Asus RT-AX86U vs RT-AC86U - Battle of the Best AC WiFi 5 & AX WiFi 6 Router - Worth the Upgrade?

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1ceLaz0r

Regular Contributor
It is known that the dual core of the AC86U when doing large file transfer over USB 3 maintain the speed and connection rates can start to "max" the router out under heavy loads with file transfers due to older dual CPU
 
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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
It is known that the dual core of the AC86U when doing large file transfer over USB 3 maintain the speed and connection rates can start to "max" the router out under heavy loads with file transfers due to older dual CPU

They're more or less the same CPU, both are A53 Cortex cores, the only difference is in the number of cores - which has no impact on transfer performance.
 

1ceLaz0r

Regular Contributor
They're more or less the same CPU, both are A53 Cortex cores, the only difference is in the number of cores - which has no impact on transfer performance.

No but if your also having major networking traffic and doing file transfers, i'd say that will start to effect things with both CPU's pegged
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
No but if your also having major networking traffic and doing file transfers, i'd say that will start to effect things with both CPU's pegged

LAN transfers are handled by the network switch, and therefore do not use any CPU time (or barely any).

SMB transfer from a shared USB Disk would, but it's also single-threaded so it doesn't benefit much from having more cores (you still have one core free for NAT or routing).
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
It's worth the upgrade if you want Wifi 6/AX capabilities. Upgrading from the AC86U would obviously be less of a noticeable improvement but it should be some kind of improvement nonetheless. I would do the upgrade just to have new hardware with AX support and because the AX86U is overall such an exceptional router.
 

gfondeur

Regular Contributor
nahhhhhhhhhhh
My AC86U its working flawless, I gonna wait for the AX86U successor......
 

Kendo

Regular Contributor

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
There are still Asus owners happy with their "flawless running" RT-N66Us.

If you are going to skip one of the best available consumer routers of this Wifi 6/AX generation (or arguably any generation up to this point) then you might as well wait for the next real major change... Wifi 7/be which could be released in 2024-2025. We will probably see maturing products like the Asus "BE86U" type versions in late 2025-2026.

Don't worry... five years goes by fast. ;)
 

DarkKnight75

Senior Member
There are still Asus owners happy with their "flawless running" RT-N66Us.

If you are going to skip one of the best available consumer routers of this Wifi 6/AX generation (or arguably any generation up to this point) then you might as well wait for the next real major change... Wifi 7/be which could be released in 2024-2025. We will probably see maturing products like the Asus "BE86U" type versions in late 2025-2026.

Don't worry... five years goes by fast. ;)
I sure wasn't one of them..one of the worst router I've ever purchased. Considering the AX86u although my AC86u still running smooth..
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
I sure wasn't one of them..one of the worst router I've ever purchased. Considering the AX86u although my AC86u still running smooth..
DarkKnight75, N66U... Worst router...ever? Really? :rolleyes:

I hope you are joking. Those "worst routers ever" ran solid for eight years... I bought and used at least seven of them. Except for a few buggy firmware releases they generally ran solid and performed great 24/7... It had best 2.4Ghz range I ever tested in a router up to that point and although I have retired and replaced most of them they are ALL still working eight years later. Not a single failure.

If serious then I won't tout the AX86U to you. Enjoy your AC86U. ;)
 
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leerees

Senior Member
AX is around 10% faster and offers a ping that is 1 - 2 ms lower.

The biggest impact on WiFi performance is the number of streams your router can provide. 2x2 streams will give 450mb/s - 800 mb/s. Most devices only have 2 stream radios and for good reason, it's better for battery life. Also, 4x4 is unlikely to be possible in a busy WiFi neighborhood.

AX on it's own is not a reason to upgrade, it's just the natural evolution of WiFi and presumes that smart homes of the future will have 50+ devices. Even if your home does have 50 devices connected, the majority of them will be sitting idle thus having very little impact on your network.

I run a AC network that has over 100 devices connected and it works perfectly without any lag.

One thing that is certain, there will be thousands of power users snapping up "old" AC routers on eBay.
 
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