?

Intel LAN/WLAN/BT are the gold standard for both hardware and software.
Nothing wrong with Realtek these days, people need to get over that fact.
Yes, they had massive issues at one point, but that's a decade ago.
Also, you don't have to use any of the gamer features, as that is just a normal NIC without the software.
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#8
stimpy88
TheLostSwedeNothing wrong with Realtek these days, people need to get over that fact.
Yes, they had massive issues at one point, but that's a decade ago.
Also, you don't have to use any of the gamer features, as that is just a normal NIC without the software.
Sorry, but the constantly disconnecting Realtek 2.5GB LAN chip in my Ryzen Asus motherboard would like to heavily disagree with you. It would also like to tell you that if you think this is a one-off problem, with a one-off person who maybe (in your eyes) does not know how to build a computer and install it, is somehow responsible for the problem, then a few thousand more would like to add their little silicon voices to the choir via google search.

I also hear stories about their audio drivers and software being so bad, that Realtek support tells people to use the standard Microsoft driver...
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#9
R-T-B
stimpy88Sorry, but the constantly disconnecting Realtek 2.5GB LAN chip in my Ryzen Asus motherboard would like to heavily disagree with you. It would also like to tell you that if you think this is a one-off problem, with a one-off person who maybe (in your eyes) does not know how to build a computer and install it, is somehow responsible for the problem, then a few thousand more would like to add their little silicon voices to the choir via google search.

I also hear stories about their audio drivers and software being so bad, that Realtek support tells people to use the standard Microsoft driver...
Sounds like a boards implementation specific problem perhaps.
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#10
silentbogo
I have mixed feelings about this....
On one hand you have a potential of getting a competitive WiFi chipset on the market, especially if you take into account all the progress Mediatek made in recent years in terms of quality and performance.
But on the other hand - Mediatek isn't still quite there.
I'm wondering why AMD didn't partner with Qualcomm? They already have decent solutions for both wireless and multi-gig wired. Would've helped them in the future with enterprise and embedded stuff as well.
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#11
Chaitanya
stimpy88Sorry, but the constantly disconnecting Realtek 2.5GB LAN chip in my Ryzen Asus motherboard would like to heavily disagree with you. It would also like to tell you that if you think this is a one-off problem, with a one-off person who maybe (in your eyes) does not know how to build a computer and install it, is somehow responsible for the problem, then a few thousand more would like to add their little silicon voices to the choir via google search.

I also hear stories about their audio drivers and software being so bad, that Realtek support tells people to use the standard Microsoft driver...
And Intel i225V is not any better than any other 2.5Gb LAN chipset from competitor with whole host of issues with drivers.
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#12
stimpy88
R-T-BSounds like a boards implementation specific problem perhaps.
Happens on all boards that used this particular chip. Google search backs this up.
ChaitanyaAnd Intel i225V is not any better than any other 2.5Gb LAN chipset from competitor with whole host of issues with drivers.
I replaced the onboard Realtek NIC for one of these via an Intel add-in card. No problems for 9 months so far.
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#13
R-T-B
stimpy88Happens on all boards that used this particular chip. Google search backs this up.
Weird. 99% certain one of my servers uses the addin card version of that chip for it's wan-end...
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#14
stimpy88
R-T-BWeird. 99% certain one of my servers usea the addin card version of that chip for it's wan-end...
Quick 10 second google search results...

gigabyte/comments/l6chbxgigabytegaming/comments/hqsrj5MSI_Gaming/comments/hsmz3xASRock/comments/kfp85ygigabyte/comments/j1rtkeforum.gigabyte.us/thread/9873/aorus-realtek-network-adapter-problem
forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=14888&PN=3&title=realtek-2-5gbe-rtl8125-ndis-reset-problem
bwit.blog/fix-realtek-pcie-gbe-family-controller-is-disconnected-from-network/ (This is not a fix)

I could go on, but I think I have proved my point.
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#15
TheLostSwede
stimpy88Sorry, but the constantly disconnecting Realtek 2.5GB LAN chip in my Ryzen Asus motherboard would like to heavily disagree with you. It would also like to tell you that if you think this is a one-off problem, with a one-off person who maybe (in your eyes) does not know how to build a computer and install it, is somehow responsible for the problem, then a few thousand more would like to add their little silicon voices to the choir via google search.

