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Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Preview (vs. GT-BE98): The Next Top-tier Gaming Router

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Since the review of the RT-BE96U, I’ve received lots of questions about the GT-BE98 Pro and the GT-BE98, Asus’s two flagship Wi-Fi 7 gaming routers.

After a long wait, Asus finally confirmed with me earlier this week the existence of the two as separate models and that US users can purchase the former before 2023 is out or soon into the new year. On the other hand, the non-Pro GT-BE98 might never see the light of day in North America.

You’ll learn about that and more in this brief preview, and eventually, I’ll update it into an in-depth review of the Asus GT-BE98 Pro.

The Asus GT AX98 Pro is a massive and heavy router
The Asus GT AX98 Pro is a massive and heavy router.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro (vs. GT-BE98): The new flavor of top-tier Quad-band (gaming) Wi-Fi 7 router

For the North American market, Asus intends the GT-BE98 Pro to be its top-tier Wi-Fi 7 router with everything any gamer or advanced user would want in a Wi-Fi machine. It’s the Wi-Fi 7 version of the GT-AXE16000, so to speak.

The GT-BE98 Pro is the company’s second Quad-band router and its first to feature two 6GHz bands. This is the only major difference that separates it from the non-Pro GT-BE98 model, which shares the same Quad-band configuration as the GT-AXE16000 by having two 5GHz bands.

Asus told me that it, for the foreseeable future, had no plan to release the GT-BE98 in North America, though it “welcomes feedback from the community if they have interest in this model”. So, that might change.

The non-Pro model is set for other markets. My take is that band splitting is less complicated with the 5GHz frequency than it is with the 6GHz, which is subject to different local usage regulations around the world.

Other than that, the two routers are almost identical. The table below shows how they are stacked up against each other hardware-wise.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98: Hardware specifications

Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming RouterAsus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Wi-Fi 7 Gaming Router
Asus GT BE98 ProROG Rapture GT-BE98 Left
ModelGT-BE98 ProGT-BE98
Antennas8 x external
Wi-Fi BandwidthQuad-band BE30000
(2.4GHz + 5GHz + 6GHz-1 + 6GHz-2 ≈ 30000Mbps)
Quad-band BE25000
(2.4GHz + 5GHz-1 + 5GHz-2 + 6GHz ≈ 25000Mbps)
Modulation Scheme
(QAM)
4096-QAM (all bands)
1st Band
(Qchannel width)
2.4GHz: up to 1376Mbps
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz-1: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band
(channel width)
6GHz-1: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
5GHz-2: up to 5762Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4th Band
(channel width)
6GHz-2: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
6GHz: up to 11,525Mbps
(20/40/80/160/320MHz)
Network StandardsIEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b,
IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n,
IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11ax,
IEEE 802.11be, IPv4, IPv6
Network FeaturesWeb User Interface
Asus Mobile App
Asus Core Features
Asus Gaming Features
Mesh-ReadyYes
(AiMesh)
Processing PowerQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU, 256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAM
Multi-Gig Port1x 10GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
1x 10GBASE-T LAN,
1x 2.5GBASE-T WAN/LAN,
3x 2.5GBASE-T LAN
Gigabit Port1 x Gigabit LAN
USB Port1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
Hardware ButtonsPower Switch, Reset Button, WPS Button, LED Control
Dimensions
(with antennas)
14.12 x 14.12 x 8.77 in (358.6 x 358.6 x 222.8 mm)
Weight4.41 lbs (2 kg)
DC Power AdapterAC Input: 100~240 V (50~60 Hz) 
DC Output: 19V with max. 3.42A current
US Release Date‎December 2023TBD
US Price
(at launch)
$799.99TBD
Hardware specifications: Asus GT-BE98 Pro vs. GT-BE98

The splitting of the 6GHz band

As you might have noted from the table above, the splitting of the 6GHz band is the novelty of the GT-BE98 Pro. It’s the second broadcaster on the market that does so, besides the TP-Link Deco BE95. Chances are it won’t be the last.

Band splitting is always tricky, and how that’s done on the 6GHz frequency is still unclear. But in principle, it’s similar to the case of the 5GHz, which gave us the original Tri-band concept.

If you’re new to band splitting, I detailed that in this post on Dual-band vs. Tri-band vs. Quad-band. Or you can open the cabinet below for some highlights.

