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Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Review (vs RT-AX82U): An Excellent Alternative

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?

Asus GS AX5400 vs RT AX82U
Here’s the Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 (left) next to the similarly-specced RT-AX82U. Note that its big ROG logo on top doesn’t light up.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400's Rating

8.8 out of 10
Asus ROG STRIX GS AX5400 Gaming Router 3
Performance
9.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
8/10

Pros

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

Cons

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.

Before Image After Image
Asus GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U: Among other things, the former has a fancier ROG STRIX-themed web interface than the latter.

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.

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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 NameAsus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400
Dual-band Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX82U Dual-band
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
Model GS-AX5400 RT-AX82U
Dimensions10.56 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) 
Weight1.55 lbs (701.3 g)1.63 lbs (740 g)
Hardware Specs1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-Band AX5400Dual-Band AX5400
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs4×4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
4×4 AX: Up to 4.8Gbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
(20/40 MHz)
2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
(20/40 MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
Wireless SecurityWPA, WPA2, WPA3WPA, WPA2, WPA3
Mobile AppAsus RouterAsus Router
Web User InterfaceYesYes
Bridge ModeYesYes
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh SupportAiMesh 2.0AiMesh 2.0
USB Port1x USB 3.2 Gen 11x USB 3.2 Gen 1
Gigabit Port4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Dual-WANYes (WAN+LAN/USB)Yes (WAN + LAN4/USB)
Link AggregationYes (LAN and WAN)Yes (LAN and WAN)
Multi-Gig PortNoneNone
Gaming FeaturesAura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
ROG First
VPN Fusion
Aura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
U.S. Price (at review)$250$225
Asus AX5400 routers’ hardware specifications: GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U

 

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 Asus GS-AX5400 (top) is slightly smaller than the Asus RT-AX82U. Both are gaming 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.

Before Image After Image
Asus GS-AX5400 vs RT-AX82U: The two share the same game section within their web interfaces.

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 ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The Asus GS-AX5400 includes a standard power adapter and a network cable.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The Asus GS-AX5400 is relatively compact and light.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The Asus GS-AX5400 comes with four LAN ports and one WAN port, all Gigabit. It also has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) USB port.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The top of the Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400. Note the ROG logo.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
On the front, the Asus GS-AX5400 has the ROG STRIX logo below its large Aura RBG light.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The GS-AX5400 has four non-removable antennas. You can only swivel them half a sphere around.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The underside of the Asus GS-AX5400 Gaming Router. Note how it’s wall-mount-ready.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
The Asus GS-AX5400 Gaming Router’s retail box.

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.

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The good thing about this router and other AiMesh broadcasters is that you can always scale up the coverage via additional hardware units.

Asus GS AX5400 5GH AX Performance

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.

Asus GS AX5400 5GH AC Performance

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.

Asus GS AX5400 .4GHz Performance

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.

Asus GS AX5400 vs RT AX82U performance
(★): Routers working as an AiMesh satellite.

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.

Asus GS AX5400 NAS Performance

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.

Conclusion

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.

Asus GS AX5400 Aimesh
Here’s the Asus GS-AX5400 working with the RT-AX82U and GS-AX3000 in an AiMesh wireless setup.

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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10 thoughts on “Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Review (vs RT-AX82U): An Excellent Alternative”

  1. Hi Dong,
    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.
    TYIA.

    Reply
    • 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. 🙂

      Reply
      • Dong,
        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?

        Reply
  2. Hi Dong,
    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 🙂

    Reply
      • 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?
        Thanks!

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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?

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