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Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: A Solid Duo of Distinctive Multi-Gig Wi-Fi 6 Routers

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Since I reviewed the Asus GT-AX6000, where I called it the new “best Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router,” I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the RT-AX89X.

The latter is an older router that came out with a good amount of fanfare, and deservedly so. I myself was excited like a fanboy when I first had my hands on it.

That said, this GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X matchup post is to lay out the differences between these two and answer the questions of why I didn’t pick the latter as the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router. Hint: “Best” is subjective.

Most importantly, this post will help you figure out which to pick, considering the two cost the same right now.

Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X
Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: The two Dual-band routers look totally different from each other.

Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Two different routers almost entirely

These two are very different.

The biggest sign is that you can’t use their backup file interchangeably. Specifically, you can’t load the backup settings of one onto the other.

That’s mainly the RT-AX89X’s fault. Of all Asus Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 routers I’ve tested, it and the Blue Cave are the only two that don’t support universal backup restoration.

This is not exactly a bad thing. Some of you have told me that it’s not a good idea to use a backup file of one router on another. While I find this a very convenient feature — you just have to use it with nuance — I suspect that many won’t consider it a pro or con.

But there are even more differences between the RT-AX89X vs GT-AX6000. Let’s check out their hardware specifications.

GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Differences in hardware

As you will note below, both routers’ 5GHz bands can deliver 4808Mbps. However, the RT-AX89X is an 8×8 router, while the GT-AX6000 is a 4×4.

Well, that was just a marketing ploy on the RT-AX89X’s part. In this case, the chipmaker, Qualcomm, picks the 80MHz channel width as the base speed of the router instead of the 160MHz, which the router does support.

I wrote about this more in the post on Wi-Fi 6, but with the top speed of 4804Mbps, that’d mean you would need an 8×8 connection if you do the math. The problem is, there’s no such client.

In reality, the router shares the same bandwidth on the 5GHz band as the GT-AX6000 — it does support the 160MHz channel width, too, as you will see in the screenshot below. And with all Wi-Fi 6 routers, you should count only on the 80GHz channel width in most cases due to the use of DFS channels.

What clearly sets the two parts are their network ports.

The RT-AX89X has eight Gigabit LANs, one Gigabit WAN, one BASE-T 10Gbps port, and one 10Gbps SFP+ port.

While this means more bandwidth and versatility, the RT-AX89X might have a problem fitting in homes with a traditional Gig+ or Multi-Gig broadband connection. Or you just can’t use it to host Multi-Gig on both WAN and LAN sides, unless you get a switch with an SFP+ uplink port.

Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X
Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: The latter has a much better antennas management than the former.

On the other hand, the GT-AX6000 has four Gigabit LANs, one 2.5Gbps WAN port, and a 2.5Gbps LAN — all are BASE-T. So this new router has less wired bandwidth, but it will immediately fit in any high-speed home that wants Multi-Gig on both LAN and WAN sides.

Other than that, the two look markedly different, and the RT-AX89X has a slightly faster CPU than the GT-AX6000. For more, check out their hardware specifications below.

GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Specifications

NameAsus ROG Rapture
GT-AX6000
Dual-band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX89X
Dual-band

Wi-Fi 6
Router
ModelGT-AX6000 RT-AX89X
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-band AX6000Dual-band AX6000
ChipsetBroadcom BCM4912Qualcomm IPQ8074
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
4×4 AX 
Up to 1148Mbp
(20/40MHz)
4×4 AX 
Up to 1148Mbp
(20/40MHz)
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
4X4 AX
Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
8X8 AX
Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
6GHz Wi-Fi SpecsNoneNone
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-ready Yes (AiMesh) Yes (AiMesh)
Gigabit Port4x LAN8x LAN, 
1x WAN/LAN
Multi-Gig Port1x 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig WAN,
1x 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig LAN
 1x 10Gbps Muti-Gig LAN/WAN
1x 10Gbps SFP+ LAN/WAN
Link AggregationYes
(WAN and LAN)
Yes
(WAN and LAN)
Dual-WANYesYes
USB1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
Mobile AppAsus RouterAsus Router
QoSYesYes
Parental ControlYesYes 
Gaming FeaturesGame Boost/Acceleration
OpenNAT (Game Profile)
Mobile Game Boost
Gaming Port
ROG First
VPN Fusion
Gamer VPN

Aura Game Light
Game Boost/Acceleration
OpenNAT (Game Profile)
Mobile Game Boost
Processing Power2.0GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 
1GB RAM
2.2GHz quad-core CPU,
256MB of flash, 
1GB of RAM
Internal FanNoYes
Built-in Online Protection Yes 
(AiProtection powered by Trend Micro)
Yes 
(AiProtection powered by Trend Micro)
Dimensions
(no antennas)
13 x 6.6 x 2.6 in
(33.02 x 16.76 x 6.6 cm)
13.52 x 13.52 x 3.15 in 
(34.36 x 34.36 x 8 cm)
Weight2.47 lbs (1.12 kg)2.82 lbs (1280 g)
Release DateJanuary 2022January 2020
Firmware Version
(at review)
3.0.0.4.386.476293.0.0.4.386.22790
Price
(at launch)
$399.99$449.99
Asus GT-AXE11000 vs the RT-AX89X: Hardware specifications

GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Differences in firmware

While both routers have a gaming section, the GT-AX6000 comes with the ROG Rapture theme, which is more gaming-specific and has more game-related features.