Tri-band Wi-Fi and the splitting of the 5GHz band

Channels allocation, the 5GHz’s DFS, and band-splitting

A Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (or Wi-Fi 5) broadcaster (2.4GHz + 5GHz) has two distinctive sets of channels. One belongs to the 2.4GHz band, and the other to the 5GHz band.

By default, each channel is set at the lowest width, which is 20MHz. When applicable, the hardware can combine adjacent channels into larger ones that are 40MHz, 80MHz, or even wider.

Again, depending on your locale and hardware, the number of available channels on each band will vary, depending on how wide the band is and the width of the entire band.

In the US, the 2.4 GHz band includes 11 usable 20MHz channels (from 1 to 11) and has been that way since the birth of Wi-Fi. Things are simple in this band. The 2.4GHz band uses channels of 20MHz or 40MHz width. The wider the width, the fewer channels you can get out of the frequency — the entire band is only so wide.

On the 5GHz frequency, regardless of Wi-Fi standards, things are complex. We have DFS (restricted) and regular (non-DFS) channels and the UNII-4 portion. The 5GHz band uses 4 channel widths, including 20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz, or 160MHz. Wider channels are desirable since they deliver more bandwidth or faster speeds.

The 5GHz Wi-Fi channels and their positions on the spectrum.
Here are the 5GHz Wi-Fi channels and their positions on the spectrum in the US. The gap in the middle of the DFS portion, between channels 64 and 100, is reserved exclusively for Doppler RADAR, and the portion beyond 5.8GHz is generally unavailable — it belongs to UNII-4.

Below is the breakdown of the channels on the 5GHz frequency band at their narrowest form (20MHz):

  1. The lower part of the spectrum includes channels: 36, 40, 44, and 48.
  2. The upper portion contains channels: 149, 153, 161, and 165.
  3. In between the two, we have the following DFS channels: 52, 56, 60, 64, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128, 132, 136, 140, and 144. (Channels from 68 to 96 are generally reserved exclusively for Doppler RADAR.)

In a dual-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz) broadcaster, the 5GHz band gets all the channels above (#1, #2). It’ll also get #3 if the broadcaster supports DFS.

In a traditional Tri-band broadcaster (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz), the first 5GHz band (5GHz-1) will get the lower channels (#1), and the 2nd 5GHz band (5GHz-2) gets the upper channels (#2).

If the broadcaster supports DFS, the 5GHz-1 gets up to channel 64, and the rest (100 and up) goes to 5GHz-2. If the hardware also supports the new 5.9GHz portion of the 5GHz spectrum, it generally has three additional channels to its upper part, including 169, 173, and 177.

The splitting of the 5GHz spectrum ensures that the two narrower bands (5GHz-1 and 5GHz-2) do not overlap. So, here’s the deal with traditional Tri-band (2.4GHz+ 5GHz+ 5GHz):

  • The good: While the total width of the 5GHz spectrum remains the same, we can use two portions of this band simultaneously, theoretically doubling its real-world bandwidth.
  • The bad: Each portion (5GHz-1 or 5GHz-2) has fewer channel-forming options, making it harder for them to use the 80MHz or 160MHz channel widths required for high bandwidth. Physically, the channel-width options are now more limited than when the entire 5GHz spectrum is utilized as a single band.
  • The bottom line: Limited bandwidth for each sub-5GHz band. In an area crowded with 5GHz Wi-Fi broadcasters, practically everywhere these days, this band-splitting practice likely adds little in terms of extra real-world total bandwidth.

In the case of the 6GHz band, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. The 6GHz Wi-Fi frequency’s total width is 1200MHz. If split in the middle, we’ll get two 600MHz-wide sub-bands. Generally, the narrower the band, the less flexible it becomes in forming a channel with the widest possible width.
  2. To deliver the best performance, Wi-Fi 7 needs to use its widest channel, which is 320MHz. In a 6GHz + 6GHz split, each sub-band’s 600MHz total width is wide enough to accommodate only one 320MHz channel. As a result, when there are multiple individual 6GHz broadcasters in close proximity, narrower channels (160MHz or 80MHz) will be more readily available than the desirable 320MHz.
  3. By nature, with the current allowed broadcasting power, the 6GHz frequency has just about two-thirds of the 5GHz’s effective range and object penetration — it’s not ideal in homes with lots of walls. To improve this, Wi-Fi 7 has the AFC feature that allows for additional broadcasting power to compensate. Wi-Fi 7 also has the MLO feature, allowing combining multiple bands into a single link. However, both AFC and MLO are not available before Wi-Fi 7 is ratified, which is slated to be by the end of Q1 2024.

