The ROG Rapture GT6 would make the most interesting hardware in Asus's ZenWifi canned mesh family, except it's not a ZenWifi.
Instead, Asus touted it as "the first ROG mesh WiFi system optimized for gamers" at the initial product announcement on Aug 23, 2022.
The system didn't become available for purchase until January 2023.
But you can consider it a marriage between the company's ZenWifi approach and its standalone gaming routers to be the first gaming canned mesh system. It probably won't be the last.
Here's the bottom line: If you're in the market for a reliable Wi-Fi 6 mesh system that happens to have all of Asus's gaming features built-in, at the current street price of around $600, the Asus ROG Rapture GT6 can be an excellent fit even with its current relatively buggy firmware.
Afraid of missing out on Wi-Fi 6E? You can upgrade your network with an access point.
The GT6 is not a must-have, nor does it include anything earth-shattering you haven't seen in existing Asus Wi-Fi broadcasters. But it sure is a welcome option among purpose-built home mesh systems of the outgoing Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Dong's note: I first published this post on August 23, 2022, as a news piece when the GT6 was launched and updated it to an in-depth review on February 17, 2023, through hands-on testing.
Table of Contents
Asus GT6: A new class of mixed ROG Rapture hardware
At the core of it, the Asus GT6 is a 2-pack purpose-built mesh system, just like any ZenWifi set. It includes two identical mesh routers.
Pick one and set it up as the primary router, and the other will automatically work as the satellite unit -- the hardware is pre-synced, and each is a member of Asus's AiMesh ecosystem.
The two units are identical, but Asus gives one of them a faint label on the back that reads, "Hi! I'm Main Unit, start with me", which is helpful when you need to move the hardware around.
Or you can use each as the standalone router of a home where a single broadcaster is sufficient. In short, it's familiar hardware as part of what I detailed in this post on Asus Wi-Fi broadcasters.
The biggest difference is that the GT6 is Asus's first Wi-Fi 6 canned mesh hardware with built-in support for the company's long list of gaming features, as the latest member of the company's gaming elites.
Before this, Asus had the RT-AX92, available as a 2-pack mesh that has built-in gaming features. However, it's not a full Wi-Fi 6 system and doesn't look the part.
So, in more ways than one, it's an alternative to getting one of Asus's AiMesh-enabled gaming routers, such as the GT-AX11000 Pro and using another AiMesh router as the satellite.
Asus Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E gaming routers
The table below shows the Asus gaming routers that support Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E. Follow the links to read more about each.
|Gaming Private Network||ROG First,|
|Gaming Port||GeForce Now||Aura Lights|
Follow the link of each model name for more -- street prices are subject to change.
(*) Standard gaming features include Mobile Game Mode, Open NAT, Gear Accelerator, and VPN Fusion
The post on Asus Wi-Fi broadcasters explains in detail the meaning of each gaming feature mentioned in the table.
Or you can also think of it as the ZenWifi Pro XT12 with built-in gaming features. By the way, despite having a similar shape to the ZenWifi XT8, the GT6 is closer to the XT12 in terms of hardware prowess.
With that, let's check the tech of these three.
