The Story on RT-AX58U/RT-AX3000/RT-AX82U Streams

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I asked ASUS to clarify the # of streams question regarding the RT-AX58U and RT-AX3000. Here are the Q's and A's. I'm putting this in its own thread vs. going around to all the other threads and posting. Please help out and post a link to this thread in places where people are asking about the # of streams for these products. Thanks.

Tim: Why use a four stream device if only two streams are used?
ASUS: Recently we will launch another new model RT-AX82U which support 2.4GHz 2X2 & 5GHz 4X4.
RT-AX58U/RT-AX3000/RT-AX82U these three models share the same layout design, same chipset platform so that we can put them in the same FCC certification report.

Tim: Are four streams being used for receive and 2 streams for transmit for 5 GHz?
ASUS: Yes. For RT-AX58U and RT-AX3000, the 5GHz band become 2T4R due to software control .
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
RT-AX58U/RT-AX3000/RT-AX82U
2.4GHz 2X2 & 5GHz 4X4
2T4R

Repeat, memorize, repeat, memorize, repeat! :)

Thank you @thiggins. :)
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
these three models share the same layout design, same chipset platform so that we can put them in the same FCC certification report.

I guess that's the actual final piece of info that was missing there, as to why such an odd design.

However, the bottom line in my personal opinion is: way too many SKUs with very little difference, purely for marketing purposes. It's confusing everyone, not just the customers. And it's adding a strain on their developers who have to develop and maintain firmware releases for all these separate models.

A more sensible line up for 2020 IMHO would be:

Entry-level "legacy": RT-AC66U_B1
Entry-level RT-AX56U
Mid-range RT-AX86U, or drop the price of the RT-AX88U to fit that slot
High-end RT-AX89U
Gamer: GT-AX over-9000 (can't recall the number for that one...)

Entry level mesh: Zenfi AC or the old Lyra Trio
High-end mesh: Zenfi AX

The RT-AX92U, RT-AX88U (at its current price point), GT-AC5300, RT-AX58U and now RT-AX82U all look redundant to me.
 
Last edited:

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
RT-AX58U/RT-AX3000/RT-AX82U
2.4GHz 2X2 & 5GHz 4X4
2T4R
As far as I've been able to determine, there is no standard nomenclature to denote stream support that is different than antennas.

TxR (example 2x2, 4x4) only denotes # of antennas/RF chains, where T = number of transmit antennas and R = number of receive antennas. Even the TxR:S convention, where S = number of streams assumes the same stream support for T and R.

If you want a shorthand to describe different stream support for transmit and receive, I guess T:SxR:S would be reasonable. But it's uncommon, so you'd need to describe what you mean anyway!

In this scheme the RT-AX58U/AX3000 would be 2:2x2:2 for 2.4 GHz and 4:2x4:4 for 5 GHz.

Note that manufacturers always use the highest numbers to add up to put on the box. So they ain't helpin' either.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
@RMerlin We went through this in the N to AC transition, too. Manufacturers over-complicate their product lines until they find the sweet spot for price and # on the box that the majority goes for. Or until prices for four-stream radios in the new technology come down.

In the end, four streams for AP and two for STA is where the mainstream ends up, IMHO.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Manufacturers over-complicate their product lines until they find the sweet spot for price

Asus are definitely the worst for that. For every router Netgear puts on the market, Asus puts out three or four. The price difference between the RT-AX56U and RT-AX58U makes me wonder what's the idea behind having both of these products on the market. It's the Google method of "throw things at the wall and see what sticks".
 

jsz

Regular Contributor
I was legitimately just going to ask this this question since I saw the PCB pics showing 4 antenna streams.

Would it be possible to manually flash this model to official AX-82U firmware in the future or.. is that off the table? lol

I legit don't need the AX86u if the 58u/82u with 4 streams exist... reason being I have multiple 3x3 clients and don't like the idea of a bottleneck.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Would it be possible to manually flash this model to official AX-82U firmware in the future or.. is that off the table?