That said, it’s safe to say the spitting of the 6GHz is also complicated. However, it’s generally more beneficial than in the case of the much narrower 5GHz band. So, the GT-BE98 Pro will likely deliver more bandwidth than the GT-BE98 when you have many 6GHz clients, though that remains to be seen.

The Asus GT AX98 Pro includes two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps ports
The Asus GT AX98 Pro includes two 10Gbps, four 2.5Gbps, and one Gigabit port.

A familiar router powered by Asuswrt 4.0 firmware

Like the case of the RT-BE96U, the new GT-BE98 Pro will be powered by the latest Asuswrt firmware, version 4.0, based on a new 3.0.0.6 Linux kernel.

The new version, available to any existing models via firmware update, maintains the same local web server with a robust interface that allows for in-depth customization of many networking features, including the support for AiMesh.

However, per Asus, Asuswrt 4.0 includes a few noteworthy improvements:

  • Upgraded VPN: Users can manage VPN using either the web user interface for the Asus mobile app. VPN Fusion can now deliver VPN connections connected to clients without client software and help VPN-enabled and non-VPN Internet access co-exist within the local network. The supports for WireGuard VPN server and client. Improved Instant Guard.
  • Better Android/iOS Tethering: Users can quickly tether an Android or iPhone to the router’s USB port to work as backup Internet access via Dual-WAN.
  • Better security scan and parental controls: Asus AiProtection Pro is now improved with more features and higher effectiveness. It remains a free-for-life feature.
  • Better auto firmware update: Now, with a separate section for security updates only.
  • Theme customization and port monitoring: Users can change the theme color and monitor each port of the router individually for a better understanding of their network.

Still, at the core of it, Asuswrt 4.0 remains a familiar firmware that’s been used in Asus routers for the past two decades, including the fact it tends to be buggy with the initial releases. And it remains open-source, meaning users can still expect support from Merlin going forward.

That said, you can expect the GT-BE98 Pro to be a similar router. And as the top-tier gaming machine, it’ll have everything other Asus routers collectively have — including robust gaming features and the Aura RGB lighting bling — and then some. For more on what you can expect in terms of features and settings, check out this primer on Asus Wi-Fi routers.

Availability and pricing

As mentioned, Asus told me that the Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro would start shipping at the end of 2023 or early 2024 with the suggested retail price of $799.99, or $100 more than the RT-BE96U. Considering how much more the Quad-band router has over its older and lesser non-gaming Wi-Fi 7 cousin — the Multi-Gig support alone is already significant — the pricing seems reasonable enough.

To find out how the Asus GT-BE98 Pro’s performance and features pan out, check back in early 2024 for its in-depth review.

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44 thoughts on “Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98 Pro Preview (vs. GT-BE98): The Next Top-tier Gaming Router”

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  1. I just bought this device and although my ISP’s technician can get 8+ Gbits/s on his device for the 10 Gig service, I can’t seem to get more than 5 on this router. I have tried everything I can think of but am at a loss now of what else to try.

    See my thread over here for details: https://rog-forum.asus.com/t5/gaming-routers/gt-be98-pro-too-slow-on-10-ge-wan-only-getting-5-gbit-but/m-p/998396/emcs_t/S2h8ZW1haWx8dG9waWNfc3Vic2NyaXB0aW9ufExTWEpCVlZJSzFNRkM0fDk5ODM5NnxTVUJTQ1JJUFRJT05TfGhL#M7064

    I’m hoping someone else has had this issue and knows a fix, or that it is a known firmware issue. I have tested with everything unplugged and WiFi turned off so nothing but one computer could connect. The speeds I’m seeing are in the built-in speed test under Game Acceleration. QoS is off. Jumbo Frames is on (also tried off).

    Reply
      • Thanks for the reply and the links. Looks like I am getting what you found in your tests then. So would you say that if my ISP starts allowing 12G on 10G connections my numbers should go up? The technician said they might do that at a later date.

        Reply
        • No, Ryan. The router itself is the bottleneck. When you go past the 2.5Gbps mark, things get complicated — you have to deal with the MTU settings among other things. The post on Multi-Gig, previously linked, explains that. In any case, don’t take the specs’ numbers literally.