In fact, it has all the gaming features collectively available in the Asus routers, and the programmable AURA game light on top alone is a bonus for gamers who are into bling.

But overall, in terms of firmware, the two have more in common than they do in differences, as in the case of most Asus Wi-Fi 6 routers. The screenshots below will highlight mostly what they don’t have in common.

Asus GT AX6000 Game SettingsAsus RT AX89X Game Settings
Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X (right): The former has a lot more to offer in gaming-related features.

Asus GT AX6000 VPN SettingsAsus RT AX89X VPN Settings
Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: The GT-AX6000 features VPN Fusion while the RT-AX89X only has traditional VPN server and client roles.

Asus GT AX6000 Wi Fi SettingsAsus RT AX89X Wi Fi Settings
Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: The two share similar Wi-Fi settings.

Asus RT AX89X Port SettingsAsus GT AX6000 Port Settings
Asus RT-AX89X VS GT-AX6000: Thanks to the SFP+ port, the former has a lot more port options than the GT-AX6000. But both routers feature Link Aggregation (WAN and LAN) and Dual-WAN.

GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Performance and ratings

It’s worth noting that I tested the RT-AX89X more than a year ago with an older firmware than what it has now. The recently-released GT-AX6000 was tested with its currently latest firmware.

But in all, both are excellent routers in terms of performance. It’s worth noting, though, that the GT-AX6000 has a more responsive web interface and takes shorter times to apply changes — often without having to restart.

The RT-AX89X’s web interface is a bit sluggish, even with the latest firmware, and needs to restart more often to apply changes.

That said, if you like to tinker with the settings, the RT-AX89X can be a lot more time-consuming than the GT-AX6000. Overall, the GT-AX6000 will deliver a much better user experience in customization.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000
Performance
9.5 out of 10
Features
9.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
9 out of 10

Pros

Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage

Dual Multi-Gig ports with Dual-WAN, Link Aggregations, and more

Tons of helpful networking features and settings, including AiMesh 2.0 and gaming-related applications

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app, no login account required

Multi-Gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support

Excellent NAS performance when hosting a portable drive

Bold-looking design, no fan, runs cool

Cons

Lowest Multi-Gig grade (2.5Gbps), there could be more ports considering the router's massive physical size

A bit pricey

Impractical antenna design, bulky, not practically wall-mountable

Asus GT AX6000 vs Asus RT AX89X Performance

Asus RT-AX89X's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus RT AX89X Folded
Performance
9.5 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Design and Setup
9 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Excellent Wi-Fi performance

Uniquely cool design with two 10Gbps network ports

Eight Gigabit network ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation

Super-fast network-attached storage speed when coupled with an external drive

Tons of useful features, including free-for-life real-time online protection and AiMesh

Cons

A bit buggy at launch, relatively expensive

Bulky physical size with an internal fan — potential heat issue in hot environments

Web interface needs work

Not wall-mountable, no universal backup restoration

GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: Which to get

If you can’t make up your mind, you can get both — I did. And the two will work well together in a Multi-Gig wired backhaul AiMesh setup.

AiMesh with Multi-Gig wired backhaul: The current tested combos

However, the GT-AX6000 is a safer bet if you just need one since it’ll fit almost all homes and it has everything a good Asus router has to offer, for both general users and gamers.

On the other hand, the RT-AX89X has the top wired performance and uniquely comes with an SFP+ port. But it was buggy for quite a while — still is a bit today. Also, it carried a much higher price tag at launch.

So, overall, the GT-AX6000 takes the cake. But no matter which you end up with, chances are you’ll be happy with your purchase.

Looking for other matchups in Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.

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21 thoughts on “Asus GT-AX6000 vs RT-AX89X: A Solid Duo of Distinctive Multi-Gig Wi-Fi 6 Routers”

  1. Dong, I have been trying to find this all over the web and can not seem to find it anywhere. I have the RT-AX89X and 1 gig symmetrical fiber connection with an ONT, no gateway. My question is this, can I run my fiber connection directly into the 89X 10gig SFP+ port and bypass the ISP provided ONT?? I thought I have heard that it was possible with some correct ISP info. Do you happen to know anything about this? Thanks in advance Dong!

    Reply
    • That depends, Jason. I know some who have done that successfully but I can’t comment on a particular case.

      Reply
  2. Is it worthwhile upgrading my AX88U to the GT-AX6000 ?
    Would there be much of a performance increase in WiFi speeds?
    Busy house probably 20+ devices

    Reply
    • No, Tommy, unless you have Gigabit or faster Internet. To be clear, it doesn’t hurt to upgrade, worthwhile in terms of cost vs gain, nope.