Hardware specifications: Asus GT6 vs ZenWifi Pro XT12 vs ZenWifi XT8
|Model||ZenWiFi Pro XT12||ROG Rapture GT6||ZenWiFi XT8|
|Dedicated Backhaul Band||5GHz-2||5GHz-2||5GHz-2|
|Dimensions||4.53 x 9.45 x 4.53 in|
(11.5 x 24.1 x 11.5 cm)
|6.78 x 3.1 x 6.96 in|
(17.23 x 7.81 x 17.68 cm)
|6.29 x 2.95 x 6.35 in |
(16 x 7.5 x 16.15 cm)
|Weight||3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)||1.94 lbs (880 g)||1.56 lb (716 g)|
|4x4 AX: 4804Mbs|
|4x4 AX: 4804Mbs|
|2x2 AX: 1200 Mbps|
|4x4 AX: 4804Mbs|
|4x4 AX: 4804Mbs|
|4x4 AX: 4804Mbs|
|4 x 4 AX: 1,148Mbps|
|2x2 AX: 574Mbps|
|2x2 AX: 574Mbps|
Wi-Fi 4: 600Mbps
Wi-Fi 5: 4333Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz): 1148Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5GHz-1): 4804Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5GHz-2): 4804Mbps
Wi-Fi 4: 300Mbps
Wi-Fi 5: 1733Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (2.4 GHz): 574Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5 GHz-1): 4804Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5 GHz-2): 4804 Mbps
Wi-Fi 4: 300Mbps
Wi-Fi 5: 867Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz): 574Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5GHz-1): 1201Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 (5GHz-2): 4804Mbps
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Asus Router||Asus Router|
|Web User Interface||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Asus Gaming Features||No||Yes||Yes|
|USB Port||None||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Gigabit Port||2x LAN||3 x LAN||3 x LAN|
|Multi-Gig Port||1x 2.5Gbps WAN|
1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
|1x 2.5 Gpbs WAN||1x 2.5 Gpbs WAN|
|Processing Power||2.0GHz quad-core CPU,|
256 MB Flash,
1GB DDR4 RAM
|1.7GHz tri-core CPU,|
512MB DDR 4 RAM
|1.5GHz quad-core CPU,|
512MB DDR 3 RAM
|Release Date||August 2022||January 2023||January 2020|
|Power Adapter||AC 100-240V||AC 100-240V||AC 100-240V|
(over 24 hours)
|≈ 335 Wh|
(measured at the router unit)
|≈ 255 Wh|
(measured at the router unit)
|US Retail Price |
|$799.99 (2-pack)||$599.99 (2-pack)||$450 (2-pack)|
$250 (single router)
A sort of new design
It's worth noting that you can play online games with any Asus router and any ZenWifi mesh. All of them feature a robust QoS feature. Most of the time, that's all you need.
That said, the GT6's explicit support for games is more convenient than a necessity for gamers -- you can pick a game and then apply the best settings with one click.
But, as a gaming machine, the GT6 has more than just software features. It looks the part, too.
Indeed, the new mesh hardware features Asus's eye-catching ROG Rapture theme.
On the front, it carries a large ROG RBG programmable color- and pattern-changing light similar to the GT-AX1100 Pro. This light is synced between the router and satellite units, but you can also turn it off on each.
The Asus GT6's top is transparent, like the case of the XT12, but in this case, that only allows you to see the antennas and other internal parts -- there's no decoration lighting.
Still, it's safe to say this is the first canned mesh system with a design and features to arouse gamers. It's a legit gaming system.
The GT6 has a cool trick as a mesh system: the support for UNII-4.
Asus ROG Rapture GT6: Detail photos
UNII-4: A boon for those unable to run network cables
UNII-4, also known as the 5.9GHz band or the final frontier of Wi-Fi 6, is the newly available portion of the 5GHz band and enables the availability of a third and only DFS-free 160MHz channel which works excellently as the backhaul in a fully wireless mesh system.
UNII-4: What 5.9GHz band is, and why it's hot
The GT6 is not Asus's first UNII-4 supporting hardware. The company has recently enabled this on the ZenWiFi XT8 via firmware, and its upcoming ZenWiFi Pro XT12 and GT-AX11000 Pro also have it.
The list: Current Wi-Fi 6 solutions that support UNII-4
- Asus ROG Rapture GT6 (Tri-band)
- Asus GT-AX11000 Pro (Tri-band)
- Asus ZenWiFi Pro XT12 (Tri-band)
- Asus ZenWifi XT9 (Tri-band)
- Asus ZenWiFi XT8 (Tri-band)
- Synology RT6600ax (Tri-band)
- Synology WRX560 (Dual-band)
However, the GT6 is the first gaming canned mesh that features the 5.9GHz portion of the frequency band.
