ASUS router vs Netgear Nighthawk for gaming

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jorgsmash

Regular Contributor
I was at best buy snooping around for an additional ASUS router to use as a node for my main AX88U. I have been impressed with my AX88U with its feature set, but I bought it to try and reduce lag/latency for gaming which it hasn't really done.

I was holding the AX58U in my hand and one of the reps at best buy saw me holding it and asked if I was getting it for gaming. He said he bought an ASUS router (didn't know the model but said it was a model above the AX58U) and that he returned it. He wasn't satisfied with the ping/latency.

He directed me towards the router he bought, which was a Nighthawk AX5400. He pointed out the DumaOS, and features that allow you to select the closest server for the best ping. He said it helped out immensely. I think these features are cool but you have to take everything with a grain of salt. The gaming mode and the gaming VPN features that are available on my AX88U haven't really reduced my ping that much.

From Best Buy:
AX5400
Powered by DumaOS 3.0 Enjoy fast online gaming and smooth streaming with the router operating system built especially for gamers. Geofencing Customize, and filter which game servers you play on for an elevated gaming experience. Ping heat map Ping your favorite game servers to display your connection quality to each server on a world map.

So I bought the AX58U anyway and before I open it I wanted everyone's opinion who cares to voice it. Is there anything I can do on my current setup to reduce ping or is there any particular feature I could be missing that is the same or better than the Nighthawk ping map/Geofencing? I know it's unlikely, but is there any chance if we don't have these features that they could be included in a future build?

For reference, I live close to Tampa and I'm on Frontier fiber connection with 1GB up/down. So I think the connection is decent but ping is not as fast as I'd like.

Thanks Merlin Gang!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
With no offense meant towards working 'reps' anywhere, their recommendations are usually what nets them the highest sales percentage on their cheques, not what is the best fit for any particular customer.

The RT-AX86U is the lowest latency (consumer) router I have used. So much so, that even using an RT-AX86U with an RT-AX88U in AiMesh v2.0 mode is a 'downgrade' and made me save up enough to get two RT-AX86U's for wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul AiMesh use instead.

Even better with RMerlin's firmware (currently v386.2_2).

Asus RT-AX86U review

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul
 

Tech9

Senior Member
So I think the connection is decent but ping is not as fast as I'd like.

Ping to what server? Your ping to Google, Microsoft, Cloudflare etc. must be constant in low ms. Remove all pinging and speed testing scripts you may have installed and disable any form of QoS you may have enabled. With 1Gb up/down ISP you don't need any of that.
 

Makaveli

Very Senior Member
Are you by any chance gaming on wifi?
 

jorgsmash

Regular Contributor
With no offense meant towards working 'reps' anywhere, their recommendations are usually what nets them the highest sales percentage on their cheques, not what is the best fit for any particular customer.

The RT-AX86U is the lowest latency (consumer) router I have used. So much so, that even using an RT-AX86U with an RT-AX88U in AiMesh v2.0 mode is a 'downgrade' and made me save up enough to get two RT-AX86U's for wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul AiMesh use instead.

Even better with RMerlin's firmware (currently v386.2_2).

Asus RT-AX86U review

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul

Wow so you think the AX86U is better than the AX88U in terms of latency? What are you using to measure latency across your network? I have the AX88U and wanted to get the the AX86U but it's out of stock everywhere. So I settled for the AX58U. I think it will suit my needs fine. But I would be interested in how you are measuring ping/latency. I play(ed) call of duty Warzone and I usually get 50-70ms ping. I would like to get that down to 25 or lower. But I haven't played in a while bc Activision is garbage and has totally ruined the game.

Are you by any chance gaming on wifi?

No lol I had a 50ft ethernet cable going from my router to my PS4. That's why I got the extra AX58U to eliminate the cable and get better signal in my office.

Ping to what server? Your ping to Google, Microsoft, Cloudflare etc. must be constant in low ms. Remove all pinging and speed testing scripts you may have installed and disable any form of QoS you may have enabled. With 1Gb up/down ISP you don't need any of that.
Strictly speaking about ping in Call of Duty. Usually while in-game I get around 50-70ms ping.
 

Tech9

Senior Member
Strictly speaking about ping in Call of Duty. Usually while in-game I get around 50-70ms ping.

Read post #3 and test again. I don't think it's your Internet connection or router related. Nothing much you can do about it.
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
With no offense meant towards working 'reps' anywhere, their recommendations are usually what nets them the highest sales percentage on their cheques, not what is the best fit for any particular customer.

The RT-AX86U is the lowest latency (consumer) router I have used. So much so, that even using an RT-AX86U with an RT-AX88U in AiMesh v2.0 mode is a 'downgrade' and made me save up enough to get two RT-AX86U's for wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul AiMesh use instead.

Even better with RMerlin's firmware (currently v386.2_2).

Asus RT-AX86U review

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul
Was latency really that different from the AX88U, and which devices did you compare against. FYI asking more out of curiosity rather than trying to question your claims.
 

askan7

Regular Contributor
With no offense meant towards working 'reps' anywhere, their recommendations are usually what nets them the highest sales percentage on their cheques, not what is the best fit for any particular customer.

The RT-AX86U is the lowest latency (consumer) router I have used. So much so, that even using an RT-AX86U with an RT-AX88U in AiMesh v2.0 mode is a 'downgrade' and made me save up enough to get two RT-AX86U's for wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul AiMesh use instead.

Even better with RMerlin's firmware (currently v386.2_2).

Asus RT-AX86U review

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul

How can the ax86u have lower latency? I have ac86u and I get on average 0.2ms with a cable to the router.
And about 1ms with 5ghz wireless. I could see a bit lower wifi latency but not with a cable.
 

