The new Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 has more than enough to substitute the RT-AX82U as a gaming router. It's also a sizable upgrade to the lesser version GS-AX3000.
Specifically, put the RT-AX82U inside the chassis of the GS-AX3000, sprinkle in Asus's ROG STRIX firmware, and you get yourself the GS-AX5400.
Since I have already reviewed both the RT-AX82U and the GS-AX3000, this write-up is more of a GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U match-up. (The GS-AX5400 vs GS-AX3000 matchup is available here.)
By the way, if you're confused by the model names above, this primer post on Asus's (gaming) routers will put things in perspective -- give it a read before continuing.
To cut to the chase: Go ahead and get this GS-AX5400. Though far from perfect, it proved an excellent gaming router worthy of the current $250 price tag in my trial.
But the RT-AX82U will give you about the same experience -- plus possibly a better design -- all at a slightly lower cost of around $225. So which to get between these two can be a bit of head-scratching. Or is it?
Table of Contents
Asus GS-AX5400: The RT-AX82U’s younger twin bother
The GS-A5400 is a medium-size rectangle box with beveled sharp edges and four non-removable antennas on the back. It has a huge Aura RBG gaming light on the front, resembling the slightly larger RT-AX-82U.
But the two look mostly different, as you will note in the photos within this review. I prefer the RT-AX82U's design -- it has more style. The GS-AX5400 is a bit mundane-looking. But this is just a personal preference.
Asus GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U: Hardware specifications
On the inside, the GS-AX5400 has one thing that differentiates itself from the RT-AX82U: It has a fancier ROG STRIX theme which feels a bit more responsive and comes with some extras of Asus's Tier-2 gaming features.
So, the GS-AX5400 and the RT-AX82U are only different in appearance and firmware. The former has two more game-related features, including the support for ROG First and VPN Fusion.
ROG First is useful when coupled with other ROG hardware, like a computer. It allows you to use an app to manage some gaming aspects of the router.
VPN Fusion, on the other hand, is more practical. It allows network clients to use a VPN connection selectively, for gaming or not.
|Full Name||Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400|
Dual-band Gaming Router
|Asus RT-AX82U Dual-band |
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
|Dimensions||10.56 x 7.08 x 6.53 in|
(268 x 180 x 160 mm)
|10.83 x 7.26 x 6.5 in|
(275 x 184 x 165 mm)
|Weight||1.55 lbs (701.3 g)||1.63 lbs (740 g)|
|Hardware Specs||1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, |
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
|1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, |
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
|Wi-Fi Technology||Dual-Band AX5400||Dual-Band AX5400|
|5GHz Wi-Fi Specs||4x4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps|
|4x4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2x2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|2x2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|Wireless Security||WPA, WPA2, WPA3||WPA, WPA2, WPA3|
|Mobile App||Asus Router||Asus Router|
|Web User Interface||Yes||Yes|
|Mesh Support||AiMesh 2.0||AiMesh 2.0|
|USB Port||1x USB 3.2 Gen 1||1x USB 3.2 Gen 1|
|Gigabit Port||4x LAN, 1x WAN||4x LAN, 1x WAN|
|Dual-WAN||Yes (WAN+LAN/USB)||Yes (WAN + LAN4/USB)|
|Link Aggregation||Yes (LAN and WAN)||Yes (LAN and WAN)|
|Gaming Features||Aura Gaming Light|
Mobile Game Mode
|Aura Gaming Light|
Mobile Game Mode
|U.S. Price |
Neither of the routers has a Multi-Gig port, which is always disappointing, especially when considering their high-end 5GHz band. But the lack of wired Multi-Gig support is common among mid-tier Wi-Fi 6 routers.
Asus GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U: The same common feature set, mobile app, and setup process
Other than some minor differences in the gaming features, the GS-AX5400 and RT-AX82U share the rest of their features.
Specifically, both share the core features galore of all Asus routers and can work together in an AiMesh setup (preferably via a wired backhaul) and use the same Asus mobile app.
You can set them up the same way, too, via the web interface. And you can even restore the backup file of one on the other. In an AiMesh setup, either can work as the main router or a satellite node.
In other words, if you have used an Aus router before, the new GS-AX5400 will feel right at home. And you can expect the GS-AX5400's familiar features to behave similarly.
I tried most of the GS-AX5400's common features out in my daily needs, and they all worked as intended.
Asus GS-AX5400: Detail photos
Asus GS-AX5400: Excellent performance
For this review, I tested and used the Asus GS-AX5400 for more than a week and found it an excellent router, even for non-gaming applications.