When it comes to gaming, nothing beats network cables -- you should get your home wired -- but for homes that must use a fully wireless mesh, UNII-4 is the best wireless alternative.
Single 2.5Gbps port. Familiar features and settings
Besides that, each Asus GT6 router comes with a single 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig WAN-only port, and three Gigabit LAN ports, like the ZenWiFi XT8.
So it's a bit tight on the network port department -- by now, I'd hope that all new routers have at least two Multi-Gig ports, like the GT-AX6000 or ZenWiFi Pro case ET12.
To make up for it, it has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port to host a good collection of USB-related features, including the ability to function as a mini NAS server.
Besides that, the ROG Rapture GT6 shares all the standard features and settings available in Asus gaming routers. I tried these out in my testing, and they all generally worked as intended.
The new mesh is so familiar that I'll skip mentioning the long list of what it can do -- which you can find out more about via the link below -- and jump to its real-world performance. That's where it gets interesting anyway.
Asus Wi-Fi hardware: All you need to know
Asus ROG Rapture GT6: Excellent performance despite buggy firmware
I tested the Asus GT6 for over a month and was generally happy. The reason I took my time was because of its firmware.
A bit of a firmware-related issue
Out of the box, the hardware comes with firmware ver. 220.127.116.11.388_20950, which is a pre-released version. I used it for over a week with no issues at all.
General note on Asuswrt firmware
Asus regularly releases firmware updates, a Linux-based operating system called Asuswrt, for its routers. Many of these updates add new features to the hardware -- they do more than patch security vulnerabilities.
Some updates may inadvertently cause a particular model to go haywire, likely because the company tries to do so much with its routers.
As a result, firmware is a tricky thing with Asus. When it comes to updating -- especially in an AiMesh setup of mixed hardware units using wireless backhauling -- keep the following three items in mind:
- Avoid the initial major release(*): This is the first firmware version of a model where the 3xx number changes, such as from 384 to 386 or from 386 to 388. Generally, the latest minor update of the previous major firmware release is always the most stable.
- Avoid using Auto-Update for firmware: You should update the firmware when you see fit instead of letting the hardware update itself.
- Version consistency (in a mesh system): Generally, it would be best to use the firmware version of the same major release for all AiMesh members. (Mixing hardware of different releases might produce mixed results.)
(*) How to read an Asus router's firmware: As shown in the screenshot below, in a particular firmware version, such as 18.104.22.168.386_47629, the 3xx number in the middle denotes Asus's home-grown major release. The following number -- often includes five digits, such as 47629 in the screenshot -- indicates a minor update.
The part before that -- 22.214.171.124 in the screenshot -- is the Linux kernel version that will also change, albeit much less frequently. It's even more significant and should also be taken into consideration.
On the one hand, moving between major releases might break your AiMesh setup or even your standalone router. On the other, new hardware comes with a specific initial version out of the box -- you have no option to downgrade it -- and some old models won't get the latest release. So depending on the mesh combo, your luck will vary.
AiMesh started as an add-on feature with firmware version 384 in early 2018 -- represented by the RT-AC86U -- and was stable by the latest minor update of this version. In early 2020, Asus released version 386, buggy in the early stages, to add AiMesh 2.0 via the introduction of the ZenWifi product line. By late 2022, version 386 became fully mature, and Asus started releasing version 388, and the history repeated itself. So on and so forth.
As a rule, in a mesh system, it's best to wait for a few minor updates of a major release before upgrading. Depending on the hardware combo, you might need to rebuild the system from scratch or reset and re-add a satellite node if you change the major firmware version (in one or all hardware units involved.)
This version is not available for download, so there's no way to go back to it, which explains why I used it for so long before upgrading.
However, upgrade I eventually did, as the hardware constantly nagged me about version 126.96.36.199.388_22233, which is supposedly the official initial release. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as the older release.
