Wondering if I could - as a completely average user - tell the difference between g (or so-called super-g) and draft-n? There's certainly a significant difference in price for the newer standard. Don't mind being cutting edge (and paying the money for it), but if the difference is only noticeable to a tech head, I figure I might as well be a step behind and save a few bucks.
Possibly. Draft-N offers better immunity to reflections, much better speed, and a small increase in range, but not at the same time. These are noticeable, but whether they are worth the extra money largely depends on what you're doing with the wireless and your local RF environment. For example, if you're a gamer, and have a series of local machines on a LAN/WLAN running games, the added speed will certainly be a worthwhile investment. Also, if you're trying to distribute live video, the speed is also a big plus. However, you won't get very far for range. However, if you're just surfing the internet via a typical 1.5Mbit/sec DSL connection, the added speed is totally wasted.
The price will be even higher when the Draft-N stuff mutates into something else and the non-commital manufacturers don't consider it worth their effort to update legacy hardware. Translation: Draft-N is not a great investment.
Chuckle. I've been turning off the Draft-N, Turbot-G, Afterburner, and other proprietary enhancements on most of my systems. I can sorta tell whether these are on or off by the number of connects and disconnects under marginal or interference conditions, but when everything is working normally, there's little difference. What happens is that most of my wireless use is under conditions where it's impossible to maintain a 54Mbit/sec or faster connection. I usually end up at about 12 or 24Mbits/sec. At that speed, none of the new technology duz much good.
You can kinda get an idea of how it works by looking at the graphs of performance versus distance on the various reviews found at:
under the Wireless devices. This is a bit old:
(overview) but will give you an idea of the implimentation problems you'll blunder into with Draft-N which includes some advertising hype:
802.11g only. Turbo-G or Afterburner only if your client radios support it. MIMO only if you need the speed for gaming or video.