1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Best Merlin-supported router?

Discussion in 'Asuswrt-Merlin' started by Muyfa666, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Muyfa666

    Muyfa666 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    What would be the best Merlin-supported router to buy today? I'm talking brute force-best, range and speed is the focus.

    Would it be better to go for a mature AC-router or a new AX one?
     
  2. Wade Coxon

    Wade Coxon Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Three options as I see it.
    1. The rt-ax88u is the most powerful with a quad core 1.8GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 256MB flash, 8 LAN ports, and full 4x4 MIMO on both 5Ghz and 2.4GHz, not to mention the 802.11ax advantage.
    2. The rt-ac5300 is limited to 1.4GHz quad core with half the RAM and flash space, and only 4 LAN ports. It does have the advantage of a second 5GHz band though.
    3. The rt-ac86u is *dual* core 1.8GHz processor with 512GB RAM and 256GB flash with 4 LAN ports. It has 4x4 MIMO on 5GHz and 3x3 MIMO on 2.4GHz. It is arguably more mature than the rt-ax88u, though obviously less powerful.

    Raw power is option 1.
    A bit long in the tooth, but two 5GHz bands is option 2.
    More mature and powerful "enough" is option 3.
     
    Makaveli and Vexira like this.
  3. Bamsefar

    Bamsefar Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    261
    Might add that the RT-AC86U is most bang-for-the-buck - price will always be a factor....
     
    CriticJay and Vexira like this.
  4. joegreat

    joegreat Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Asked many time with the same answer: Always the latest/newest model supported! ;)

    Actually it's the AC86U... :cool:
     
  5. Muyfa666

    Muyfa666 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    I actually have a RT-AC2900 (AC86U) today and it's working fine, but I'm extending/upgrading it. How's the AC88U? Not worth to consider?
     
  6. LimJK

    LimJK Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi,

    I replaced my RT-AC5300 with RT-AX88U yesterday :) I am quite happy with RT-AX88U apart from the need to setting 5GHz Control Channel to "36" instead of default "Auto". I wanted the added processing power and additional Memory of this router to run some of the stuffs like most do here.

    If you intend to use RT-AC5300 in an AiMesh environment, I would strongly suggest that you skip this RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Router. The 5.0 GHz-2 band is used exclusive for AiMesh backhaul (Hiddened) even if you have Ethernet Backhaul connected between AiMesh Router to the AiMesh Nodes.
     
    Vexira likes this.
  7. Muyfa666

    Muyfa666 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Would a RT-AX88U and a RT-AC2900 play nice in a AiMesh setup?

    And why is noone commenting on the RT-AC88U? Is it that bad?
     
  8. Jack Yaz

    Jack Yaz Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,445
    AC88U is actually older than the AC86U.

    Go figure
     
    joegreat likes this.
  9. Muyfa666

    Muyfa666 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Hmmm... I guess it's RT-AX88U then. Do I have to turn some stuff off to make it compatible with AC equipment thou?
     
  10. skeal

    skeal Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    3,388
    Location:
    /etc
    No.
     
  11. Makaveli

    Makaveli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2016
    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Canada
    Your current AC86U and the AX88U are same processor arch just one is dual core vs quad and both have encryption logic built in and are considered the newer generation.

    The AC88U is part of the older series and a generation below only with more lan ports. So to go from what you current have would be a downgrade minus the lan ports.

    so that is why no one compares the AC86U vs AC88U.
     
  12. Vax

    Vax New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Maybe wait for the updated RT-AX86U then.
     
  13. Muyfa666

    Muyfa666 Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    157
    Yes, maybe I will. The RT-AC2900 is really working well, so I might keep it for now.
     
    Makaveli likes this.
  14. heysoundude

    heysoundude Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2016
    Messages:
    510
    range/speed...bang for buck...
    seriously, just buy another of the same and mesh them with a wired backhaul. you'll be golden for another 5 years or so, til they get the new protocol and it's issues (known and not) sorted out
    I regret not buying two when I upgraded...but merlin didn't support AiMesh at that point.

    How I'd like to see AiMesh extended in the future is for the all of the processors in the nodes to mesh together for your own personal bot-net
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019