ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 (AX router)
We review the all-new ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, this premium gaming router is compatible with the new AX standard, also known as WIFI 6. Don't worry though as it is backward compatible with 5G AC and 2.4G lower bands as well. The GT-AX11000 has alien looks alright, loaded with features it should offer really good wired and wireless performance. The triple band Wi-Fi router from ASUS has even been fitted with a quad-core processor.
Routers these days you can purchase a dime a dozen and most of them end up all being the same, as such the more predominant manufacturers continuously seek to add new features to their products in order to differentiate themselves in the market. And that's difficult as there aren't many extras you can add to a router really, you are tied to industry Ethernet and WIFI standards, you can make sure the throughput of the devices is good enough for modern age high-bandwidth file throughput and you can make the firmware as sexy as possible with a nice GUI and extensive feature set. The GT-AX11000 is among the first routers from ASUS to support the 802.11ax specification, also known as Wi-Fi 6. There are eight antennas and 4x gigabit ethernet ports. However, ASUS did include one 2.5 GigE ethernet port as well, yeah - just one... oh well, it's a start.
The GT-AX11000 is controlled by a Broadcom BCM49408, a quad-core Arm chip running at 1.8 GHz and assisted by 1 GB of RAM and 256 MB of flash. ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the world’s first tri-band 802.11ax router. It’ll apparently offer users insanely fast data speeds of up to 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 4804Mbps on each of its dual 5GHz bands. Both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz radio use the BCM43684 chip and therefore have 802.11ax support, 4x4 MIMO, and 160MHz channels. The router also supports AiMesh, a technology from Asus that allows you to build multiple routers as a Mesh network. The units these days even come with USB 3.0 connectivity ports for a bit of UPnP NAS functionality. Following the latest standards, the GT-AX11000 is compatible with 802.11.AX, 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and will manage up to a combined 4804 Mbit/s on the 5 GHz bands with the 2.4 GHz band at 1148 Mbit/s. A nice feature of the router is that it offers multiple guest networks as well, so your friends and family can use their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet on your network completely isolated and secured from your LAN. Network Map is a visual topology map that shows all the devices that are connected to the network. Users can simply manage each device by clicking on its icon and change parental control settings, select wireless bands, filter by device type, or even remove devices from the network, plus more.
This Rapture also offers some gamer-specific features. New is a custom 'Game Boost' mode. This instructs the router to intelligently prioritize gaming traffic ahead of other processes and, while that does sound a lot like Killer LAN, it can also stop high-bandwidth traffic hogs, such as downloads, from operating while this mode is active so you don't experience any lag during gaming. The mode can be activated using a physical button on the router, but that being rather inconvenient if your router sits in a closet or something, you can select it in the GUI or app interface as well. The tech will reportedly help eliminate network lag and latency, creating a smoother online gaming experience.
By the way, at the moment there are no client-side devices available that support 802.11ax. Intel has two WiFi adapters for laptops and PCs in the works which have just been announced (AX200 and AX201). Asus is working on a PCE-AX88 adapter as well, but we assume it is using that Intel chip. This router is a spicily priced one, tagged with a label displaying roughly € 419,- / $439 will it be worth it? Have a peek at the product and then let's dive into the review.