Asus generally has cross model flashing protection, so it's unlikely to be possible. Different bootloader, and the model version check would most likely fail as well.
 

jsz

Regular Contributor
Ah bummer. Would be weird to see an AX5400 version with the same hardware at a premium. The 58u imo seems like an entry product in terms of overall design.
 

csbalogh

New Around Here
A more sensible line up for 2020 IMHO would be:

Entry-level "legacy": RT-AC66U_B1
Entry-level RT-AX56U
Mid-range RT-AX86U, or drop the price of the RT-AX88U to fit that slot
High-end RT-AX89U
Gamer: GT-AX over-9000 (can't recall the number for that one...)


Maybe I can ask it now :) I searched, but nothing found in the topic (coverage comparison between 2 routers)
I have actually a RT-AX58U in a house (90m2). The devices is perfect, but the coverage behind some walls are not so good, and in some rooms I cannot "reach" the 5GHz (but 2,4GHz is very good, but of course slower). Theoratically, if I buy an RT-AX86U, the coverage (5GHz and 2,4GHz) will be better? I see on the ASUS webpage, that 58U is for "large homes", and 86U is for "very large homes". The question is only, what does it mean: "very"? AiMesh is not option at this moment, I only want to use one router. So maybe, a test somewhere with -dB values would be perfect...

Thank you for your help/links!

Csaba
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Theoratically, if I buy an RT-AX86U, the coverage (5GHz and 2,4GHz) will be bette

I doubt it will make a big difference. Might be better to consider getting a second RT-AX58U instead, and set it up as a repeater or an AiMesh node. This is the proper way to extend coverage, as routers are limited by local regulations and the laws of physics. There is only so much that can be achieved by fine tuning an antenna design, and at this point unless you are comparing low-end with high-end products, the difference will be fairly marginal. Plus, upgrading a router won't help much if at the other end your mobile device still tries to transmit back at its low power-saving levels.

The question is only, what does it mean: "very"?

Marketing speech. Don't put too much stock in it, look rather for any existing review that do compare actual range and coverage.
 

csbalogh

New Around Here
I doubt it will make a big difference. Might be better to consider getting a second RT-AX58U instead, and set it up as a repeater or an AiMesh node. This is the proper way to extend coverage, as routers are limited by local regulations and the laws of physics. There is only so much that can be achieved by fine tuning an antenna design, and at this point unless you are comparing low-end with high-end products, the difference will be fairly marginal. Plus, upgrading a router won't help much if at the other end your mobile device still tries to transmit back at its low power-saving levels.

Yes, you are absolutely right, but.
If I want to use 2nd or 3rd device as AiMesh nodes, I have to put cables somewhere, and because of different things, it's difficult at home. If I would have a router from ASUS that has ~20% better range than my AX58U, it would be the perfect solution for me at this moment... That's because I tought of AX86U or maybe AX88U... But I didn't find any tests about the WiFi ranges for this 3 routers.

Thanks,

Csaba
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
AiMesh doesn't require a wired backhaul. But wired backhaul will give you the fastest network possible, particularly with multiple simultaneous devices in use as a 'normal' for the network.

The RT-AX86U or the RT-AX88U will also give better range and throughput than the RT-AX58U. But a main 'AX88U or 'AX86U and a wireless 'AX58U node worked very well for me too.
 

csbalogh

New Around Here
AiMesh doesn't require a wired backhaul. But wired backhaul will give you the fastest network possible, particularly with multiple simultaneous devices in use as a 'normal' for the network.

I know. Wireless, between 2 AX58Us the speed is ~300Mbps, with Cat6e it was 990Mbps.

The RT-AX86U or the RT-AX88U will also give better range and throughput than the RT-AX58U.

This is the answer what I wanted to read, because I was not sure.
A coverage test or graph would be great - somewhere.

Thanks,

Csaba
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No time for graphs or coverage testing. Besides, it would only be applicable to the environment and the time slice it was conducted in.

Buy and test in your environment and make the right decision then. :)
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
The RT-AX86U or the RT-AX88U will also give better range and throughput than the RT-AX58U.

You keep saying that but in my testing your not correct. Most 99% of devices are 2 stream. The AX58U has the same signal and range as my R7800 and AC3100.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
And in your testing and environment, you are right. :)

I also said:

"Buy and test in your environment and make the right decision then. :)"
 

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