RT-AX88U insights

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Smokindog

Senior Member
Thought I'd try to get a "poll" from this group on the RT-AX88U at $299 (especially in lieu of the RT-AX86U at $249).

I typically stay "behind the curve" on my home network because it's usually less expensive and now that I'm retired, my devices "advance" far less rapidly on that curve :) However, I've got time to kill and am considering getting one for "play". I did get a couple AX200 based NICs handed to me from a former coworker :) Retirement is awesome!

I've got a long narrow house on a couple acres with a detached bus garage so I've got a lot of "antennae" in my network! ALL NODES use a Gb switched wired backhaul, even those outdoors.

I have an AC3100 main router upstairs center, an AC3100 as an AP downstairs center, 4 AC68 as APs in the far reaches of the house, and sometimes even 1 or 2 AC66 as APs (I flip on the breaker accordingly and use them outdoors when I need coverage in the far back yard, so not very often). As I upgrade my network I push devices out to AP use before going into the "box of stuff" ;)

I noticed today that the RT-AX88U in down in price to $299 (from the $349 it's been for some time) on most online retailers.

I would appreciate some insight. I realize the AX88U been out there for about 2 years :)

My observations: below. PLEASE point out I've said which is not true, add any other high level items you may consider important.
  • Is the most recent hardware V1.1 and is there any WARNING over a V1.0 or other?
  • WPA3 - will never be seen on this device. Probably related, no IPSec server and also probably never
  • 6E - I know won't be seen on the AX88U but it almost looks like this form factor is the "first in the water" as ASUS marches forward (this is part of my Q to follow)
  • Processor - appears to be the same processor as the RT-AX86U (quad 1.8)
  • Memory - also the same as the AX86U
  • Only AX they have with 4x4 on both frequencies
  • Has been a fairly solid performer and is probably equal to or even a bit better for coverage than the AX86U

QUESTION:

Would you expect a further price decline from $299 over the Holidays? How about in the next 6 months?

I've reviewed these threads

 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
With the range of equipment you have, the less expensive (and potentially 'better') router I would 'play' with is the RT-AX86U in your shoes.

The RT-AX88U is excellent. But 2 years old is still 2 years old. ;)
 

Clark Griswald

Senior Member
Amazon boasting New Asus "A Certified For Humans Device" feature, and The Wife still says No.
Screenshot_2020-11-23 Amazon com Asus.png
 

steelers43

New Around Here
To my knowledge, these are the main differences between the AX86U and AX88U:

AX88U:
- 8 X gigabit LAN ports
- 1 X LAN Port aggregation
- WTFast integration
- 4 X 4 antenna for 2.4GHz
- Better processor for 2.4GHz (Broadcom BCM43684)
- 4 external antennas

Better for:
- People who need more wired devices
- Gamers who want to take advantage of WTFast (can't attest to how useful this is)
- People who have legacy devices on 2.4GHz band that want better house coverage



AX86U:
- 4 X gigabit LAN ports
- 1 X LAN Port aggregation for 2 Gigabit
- 1 X 2.5 Gb port (cannot be aggregated for 3.5)
- no WTFast
- support for nVidia GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization
- 3 X 3 antenna for 2.4GHz
- Slightly worse processor for 2.4GHz (Broadcom BCM6710)
- Newer model (hardware revision/lessons learned from AX88U?)
- 3 external antennas and 1 internal PCB antenna

Better for:
- People who want to save ~$50
- People who have a Gigabit+ internet connection that can benefit from the 2.5Gb port
- People who do not have a need for WTFast or the extra 4 LAN ports
- People who want the newer Asus router that potentially takes advantage of hardware revisions and lessons learned from issues with the AX88U (not exactly sure what these issues were.. I just read a few articles and reviews that seemed to point to quality assurance issues)

Note: nVidieo GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization seems like fancy lingo to say that they've added tweaked settings for nVidia GeForce Cloud Now. It is my understanding that these settings can be manually added to achieve the same result. The benefit seems minimal to me but someone with more insight can hopefully add more to this.

Not sure if anyone has seen any performance comparisons between these two models. I'm still trying to sort out the impact of the newer Broadcom 3X3 antenna for the 2.4GHz band. I think it's a bit worse than the previous chip but I wouldn't mind seeing some real world comparisons.
 
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njhorn

Occasional Visitor
To my knowledge, these are the main differences between the AX86U and AX88U:

AX88U:
- 8 X gigabit LAN ports
- no LAN Port aggregation
- WTFast integration
- 4 X 4 antenna for 2.4GHz
- Better processor for 2.4GHz (Broadcom BCM43684)
- 4 external antennas

Better for:
- People who need more wired devices
- Gamers who want to take advantage of WTFast (can't attest to how useful this is)
- People who have legacy devices on 2.4GHz band that want better house coverage



AX86U:
- 4 X gigabit LAN ports
- 1 X LAN Port aggregation for 2.5 Gigabit
- no WTFast
- support for nVidia GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization
- 3 X 3 antenna for 2.4GHz
- Slightly worse processor for 2.4GHz (Broadcom BCM6710)
- Newer model (hardware revision/lessons learned from AX88U?)
- 3 external antennas and 1 internal PCB antenna

Better for:
- People who want to save ~$50
- People who want slight future-proofing for Gigabit+ Internet
- People who do not have a need for WTFast or the extra 4 LAN ports
- People who want the newer Asus router that potentially takes advantage of hardware revisions and lessons learned from issues with the AX88U (not exactly sure what these issues were.. I just read a few articles and reviews that seemed to point to quality assurance issues)

Note: nVidieo GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization seems like fancy lingo to say that they've added tweaked settings for nVidia GeForce Cloud Now. It is my understanding that these settings can be manually added to achieve the same result. The benefit seems minimal to me but someone with more insight can hopefully add more to this.

Not sure if anyone has seen any performance comparisons between these two models. I'm still trying to sort out the impact of the newer Broadcom 3X3 antenna for the 2.4GHz band. I think it's a bit worse than the previous chip but I wouldn't mind seeing some real world comparisons.

the 88u has lan aggregation (and wan aggregation)... not 100% sure it might require merlin, but don't think it does?
 

steelers43

New Around Here
the 88u has lan aggregation (and wan aggregation)... not 100% sure it might require merlin, but don't think it does?

You’re right. It didn’t see it listed on main spec page but I googled it and noticed an FAQ on Asus website that shows how to enable link aggregation. Maybe they added it via one of their firmware updates. I updated my post to reflect this. Not sure if other items were missed.
 

steelers43

New Around Here
AX86U has a single useless 2.5 Gbe port.

You've just helped clarify part of my confusion with these 2 models. Both models support LAN port aggregation for a 2 Gb connection but the AX86U also has a dedicated 2.5Gb port. It is probably mostly useless as you say but I could see this being useful in a year or two when ISPs start offering a 1.5 to 2Gb connection. Although there is reasonable expectation that ISPs will be including a modem / router that supports this increased speed as most routers don't have a 2.5Gb port. So yeah.. probably mostly useless.
 

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