Doubts about this router TUF-AX5400

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Truenox

New Around Here
Hi everyone!

I'm new to this forum and I'm wondering whether to catch an ASUS router with Wifi 6 for the home.

I have found the TUF Gaming AX5400 on sale, I have seen the list of available devices in AsusWRT Merlin, and I see that it is not there.

I do not know if it is similar to the Asus ROG GS-AX5400 or if it is compatible with another model to add the corresponding software.

Could you tell me to see if it is a good buy and if it will be compatible with AsusWRT Merlin?

Thanks in advance!
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Based on specifications, perhaps one of the many RT-AX58U variants with Gaming marketing, similar to RT-AX82U. No Asuswrt-Merlin support.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome to the forums @Truenox.

The only list to consult for RMerlin compatibility is in the link below. Do not assume any other router models will work (now, or ever). Unless this link is updated accordingly by RMerlin.

About | Asuswrt-Merlin
 

Truenox

New Around Here
Based on specifications, perhaps one of the many RT-AX58U variants with Gaming marketing, similar to RT-AX82U. No Asuswrt-Merlin support.
And is it possible that in the future it will have support or these models are limited?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
See post 3 above.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
And is it possible that in the future it will have support or these models are limited?

I can't predict the future, sorry. The less popular the model is, the lass chances to see Asuswrt-Merlin support.
 

gaborin

New Around Here
Hello!

I am new to the forum too.
I have been reading for some days though, because I bought RT-AX82U and TUF AX5400 but I cannot make up my mind about which one to send back (boxes are unopened).
Actually, they share almost the same specs BUT (unlike TUF AX3000 and RT-AX58U) the hardware is different:

RT-AX82U:
asus-rt-ax82u-4-700x438.jpg


TUF AX5400:
TUFAX5400-Teardown-1024x683.jpg


One of the big differences (apart from the RGB leds) is that the TUF AX2400 has separate antennas for the 2.4Ghz band.

I have read that RT-AX82U should be supported by Merlin soon (since it is compatible with ASUS RC3 firmware) or at least GNUton is working on something...

Really hard to decide on which one to use...
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
Most folks around will recommend you to send back both and get an RT-AX86U instead. It is popular and already supported by Asuswrt-Merlin.
 

gaborin

New Around Here
True. But it's more than 2x the price (great offers these days) and I'm not really a gamer... ;-)
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
In this case I would prefer the cheaper standard RT-AX58U router with Asuswrt-Merlin support.
 

gaborin

New Around Here
I know it may sound strange, but the RT-AX58U was even a bit more expensive than the two others.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
A bit more expensive with more firmware options still sounds like a better deal to me. No useless RGB lights at least.
 

pogchamp

Occasional Visitor
Any "gaming" style ASUS (or other brand too for that matter) never was an ideal choice.
Yes they tend to be fastest by brute force when they are on the market, but when they stop aging they are the first to have support dropped.
High end components and huge output power / number of antennas means lots of heat.
for example my AC88U was an amazing performer for a couple years then performance tanked hard after a few years and firmware updates were not available.
At this point I avoid the gaming oriented ones.
The higher end "main line" ASUS are the ones to go for.
They are the ones that have the longest support life and are most popular which means they are the very last to stop getting regular updates for the firmware as well.
Even my AC-66U (not B1 version) was hugely successful for a long time and got a firmware update with many good security fixes just 5 months ago, though it will very likely be the last update that router ever gets.
By the time it is a problem to have on my network, it will likely be at the very end of its functional life regardless with some inevitable hardware failure in the near future, this router is 9 years old today and its only job is to act as a simple switch and guest network host running in AP mode via an Ethernet cable from the AX-55 main router.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
High end components and huge output power

The routers above have no high-end components. Just "gaming" marketing. Power output is the same, as per local regulations.

for example my AC88U... after a few years and firmware updates were not available.

Latest RT-AC88U firmware update is from 05/2021. Check the official Asus website. It can also run latest Asuswrt-Merlin available.
 

pogchamp

Occasional Visitor
The routers above have no high-end components. Just "gaming" marketing. Power output is the same, as per local regulations.



Latest RT-AC88U firmware update is from 05/2021. Check the official Asus website. It can also run latest Asuswrt-Merlin available.
I figured Merlin still supports it fine (i begrudgingly moved my own AC66U to stock firmware off Merlin when the official FW 2021 beta came out) but the bigger issue really is the lifespan of these units when used under heavy load.

An example is the aforementioned AC88U, purchase at its launch date, was the most powerful option at the time within reasonable budget limits and had to work hard to do a job a mesh router setup with two mesh nodes now serves without any issues or flaws.

The AC88U had a single N16 in AP mode connected by a 500 foot long Cat 5E cable, hardly ideal.

After about 4 years of operation, all that heat and stress on the radios, the performance will diminish or minor hardware problems will crop up. You can do things like re-cap routers with no-name brand 85C caps and apply a nicer power supply but that only helps for so long. When you factor in a household with pets or even smoke in the same room as the router, it only serves to accelerate the inevitable death of those components.

By the time I retired the AC88U it had been working at max load for maybe 5 years , poorly ventilated for most of it, on top of that throwing more demanding devices and higher internet speeds in that time period, the range was nothing like it was at purchase and dropped connections were frequent.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
It’s called planned obsolescence, part of design engineering requirements now. The components are cheaper, the thermal design is at minimum required, software features available to new models only, even if supported by older hardware, etc. Many examples around, including Asus routers.
 

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