Specifically, with this version, the mesh only worked well when I didn't customize the Wi-Fi settings further than the SSIDs and password. Things would go haywire if I did any more than that, such as changing the channel width or assigning a particular channel to the 5GHz-2 band. Most noticeably, clients would stop connecting to the satellite unit.
If you get this mesh set now, keep its pre-loaded firmware until a version newer than 188.8.131.52.388_22233 is available.
It's worth noting that the latest firmware worked fine in my testing when I used the UNII-4 portion for the router's 5GHz-2 band. And that's important since it's probably the only customization you should do, anyway.
Fast Wi-Fi performance, excellent coverage
I tested the Asus GT6 multiple times. Its real-world throughput speeds didn't change between the two firmware versions, but the 2.5Gbps did play a role.
Per my standard testing, I generally hook the test server via a network cable to the router's LAN port. In this case, the GT6's Gigabit port limits its Wi-Fi performance.
To take advantage of the 2.5Gbps port, which only works as a WAN port, I set up a double-NAT to host the test server via this port, and it made noticeable improvements, but only in certain situations.
Specifically, as a single router or satellite via Multi-Gig wired backhauling, the GT6 delivers much better performance when this port is used. But for the most part, its performance was on par with other Asus mesh hardware of similar specs, as you can note on the charts.
As for coverage, the Asus GT6 delivered about the same Wi-Fi range as the XT12. Generally, each unit can handle some 2000 ft2 (186 m2) when placed at the center. Your mileage will vary.
The 2-pack system also proved reliable, passing my multiple-day stress test without any issue, as long as I used it with the default Wi-Fi settings, as mentioned above.
An OK mini NAS server
The Asus GT6 didn't impress when hosting a portable storage device via its USB port.
I tried a couple of top-tier portable SSDs with it, and while it worked fine, the sustained copy speeds were relatively modest -- they were consistently well below the 100MB/s mark.
At this rate, the router can work as a server for mild network file sharing and media streaming needs. You should get a real NAS server or pick one of these routers if you're serious about network storage.
Asus ROG Rapture GT6's Rating
Excellent Wi-Fi performance and coverage, UNII-4 support
Tons of useful features and settings, including built-in gaming features
AiMesh 2.0 full support, helpful mobile app, no login account required
Compact and good looking, USB port
Single 2.5Gbps WAN-only port
Buggy (initial release) firmware
Slow network storage performance when hosting a USB portable drive; not wall-mountable
The Asus ROG Rapture GT6 is not a must-have Wi-Fi system. You can get an Asus standalone gaming router and build it up into a mesh by adding more hardware.
However, compared to its ZenWifi cousin, including the XT12, this new hardware is a convenient way to get the Wi-Fi performance and the gaming features you need in a single package. And its lower price tag doesn't hurt.
In any case, make sure you note the firmware issue above, and it's a good idea to wait till a new firmware release is available before getting it.
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25 thoughts on “Asus ROG Rapture GT6 Review: An Excellent ZenWifi Alternative for Gamers”
Silly Question but when setting the backhaul to use 5 GHZ-2 how do I know if it’s set to use UNII-4? Under wireless –> General I’ve selected 5 GHZ-2, then I checked off the setting below, and I’ve also selected “Enable 160 MHZ”
Auto select channel including U-NII-4 band
If I set the backhaul to use 5 GHZ-2 and check this option will this use UNII-4? Since my house is not wired I need to backhaul wirelessly and I want to make sure I’m using this.
What you did should be enough, Frank, but to make sure, you can manually pick one of the UNII-4 channels. It’ll take a few mins to take effect.
whats better gt6 or xt12.using it in 2 level apartment.
wireless 5ghz backhaul.specs look similar.
You can make that decision by reading this review, Christian. You’re the one who’s been to that apartment. If you need more info, here’s the review of the XT12.
