ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 and Motorola MB8600 are two of the popular Gig internet modems available in the retail space. Although they’re quite similar, there are a few differences between them that you must be aware of before picking one.
- SB8200 vs MB8600: Specifications
- ARRIS SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600: Detailed Comparison
- Similarities Between ARRIS SB8200 and Motorola MB8600
- Who Should Choose ARRIS SB8200?
- Who Should Choose Motorola MB8600?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts!
SB8200 vs MB8600: Specifications
|32 x 8 / 2 x 2
|32 x 8 / 2 x 2
|Up to 2 Gbps
|Up to 1 Gbps
|2 x Gig Ethernet
|1 x Gig Ethernet
|Cox, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, WOWWAY, Midco, Sparklight, Mediacom.
|Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, Sparklight, Breezeline, Midco, and TDS.
|5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches
|7.88 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches
|Cost vs Value
ARRIS SB8200 vs Motorola MB8600: Detailed Comparison
To prepare this comparison, I tested each modem as my go-to networking ally for over a month, only to understand their practical speeds, performances, ISP compatibility, and ease of usage. I now have a clear understanding of their capabilities and performance in different setups.
In the upcoming sub-sections, I will compare SB8200 to MB8600 across multiple aspects.
Speeds & Performance
With DOCSIS 3.1 tech alongside 32 upstream and 8 downstream channels, Arris SB8200 and Motorola MB8600 promise support for internet plans up to 1 Gbps.
And, the speeds measured with Xfinity Gigabit connection with TP-Link Archer AX90 router were great. Number-wise, SB8200 managed a download speed of 924.13 Mbps and 37.23 Mbps as upload speed.
Such speeds keep it in the ranks of elites and fares seamlessly through most of your 4K games and streams. Note that the speeds were registered at 20 feet away.
Now, shifting away to 40 feet could get me around 556 Mbps and 26 Mbps, respectively, for downloads and uploads. That’s around a 40% drop, but its consistency is impressive, as I had a seamless experience with my smart devices.
Moving on, using MB8600 had a similar level of experience, as the 15-feet test could generate 937 Mbps download and 41 Mbps upload speed. Meanwhile, there was a similar drop at 40 feet as respective speeds fared at 567 Mbps and 28 Mbps.
Also, similar to SB8200, the consistency was there, and I enjoyed gaming on PS4, binge-watching shows, and attending video calls. Overall, MB8600 is slightly better in terms of speed and latency, and that’s what makes it a better option for gaming.
Both MB8600 and SB8200 are approved for use with most major ISPs out there, except the latter misses out on compatibility with Optimum. That gives MB8600 a slight lead over its counterpart.
Besides, none can accommodate DSL or Fiber Optic connections like Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink, and even ones offering bundled plans.
Design & Port Setup
Besides the key differences and resemblances, there are certain aspects that require further detailing. As you would be keeping the modem close to your workstation, the design is one of the major concerns. The Arris SB8200 comes in white with the modem dimensions reading 5.24 x 5.24 x 1.65 inches.
Also, the SB8200 weighs a mere 2 pounds, which is quite acceptable, considering the excellent ventilation on display. Next in line is the Motorola MB8600, which might be a tad spread-out at 7.88 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches but weighs less than the SB8200 at 1.15 pounds. Contradictory, isn’t it?
The MB8600 comes with a bigger array of LEDs, with the front panel accommodating an additional LAN-specific LED, which is missing on the SB8200.
Not exactly, as the black-colored chassis doesn’t exhibit hardened plastic and can be occasionally considered malleable. Port setup is quite straightforward, with Arris offering 2 GigE slots, a power button, and a slot for the coaxial cable.
If you stay in a locality where power surges are common, the MB8600 is a better modem to purchase courtesy of the circuit-protection support.
While most of the rear-panel enhancements pertaining to the vertical layouts are similar for both, however, SB8200 outpaces the MB8600 with additional Ethernet ports.
Installation & Setup
As with most modems out there, setting up SB8200 or MB8600 is very simple. Sliding into the instruction manual with them further eases the process. If you are still scratching your head, here’s a simplified version of it:
Start with plugging in the coax & power cable, connect the router to your computer using the Ethernet port, and follow it by turning on the power. It might take a few seconds to boot up, and as the indicator light turns steady, visit the ISP self-activation page and enter the Mac ID. The overall process took me about 10-15 minutes.
Here’s one thing worth mentioning my SB8200 had some trouble connecting to the internet. But that’s not very concerning, as I solved it by resetting the device twice.
Similarities Between ARRIS SB8200 and Motorola MB8600
- Both are among the most efficient DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems.
- DOCSIS 3.0 fallback is supported for standard internet services
- Each modem supports 2×2 OFDM/OFDMA channel bonding in case DOCSIS 3.1 speeds are sought after
- Full band tuning for improved energy efficiency and speeds
- Easy to configure interface
- Comparable flash memory for storing network details
- IPV6 support
- Broadcom chipsets for quick processing
- Comparable pricing
Who Should Choose ARRIS SB8200?
Investing in the Arris SB8200 makes sense if you prefer:
- Multi-ISP and router compatibility
- Fast streaming performances
- Coverage for multi-gig internet plans
- IoT setups
- Home automation support
Who Should Choose Motorola MB8600?
This modem is a better bet if you are driven by the following:
- AQM support for high-speed gaming
- Multi-device streaming at home
- Setting up a larger network
- Competitive Pricing
- Usage in areas prone to voltage fluctuations and power outages
Frequently Asked Questions
In terms of network performance, the ARRIS SB8200, with a powerful processor paired with 3GB RAM and an additional ethernet port, provides good connectivity throughout the day. But then, Motorola offers slightly better practical speeds and has AQM for low-latency gaming.
With DOCSIS 3.1 tech and plenty of channels, Motorola MB8600 claims to support plans up to 1 Gbps. In my test, the download speed maxed out at 937 Mbps, sufficient for any high-bandwidth tasks like gaming, streaming, etc.
Similar to Motorola MB8600, the ARRIS SB8200 comes with a maximum of 1 Gbps speed support that yields real-time speeds of 924 Mbps. But with better hardware and an additional Ethernet port, connectivity and network stability is great.
Despite the networking similarities, I chose to dig deeper, only to chalk out the vital differences and existing similarities between the two modems. I feel both devices have their own advantages.
While I was impressed by both, I found ARRIS SB8200 to be a better value for money, owing to the bigger chunk of RAM, 2 Gig-E slots, and its ability to easily handle multiple demanding networking tasks.
However, this doesn’t take away the gaming prowess, lower latency, better speed, and additional indicative LEDs featured by the MB8600. So if you’re a gamer, Motorola MB8600 is hands down a better choice than SB8200.