Review ASUS Mesh Roundup: Two Zens and a TriBand

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Product Review

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
ASUS Mesh Roundup
We round-up ASUS' ZenWiFi 6E ET8, WiFi 6 ZenWiFi XT8 and WiFi 5/6 RT-AX92U into the ol' test corral for a ride.

Read on SmallNetBuilder.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Wow, what a great, quality, review Tim! Thank you so much for getting this out here for us and the whole world.

Looking forward to future articles with even more interest!
 

theoak

Regular Contributor
If Apple indeed rolls out 6E come September, these 6E based routers/mesh systems are going to get even hotter and hence prolong the above MSRP prices for these systems.

With 90% of my home devices (barely) Wi-Fi 5 let alone Wi-Fi 6, personally, it is hard to justify anything 6E.

Great article!
 

JagoUK

Regular Contributor
Such a shame 5ghz DFS 80mhz not supported on ET8. I've been waiting a year for it. Most of my devices are 2.4 or 5ghz and restricting 5ghz to lower/higher bands will be a problem. My kit doesn't have access to higher band and lower band too crowded.
Wanted the 6ghz for 160mhz backhaul as unfortunately 5ghz channel 124 has a weather radar on it.

I love asus kit but can't buy it if it can't do what I need it to do.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
The ET8's 5 GHz radio covers both low (36-48) and high (149-165) band channels.
 

JagoUK

Regular Contributor
Indeed.
Really need 100-144 in UK
36-64 is overcrowded
And is it limited to 36-48?

Really need full range available on 5ghz given it only has 1 on the ET8.

Very frustrating the limitations of these devices considering their benefits.
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
Just a random observation, Broadcom's BCM 54991E 2.5Gbps Ethernet PHY looks horrendously expensive to produce compared the Realteks and Intels equivalent parts. They've chosen the most expensive chip packaging option and it's also a physically large part for an Ethernet PHY.
It doesn't even seem to be the case of Aquantia/Marvell where there's a shared design over multiple speed ranges. Not sure why they chose to go down this route.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
@TheLostSwede Likely because the device is in the reference design. Or they could get a discount on the set of parts to keep it all BRCM.
 

TheLostSwede

Senior Member
@TheLostSwede Likely because the device is in the reference design. Or they could get a discount on the set of parts to keep it all BRCM.
That wasn't quite what I meant. The actual component is using a bare die flip chip BGA (FCBGA) packaging, which is much more expensive than the QFN type packaging that we're seeing in products from Intel and Realtek. Admittedly Aquantia's multi-gig chips are FCBGA as well, but they do at least go up to 10Gbps, although the new AQS113 series from Marvell appears to be using a standard BGA type packaging. It doesn't make sense to use a more expensive chip packaging type than needed.
You're most likely correct on the bundle pricing though, as that's fairly normal.
 

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