      Reply
  3. Couple of corrections, and for the record I have replaced my RT-AX89X with a GT-AX6000 for stability reasons. RT-AX89X *DOES* work with base-T transceivers, like this one: https://amzn.to/3K3AZi2 (I’ve used this on my RT-AX89X with great results) if you want to get a cheap 2.5g switch and have multi-gig networking locally.

    Also, it unfortunately suffers from some weird bugs – I’ve been working with an Asus engineer and we’ve managed to get some of them fixed in beta firmware, namely the random dropouts of some IoT devices (Nest Cams, Google Homes, and my embedded garage door controller). The other bug that they’re still working on is a MIMO incompatibility with AX210 chips – if you try one of these, it’ll work great plugged in, but when you unplug the laptop the RT-AX89X throttles it down to ~100kbps. I’ve tried this same wifi chip on the GT-AX6000 and it’s perfectly fine. Qualcomm’s wifi chipsets are just buggier than Broadcom, at least on Asus hardware!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the input, John. Generally, SFP+ to BASE-T converters are hit or miss as I mentioned in the review and here. But it’s good to know the one you mentioned works consistently well with the RT-AX89X — I’ll get it from now on. But yes, there are reasons why I didn’t name the RT-AX89X the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • And how right you are πŸ˜€ (I should’ve said extra info, not corrections…need more coffee.) AX89X is SUCH a cool idea – hopefully they’ll eventually get the firmware worked out, but for now I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. Thanks for all you do, you’re my go-to for router info for a reason!!

        Reply
  4. Hello,

    Another great article!! One minor difference, is the RT has two 3.1 USB ports while the GT has a 3.2 and a 2.0 USB port. the RT has a fan (probably needs it) where the GT doesn’t have one (the RT’s fan is pretty quite but still …). Size wise, I think the two are comparable in footprint area. I have the RT and it is actually smaller than I thought it would be. I really like having so many RJ45 ports.

    While 10G is a novelty now, maybe it will be more common in a a few years. It seems like tech is always growing and exceeding our expectations.

    One item I wonder about is the antenna array coverage area size/shape. Something probably only ASUS knows. The RT has a uniform circular array where the GT has an asymmetrical rectangular array. This shape might make one preferable for certain house designs/shapes.

    Thank you!

    Kevin.

    Reply
    • Both have USB 3.2 Gen 1 or USB 3.0, Kevin — it’s the 5Gbps USB standard. It’s the naming that’s messed up — more in this post. But you’re spot on with the fan, which I put in the specs. Thanks for the input.

      Reply
  5. As always Dong, great! I come here often just to read your insights and tips. Any chance of you making videos like you did in your CNET days? I really enjoyed your videos back then and I could see you getting good traffic on Youtube if you did. There seems to be quite the lack of high quality router knowledge/reviews in Youtube.

    Thanks Again!

    Reply
      • Sorry about your friend. And all that racist crap. We love you and your reviews and work here. Please keep it up.

        Reply
          • No problem.

            I’ve been reading your reviews for several years and I remember your CNET videos.

            What brought me here was I was considering upgrading my GT-AX11000 to an RT-AX89X or GT-AX6000 as this weekend I am getting my fiber Internet upgraded from 1g to 2g. Right now I have the RT-AX11000 configured to use the 2.5g port as the WAN and I am link aggregating two 1g ports to a QNAP QSW-M408-4C for LAN. On the faster ports of the QNAP, I have my 5g workstation and 10g to my NAS (although my NAS won’t do much with 4 spinners in ZFS RAID). I don’t think I would gain a lot by changing the router. What do you think?

          • You can get either the RT-AX89X or the GT-AX6000. Other than what I already mentioned here, the latter gives you an easier choice in terms of Multi-Gig switches which you should get one, too. By the way, get a Synology NAS, don’t fall for QNAP’s highly-specced hardware — you’ll thank me later :).

  6. One note about the frequent restarts – some changes (at least minor ones, like changing the icon for a device) force a restart when done in the web UI, but applied without one if done in the mobile app. It seems the web UI developers just did not bother filtering out unneeded restarts.

    Reply
    • Either that or the app doesn’t show the restart process, and you find out by the brief loss of connection. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Hi Dong
    The RT AX89X 10G & SFP+ ports can be configured as the wan port, which seems to work for me.
    That leaves the other 10G port for hardwired MESH connection, which in my case allows me to attach a second RT 89AX at 10G with the 2nd 10G port connected to my NAS.

    Keep up the articles they are very informative for new and experienced users.

    Reply
    • What is the point of having a multi G connection to our devices other than future proofing or bragging rights? I don’t mean to be rude, I have a lot of over kill. Just don’t see the point when the write speeds and streaming needs except Super rare cases are well below the 1 G speed.

      Reply

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