why is ASUS RT-AX86u recommended over RT-AX88u?

aviphysics

Occasional Visitor
Why is ASUS RT-AX86u recommended over RT-AX88u?
While I can add a switch, just having 8 ports on a single router seems nice and the price difference isn't that big.
 

bbunge

Part of the Furniture
Newer hardware design for one. Come to think it is the main reason I bought one and the fact that the AX86U is a beast! I have gone back and forth between Asus and Merlin and it keeps ticking.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Newer hardware, newer SDK, better RF design. Overall, better than the sum of the differences.

No 8 Port Asus router is worth considering for the LAN ports. Eventually buggy, or buggy from the start. Not worth taking a chance on one for the $20 cost of a separate 'real' switch.

Here is why I ditched my RT-AX88U for (eventually) 2x RT-AX86Us in wired (2.5GbE) backhaul mode.

RT-AX86U vs. RT-AX88U

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul


Although I haven't done a direct comparison, I'd bet even the RT-AX68U is a better router too (and the WiFi isn't bad either). Again, newer hardware, newer SDK, newer RF designs/assumptions.

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode


The other side of the coin is that I have installed many RT-AX88Us for customers and they're still going without issues. Still not at RT-AX86U levels though (of course).

I've picked up a couple of GT-AX6000 routers and will be comparing them to the year and a half old RT-AX86Us soon. There may be a new king to be crowned. Stay tuned. :)
 

danceedance

Occasional Visitor
Is the AX86 pros being the 2.5Gbe port thus giving >1Gbps wifi possibilities?

It comes down to faster Lan and faster Wifi. Seeing AX86U and AX88U use mostly the same (old'ish) broadcom SOC and antenna?

Though some AX88U users reported faster wifi with latest update.


Does it mean Asus has equalised the wireless speeds at the 1Gbps limits?
If you plug a USB 2.5Gbe lan to AX88U usb port, does it broadcast >1Gbps too?
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
Is the AX86 pros being the 2.5Gbe port thus giving >1Gbps wifi possibilities?

Don't get too excited. Manufacturers are equipping newer WiFi routers with 2.5Gbps ports so that they can claim throughput rates exceeding 1Gbps, but that's mostly marketing hype given current WiFi 6 reality. To get those kinds of throughput numbers, you need one or more of: multiple radios in the AP (but there's not enough 5GHz channels available to make that useful); 160MHz channel width (also not available, if you live anywhere sufficiently-densely-populated that you can get better-than-gigabit internet connection, because then you also have nearby airport equals nearby radar equals no DFS channels for you); or 4-stream client radios (pretty much unobtanium as well, in early 2022).

This'll all get better over the next few years as WiFi 6e comes on-line, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that it's just marketing BS so long as you only have WiFi 6-or-less client hardware. Save your money until you've acquired some 6e clients.
 

andywee

Occasional Visitor
I'm also stuck at the decison of keeping AX88U or getting a AX86U to replace it.
I have a 10G EPON connection. but because I am using PPPoE, I am only limited to 1G. my subscription plan is actually 2G down, / 0.6G up. if I want to get full 2G I have to do channel bonding at the huawei EPON Fibre/router. but since I'm on PPPoE it's a Fibre modem only.


as for switches I'm running a XS748T and a few XS505M.

at the moment i'm using AX88U in channel bonding mode (dual 1G) so that the wifi doesnt saturate the WAN port from the 48 10Gb switch.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Unless you just want to 'see' what performance and other differences upgrading to an RT-AX86U brings, I wouldn't suggest doing so over an RT-AX88U today.

The better buy/upgrade seems to be the GT-AX6000 right now (but, I still have to do my own testing to confirm that).

Don't take down a running system. Don't do 'side-grades'. When I upgraded my RT-AX88U to an RT-AX86U, the former was already sold.
 

andywee

Occasional Visitor
well, I have 1x AX88u and 2x AC88U that i use as APs. apart from some weird issue with apple products, when I select 80/160mhz on chn149 or 100, i cant get the ipad m1 or iphone 12&13 to latch onto it. the only way to get the IOS devices onto 5Ghz is 36/160mhz. i tried 149/160 and 100/160. no joy.. it just doesnt connect. but the samsung and windows laptops all work fine. but still, one of the 2 APS need to be migrated to an AX because that's one of the floors that needs to support 2 AX laptops. hence the consideration to get another AX router.

my initial plan was Floor1=Channel 100, Floor2=Chn36, Floor3=Chn149. but it seems only the AX can do Chn100. so I am stuck with 149/36/149 to prevent floor 1& 3 for sharing the same frequency as 5G doesnt go thru 2 floors. .. that said. AX86u has the advantage of the 2.5G that doesnt saturate the 1G as clearly it can sat 1G as I have tested. only problem I have so far was I just found out my switch only supports 1G or 10G. no 2.5 or 5G. a pain in the butt for me right now as I have to enable my 2.5G ports on my NAS to act as a switch for some selected 2.5G devices.
 

aviphysics

Occasional Visitor
Newer hardware, newer SDK, better RF design. Overall, better than the sum of the differences.

No 8 Port Asus router is worth considering for the LAN ports. Eventually buggy, or buggy from the start. Not worth taking a chance on one for the $20 cost of a separate 'real' switch.

Here is why I ditched my RT-AX88U for (eventually) 2x RT-AX86Us in wired (2.5GbE) backhaul mode.

RT-AX86U vs. RT-AX88U

386.1 Final 2x RT-AX86Us 2.5GbE Backhaul


Although I haven't done a direct comparison, I'd bet even the RT-AX68U is a better router too (and the WiFi isn't bad either). Again, newer hardware, newer SDK, newer RF designs/assumptions.

