Why do I need 4 cores? (RT-AX86U)

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tallytr

Senior Member
> 30 clients, NAS, on Ethernet and Wi-Fi....


Screenshot 2020-12-30 124158.jpg
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
For wifi, you don't. The wifi radios on the RT-AX86U have their own dedicated CPU, for starter.

Those cores are useful for other applications: VPN, SMB disk sharing, etc...
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
probably not necessary in your case. Unless you on 1GB connection with all the features on like ai trend micro, adaptive qos, traffic analyzer and maxing out that bandwidth and want to keep a high and stable throughput. Its overkill in most situations.

I can run 30 clients on my ac66u_b1 fine. mostly iot devices with two tv's doing 4k hdr and one desktop gaming and one downloading torrents. Only a 350GB connection though. cpu barely breaks 50% on a single core.
 
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cooloutac

Very Senior Member
For wifi, you don't. The wifi radios on the RT-AX86U have their own dedicated CPU, for starter.

Those cores are useful for other applications: VPN, SMB disk sharing, etc...

where are you getting the information about the dedicated cpu for the wifi radios?
 

slidermike

Regular Contributor
where are you getting the information about the dedicated cpu for the wifi radios?
Each radio has a dedicated SOC (system on a chip) as noted here.
5ghz SOC here
2.4ghz SOC here
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Each radio has a dedicated SOC (system on a chip) as noted here.

Correct, with their own dedicated CPU and RAM. At boot time, the SoC firmware is uploaded into the SoC and then set into a running state on that SoC's CPU, at least in the case of the BCM43684 (not sure how it works for non-DHD SoCs).

Remember when Broadcom advertised their XStream platform as being "Pentacore" back in the day... It was actually the main dual core CPU (BCM4908), and three BCM4366E (each with their own dedicated CPU core).
 

Lee MacMillan

Regular Contributor
For wifi, you don't. The wifi radios on the RT-AX86U have their own dedicated CPU, for starter.

Those cores are useful for other applications: VPN, SMB disk sharing, etc...
I have up to 20 wifi clients (phones, tablets, TVs, Roku, etc. but not all active at once) and two wired connections (primary PC and VOIP device) but no VPN, no USB drive and basically just surf the web, watch YouTube videos, and stream TV shows in the evening. The AX86U is probably overkill for my needs then, right?
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
I have up to 20 wifi clients (phones, tablets, TVs, Roku, etc. but not all active at once) and two wired connections (primary PC and VOIP device) but no VPN, no USB drive and basically just surf the web, watch YouTube videos, and stream TV shows in the evening. The AX86U is probably overkill for my needs then, right?

Probably, yes. unless those wireless clients are generating a good amount of trafic, in which case it might help.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If we're measuring 'need' by the ability to be online reliably, do what we 'need' to do, and then jump off (i.e. pay a bill, read about new hardware, reply to an email), then I would suggest that anything above an RT-N66U is technically, 'overkill'.

On the other hand, if we're paying for a fast connection (anything north of 200Mbps up/down symmetrical, and for many people and use cases, well below that too), and want it to feel like it is as fast as the marketing wants us to believe, then an RT-AX86U (currently the best bang for the buck/lowest latency network possible Asus/RMerlin combo) is just enough, today.

Overkill would be to have one in each room on a wired AiMesh set up. Because that would be 'too much Wi-Fi' unless you live in a hotel-sized mansion. And at that point, better options are available and you're having your people tell their people to get people to 'look into it' for you (with the 'it' being better, faster, more stable/reliable, and lower latency Wi-Fi). :)
 

Lee MacMillan

Regular Contributor
Probably, yes. unless those wireless clients are generating a good amount of trafic, in which case it might help.
Thanks. In a typical month, I only use about 250GB of data, most of which comes from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Other than the Roku, the wireless clients aren't big data users.
 

Lee MacMillan

Regular Contributor
If we're measuring 'need' by the ability to be online reliably, do what we 'need' to do, and then jump off (i.e. pay a bill, read about new hardware, reply to an email), then I would suggest that anything above an RT-N66U is technically, 'overkill'.

...an RT-AX86U (currently the best bang for the buck/lowest latency network possible Asus/RMerlin combo) is just enough, today.
Truth be told, my AC66U_B1 is probably sufficient for my "needs." However it is an 8 year old design and I would like to be a little more up to date. I'll probably wait a couple months to see if the AX68U becomes available. When/if I get tired of waiting, I'll just spring for the AX86U (assuming supply catches up with demand.)
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
Truth be told, my AC66U_B1 is probably sufficient for my "needs." However it is an 8 year old design and I would like to be a little more up to date. I'll probably wait a couple months to see if the AX68U becomes available. When/if I get tired of waiting, I'll just spring for the AX86U (assuming supply catches up with demand.)

it probably is for most people. But the range on the ax58u is a huge upgrade form it which did help my doorbell connection. Other then that I just bought it for the same reasons, to feel cool having an ax router that really doesn't benefit me lol.
 

tallytr

Senior Member
To be truthful, in my case since the RT-AX86U wasn't that expensive I get pleasure simply from the speedier access to the configuration screen when accessing from WAN, at least I am thinking the overall UI response is snappier, I could be wrong though....
I am on Gigabit and also mainly using the router for streaming and accessing the dedicated NAS.
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
Correct, with their own dedicated CPU and RAM. At boot time, the SoC firmware is uploaded into the SoC and then set into a running state on that SoC's CPU, at least in the case of the BCM43684 (not sure how it works for non-DHD SoCs).

