We completed a comparison test that offers a look at three adapters from Alfa, the 50mw AWUS036E (that number is fifty, not to be mistaken with the 500mw AWUS036H model), the 300mw AWUS036EH, and the 80mw AWUS036S which has a Ralink chipset. The full results of our test can be viewed in PDF format here.
There were no big surprises. The winner was the AWUS036EH 300mw model which has the same chipset as the AWUS036E 50mw model, but more output power. The AWUS036S has a different chipset, a chip from Ralink. The chip proved to be less sensitive, but the range was pretty good. At the time of this writing the 50mw AWUS036E model from Alfa is about $5.00 cheaper than the 300mw AWUS036EH model, which in turn is about the same price as the 80mw AWUS036S model. So if you are looking for the best range of the three and the best sensitivity, the AWUS036EH model is no doubt the way to go. If you are on a budget and need a good quality adapter with external antenna port and don't need piles of output power, the AWUS036E model is a great option. We would recommend the AWUS036SS model to those folks who specifically need a Ralink chipset.