R7000 died, can Asus AX88U, AX86U or AC88U with Merlin run a 1Gb connection with all features turned on?

Abacus

New Around Here
Hello,

I’m looking to buy an Asus router as my R7000 that was running the Vortex version of this firmware just died (WAN port light blinks once then off, not handing out IPs, cannot manually connect to it despite the port and wifi lights blinking). I’m looking at buying a full on Asus router now to skip the Vortex part and use the straight Merlin firmware. As this is sort of an emergency replacement right now I didn’t have much time to research and in the future I’d like to play around with Unifi or build a firewall using psense or similar (already paying huge electric bills so I’ll have to research how much monthly all that would add plus figure out thermal as it gets pretty hot in the room they’re in). Anyhow, right now I’m looking to put in a quick replacement but as I’m spending money I’d like it to be somewhat of an upgrade and somewhat future proof. Because I liked the features of the Merlin firmware I want to go with Asus. I am considering these routers right now in the cost order they are the AX88U, AX86U and AC88U.I was looking at the AC86U but as I like to keep my options open and I didn’t see it on the DD-WRT supported list On my network there currently are: Wired - 2 gaming desktops, Synology NAS, 2 laptops used as media-file servers, occasionally my work laptop, a Raspberry Pi running 3D printer, a streaming PC, and I have a free one or two cables where various project PCs or servers sit. On WiFi - some 40+ devices from smart outlets to gaming consoles, RPis, laptops, phones, tablets, appliances etc.

All wired devices were connected to the router and one unmanaged Netgear switch sitting next to it.

My internet speedis 600Mbps but I’m getting around 750Mbps measured at the modem and then with my Netgear R7000 running the Vortex firmware flavor of Merlin. To achieve that speed however I had to turn off QoS and any security features on the router.

My concerns with the AX models are that 1. They are very pricey right now for what seems just better wifi that almost none of my devices would use nor anyone would really notice that it has improved as the R7000 cover all that fine (I added some higher gain antenna) 2. The wifi6E is suppose to be around the corner so they will be obsolete really soon 3. The AX86U looks nice but I don’t plan on having internet faster than 1Gbps in the next few years and my NAS (and the latest Synology 8 bay unit as well, c’mon Synology) has 4x1Gb ports) so the single 2.5Gb port is an extra I won’t need for a while.

My concern with the AC88U is that it is older and therefore will be dropped from support sooner but also the performance as I understand the 8 port models are older and weaker than the 4 port 86 models from Asus and this being the AC model may be weakest of the four models I considered.
I am leaning to buy the AC88U as it would let me use link aggregation to my Synology NAS on two ports and get rid of the netgear switch for the most part while still being reasonably priced at $205 but this brings me to the actual question of my post.


Can any of the AX88U, AX86U or AC88U run a full 1Gb connection while using the Merlin firmware and using the QoS/AIProtection/Parental Controls or does the speed drop so low that these features have to be turned off just like I had to on my R7000? Are any of you running these on 1Gb link and can verify this from experience? I would much rather spend the $205 for the AC88U than $350 or $250 for current gen 4 ports plus the AC88U is actually in stock where as the other two I would have to wait a week to get.

As a bonus question, will there be any extra features I would get on any of these routers using Merlin that I did not get on the R7000? On the R7000 a while ago I noticed that the QoS, Parental Controls and some other tabs were gone from the main menu but were accessible through bookmarks I saved but I don’t know if it’s a thing that Vortex broke or was turned off for all routers running Merlin or just for the R7000.

I appreciate any additional suggestions you may have but since this is the Merlin thread I don’t want to derail it too much.

Thank you,
Abacus
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The short answer to your thread title, no, they can't.

There is no consumer router today that can do that except for entry-level models with no/limited 'features'.

Features | Asuswrt-Merlin (asuswrt-merlin.net)

The link above should be able to answer most of your other questions.
 

ddaenen1

Senior Member
My concern with the AC88U is that it is older and therefore will be dropped from support sooner but also the performance as I understand the 8 port models are older and weaker than the 4 port 86 models from Asus and this being the AC model may be weakest of the four models I considered.
I am leaning to buy the AC88U as it would let me use link aggregation to my Synology NAS on two ports and get rid of the netgear switch for the most part while still being reasonably priced at $205 but this brings me to the actual question of my post.


Can any of the AX88U, AX86U or AC88U run a full 1Gb connection while using the Merlin firmware and using the QoS/AIProtection/Parental Controls or does the speed drop so low that these features have to be turned off just like I had to on my R7000? Are any of you running these on 1Gb link and can verify this from experience? I would much rather spend the $205 for the AC88U than $350 or $250 for current gen 4 ports plus the AC88U is actually in stock where as the other two I would have to wait a week to get.
I understand that you do not have time for research but you would need to know that the AC88U (i had one myself) suffers from issues with the 4 extra switch ports. 1-4 is fine but 5-8 is quite unreliable. I have experienced it myself which resulted in downgrading the 88U to an access point but there are also several threads in the forum about this.
 

gjf

Senior Member
I understand that you do not have time for research but you would need to know that the AC88U (i had one myself) suffers from issues with the 4 extra switch ports. 1-4 is fine but 5-8 is quite unreliable. I have experienced it myself which resulted in downgrading the 88U to an access point but there are also several threads in the forum about this.
And what about RT-AX86U?
I am also looking for a substitution and thninking about RT-AX86U, RT-AX58U and RT-AX92U...
 

John Davis

Regular Contributor
I've got a 950/450 fibre connection and the 2-core ac86u (bcm4906) can keep up (just) with everything on ( aiprotection, adaptirve QOS, traffic stats etc).

Watching the cpu it's obvious that the trend micro components are single-threaded, as the load is basically ALL on one core, and disabling any one feature makes NO change to cpu load (since the traffic flow is still all via cpu) - saturating the download side will sit about 90-100% load and upload about 60%. Wth ALL the trend provided features off (and hence ctf/fa fully active) load is more like 5-9%

The single threaded nature of trend's code becomes an issue when you have heavy full-duplex traffic (i.e. you're saturating both the up and down sides of the link) - with that single core sitting at 100% full-duplex is limited to about 500+500

ax86u and ax88u use the same family of cpu at the same clock rate but with 4-cores (bcm4908) - so should behave similary, but as the trend stuff can't properly spread across cores you should see basically the same core loading - and again the same limit for heavy full-duplex traffic

so basically the answer is that yes they will keep up for 'typical' workloads (as most people are either doing heavy downloads or uploads - but not often both at the same time), but if you do need gigabit rate full duplex performance with aiprotection et al on you need to look elsewhere (possibly the ax89x since it's qca based and running at a higher clock rate as well)
 

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