The router had reliable and large coverage, similar to the RT-AX82U (or the GS-AX3000), but with slightly better performance in most cases.
Generally, if you have a home of 1800 ft² (167 m²), give or take, and place the GS-AX5400 at the center, it'll be able to deliver good Wi-Fi to every corner. But of course, the actual speeds and coverage depend on the environment.
The good thing about this router and other AiMesh broadcasters is that you can always scale up the coverage via additional hardware units.
Fast Wi-Fi speeds
Again, like the RT-AX82U, the GS-AX5400 has no Multi-Gig port. As a result, in the way I conduct my testings, its Wi-Fi will cap at 1Gbps at best. And that was about how fast the router got.
In the GS-AX5400's 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 tests, my 2x2 clients consistently sustained higher than the RT-AX82U, though by small margins -- more in the matchup chart below.
Things were a bit different in Wi-Fi 5 tests. In this case, the GS-AX5400 was a tad slower than the RT-AX82U at the close range. However, farther out, which is more important, it was a bit faster.
For the most part, though, these two performances were the same, within a margin of error.
In tests on the 2.4Ghz band, which has always been fluctuating, the GS-AX5400 did very well, almost topping the chart. It was likely that this router just happened to have a "good day." But good performance is always good performance.
GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U: The matchup chart
In my anecdotal mesh tests of the GS-AX5400 using AiMesh other with the RT-AX82U -- both alternately working as the main router or the wireless satellite node --, the two performed similarly though, as newer hardware, the former had a bit of an edge.
That said, if you get this pair and use a network cable to link them, you'll get much better performance -- the same as when each worked as a standalone router, as shown on the chart.
Similarly decent network storage performance
The GS-AX5400 shared almost the same network-attached storage performance when hosting a portable drive as the RT-AX82U.
I used the WD My Passport SSD for the test and, via a Gigabit wired connection, had the sustained copy speeds of 55MB/s for writing and 73MB/s for reading.
At these speeds, the GS-AX5400 is fast enough for casual network data sharing and maybe Time Machine backup for a single Mac at a time. If you're serious about NAS performance, consider getting a real NAS server instead.
Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400's Rating
Excellent overall performance
Complete AiMesh 2.0 support, including system-wide Guest network
Robust web interface, well-designed mobile app, no login account required
Lots of useful features, including those for gamers
Cool-looking front-facing AURA Game light
No Multi-Gig port or Gamer VPN (WTFast)
Performance as a NAS server could be better
The ROG logo doesn't light up, a bit boring
The new Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 sure is an exciting option compared to the existing RT-AX82U. On the inside, though, the two are very much the same router.
While the GS-AX5400 does have a bit of extra in the gaming department, in most cases, you'll experience no difference between the two. So, the RT-AX82U seems more of a better deal thanks to its slightly lower cost (and a better-looking design.)
But either will make an excellent buy. In the end, it boils down to your taste in style and your need for GS-AX5400's VPN Fusion feature.
One thing is for sure: you can get both and use them as a viable AiMesh solution, especially if you have wired your home. So if you live in a large home and are having a hard time deciding, get both!
Want to see more Wi-Fi solutions compared against each other? Check them all out here.
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22 thoughts on “Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Review (vs RT-AX82U): An Excellent Alternative”
Judging from the fact that the latest Mar 15th firmware for the RT-AX82U includes a fix for VPN fusion it looks like it’s been since added, plus the v2 revision at least (whatever it revises) could and at least in some places does have an identical £160 price to the GS-ax5400.
Would you get this or the Netgear RAX50 AX5400, basically used as a WIFI access point, want router capabilities for backup.
I looked into routers with multigig ports but they’re are significantly more expensive.
From the reviews I can see they’re pretty much equal unless I’m missing something?
I’d go with the ASUS, Vince. Among other things, it can do more roles than the Netgear.
Picked up the Asus, going to have to return the Netgear, was worth it just for the RGB.
It’s unfortunate that 10GB is still almost 1000$.
Thanks for the quick response!
Picked up the Asus, was worth it just for the looks, going to have to return the Netgear.
It’s unfortunate 10GB comes at a 1000$ price tag, these two are 200$ CAD here and 2.5GB and 430$ just isn’t worth it.
Thanks for the quick response!
