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Asus TUF-AX5400 Preview: Just Another Gaming Router, Or Is It?

Here’s some exciting news for gamers who want tuff-sounding gear. Asus just announced its latest Wi-Fi 6 gaming machine, the TUF-AX5400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router.

And this new toy sure reminds you of the Netgear XR1000. But before going that far out, it’s important to note that this one is part of a crowded family.

Asus TUF-AX5400 Gaming Router Font
Asus TUF Gaming AX5400 Router Font

TUF-AX5400: Not the first Asus gaming router

If you follow my reviews on Asus routers, you’ll note that the TUF-AX5400 is not the networking vendor’s first Wi-Fi 6 gaming router. Far from it.

Indeed, before this, there have been the GT-AX1100, RT-AX86U, and RT-AX82U. That’s not to mention other non-gaming-branded routers that also have legit gaming features, including the RT-AX92U and RT-AX88U. And I might have forgotten some.

(Updated: I don’t, you’ll see the complete list of Asus gaming routers and what they can do in this general post on Asus routers. )

See also  Asus Wi-Fi Broadcaster Explained: The Model Names and the Features

But the Tuf-AX5400 has some novelty of its own.

First, it’s part of the TUF Gaming sub-brand that’s well-known in Asia and the EU. TUF stands for “The Ultimate Force” and is the top-tough-sounding-tier of Asus’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand.

(Generally, TUF-branded gear is also rugged, supposedly enough to handle some beating.)

Secondly, it’s the presumed archrival of the Netgear XR1000 that came out in September 2020. The two seem to share the same internal hardware.

Asus TUF-AX5400 vs Netgear XR1000: Hardware specifications

Indeed, other than the quite distinctive appearances — among other things, the Asus comes with six fixed antennas while the Netgear has four removable ones — on the inside, these two routers come with the same specs.

Can you spot any other differences in the table below?

Asus TUF-AX5400
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
Netgear XR1000 
Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6
 Pro Gaming Router
ModelTUF-AX5400XR1000
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-Band AX5400Dual-Band AX5400
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2×2 AX 
Up to 574Mbps
2×2 AX 
Up to 574 Mbps
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs4X4 AX 
Up to 4804Mbps
4X4 AX
Up to 4804 Mbps
Backward 
Compatibility
802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac
AP ModeYesYes
Mesh-readyYes (AiMesh)No
Channel Support20/40,80/160MHz20/40,80/160MHz
Gigabit Ports4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig PortsNoneNone
Link AggregationYes
(WAN and LAN)
No
Dual-WANYesNo
Parental ControlYesYes 
Built-in 
Online Protection
Ai ProtectionOptional (Netgear Armor)
USB1x USB 3.01x USB 3.0 
Mobile AppAsus RouterNetgear Nighthawk
QoSYesYes
Processing Power1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
DimensionsTBD11.61 x 7.87 x 2.51 in (295 x 200 x 64 mm)
Weight1.32 lbs (600 g)1.32 lbs (600 g)
AntennasSix (non-removable)Four (detachable)
Gaming FeaturesOpen NAT
Dedicated Game Ports
QoS
Game-oriented DumaOS 3.0
Suggested Price (US)TBD$349.99
Hardware specifications: Asus TUF-AX5400 vs Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

Asus TUF-AX5400: Features galore, no Multi-Gig port

The Netgear XR1000 and Asus TUF-AX5400 sure are similar. But the latter has a ton to call its own.

For one, it supports Asus’s AiMesh feature and therefore can work as a part of a Wi-Fi mesh system. On top of that, you can expect all features and settings available to any AiMesh-ready router.

For example, the port configuration alone is much better than that of the XR1000.

Asus TUF Gaming AX5400 Router comes with the usual amount of ports
The Asus TUF-AX5400 Gaming router has no Multi-Gig port, but you can do all sorts of things with its Gigabit ones.

Specifically, it dedicates its LAN1 as the game port (similar to the case of the RT-AX86U and RT-AX82U). You can also combine the WAN port and LAN4 into a WAN Link Aggregation to support a 2Gbps broadband connection. On the LAN side, the LAN1 and LAN2 can work together similarly.

What’s more, the router also supports dual-WAN if you have two separate broadband connections to increase speeds or availability. And its USB 3.0 port comes with all you can think of in terms of USB-related applications.

So, from the onset, the latecomer TUF-AX5400 potentials to be a winner. But that’s left to be seen. Ultimately it’s always the performance and pricing that matter.

Availability and cost

Things are still pretty sketchy.

Asus did tell me, though, that the TUF-AX5400 would be available by mid-July, initially in the EU, with its pricing being available then. It’s likely will be more affordable than the Netgear counterpart. I guess it’s going to go for somewhere between $150 and $200 (or the equivalent in Euros).

That said, if you think this TUF one is that keeper you’ve been holding out for, check back for more detail, and who knows, maybe even a full review if I find it makes sense to do hands-on testing — that’s if it’s available in the US at all.

Other than the mean look and possibly more rugged design, on the inside, this Wi-Fi machine is likely very similar, if not the same, as the RT-AX82U — both belong to Asus’s tier-2 gaming hardware. You can expect them to deliver comparable performance and features.

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17 thoughts on “Asus TUF-AX5400 Preview: Just Another Gaming Router, Or Is It?”

      • Well all I can see is a couple of firmware gaming features on the GS, and two extra fixed antenna on the TUF. Otherwise the hardware isnindentical. It is bizarre that the TUF is selling for £120-£140 and GS for £160-220. Big price difference little real difference.

        Reply
  1. Do you have any plans for a review ?
    The router has already appeared in stores in Europe but I am not sure if it will be released in US.
    I wonder if it is better than AX82U with those two extra antennas.

    Reply
  2. Another Asus router with fixed antennas. This seems to be a new trend unfortunately. However, I doubt anyone is going to complain about the price when it’s announced.

    Reply
      • Would you recommend getting this router over the ASUS RT-AX86U?
        I was debating between the ASUS ROG Strix GS-AX5400 wifi 6 router, the RT-AX88U and the RT-AX86U. If it were you upgrading from an old ASUS RT-N66U which one of these 3 routers would you recommend assuming price is not an issue?

        Reply
      • I got two of these for £120 each and will use LAG for uplink. The XD6 is £340. In scenarios where I would need removeable antenna I would perhaps not be looking at a device like this. Will pair with an AX86u as main aimesh hub. These will be staggered satellites wired in.

        Reply
          • The courier lost/stole my two units at £120 each. Managed to find replacements on amazon at £90 each which was a one day deal. I should have bought three so one could better cover outdoor area….anyway….AImesh wired works flawlessly with AX86U node….but only once I realised I should use the WAN port for wired uplink. All Asus devices are connected with a smart managed switch which causes no issues. Using wifi backhaul (for a laugh) the routers initially stated they were connected, but would disconnect after 30 seconds – so thankful i have no need for wireless backhaul. I don’t think I’ll need aggregation for the nodes yet as my use case and internet (500mbps) is maxxed out close-by and at maximum range. Fingers crossed for reliability and longevity.

  3. Thanks for these reviews 🙂 Have been waiting for a bit before I upgrade my router. Its nice to have all this information. Waiting to see how good the ROG Strix GS-AX5400 is compared to all the other reasonably priced routers before I actually decide. Hoping you review it as well in the future 🙂

    Reply

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