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode


The other side of the coin is that I have installed many RT-AX88Us for customers and they're still going without issues. Still not at RT-AX86U levels though (of course).

I've picked up a couple of GT-AX6000 routers and will be comparing them to the year and a half old RT-AX86Us soon. There may be a new king to be crowned. Stay tuned. :)
GT-AX6000 would be pushing what I wanted to spend.

I got the RT-AX86U.
 

Fuzzylog1c

New Around Here
Hey, looking at the RT-AX86U, the RT-AX88U, and the GT-AX6000 for a primarily wired network consisting of a couple of computers and a Synology NAS. The Synology NAS is capable of doing about 450 MB/sec through 4-channel Ethernet link aggregation, however, I'm limited by my older RT-AC86U's gigabit port.

It seems like the no-brainer option would be to buy the RT-AX88U because my Rampage VI Extreme also has a 10GbE port. However, I like being able to run Merlin, which the author has stated will never support the RT-AX88U. Do you think the other options (AX86U or AX6000) would support 2.5GbE transfer to the NAS via link aggregation, or are those 2.5GbE ports primarily for faster internet connectivity?
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
It seems like the no-brainer option would be to buy the RT-AX88U because my Rampage VI Extreme also has a 10GbE port. However, I like being able to run Merlin, which the author has stated will never support the RT-AX88U. Do you think the other options (AX86U or AX6000) would support 2.5GbE transfer to the NAS via link aggregation, or are those 2.5GbE ports primarily for faster internet connectivity?
You are mixing up the RT-AX88U and the RT-AX89X.

Get a switch to handle the higher speed LAN devices, it's cheaper and much more flexible than trying to find a router that has a multigig Ethernet ports.
 

Fuzzylog1c

New Around Here
Thanks for the corrections and suggestions. I could be wrong, but I disagree that it's cheaper and more flexible to buy a switch AND a router. For example, a QNAP QSW-M408S (10GbE managed switch) is $300. Paired with the cheapest modern router (RT-AX86U), the cost is $550. Plus, if you throw that switch in series with the router (for internet connectivity), your bufferbloat will be the sum of the two devices.

Do I have that wrong?
 

Gary_Dexter

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the corrections and suggestions. I could be wrong, but I disagree that it's cheaper and more flexible to buy a switch AND a router. For example, a QNAP QSW-M408S (10GbE managed switch) is $300. Paired with the cheapest modern router (RT-AX86U), the cost is $550. Plus, if you throw that switch in series with the router (for internet connectivity), your bufferbloat will be the sum of the two devices.

Do I have that wrong?
Why would you connect a 10GbE switch to a router with 1GbE ports?
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Thanks for the corrections and suggestions. I could be wrong, but I disagree that it's cheaper and more flexible to buy a switch AND a router. For example, a QNAP QSW-M408S (10GbE managed switch) is $300. Paired with the cheapest modern router (RT-AX86U), the cost is $550. Plus, if you throw that switch in series with the router (for internet connectivity), your bufferbloat will be the sum of the two devices.

Do I have that wrong?
If you have a 2.5 Gbps network and decided to upgrade to 10 Gbps in a few years, or needed to add more ports to your network, having a separate switch means you no longer need to throw away both the switch and the router, only the switch.

As for bufferbloat, you're not going to notice any difference in real-life usage.
 

Fuzzylog1c

New Around Here
Why would you connect a 10GbE switch to a router with 1GbE ports?
Internet access.

If you have a 2.5 Gbps network and decided to upgrade to 10 Gbps in a few years, or needed to add more ports to your network, having a separate switch means you no longer need to throw away both the switch and the router, only the switch.

As for bufferbloat, you're not going to notice any difference in real-life usage.

Managing a switch in addition to a router means that my workload will be significantly greater. As for bufferbloat, I will and I do notice a difference in real-life usage (competitive gaming). The ONLY reason why I switched to Merlin was to reduce bufferbloat.
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Managing a switch in addition to a router means that my workload will be significantly greater.
There is nothing to manage with a switch...

As for bufferbloat, I will and I do notice a difference in real-life usage (competitive gaming). The ONLY reason why I switched to Merlin was to reduce bufferbloat.
Again, we're talking about a switch here, not about a managed device like a router. Are you able to provide any numbers regarding buffering issues caused by the addition of a switch in a network?
 

Gary_Dexter

Regular Contributor
Internet access.



Managing a switch in addition to a router means that my workload will be significantly greater. As for bufferbloat, I will and I do notice a difference in real-life usage (competitive gaming). The ONLY reason why I switched to Merlin was to reduce bufferbloat.
That makes no sense - "Internet Access".

Elaborate...
 

Threska49

Regular Contributor
Internet access.



Managing a switch in addition to a router means that my workload will be significantly greater. As for bufferbloat, I will and I do notice a difference in real-life usage (competitive gaming). The ONLY reason why I switched to Merlin was to reduce bufferbloat.

Have a managed switch for VLANs and POE and it's pretty much a setup and forget arrangement.
 

tgl

Regular Contributor
I seriously doubt that any ethernet switch made in the last couple of decades would introduce forwarding delay larger than a few microseconds. Wikipedia's article on cut-through forwarding is good reading material for doubters:

Cut-through switching - Wikipedia

Another point to be made here is that a switch that's in a separate box is not necessarily any slower than one that's in the same box as your router. If there's more than one RJ45 jack on the back of your router, guess what: there's some kind of switching hardware in front of them. And it's unlikely that this hardware is entirely integrated with the router's other functionality. I did some testing recently that illuminated the way ASUS' XT8 router is built:

Forwarding Performance and Switching Capacity of RT-AC68U

I wouldn't claim that that carries over exactly to any other router model, but it's probably pretty illustrative of the kinds of tradeoffs that router manufacturers make.
 

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