Just to be clear can you confirm if the performance figures for “AiMesh satellite” in the router matchup performance graph are for wireless or wired ethernet backhaul? The look like wireless backhaul but keen to know. I plan to get about 2 connected via cat6. If so, the numbers suggest would be better to forego the wireless mesh in favour of full wireless bandwidth using ethernet backhaul. I am trying to maximise a 700Mbps down/100Mbps up 5G internet service.
Wireless as mentioned in the text, Rob.
I got the TUF-AX5400 at 120usd off Amazon on sale. Fabulous for putting around the place. Multi gig is possible with network aggregation but is not ideal. It does work though. I’m not sure if aimesh is the best for managing channels though as I don’t understand the process. For that sort of environment I should have gone TP link omada…but different class and different expense so apples to oranges situation.
That’s a great deal, Chris! Congrats!
Great review and I’ve been thinking of buying one of these and a GS-Ax3000 to replace my existing Google Mesh routers. The main reason I’m looking to replace the Google Mesh routers is we are big gamers and have a lot of latency issues during peak hours. I’ve heard mesh networks aren’t the best for gaming and tend to have higher latency so I’m looking to replace them with a more gamer oriented router. My main question is how should I hook up the Asus routers if I do purchase them. The RT-AX5400 would be downstairs and the GS-AX3000 would be upstairs. I do have an Ethernet cable that runs upstairs so I can hard wire the GS-AX3000 but should I set it up using Asus AiMesh or is there the option to set it up as an Access Point and if so would that be better? Or is there another way I should be looking to set it up to provide the lowest latency gaming experience? Thanks for any help or suggestions you can provide and keep up the great reviews.
Since you have wired backhauls, DJ, the setup will work fine — more in this post about gaming routers. Just set them up in an AiMesh configuration.
thanks for another excellent review. Before I make a purchase, I’d like to know your opinion between these 2 options:
1. ASUS RT-AX 92U (Paired AI Mesh); or
2. A pairing of GS-AX5400 with RT-AX 56U (already owned and in current use).
I do some gaming but I’m not a ‘hardcore gamer’. I like to use a VPN (currently Nord VPN) whenever I can. Otherwise we stream videos and use our PC for Internet browsing, banking, home office, etc.
We need 2 routers due to dead zones. Most of the house is wired but we are also installing a security camera system.
Since you already have the RT-AX56U, I’d recommend going with #2. That will work well if you use a wired backhaul. More in this post. Nice name, by the way! You can’t go wrong with that. 🙂
Just for a little more clarity, at the moment I can buy a pair of RT-AX92U for $400 or the GS-AX5400 for $260. If I buy the pair of RT-AX92U, I will sell the RT-AX56U. In terms of cost, they workout to about the same (AX-92U might actually be a bit cheaper if I include gift cards I currently own). The wired back-haul will come from another wired router (my ISP requires specific makes/models) which will connect to the 2 Asus routers (I believe this router is set up as a bridge). I’m not sure if that will have an adverse affect on set up. Bottom line for me is long term use & performance (the 56U replaced a wireless N router), as well as ensuring there are no dead zones in my home. Any changes to your recommendation or still option #2?
Firstly, thank you for continuing the great work. Your reviews are always informative and have helped steer many purchase decisions over the past many years.
I have a question for you: for a 10gig fibre internet connection, should I bother to get a gaming router like the GS-AX5400 or just get the arachnid-like AX89 (with the 10Gig WAN port) outright? Do the gaming features make that much of a difference to lag?
Yes, I game on both consoles and PC; but I also run a NAS (for simple home office) and use an AppleTV for streaming. I’m not a competitive gamer; but I would appreciate the most balanced set up.
Thank you in advance 🙂
Wow! You have to use the RT-AX89X in this case, Kento. And it’s a tier-1 gaming router, too. You might want a Multi-Gig switch to go with it, too.
Great, i’ll get the AX89X then.
If you don’t mind providing me with a bit more colour; how would a multi-gig switch help my set up?
If you want to get 10Gbps Internet to any computer in the future, Kento, a Multi-Gig switch is a must. But you don’t need one for what you do right now.
Right right! That makes a lot of sense. Yes, will do.
Btw, here in Japan; we are switching from PPPoE to this new IPv6 protocol called ‘DS-Lite’, short for ‘Dual-stack Lite’. It’s all very confusing at the moment…
Supposedly, only certain routers work natively with my fiber-box now and I have to pay my ISP for a router that is compatible with this protocol.
My Q is: is this being rolled out in the US?
The big ROG logo on it cant lit or illuminate?
Nope. That’s only on the GT-AX(E)11000.