Do you still have 160mhz as an option on 5G-2 on Asus ROG Rapture GT6 on latest firmware? I bought it recently but noticed there is no option to enable 160mhz on 5G-2, 80mhz max, which makes it not an AX10000 router.
Yes, Oliver, but the use of DFS and UNII-4 varies from one region to another.
I was able to purchase a pair in late December. So far, I’ve been very happy with the performance, no modifications, just setup out of the box. I rent a condo, so cannot hardwire for backhaul. Range is exceptional compared to my AX86U and AX11000. My AX11000 would drop one 5GhZ channel intermittently, which has not been an issue with the GT6. I also get 800mpbs on my laptop, which betters the 400-500mbps I would get with the AX11000. Looking forward to the full review.
Noted. Thanks for sharing the experience.
Really looking forward to your review of the GT-6! Any idea when you’ll publish it?
It’s not available yet. So we’ll see.
Lol cheap SoC but dedicated gen 2 radios supporting unii-4
Don’t think its worth 599.99, but it will certainly perform well due to unii4 power output..
We’ll have to wait and see…
9 antennas but only 2×2 on 2.4GHz. Is this a misprint or something else?
It’s something else, like your assumption that you know what you’re talking about. What does the number of antennas have to do with this? 🙂
More on antennas in this post.
Wow! You are literally the rudest blogger I have come across. Time and time again you insult your readers. You could have answered Layne way less snarky, and been so much more polite in your response. Instead, you continue to be rude to your readers to the point where you push them away. Just stop it, Dong. You’re so rude and a complete a$$.
Thanks for the message, Richard. Hope it made you feel good about yourself.
I think Layne could have defended themselves if need be. I was writing with tongue in cheek. Most importantly, I answered the question the way it was asked. And, by the way, Layne was a return reader, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t kissing their ass the last time or times.
You’re such a judgemental di*ck, Richard, and impolite, too. What an irony.
Dong’s initial response was fine, considering the questioning. I’d say the same thing. And to your comment, I’d say, “f*ck off!”
It was not fine. Go read most of Dong’s responses to his readers. Every week I’m reading smart a$$ remarks back to his readers. It’s like he berates his readers on a weekly basis. I’ve never seen a blogger treat his readers this way. It’s so uncalled for.
I couldn’t reply directly to your last comment. But I’d like you to hear this:
Why are you still here, Dick? Didn’t you mention that Dong “push”ed your kind away with his style? Why did you return? Who do you think you are to say something is fine or not?
I’ve followed Dong for almost two decades, and he’s the ONLY tech reviewer who doesn’t pander to bullshit, the type you’d like to eat.
It’s not my place to say this but seriously, f*ck off! There’s NOTHING wrong with how he answers any efing comment because he simply could have just ignored them.
If you ask a stupid question, then you deserve whatever comes after.
Get a life!
Before things get out of hand, I’d like to have the last word in this thread.
I appreciate your input, but let’s put an end to this.
Keep your opinion about me to yourself, or bring it elsewhere. I didn’t make this website to talk about myself or to address folks’ feelings.
If you think this is me “berating” you, so be it! But if you leave any more comment here on the matter, it’ll be your very last comment on this website.
@Richard, you’re such a hypocrite! Even if Dong wasn’t joking, Layne’s question was flippant at best.
Why do you think Dong has to be “polite” when you’re clearly incapable of being nice, yourself? Just read your comment again!
Just for the record, you’re the only one who’s rude.
Fail after fail after fail with just single 2.5 gbe port. It seems like Asus will go bankrupt if they include a 2nd 2.5 gbe port. This goes into my auto-ignore list. Dong you should really come down harshly on devices which feature single when you review them.
As harsh as can be! 🙂
would be great to see how it compares in terms of performance (like the range, signal strength, quantity of supported users, etc.) with the GT-AXE16000.
This one is a mesh — it’s a 2-pack. The GT-AXE16000 is a standalone router. But I’ll test a single unit, too, to see how it pans out. It’ll be a while till it’s out, though.