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Thread: 16 channel vs 8 channel modems 60Mbps Spectrum Cable; is their any real difference?

  1. #1

    16 channel vs 8 channel modems 60Mbps Spectrum Cable; is their any real difference?

    I have a Zoom 5341J 8 ch. down 4 ch. up modem. Spectrum gave me (for troubleshooting their issue not related to the modem) a Arris TM1602a eMTA (combo modem & ATA) that has 16 in & 4 out channels. The tech told me of their two new (and only) levels of service 60 & 100 Mbps. I have 30 now for $60/mo. Their 60Mbps service is $65 retail (no promotion) which I will of course take.


    Their eMTA is 2x the size of what I have now, I would rather just keep mine. But, the question is;


    Are the 8 additional channels really going to make any difference? At my current speed (30Mbps) I see NO difference.

    I realize 'headway' and 'overhead' but I don't 'stream' that much and there are only the two of us here.

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    DOCSIS 3 supports ~38Mbps per channel downstream, and 27Mbps per channel upstream. Your 8x4 modem therefore supports up to 300+Mbps downstream, you will not see any difference with a 16x8 modem.

    There are some subtle differences (when some channels have cleaner signals than others, in marginal conditions you may have more options with 16 channel modem), and there are other considerations, like CPU/memory utilization with older modems, overhead, etc. Still, in general you won't see any difference with a 60Mbps service, it is well within your modem's specs.

    I wouldn't worry about upgrading until you exceed 50-60% of the theoretical maximum modem speed as stated above.

  3. #3
    How about the advantages with the additional 'channel bonding'?

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    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    The fact that the channel-bonding is available in the modem specs does not mean your ISP utilizes those channels, or that you will see more bonded bonded channels (you can usually look at your cable modem stats page for channel/signal info, most often through your browser at http://192.168.100.1 )

    In other words, your ISP likely uses 4 bonded channels, maybe 8 (but not necessarily), and I would be surprised if they use more, even if you have a 32x16 modem you may not see more than 8 bonded, it is just not necessary if they only provide 100Mbps service.

  5. #5
    The Zoom modem I have, all 8 channels are active. Their Arris eMTA show all 16 channels active (which I understand is all they are using at present).

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    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Ok, so they use 16.. That is good for up to 600Mbps. You still wont see a difference with 60Mbps between 8 and 16. You wouldn't see a difference with the higher 100Mbps tier either, unless you start getting into some other modem hardware limitations (CPU/RAM.. I think your Zoom model was only rated to up to 172Mbps, not the full 300+ available from the 8 DOCSIS channels - https://www.speedguide.net/routers/z...ble-modem-1178 ).

  7. #7
    And how about channel bonding & peak usage bottlenecks in the node, still no issue?

  8. #8
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    It is possible, but a bit of a reach since the modem is capable of 3+ times the bandwidth you subscribe to.

    If you were/are getting slowdowns during peak hours with your 8x modem then yes, 16x may be worth a shot for better consistency, among other things like looking at optimal signal levels

  9. #9
    The 'peak' hours I'm usually not accessing the Internet. I'm probably will stick with the Zoom since it's been mounted on a removable board with the ATA, router & a switch

  10. #10
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you are getting close to your peak speed without issues I wouldn't bother the difference wouldn't be noticeable

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