RT-AX89X vs RT-AX88U

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KWP369

New Around Here
I've been wanting the 89X for a while now but it's been sold out everywhere for over 3 weeks. The 88U is also on my radar and I can find that in stock. I really have no need to the 10G Ethernet or the 10G SFP as I don't run any servers at home. What I do have is a smart home with a lot of connected devices which is why I want to get a Wifi 6 router to take advantage of OFDMA and more streams.

Removing the 10G ports from the 89X the two main differences between 89X and 88U is 12 streams vs 8 streams and a 2.2ghz processor vs a 1.8ghz processor (respectively). Am I really going to notice a difference between the 2 for a high client count wifi router?
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
What would you define as a high client count?

I have around 50 deivces in constant use all the way back old Linksys WRT54g days and no router I've ever used struggles with the number of clients. Overloading 4k streams concurrently or file transfers can impact a wifi network, but in terms of the routers, they'll generally be fine.
 

KWP369

New Around Here
What would you define as a high client count?

I have around 50 deivces in constant use all the way back old Linksys WRT54g days and no router I've ever used struggles with the number of clients. Overloading 4k streams concurrently or file transfers can impact a wifi network, but in terms of the routers, they'll generally be fine.
Multiple IOT devices but my biggest challenge is my Wireless IP cameras. Currently on my network I can stream 1 wireless camera using RTSP (So it's a local connection) with no issue. But if I try to arrange a grid view on my RTSP player and stream multiple cameras at once (in the grid view) that's when everything comes crashing to a halt.
 

Gouldin

Regular Contributor
ah fair enough, you'll find that wirless ip cameras all connecting to single AP especially on 2.4 will overload it, I'd be looking into having dedicated AP's around the house so there's only 1-3 cameras connecting per AP, would help if you can load balance them between 2.4 and 5ghz wifi also to spread the load out.
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
What I do have is a smart home with a lot of connected devices which is why I want to get a Wifi 6 router to take advantage of OFDMA and more streams.
The fact router supports multiple streams, OFDMA and MU-MIMO doesn't automatically mean your devices support it too. Most of your IoT is probably 2.4GHz N. How many or the others are AX and MU-MIMO capable? Are your cameras on 2.4GHz too? RT-AX89X is a dual-band router. You can achieve better throughput to more devices with GT-AX11000 tri-band.
 

jsz

Regular Contributor
Looking at the specs for wireless (not wired connections), RT-AX88U looks like the clear winner for speed in a normal household of ~10-15 connected devices. Is this correct?

RT-AX88U (https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-AX88U/)
802.11ax 4x4 = 6000Mbps
802.11ac 4x4 = 2600Mbps

RT-AX89X (https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-AX89X/)
802.11ax 8x8 = 4800Mbps
802.11ac 4x4 = 1733Mbps

I believe the 8x8 solution of the qualcomm chip functions as two 4x4 chips in parallel using similar channels, but i'm not exactly sure. "QCN5054" is apparently a 4x4 chip in some devices.

The AX performance of these two manufacturers are going to be significantly different, though. The Qualcomm variation apparently has much higher throughput from early testing of a RAX120, but recent Broadcom/ASUS/NETGEAR updates may have changed that. NETGEAR markets their qualcomm solution with much higher range vs the Broadcom chip in the RAX80.

The AX88u is a 4800 5g (160 mhz) + 1152 2.4g (40 mhz) device with two 4x4 radios on AX. Same for RAX80.

On AC it does 4333 5g (160 mhz + a non standard QAM-1024) + Whatever QAM modulation was added for the 2.4G in terms of wireless N. Anywhere from 600 (QAM-64) to non standard 800 (QAM-256).

AX89X is apparently soft limited to 4800mbps 5g and maybe disabling half its MIMO to run 160mhz modes as the max theoretical spec should be 9600 mbps for the 8x8 alone (with 160mhz channels).

The AC speed looks limited to 4x4 on QAM-1024 with 160mhz channels.. That or 80mhz with full 8x8 MIMO coverage.

I would say the Qualcomm solutions are better in terms of outside looking in, but It really depends on your needs and what you want out of firmware/support etc.


Edit: http://bbs.ntpcb.com/read.php?tid-142430.html heres a picture of a RAX 120. Theres two 4x4 5054 chips. Surprised there isn't a AX6000 solution with just one 4x4 to compete with RAX80/88U. I know charter has an early sample PCB of a single 4x4 + 4x4 5g and 2.4G radio, but thats all I'm aware of. Maybe 160mhz requires disabling half the MIMO of each chip? I'd assume that nerfs the overall range though.. Spec would def be lower than "AX6000" too if that was true. More or less "AX3600"

RT-AX89X is a dual-band router. You can achieve better throughput to more devices with GT-AX11000 tri-band.
While typically true, its a little different on the AX89X given the "8x8" or dual 4x4 5G mimo. They're probably fairly equal unless youre exclusively running 160mhz clients... which may benefit from a triband solution like the AX11000 more so.
 
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carlosmat

New Around Here
Really appreciate the analysis. Sounds like for my needs the 88u satisfies. If you were deciding between the 89x and 88u, which would you choose considering potential future needs?
 

jsz

Regular Contributor
Really appreciate the analysis. Sounds like for my needs the 88u satisfies. If you were deciding between the 89x and 88u, which would you choose considering potential future needs?
I think its too early to tell. Especially with 6E rolling out with potential 2.4/5/6g Tri-band client solutions at the end of the year... Though it might take a couple years for an actual 6E client push as that is currently the case with AX. (88u came out Sept 2018 according to amazon).

Right now theres only 1-2 desktop/user clients (non phones) that support 160mhz and thats the Intel 9260 (AC) and Intel AX200/201 (AX)... Which gives the Qualcomm a performance edge since it supports 4800 "8x8".. for 80 mhz devices.

I think the Qualcomm is better for multiple users currently as it likely sends clients to multiple chips even without MU-MIMO support as theres two physical chips here, though I'm not sure how that works exactly. Just assumption based.

The performance also looks better from early testing https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wir...-roundup-five-routers-tested?showall=&start=3 but its hard to say as the Broadcom chips have gotten multiple updates.

The 88u has better aftermarket support currently, especially with a 3rd party developer posting on this forum consistently. Both chips use quad core A53 CPUs so they're also fairly equal on that side.. Its just the Qualcomm looks to have better multi client support (even more so with MU-MIMO devices/working compatibility) and range from how its marketed as a product.

To me, both offer a poor price to performance ratio, but you're paying the early adopter fee here.

Edit:
I personally grabbed an AC XR450 for "cheap" (this is XR500 with Turbo-QAM disabled for 2.4G). The software/GUI sucks and is generally very outdated compared to ASUS solutions, but it has good range and 160mhz support actually seems to work well with an AX200 card. The only thing I'm not sold out is netgears lack of general support/warranty and the updates being handled by a 3rd party. (Netduma)
 
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