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?
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 Aura RBG lighting
No Multi-Gig port or Gamer VPN (WTFast)
Performance as a NAS server could be better
A bit boring
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||4×4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps|
|4×4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps|
|2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs||2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps|
|2×2 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 (at review)||$250||$225|
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.
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 2×2 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 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.
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.