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GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000: A Tale of Two Asus Tri-band Gaming Routers

This GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000 matchup aims to clarify that a Wi-Fi 6E tri-band router is very different from a Wi-Fi 6 counterpart. These are two different tri-band routers entirely, despite the fact they are similar in more way than one — both are from Asus, after all.

Note: Wi-Fi 6E is still in the early stage — the only adapter you can install on a computer now is the Intel AX210 requires a special software driver for the 6GHz to work. However, within this post’s scope, the comparison between the two, including their (Wi-Fi 6) performance, makes sense.

See also  Wi-Fi 6 Explained in Layman's Terms: The Real Speed, Range, and More
Asus GT-AX11000 vs. GT-AXE11000 Routers
Asus tri-band routers: GT-AX11000 vs. GT-AXE11000

Just look at their names. The two differentiate only by the letter E. So yes, they have a lot in common.

Both are massive routers with eight big fat antennas sticking up from the sides. Both come with the same number of ports — five Gigabit and one 2.5Gbps — and share almost exactly hardware specs.

They also share the Asuswrt web user interface, the Asus Router mobile app, and almost the exact set of features, among the most comprehensive on the market.

The two support Asus’s popular AiMesh and can work together to form a mesh system, though that’s not recommended — more below.

And finally, both routers are top-tier gaming routers. They have a lot of game-related features, including the big Aura RGB color-changing programmable light on top.

Asus GT AXE11000 Corner
The Asus GT-AXE11000 now has more hardware buttons, including the programmable Boost button for gaming.

GT-AXE11000 vs GT-AX11000: Hardware specifications

Asus ROG Rapture 
GT-AXE11000
Asus ROG Rapture
GT-AX11000
ModelGT-AXE11000GT-AX11000
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-Band AXE11000Tri-Band AX11000
First Band2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 1148Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 1148Mbps
Second Band5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 4804Mbps
Third Band6GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 4804Mbps
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) SupportYesNo
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-readyYes (AiMesh 2.0)Yes (AiMesh 2.0)
160MHz Channel SupportYesYes
Number of 160MHz Channels7x on one 6GHz band  
2x on one 5GHz band
2x on two 5GHz bands
Gigabit Network Port4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig Network Port1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
LAN Link AggregationYes (LAN ports 1 and 2)Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)
WAN Link AggregationYes (WAN + LAN4)Yes (WAN + LAN4)
Dual-WANWAN + USB/LAN4/2.5GbpsWAN + USB/LAN4/2.5Gbps
USB2x USB 3.02x USB 3.0
Mobile AppAsus RouterAsus Router
Processing Power1.8 GHz quad-core CPU,
 256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
Dimensions (excluding antennas)10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
9.5 x 9.5 x 2.4 in
(24.1 x 24.1 x 6.1 cm)
Weight3.94 lbs (1.79 kg)3.8 lbs (1.73 kg)
GT-AXE11000 vs. GT-AX11000

GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000: Differences

That letter E is definitely not short for extra in this case. The GT-AXE11000 is not about having more than the GT-AX11000. These are two different routers almost entirely, from the design to how they work.

Design and game-related things

Design-wise, the GT-AXE11000 is a tad larger and heavier. Its antennas are now no longer detachable, which is a good thing — you don’t have to worry about assembling them. It also has more hardware buttons, including one that automatically boosts the Gaming features.

Speaking of the games, the GT-AXE1100’s 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port now also works as the Game Port that automatically prioritizes a wired client for gaming. On top of that, it’s the first from Asus that include the support for Outfox, via a 90-day trial, in the place of the WTFast gamer VPN.

Different tri-band routers

What’s most significant is the fact these two belong to two different types of tri-band routers.

The GT-AX11000 is a traditional tri-band (2.4GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz). It has an additional 5GHz-2 band for extra bandwidth on the 5GHz frequency.