I also hear stories about their audio drivers and software being so bad, that Realtek support tells people to use the standard Microsoft driver...
It's possible you have an early revision chip, as they did make a second revision of those, just like Intel.
I've been part of the making of 10's of thousands of Arm based devices with Gigabit Realtek PHY's and all those devices have worked flawlessly.
I haven't had any issues with their audio drivers either and Realtek doesn't do end user support, so those people are lying.
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#16
stimpy88
TheLostSwedeIt's possible you have an early revision chip, as they did make a second revision of those, just like Intel.
I've been part of the making of 10's of thousands of Arm based devices with Gigabit Realtek PHY's and all those devices have worked flawlessly.
I haven't had any issues with their audio drivers either and Realtek doesn't do end user support, so those people are lying.
It's your right to love them, but I'll remain very sceptical after my experience of them, which is not my first, but the most recent to be fair. I have no idea about their audio drivers, since I've not used them for 5 years, these are just things I have heard.

My experiences of Realtek, and most of these other "low tier" vendors is one of amateurism and over promising. Their products rarely perform on par with an Intel part of similar specification, and drivers tend to often be at the heart of their issues. 20 years of professional tech support taught me that. I will add that I don't like Intel as a company, they also have issues with drivers and hardware sometimes, but I feel they are still top of the pile for consumer networking hardware.
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#18
tabascosauz
Hard to argue with high end Intel Wifi, AC7260, AC9560, AX200, AX201 are the standard for good reason. If AMD is teaming up with Mediatek, they've got a LOT to live up to (especially given MT's reputation, although they've been on a winning streak with Dimensity).

Intel's lower end 1x1 AC and acquired lower end (Killer) are shit, but no surprise there - low end wifi adapters are a buffet full of it.
stimpy88It's your right to love them, but I'll remain very sceptical after my experience of them, which is not my first, but the most recent to be fair. I have no idea about their audio drivers, since I've not used them for 5 years, these are just things I have heard.
I've had 5 AM4 boards with variants of the RTL8125, all of them have been fine, except the RTL8125BG on my Aorus AX (shitty Dragon gaming variant) that is somewhat flaky. Gigabyte likes using Dragon and the reliability shows it.

The standard for reliability has always been Intel i211/217, and I'd put a good implementation of RTL8125 on par with it. i225 obviously had its early issues, and Realtek 81xx has always sucked ass.

As for Intel Wifi, the record is spotless - 7260AC, 9260AC, AX200, AX200, AX200, AX200, AX200. Only problem was, again, a Gigabyte problem with Bluetooth shared with a variety of their other B550 boards on earlier BIOS revisions, went away.
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#19
Valantar
I hope AMD commits to this sufficiently to really compete - it would be great to have a truly competitive consumer networking space again.
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#20
Pepamami
Mediatek makes decent chipsets for routers. The only job here - not screw up with drivers.
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#21
TheLostSwede
stimpy88It's your right to love them, but I'll remain very sceptical after my experience of them, which is not my first, but the most recent to be fair. I have no idea about their audio drivers, since I've not used them for 5 years, these are just things I have heard.

My experiences of Realtek, and most of these other "low tier" vendors is one of amateurism and over promising. Their products rarely perform on par with an Intel part of similar specification, and drivers tend to often be at the heart of their issues. 20 years of professional tech support taught me that. I will add that I don't like Intel as a company, they also have issues with drivers and hardware sometimes, but I feel they are still top of the pile for consumer networking hardware.
Dude... I don't love corporations...
What I'm saying is that there's nothing really wrong with their products.

