Jump to content

You be the judge, which modem SB6141 or SB6183


Recommended Posts

Which modem would you rather have?  Which do you think performs best?  You decide.


All tests taken on Comcast Extreme 150/20


Motorola Surfboard SB6183 (16x4 channel cable modem) $129.99 (found at Target for $119.99)

Single Thread 127.7 / Multithread 175.7 Mbps


Taken about this time yesterday, off peak.  This was very typical of how this modem performed.  Slow start... leveled out to about 180.5 Mbps.  The super slow start really hurts the overall score.  Best I ever saw in the classic download test was 152.5 Mbps, followed by 139.6 Mbps 5 minutes later, 10 minutes after that... 100.7 Mbps.  The lag at the beginning, ouch!  Made for inconsistent results.




Multithread around the same time, targeting dallas.testmy.net



Motorola Surfboard SB6141 (8x4 channel cable modem) $89.99

Single Thread 172.7 / Multithread 176.2 Mbps


Off peak 4am.  Running how it typically runs.  Super fast start... leveled out to 179 Mbps.  This result is repeated every time I test and have very little variance.  Very nice smooth feel.



Multithread around the same time, targeting dallas.testmy.net



I tried to keep the test sizes, servers and approximate test time the same.  Very little variables besides the modem swap.  Under both circumstances the results were repeatable, time of day not being a factor in the outcome.  Single thread download test results from the SB6183 could never come close to the lightning fast start of the SB6141.  Even my old SB6121 (4x4 channel modem) started at over 100 Mbps instantly... the performance profile of the SB6183 seems odd compared to other Surfboard modems I've tested in the past.  I've never seen a cable modem take so long to ramp up on TMN... and my name is CA3LE.


The SB6183 I tested was not a bad modem.  The first one I got was... died after about 3-4 days.  Just completely pooped out.  But having that happen gave me the opportunity to test a second SB6183.  Lame start, same exact curve.


When downloading 50 threads from usenet.


SB6183 - would have spikes over 32 MB/s (256 Mbps) but would settle in around 22.8 MB/s (182 Mbps) (screenshot was a little early).  In the screenshots below the higher speed lasted an abnormally long period of time.  The same spikes happened during multithread testing but I don't think they contributed too much to the over all score because they were so brief.  I'm not even sure if it was really happening... I don't really trust the interface readings in OSX anymore.  Sometimes nothing shows for seconds when there is obviously transfer happening. So I take that data with a grain of salt.





SB6141 - Pops up to 22.3 (178.4 Mbps) and stays there, little fluctuation.



So, if you are taxing to the max with usenet the SB6183 shines.


Also to be noted.  A set of unreleased tools (only I can see) that measures response time is showing a difference.  Old SB6141 37-39 ms, SB6141 33-35 ms, SB6183 30-32 ms.  I think this can be explained by the faster processor onboard the SB6141 and even faster on the SB6183.  So (gamers) if your goal is lowering lag, SB6183.  I guess this shows the new tools I'm working on are ... working.  Been waiting for it to truly prove itself in practice before release.  Can't post those results yet...


I like the more predictable performance of the SB6141.  What would you choose?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see differences similar to what you're seeing here on my Arris TG862G cable modem connected to TWC on a 50/5 plan. I see the differences when I switch from a single thread test on the Washington server to the Dallas server.



I always assumed it could be explained by instantaneous loads at TWC and/or whoever they rent Internet bandwidth from. I don't have the equipment or software to measure anything local. Seems like the only way to get a definitive answer on your two modems would be to disconnect them from the Internet and load them with a simulated Internet interface. I also don't really have detailed knowledge on any of this. All I have is a lot of data points

Edited by Pgoodwin1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



I like the more predictable performance of the SB6141.  What would you choose?


Although considering the future of traffic flow, the SB6183 would likely win in the long term. At the same token, 'long term' is what, three to five years max for modem hardware. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After reading a lot of reviews a couple of years ago, the SB6141 was the one that I had chosen to buy. I instead upgraded my plan with TWC and they gave me the ARRIS as part of their Signature Home plan. It was better than the older DOCISS 2 modem I was using prior to that. It has never given me any problems so I chose not to buy the SB6141, but it was on the list of modems that TWC supported.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • CA3LE locked this topic
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...