          Reply
          • You are not wrong there, Ryan. Imagine how I felt years ago after spending loads of $$ on the hardware. But it is what it is. Plus, anything over 2Gbps is plenty fast. We’re lucky.

  2. I just purchased a GT-BE98 Pro and need some advise on purchasing a few ASUS extenders to hook up into a back-flow configuration for the time being. As ASUS doesn’t as of yet have any WiFi 7 extenders and not wanting to spend too much money until they do, will a few RP-AX58‘s work? I know there WiFi 6, but this is only until ASUS comes out with a WiFi 7 extender(s). Thank you.

    Reply
    • Your question implies if AiMesh will work over wired backhaul. Yes it will. I think TP-Link makes it confusing regarding wired vs wireless backhaul, unfortunately, in particular with TP-Link OneMesh, and roll out for EasyMesh of wired backhaul…

      Reply
  3. I’m assuming I could connect this with my two Asus XT12 routers and they would all use 5ghz as wireless backhaul?

    If so, would the BE98 pro be best used as the main router, or as one of the mesh points? Only reason I’m considering this router is for better game streaming over wifi from my PC upstairs to my TV downstairs.

    Reply
  4. My GT-BE98 Pro just got set up and I did run into a few issues, like every time I make a change for the wi-fi Mac filter, the router reboots. Sometimes the clients can never reconnect unless I do a hard shutdown. Other than that the performance is phenomenal and I don’t think it’s expensive at all. Considering I paid $400 for my 8 port 10Gbe switch, $800 is very reasonable. I’m also using the AXE16000 I bought last year as a node, but will probably purchase another matching GT-BE98 Pro and use that as my node. I wouldn’t mind utilizing both 6Ghz channels throughout my home with AiMesh. I love your articles Dong and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate them. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • The MAC-related restart you mentioned is generally the case, Richard. That happens, too, when you apply IP reservations in most routers. Glad you like it. I likely won’t be able to get to it after CES. Thanks for sharing the experience.

      Reply
  5. Hi Dong

    hope you had a nice xmas!

    quick question; do you think its worth paying and extra 100 dollars to get the BE 98 Pro Versus the BE96?
    I have the BE96 now, and it works great with my ET12AXE’s in a mesh, but, the number of multi gig ports on the BE96 is a bit disappointing, and, for another 100 dollars at this point, it doesnt make much difference to me..just wondering if you think its a good idea to return the 96 and get the 98 pro
    thanks!

    Reply
  6. Hey Doug, thank you for all your content. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 🎄🎉

    Any chance you’ll be reviewing the Deco BE63 units? 😀

    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. How is this shaping up against the upcoming TP Link GE800? Does one the GT-BE98 Pro have any notable advantages/disadvantages in comparison?

    Reply
  8. These specs are pretty nuts. Surprised actually this router became available already in the US. I thought it wouldn’t be available until middle or end of 2024.

    Luckily, I ended up actually ordering one from newegg just as it became available in stock today (GT-BE98 Pro). The pro version is really worth it! Going to pair it with my GTAXE-16000 router(s) most likely. Wifi 7 looks super promising with MLO. This time it’s a nice upgrade that we should notice once the features become available on firmware and clients! Even better with some merlin magic dust.

    Woohoo excited!! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Thanks for the write-up and staying on top of the king of the router battle. This one looks really good, I am thinking about making this the flagship and replacing the main GTX-16000 and using it with two wired GTX-16000 backhauls. Probably don’t need it at this point in time but it’s never too early to get ready for the next standard in WIFI.

    Reply
    • I am curious about your projected change. I too have 2 X GT16000 routers wired and as you know you get 1 x 2.4 , 2 x 5 and 1 x 6e.

      If we get the Pro model which has 2 X 7 radios (instead of 2 x 5) how does the second 5 Ghz band continue to work or can they be mapped to the same SSID ? I have split workloads across the 2 x 5 radios (different SSIDs)

      I was eyeing no NON pro as the most compatible version with the GTAX16000’s . Appreciate your input.

      Reply
      • I have a GT-BE98 Pro with 10G backhaul to an AXE16000. It appears you can max out at quad band Smart Connect: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz-1, 5 GHz-2, and 6 GHz, OR 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz (not sure which of the two on the AXE16000 is chosen), 6 GHz-1, and 6 GHz-2.

