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Asus Enters the Wi-Fi 7 Race with Two Flagship Routers: GT-BE98 and RT-BE96U

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Answering TP-Link's over-the-top announcement back in November on new Wi-Fi 7 hardware, Asus today unveiled two new flagship routers, the ROG Rapture GT-BE98 for gamers and the RT-BE96U for general consumers.

Both Wi-Fi machines share the same physical look and processing power but differ in colors, design details, network ports, and Wi-Fi specs. In any case, both are physically massive and powerful Wi-Fi broadcasters.

They represent Asus's intention to embrace Wi-Fi 7 fully, albeit slowly. The company says it will release more hardware of the new wireless standard later in the year.

The new Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Wi-Fi 7 router
The new Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Wi-Fi 7 router

ROG Rapture GT-BE98: Asus’s first Quad-band Wi-Fi 7 gaming router

The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is similar to Asus's previous Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E router, the GT-AXE16000. It has one 2.4GHz band, two 5GHz bands, and one 6GHz band.

The most significant difference, however, is it supports Wi-Fi 7. Consequently, it has a much higher total wireless bandwidth -- up to 25000Mbps -- as you will note in the specification table below.

As a gaming router, the GT-BE98 comes with a striking look. Asus says the new Wi-Fi machine's top is partly transparent to reveal some advanced circuitry and heatsinks on the inside -- the stuff that supposedly makes the router powerful. On top of that, per Asus, "a bold graphic design communicates the ROG spirit", whatever that means.

What's most significant about the GT-BE98, however, might be the fact it's the first consumer-grade router that includes three 10GbE ports, which sure will make fans of Multi-Gig happy.

Asus GT-BE98 vs RT-BE96U: Preliminary hardware specifications

ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Left ASUS RT BE96U Left
GT-BE98RT-BE96U
Antennas8 x external antennas8 x external antennas
Operating FrequencyQuad-band: 2.4GHz, 5GHz-1, 5GHz-2, 6GHzTri-band: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz
Wi-Fi Data Rate2.4GHz: up to 1376 Mbps
(4096 QAM)
5GHz-1: up to 5762 Mbps
(4096 QAM + 160 MHz)
5GHz-2: up to 5762 Mbps
(4096 QAM + 160 MHz)
6GHz: up to 11,525 Mbps
(4096 QAM + 320 MHz)
2.4GHz: up to 1376 Mbps
(4096 QAM)
5GHz: up to 5762 Mbps
(4096 QAM + 160 MHz)
6GHz: up to 11,525 Mbps
(4096 QAM + 320 MHz)
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
MemoryQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU,
256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAM
Quad-core 2.6GHz CPU,
256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAM
I/O Ports1 x 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
2 x 10 Gbps LAN
4 x Gigabit LAN
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
1 x 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
1 x 10 Gbps LAN
4 x Gigabit LAN
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
Hardware ButtonsPower Switch
Reset Button
WPS Button
LED Control
Power Switch
Reset Button
WPS Button
LED Control
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V
(50~60 Hz)β€―
DCβ€―Output:β€―19 V with max.
3.42 A current;
19.5 V with max 3.33 A current
AC Input: 100~240 V
(50~60 Hz)β€―
DCβ€―Output:β€―19V with max.
3.42A current;
19.5V with max 3.33A current
Package ContentsROG Rapture GT-BE98
RJ-45 cableβ€―
Power adapterβ€―
Quick Start guideβ€―
Warranty cardβ€―
ASUS RT-BE96U
RJ-45 cableβ€―
Power adapterβ€―
Quick Start guideβ€―
Warranty cardβ€―
Dimensions
(with antennas)
14.12 x 14.12 x 8.77 in
(358.6 x 358.6 x 222.8 mm)
13.8 x 13.8 x 8.57 in
(350.6 x 350.6 x 217.59 mm)
Hardware specifications: Asus GT-BE98 vs RT-BE96U

Asus RT-BE96U: A powerful Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 router

On the other hand, the RT-BE96U router is a Tri-band Wi-Fi 7 router that reminisces the RT-AX7800 (or maybe the GT-AX11000).

As you might have noted in the table above, the new router has three distinctive bands (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 6GHz) that have a combined bandwidth of 1900Mbps thanks to the support for Wi-Fi 7.

ASUS RT BE96U Top View 2 ASUS RT BE96U Top View
The new Asus RT-BE96U from front and top

Apart from having one 5GHz band less than the GT-BE98, the RT-BE96U also has one 10Gbps port fewer. Still, with two 10GbE ports, it's ready to create a true Multi-Gig network via the help of a Multi-Gig switch.

Pricing and availability

The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 and RT-BE96U are still in the early development stage. Asus says the two will be available sometime in 2023, with the pricing being unveiled then. Rest assured, they will not be the last Asus Wi-Fi 7 routers you'll hear about this year.