You're entitled to your opinion, but do you really think there would be as many products or there with their chips if they're as bad as you're making them out to be?

And are you also saying that only Intel can make good chips? As your pretty much calling everyone else crap here. Intel has had its fair share of problems with their networking products, least not their WiFi cards that have had all sorts of compatibility issues over the years.
tabascosauzHard to argue with high end Intel Wifi, AC7260, AC9560, AX200, AX201 are the standard for good reason. If AMD is teaming up with Mediatek, they've got a LOT to live up to (especially given MT's reputation, although they've been on a winning streak with Dimensity).

Intel's lower end 1x1 AC and acquired lower end (Killer) are shit, but no surprise there - low end wifi adapters are a buffet full of it.



I've had 5 AM4 boards with variants of the RTL8125, all of them have been fine, except the RTL8125BG on my Aorus AX (shitty Dragon gaming variant) that is somewhat flaky. Gigabyte likes using Dragon and the reliability shows it.

The standard for reliability has always been Intel i211/217, and I'd put a good implementation of RTL8125 on par with it. i225 obviously had its early issues, and Realtek 81xx has always sucked ass.

As for Intel Wifi, the record is spotless - 7260AC, 9260AC, AX200, AX200, AX200, AX200, AX200. Only problem was, again, a Gigabyte problem with Bluetooth shared with a variety of their other B550 boards on earlier BIOS revisions, went away.
What reputation is that? MTK powers more routers than any of their competitors, so they know a thing or three when it comes to WiFi. Personally I prefer Qualcomm though, as I've never had a more stable router than my R7800.
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#22
stimpy88
TheLostSwedeDude... I don't love corporations...
What I'm saying is that there's nothing really wrong with their products.

You're entitled to your opinion, but do you really think there would be as many products or there with their chips if they're as bad as you're making them out to be?

And are you also saying that only Intel can make good chips? As your pretty much calling everyone else crap here. Intel has had its fair share of problems with their networking products, least not their WiFi cards that have had all sorts of compatibility issues over the years.
Just because you have a positive bias towards them, you cannot be angry or dismiss somebody who has the opposite bias. We are both right, we are both wrong. I won't change my opinion, and neither will you.

You carry on advocating for them, and I will carry on advocating against them. Our experiences are polar opposites, both based on fact.

My opinion is that many people, especially those that will be building AMD systems (not the general public who does not even know what a NIC is) would rather have an Intel based networking product, over most other solutions. Maybe I'm wrong, but sales and the marketing out there seem to prove otherwise. If it is simply false that Intel provides superior networking products, then why are they all over the premium offerings? Rightly or wrongly, there is often a stigma attached to low cost Chinese or Taiwanese networking products, often based on driver quality or raw throughput and CPU usage numbers being worse than Intels offerings. And I've have seen and experienced this first-hand, many times over the years.

At the end of the day, if I am provided a choice of two motherboards at a similar price and all other features the same, but one of them offers an Intel network interface, and the other a MediaTek, I will gladly pay a reasonable premium for the Intel solution. If that's just me, them I'm an idiot, but a happy one.
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#23
Valantar
stimpy88Just because you have a positive bias towards them, you cannot be angry or dismiss somebody who has the opposite bias. We are both right, we are both wrong. I won't change my opinion, and neither will you.

You carry on advocating for them, and I will carry on advocating against them. Our experiences are polar opposites, both based on fact.
So maybe, in a radical turn of events, reality is more complicated than "X is (always) bad" or "X is (always) good"?
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#24
stimpy88
ValantarSo maybe, in a radical turn of events, reality is more complicated than "X is (always) bad" or "X is (always) good"?
Absolutely!
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#25
bug
rares495Intel has been pretty reliable when it comes to networking. I hope this RZ660 will be just as good.
Yes, both AMD and MediaTek are practically legendary for their driver support :rolleyes:
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