        Reply
  10. Hi Dong ,in my opinion seems to be more interesting the non PRO variant. Here in Italy, the BE98 is currently available on amazon at 771€.
    My 10G symmetric fiber coming last Saturday, and I’m thinking/waiting to buy the BE98 or the down priced GT-AXE16000 actually at 480€ (second hand Amazon warehouse). What’s your advice?? Thank you and have a nice Christmas!

    Reply
    • In EU my understanding is governing body analogous to our FCC have only released the lower 600 MHz of 6 GHz band hence why non-Pro models are diverted there first, (similar to why TP-Link not making BE95 available there yet). Hats off to the FCC for being quicker to release both upper and lower segments quickly…

      Reply
  11. Nice specs. Now that I’ve moved from an older Asus to a Verizon CR1000a (I found for $85 on eBay) I miss it. I will definitely be picking one of these up once the price comes down to reasonable levels.

    The one big advantage of 6GHz is that I occupy that bandwidth to myself (as opposed to 5GHz which is overcrowded). I realize it won’t stay that way forever, but it should be relatively uncrowded for at least the next few years.

    Reply
  12. WiFi 7 seems like really cool tech especially with MLO. But At these high prices is it really worth considering ASUS anymore ? You can build Ubiquiti setup with a few access points for that kind of money. One router is not enough to cover a whole home at maximum speeds especially with floors and obstructions in the way. And 6 GHz will only operate at the highest MCS (QAM) levels when the SNR is good. The further away you are then 6 GHz will not do you as much good.
    I have started dabbling with unifi/ubiquiti and I found it much easier to set up and deploy than ASUS AiMesh. Clients roam just fine between nodes. The key is channel plan the frequencies and power levels of the various radios. I think I will wait to see what unifi/ubiquiti releases on the WiFi 7 side before I consider one of these ultra expensive ASUS WiFi 7 routers.

    Reply
    • Asus routers are NOT ultra expensive if you look into other brands, like Netgear, eero, or Linksys. The company likely will release lower-tier and more affordable models next year. Ubiquiti is quite different, it’s more for business users, and generally slow in adopting new Wi-Fi standards.

      Reply
      • If you don’t think $800 for one router isn’t ultra expensive then with all due respect you are part of the problem. Part of the marketing machine.

        You should consider steering consumers toward solutions that will improve their quality of life not siphon hundreds of dollars away for a subpar experience.

        We know 6 GHz doesn’t penetrate obstructions as well as 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. So for consumers living in a large space, a one router solution will have subpar WiFi in some locations. And 6 GHz won’t save them either. I hear it all the time on zoom and teams calls. People dropping in and out can’t hear them speak all because they’re too far away from their one router and don’t realize. A meshed / multiple access point system would be a much better solution than a single $800 router. So rather than saying I have the fastest router with the newest technology (that’s not even yet fully ratified) on the market, how about considering is this $800 really worth it when other solutions (such as multiple access points) exist. What is the opportunity cost of giving ASUS $800 for this router? What do you give up ?

        Anyways, thank you for your time. And good luck.

        Reply
        • I said Asus routers were not ultra expensive compared to other brands. And this one is indeed not for what it has considering the cost of Multi-Gig switches in general. And nobody forces you to buy it. There are other options.

          Please don’t tell me about me whom you clearly know nothing about. Plus I didn’t ask. But I’ll take your good luck wish.

          Reply
        • Unfortunately the $ isn’t quite what it used to be, and who knows how weak it will continue to get…

          It is expensive in my opinion for what it is. And I do recall my wife complaining about the $699.99 + tax I spent on our AXE16000 when I could find it/when it first became available at my local Micro Center.

          Now the AXE16000 has dropped in price $100, and that is what I wish to point out. Eventually as newer/higher models come out, this one will become more and more affordable. Check out prices on the RT-AX89X as an example.

          Reply
          • This comment has 0 value for this review that shows off what the device can do and the tech. Not to mention berating the reviewer by attempting to take everything they say out of context for the sake of your bias against the product itself when they have 0 control over this. Most of the other routers in the same category are the same cost if not more + Additional services.

    • Not sure why you would say that unifi/ubiquiti is easier to setup than Asus mesh; plus, they have had lots of security issues in the past, they are SUPER slow to update/release/ship new products, they are very finicky for people who want to just get things setup and forget it, so comparing Asus to Ubiquity stuff is like comparing Apples to Sushi; nothing like each other, and not targeted to the same marketplace

      Reply

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