And there's no rush. Like previous standards, Wi-Fi 7 has little impact when available only on the broadcasting side. And consumers likely have to wait till the end of the year, possibly even later, before getting their hands on a Wi-Fi 7 device. And only then the effect of Wi-Fi 7 is real.

While it generally doesn't hurt (other than your wallet) to get a Wi-Fi 7 router as soon as it becomes available -- it supports all existing clients -- it only makes sense to do so when you can take advantage of the new wireless standard. And for that, you generally need the hardware on both ends of a connection.

In any case, check back for more information on these two new exciting pieces of hardware and, when possible, their in-depth reviews.

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37 thoughts on “Asus Enters the Wi-Fi 7 Race with Two Flagship Routers: GT-BE98 and RT-BE96U”

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  1. Hi,
    when will it be available in shops?

    I just received the GT-AXE16000 and my current one is the Asus “spider” looking model, which is ok, but lacking, especially on software side and multigig.

    The thing is i don’t care about wifi, but seeing as the new one has 10Gb WAN port is something i actually need, right now i have 2.5gb fiber, but they already offering 5gb, not my ISP but competitors so my ISP will have to offer it soon.
    This one port is difference between buying 10Gb 4 port switch or not since i have unraid server and need two 10Gb ports for local Ethernet.
    feels like a loser right now

    P.S. Do you plan to review the relatively cheap Xiaomi 10000 router? it has x4 2.5gb ports and x2 10gb ports and its half price vs ASUS high end models like that AXE160000, you can find it on ali and im sure other sites too.

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. I think TP-Link is doing it right with the port selection. 1G LAN ports are ridiculous for WiFi-7. It is about time that 2.5G and 10G ports become the standard, especially for these high end routers. When spending big money on a router, you shouldn’t need to buy a separate switch to expand your port selection.

    Reply
  3. Man, are ASUS designers aware that people have wifes? Those router are so ugly my wife would never approve having them anywhere.
    I do think that these are outrageously ugly too. Not everyone is 16 and plays lol all day. 16 years old are probably not the target market anyway.

    Could they just take those specs make something fat and white that you can hide somewhere?

    Reply
  4. Here’s to hoping the 10 gig ports and usb port have better performance than last gen. The CPU and the ram have a good bump in performance on paper, but that’s on paper.

    Reply
    • I hope that is the case, Joseph, but generally, don’t expect a router to work as a real NAS server; get a real NAS instead. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Even a real NAS does not work like a “REAL NAS” these days with random limitations and upgrade blocks. So for the first time, I built my own NAS using Fractal Node 304 case with TrueNAS scale and could’nt be more happier. Ohh it was also cheaper.

        Reply
      • I did. It’s a QNAP TS-453D 4 bay. Unfortunately one of the 4 exos drives already failed. Let’s see how Seagate handles the 5 year warranty. Fortunately I have backups.

        Reply
  5. Dong,

    Noticed in the new specs that Wifi6e is not supported (802.11axe); does that mean that all those 6e client devices would revert to wifi6 with this new router ?

    If you had this new router in a mesh with a slave GT_AXE16000 would you have 6e and 7 (near the routers)?

    Reply
    • AXE is basically AX on the 6GHz band, Mario. If a router support BE, the support for AXE is implied. In any case, those are preliminary specs. NOBODY knows how Wi-Fi 7 will pan out yet. Nothing you read about Wi-Fi 7 right now is set in stone. Most of what you hear is marketing. (Hint: it’s bullshit to an extent πŸ™‚ )

      Reply
      • I just bought Asus ROG line of gaming routers and setup in an AIMesh as they call. Both routers have the 6GHz band.

        I get that WiFi 7 enables 320MHz on 6, but besides that I can’t see why “6E” hardware can’t support part of the WiFi 7 standard. Just feels like they want to push us onto new hardware and more sales for them.

        Reply
        • Your assessment is correct. Wi-Fi 7 basically unifies the use of the bands, and it will support existing standards on both sides of a connection. More in this post. I’d just get what works for me today.

          Reply
  6. Minor point but I do like the design of the led lights over the GT-AXE16000 , back to more traditional, easy-to-read indicators.

    Reply
  7. Other than the different in the extra 10GB port I dont see much of a difference hardware/chipset wise between the axe16000 and this, other than the obvious of 6e vs 7. Would be nice if you could do a comparison piece at some point. TY!

    Reply
    • These new routers won’t be available until later this year and to take advantage of Wi-Fi 7 you’ll have to wait even much longer. Enjoy your GT-AXE16000! It’ll be a great router for years.

      Reply
    • Other than the different in the extra 10GB port I dont see much of a difference hardware/chipset wise between the axe16000 and this, other than the obvious of 6e vs 7. Would be nice if you could do a comparison piece at some point. TY!

      Reply
    • I don’t think that’s what obsolete means. This isn’t even out yet, and there are plenty of uses for the AXE16000 for many years to come.

      Reply

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