On the other hand, the GT-AXE11000 has no extra band. Instead, it has one band for each frequency, including 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. In other words, its band configuration is a necessity. That enables the router to work with all existing (2.4GHz and 5GHz) clients, plus upcoming 6GHz ones.

That said, the GT-AX11000 is an excellent router when you have lots of 5GHz clients. But it can’t work with the new and upcoming 6GHz ones. The GT-AXE11000 doesn’t provide any extra bandwidth for existing clients. However, if you have 6GHz ones, you can enjoy the new cleaner frequency.

Asus GT AXE11000 AiMesh Settings
The GT-AXE11000 automatically pick the 6GHz band as the (non-dedicated) backhaul when you use two units in an AiMesh setup.

Asus AiMesh: GT-AXE11000 vs GT-AX11000

The difference between these two is most acute in a mesh setup, where you can use multiple routers to form a Wi-Fi system.

Specifically, the GT-AX11000 dedicates its 2nd 5GHz band (the 5GHz-2) as the backhaul link when working with another traditional tri-band router.

The GT-AXE11000 has no dedicated backhaul band. For this reason, it’s more like other dual-band AiMesh router. So you’d best use it in a mesh when you have already gotten your home wired.

Asus GT AX11000 2
The Asus GT-AX11000 has the same amount of ports as the GT-AXE11000.

The two routers share similar performance levels, both as single routers and mini NAS servers. Note that I tested the GT-AX11000 much earlier using a significantly older firmware.

Asus GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE1100 Performance

Asus GT-AX11000's Rating

8.3 out of 10
Asus AX11000 Top 1
Performance
8/10
Features
9.5/10
Design and Setup
8/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance with an excellent range

Lots of useful features for home users

Unique and effective settings for online gaming

Multi-Gig network port, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation

Mesh ready

Cons

Expensive

Bulky design, loose antennas, non-wall-mountable

Fewer LAN ports than the previous model

Long boot-up time, buggy (at launch), fluctuating Wi-Fi throughputs

Asus GT-AXE11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
Asus GT AXE11000 Top View
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support

Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port

Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)

For existing 5GHz and 2.4GHz clients, either of these two will work well as a single router. They are very similar, in fact. Sure the GT-AX11000 has more bandwidth on the 5GHz band, but in most cases, you’ll experience no difference. That’s just the nature of tri-band.

But if you have 6GHz clients, even just one, the GT-AXE11000 is a must-have. The other doesn’t have support for this frequency at all.

If you decide to go with full wireless in a mesh setup, then the GT-AX11000 is a better choice. Use the GT-AXE11000 only if you opt for a wired backhaul. That is, if you want to make sure your investment is worth it — it will work in a wireless setup.

Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.

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27 thoughts on “GT-AX11000 vs GT-AXE11000: A Tale of Two Asus Tri-band Gaming Routers”

  1. The 10Gbps port seems big to leave out of the comparison. If read between the lines the AXE is best used for dedicated gaming and if I want it in my mesh – wire it?

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the excellent reviews, Dong. I’ve learned a ton here.

    I have a quick question for you: I have a 1G internet connection and have been using the first-gen Linksys Velops for many years and now looking to upgrade.

    I will be using 1 router and 2 nodes but can hardwire only one of them and the 2nd will need to be wireless.

    I had narrowed this down to getting 3 Asus AX92U units (after agonizing over Orbi and Ubiquiti) – but am wondering if I might be better served by 1 AX11000 + 2 AX92U as nodes (one wired, one wireless). I noticed in one of your reviews that you had used that configuration.

    Would appreciate your thoughts if there are any advantages to the latter setup or should I just get 3 AX92Us.

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. A question regarding backhaul on the older GT-AX11000 model ….

    I already have one of the routers and am very happy with it.
    Though, my house is large and 3 stories and despite being such a good router it doesn’t quite reach all corners.
    This may seem overkill, but at the moment I can get a great deal (almost too good to refuse) on a second GT-AX11000 to create an AiMesh network. If I buy it then I would set it up to use wired backhaul.