JGrana

Very Senior Member
Was latency really that different from the AX88U, and which devices did you compare against. FYI asking more out of curiosity rather than trying to question your claims.
I am curious as well @L&LD . Both routers are quad core 1.8 Ghz, both 1G DRAM. I did see the AX86U specs says DDR3 for the DRAM. No mention on Asus website about the type of DRAM on the AX88U. Is the DRAM speed on the AX88U slower?

I do like the 2.5Gb ethernet port on the AX86U. Perfect for my Qnap NAS. I'm hoping that the next iteration of the AX88U has this feature (along with 8 ethernet ports :)
 

DanNuke86

Regular Contributor
In regards to the call of duty servers, using DumaOS allows you to use the geo filter, which I really wish was a feature with ASUS routers, it will allow you to block certain servers.

That one feature though doesn’t make up for the amount of custom scripts available on RMerlin firmware. I have both the AX88U and AX86U and I believe I get a better gaming experience on the AX86U although I’m not sure why exactly..

however, look at some of battlenonsense’s content on YouTube regarding netcode used in call of duty. It explains it all perfectly. I’m gaming in warzone with ping between 25-35 or 40-50ms which usually means I’m on the Dublin server or European. Seems to be some sort of routing issue for me to the London server from what I can gather. I’ve tried all sorts to improve the gaming experience and no one thing changes anything for definite. Best you can do is make sure your set up gives you the lowest ping with gaming traffic prioritised.

Even then, I still scratch my head at what goes on sometimes. Other people’s connections in-game affect my experience more than my own internet does.

my mate who has a nighthawk router, is on talk talk FTTC and has a much better gaming experience on 70mbps than I do 500mbps virgin media cable broadband.

with all that said though, the call of duty servers are (in my opinion) responsible mostly for what goes on. Tick rate has been found to be down as low as 20Hz in some games. Again, there’s content on YouTube (with stats to back up claims) covering this kind of thing.
 

jorgsmash

Regular Contributor
In regards to the call of duty servers, using DumaOS allows you to use the geo filter, which I really wish was a feature with ASUS routers, it will allow you to block certain servers.

That one feature though doesn’t make up for the amount of custom scripts available on RMerlin firmware. I have both the AX88U and AX86U and I believe I get a better gaming experience on the AX86U although I’m not sure why exactly..

however, look at some of battlenonsense’s content on YouTube regarding netcode used in call of duty. It explains it all perfectly. I’m gaming in warzone with ping between 25-35 or 40-50ms which usually means I’m on the Dublin server or European. Seems to be some sort of routing issue for me to the London server from what I can gather. I’ve tried all sorts to improve the gaming experience and no one thing changes anything for definite. Best you can do is make sure your set up gives you the lowest ping with gaming traffic prioritised.

Even then, I still scratch my head at what goes on sometimes. Other people’s connections in-game affect my experience more than my own internet does.

my mate who has a nighthawk router, is on talk talk FTTC and has a much better gaming experience on 70mbps than I do 500mbps virgin media cable broadband.

with all that said though, the call of duty servers are (in my opinion) responsible mostly for what goes on. Tick rate has been found to be down as low as 20Hz in some games. Again, there’s content on YouTube (with stats to back up claims) covering this kind of thing.

I agree. I have seen many sources that would indicate it's not our setups to blame, but Activision's servers mostly. Still, I'd like to know how these streamers on YT get 10 ms ping. Shouldn't there be a way to enforce a geo filter for a specific device using iptables rules or something? I'm sure there's a way we could do it. You would need a list of Activision servers and then deny a device or devices from connecting to the servers you don't want to connect to.
 

dlandiss

Very Senior Member
No lol I had a 50ft ethernet cable going from my router to my PS4. That's why I got the extra AX58U to eliminate the cable and get better signal in my office.
A 50ft 1000Base-T Ethernet cable should have 1000Mbps bandwidth and add only about 0.00015ms to latency (100ft round trip ~ 150ns). It will be hard to find a "better signal" than that:D.
 

jorgsmash

Regular Contributor
A 50ft 1000Base-T Ethernet cable should have 1000Mbps bandwidth and add only about 0.00015ms to latency (100ft round trip ~ 150ns). It will be hard to find a "better signal" than that:D.

Damn. Looks like I'll be getting 70+ms in warzone then!
 

Makaveli

Very Senior Member
or connect to a server in florida but I don't believe users have any control over which server to connect to.
 

Mencey

New Around Here
Hi, my question after reading your comments about the ax86u is if it really improves the gaming experience compared to the ax88u that I own. I am from Spain, specifically from the Canary Islands, they are islands that belong to that country. I have Movistar fiber but the experience of the game is not good. I would really notice some improvement with the ax86u versus the ax88u.

thanks in advance, greetings !!!
 

Ed_Lei

New Around Here
With no offense meant towards working 'reps' anywhere, their recommendations are usually what nets them the highest sales percentage on their cheques, not what is the best fit for any particular customer.

The RT-AX86U is the lowest latency (consumer) router I have used. So much so, that even using an RT-AX86U with an RT-AX88U in AiMesh v2.0 mode is a 'downgrade' and made me save up enough to get two RT-AX86U's for wired (via the 2.5GbE ports) backhaul AiMesh use instead.

Even better with RMerlin's firmware (currently v386.2_2).

Asus RT-AX86U review

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul
Who bought an x88 was wrong? is the x86 less $ 100 and better?
 

ahyrych

Occasional Visitor
it's all the same routers, 1. ax86u have 2 wan with 2.5GbE (only with compatible hardware) and only 4 lan ports. 2 (88 1 wan port and 8 lan ports). WiFi2 chip bgn+ax only 3x3:3 (in 88 4x4:4). BUT 86 model cheaper and more popular, its seams will longer have Merlin support;)
 

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