Remember when Broadcom advertised their XStream platform as being "Pentacore" back in the day... It was actually the main dual core CPU (BCM4908), and three BCM4366E (each with their own dedicated CPU core).


When you said separate cpu in another thread you basically just meant the wifi chip, which all the routers have. In fact the ax58u has the same broadcom 43684 chip but like another user pointed out it is software limited to 2x2 so asus can jack up the price on the ax92u. So saying the ax68u has a better chip is not really accurate. I don't even have any devices that use more then 2x2, let alone more then two that use ax and I don't foresee that changing in the next 5 years so no big deal to me. I'd still rather take the tri core cpu over that dual core after my terrible experience with poor stability on the ac86u which according to you the ax68u will be using.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
To be truthful, in my case since the RT-AX86U wasn't that expensive I get pleasure simply from the speedier access to the configuration screen when accessing from WAN, at least I am thinking the overall UI response is snappier, I could be wrong though....
I am on Gigabit and also mainly using the router for streaming and accessing the dedicated NAS.
You aren't wrong. The RT-AX86U does provide a snappier and speedier experience. I noticed it right away coming from the RT-AC68P/1900P routers. If you read online reviews almost everybody who upgraded from the previous generations of routers (with the possible exception of routers like the RT-AC86U) mentioned the noticeable improvement in responsiveness and overall performance.

This doesn't happen by accident. The Asus engineer team that developed it must have specifically designed it with the hardware and firmware to be very low latency and handle internet data extremely efficiently. It really is making a statement in the highly competitive consumer wireless router market and especially in the popular online gaming market that Asus again is the one to beat.
 
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SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
Truth be told, my AC66U_B1 is probably sufficient for my "needs." However it is an 8 year old design and I would like to be a little more up to date. I'll probably wait a couple months to see if the AX68U becomes available. When/if I get tired of waiting, I'll just spring for the AX86U (assuming supply catches up with demand.)
There is nothing wrong with continuing to use the AC66U_B1. You can continue to use it as long as it serves your needs. The AX68U will probably be good but if it was me I'd make a bigger upgrade jump. When you are ready in the next months or year and you want it and have the funds to get it then go with the AX86U... or look at a newer model with Wifi 6E that is at least as good or better.
 

cooloutac

Very Senior Member
You aren't wrong. The RT-AX86U does provide a snappier and speedier experience. I noticed it right away coming from the RT-AC68P/1900P routers. If you read online reviews almost everybody who upgraded from the previous generations of routers (with the possible exception of routers like the RT-AC86U) mentioned the noticeable improvement in responsiveness and overall performance.

This doesn't happen by accident. I would bet that the Asus engineer team that developed it specifically designed it with the hardware and firmware to be very low latency and handle internet data extremely efficiently. It really is making a statement in the highly competitive consumer wireless router market and especially in the popular online gaming market that Asus again is the one to beat.

I agree with your first paragraph because the same can be said when upgrading from the ac66u_b1 to the ax58u. Which goes to the op's point that the ax86u is overkill when the ax58u can be had for half or almost half the price. I got mine renewed for $125 can be had for $150 new.

Regarding your 2nd paragraph, unless he's a hardcore gamer that games wirelessly I'd have to take asus's word for it that its better the most. I personally don't think they compete with the same market because their pricing is much higher and they sell way less routers then tp-link and netgear. Which I do find to be inferior products. I think Asus is more for the hobbyist and tech geek. I personally went for Asus because I've read their firmware updates more frequently for security and stability patches. But I'm not sure that is still true now.
 

SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
I agree with your first paragraph because the same can be said when upgrading from the ac66u_b1 to the ax58u. Which goes to the op's point that the ax86u is overkill when the ax58u can be had for half or almost half the price. I got mine renewed for $125 can be had for $150 new.

Regarding your 2nd paragraph, unless he's a hardcore gamer that games wirelessly I'd have to take asus's word for it that its better the most. I personally don't think they compete with the same market because their pricing is much higher and they sell way less routers then tp-link and netgear. Which I do find to be inferior products. I think Asus is more for the hobbyist and tech geek. I personally went for Asus because I've read their firmware updates more frequently for security and stability patches. But I'm not sure that is still true now.
If the AC66U_B1 serves his needs then any expense for a new router could be considered "overkill". I'm sure the AX58U is probably a very good router and for the price you paid it's a good value. You got a good upgrade value in the price range you wanted to pay at the time you bought it.

If he is considering upgrading at all and has the funds to do it then go with a bigger upgrade even if it means waiting to see what the newer Wifi 6E routers are like. What is "overkill" today is probably going to be average in a few years. If you go with one of the best in the price range you are willing to pay then you don't need to go through the hassle of upgrading as often.
 
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SoCalReviews

Very Senior Member
it probably is for most people. But the range on the ax58u is a huge upgrade form it which did help my doorbell connection. Other then that I just bought it for the same reasons, to feel cool having an ax router that really doesn't benefit me lol.
...but if you had the AX86U not only would you feel cool but your doorbell might ring a little faster. :cool:
 

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