    My question is, even though you set these routers up to use wired backhaul is the 2nd 5GHz band still disabled / unavailable for normal use?

    I’m unclear on this and have read on some forum that it does indeed get disabled / unavailable for normal use despite using wired backhaul.
    True or False?

    And if true, why?
    If it is true, then in my mind that partially defeats the purpose of the using wired backhaul.

    Reply
    • No, the 2nd 5GHz band is NEVER disabled, it’s just used as the dedicated backhaul by default — and you can always make it NOT dedicated and use it for clients. More here. You’ll have no issue at all in your case.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the reply.
        Well, I went ahead a bought the 2nd GT-AX11000 it’s all working fine.
        Ethernet backhaul enabled.
        The range and signal strength throughout the house, and even outside in the yard is fantastic.
        I’ve read your post AiMesh in 2021 as well.
        Both devices are running the latest firmware and I’m impressed with the changes made with AiMesh 2.0. They’re headed in the right direction.

        As per 2nd 5GHz being “disabled”/reserved for backhaul …. the SSID is hidden and a suffix of “_dwb” has been added to my given SSID. I presume that stands for Dedicated Wi-Fi Backhaul and that this is normal procedure.
        So, I went about un-hiding it connecting to it with a couple of devices just as a basic functionality test. All was well.

        Interesting though was that by using the WiFi Analyzer app on my Android phone to check channels, signal strength, SSID names etc. I discovered that the 2nd 5GHz channel on the node was still hidden.
        Only the router was broadcasting the SSID.
        I guess it doesn’t really matter, as once one’s devices are setup with the SSID and correct credentials the device will connect to the hidden one if need be. Would it not?
        Just an interesting observation, I thought.

        However, It did make me wonder if changing other wireless settings for the router would have no effect on the node, so I tried changing channels.
        The router changed immediately and after a delay of maybe 20 seconds the node changed too. Still with hidden SSID, though.

        Reply
  4. Just got my preorder axe11000. My question is, axe11000 is sold out everywhere… and I would like to aimesh it- should I get another axe11000 or should I simply just get a ax11000 for it? Not a lot of devices are WiFi 6E compatible. Most of the ones that will use 6E are higher end stuff like the main gaming computer, streaming, etc., all on the top floor, and the lower stuff will be on the first floor using the older bands 2.5/5/6. Would I lose any speed if I mixed the two, or moreso- what would be the benefit if I should another axe11000 for AiMesh instead?

    Reply
    • You want to use wired bakchaul with this one, Liam. It’s basically a “dual-band” router — it’s not a good idea to use it with any router in a wireless mesh setup though that works. More here. Also check out my review of the AXE for more on its AiMesh.

      Reply
  5. Hello,

    I notice you mentioned that the AXE-11000 only supports 1 160 MHz channel in the 5 GHz band, while the Ax11000 supports two.

    Which 160 MHz channel specifically does the Axe11000 support? And any reason why it doesn’t support two? (Or even three? I thought the FCC opened up new 45 MHz of new channels in the 5.9 GHz band… to create a third 160 MHz channel.

    See: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-367827A1.pdf)

    I find that channel 100/104 tend to be the cleanest channels for either 80 MHz or 160 MHz in my radio environment. No one else uses it. Except for the occasional radar.

    Reply
  6. Hello Dong,

    Thanks for you hard work and production of great information.

    Have you heard anything about Asus bring AXE 6ghz mesh nodes to the market in 2021?

    That could ensure that an entire house is covered with 6ghz using the AXE…Your thoughts?

    I know we are far from a market flood of devices that can take advantage of the 6ghz, but when purchasing a router this expensive, one would hope that it can last 4 to 5 years in terms of relevancy. I don’t see another evolution of wifi arriving anytime soon.

    Reply
  7. to “mesh” with an AXE router, do you have to use “AXE” components exclusively, or, can you use a regular “AX” product with an”AXE”?

    Reply

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