- Highlighted Features:
- Speeds up to 3000 Mbps and 4X network efficiency with OFDMA and 160 MHz channels.
- 2 Gigabit LAN connections, wired 2.5Gbps port and WiFi 6
- Easy Port Forwarding in 3 Steps
- ASUS AiMesh Support
- Tested Durability and Stable Operation
The Review ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2. In general, a Wi-Fi router (wireless LAN router) is an essential part of connecting a PC or smartphone to a fixed Internet line and operating it comfortably. Therefore, the Wi-Fi router should be chosen carefully, and there is also information that should be kept to a minimum, such as “what standards are supported” and “how fast is the communication speed”.
Currently, mainstream Wi-Fi routers support Wi-Fi 4 (IEEE 802.11n), Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE 802.11ac), or Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax). The standard will be updated in the order of 4→5→6, and the upper limit of the communication speed will also be increased. Wi-Fi 5 began to be adopted around 2014, and Wi-Fi 6 started to spread on PCs and smartphones after 2019, so if you buy a router now (as of August 2022), a Wi-Fi 6-compatible model is a target.
The Wi-Fi 6 router also supports Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4, so you can connect even with slightly older PCs and smartphones. On the other hand, even if you use a PC or smartphone that is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, if the router standard is outdated, the communication speed of that standard will be the upper limit, so it can be said to be very wasteful. country. To avoid such a situation, the model I would like to recommend to those who want to switch to a Wi-Fi 6 router as soon as possible is the ASUS RT-AX3000 V2 introduced this time.
Actually, this model is a small change model from the “RT-AX3000” that I verified two years ago. The number of internal processors has increased from three to four, and the operating hours have been increased to 1.5 GHz → 1.7 GHz. The specifications of the AC adapter have also changed slightly, but basic specifications such as communication speeds of up to 2402 Mbps remain the same.
So, this time for those who haven’t replaced them with a Wi-Fi 6 router, we focus on the performance differences from conventional Wi-Fi 5 routers and verify them. Let’s see how big the difference in communication speed is in an assembled PC environment.
Cost performance-oriented model in line with the current situation
Many Wi-Fi routers today are “crab-like”. In particular, the level of the crab increased due to being a high-end model. These crab legs are antennas for sending and receiving radios more efficiently, and the more antennas there are, the faster the maximum communication speed, and the less chance of losing speed even if communicating with multiple devices at the same time.
The RT-AX3000 V2 has four antennas, two of which are responsible for radio waves in the 5 GHz band and the other two are responsible for sending and receiving signals in the 2.4 GHz band. This means that the two bands can be connected in a “2×2” form, meaning that there are two sender and receiver functions with two antennas. Can communicate up to 2402 Mbps when using radio waves in the 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps when using the 2.4 GHz band.
How about the company’s high-end model “RT-AX89X” with eight antennas? The maximum speed of 4804 Mbps in the 5 GHz band is 4 x 8 (8×8), and in the 2.4 GHz band for up to 4 antennas (4×4) so the maximum is 1148 Mbps. In this way, the maximum communication speed varies greatly depending on the number and specifications of the antennas, so the higher the performance, the more “crab-like”.
However, if PC and smartphones are not supported, a high-speed connection will not be possible. Most PCs and smartphones today have a 2×2 connection, so no matter how many routers support 4×4 or 8×8, the maximum communication speed will reach 2×2. In addition, the larger the number of antennas, the larger the installation space and the stronger the appearance habit, so it tends to be the user’s preferred product. And, of course, it will be expensive. The RT-AX89X is in the range of USD 356 to USD 428.
In this regard, the RT-AX3000 V2 is reasonably priced at around USD 121, and it can be said that it is a model that fits the current situation where most PCs and smartphones are 2×2 connected.
If you’ve already built a wireless LAN with Wi-Fi 5, some people might think there’s no point in updating to Wi-Fi 6. However, Wi-Fi 6 not only has better radio speed and range than Wi-Fi 5, but it also has excellent communication latency (delay) and drains the battery during communication, so there’s quite an advantage.
Tips for mastering the RT-AX3000 V2
Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that connects without physical cables but requires a certain amount of ingenuity and knowledge to use it comfortably. Before getting into the verification of Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 5, I would like to summarize tips for comfortable operation.
By the way, the author lives in a family-friendly apartment building built of reinforced concrete. Please note that depending on the environment you live in, the trend may vary slightly.
Tips 1: Use a device where communication speed is important all around
The Wi-Fi signal gets weaker the further away from the routers, and if there are obstructions (furniture, walls) between them and the connected devices, it becomes difficult to reach. For this reason, devices that use the Internet a lot, especially PCs and smartphones/tablets for playing games and watching high-quality videos, should be used as close to the Wi-Fi router as possible, preferably in the same room with unobstructed visibility.
The image below shows the Wi-Fi signal strength checked for each room using “WiFi Commander”, a tool that can check the strength of the Wi-Fi radio waves in the author’s neighborhood. The mark in the figure is the Wi-Fi router (RT-AX3000 V2), and the measuring point is the center of the room (symbol ★).
In the case of this figure, if it is in the same room as the Wi-Fi router, the maximum signal strength is -38 dBm in the workspace and weakens to -74 dBm in the living room. Even from my own experience, it is difficult to connect the living room and bedroom, and I feel the radio waves are weak. If you want to use Wi-Fi for gaming, you should install the router in the same room or in as many adjacent rooms as possible.
Tips 2: If you can’t do it with one unit, use “mesh”
There’s also a layout where a single Wi-Fi router can’t transmit a strong enough signal. In such cases, the masking method with the Wi-Fi mesh function (called “AiMesh” in ASUS) is the way to go.
In the case of the neighborhood where the author lives above, by installing a second Wi-Fi router near the kitchen and forming a mesh with the two Wi-Fi routers, sufficient radio wave power can be obtained even in the living room. In addition, there is no guarantee that the Wi-Fi router to be connected to the mesh can be connected by different manufacturers, so it is highly recommended that all Wi-Fi routers are connected by the same manufacturer.
By the way, the RT-AX3000 V2 is affordable among the models that support communication up to 2,402Mbps for about USD 121, so it’s a convenient model to buy two units and make a mesh.
Tips 3: Use the 2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band separately
As noted above, the RT-AX3000 V2 can use radio waves in the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, and the maximum communication speed is much faster using the 5 GHz band. However, even though the 5 GHz band is fast, it has the characteristic of being difficult for radio waves to enter if it is sandwiched between walls and furniture.
On the other hand, in the 2.4 GHz band, radio waves are easy to circulate even in the shadow of small obstacles, but communication is easily disrupted by using Bluetooth and USB 3.0 in addition to a microwave oven. It also has the potential to bat with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi next door as it covers a wide area. Therefore, the difference between these two radio bands is the key to efficient Wi-Fi operation.
In the image above, there are four white horizontal lines, the three above are the 5 GHz band, and the lower one is the usage status of the 2.4 GHz band. One of the mountains shows a Wi-Fi router that emits radio waves, but the routers used this time are “ktu-router_5G” (light blue mountain) in the 5 GHz band and “ktu-router” (green mountain) in the 2.4 GHz band.
The light blue mountain is in the first empty space, and you can see that it doesn’t collide with another mountain (radio waves). On the other hand, the green mountain was between several mountains, indicating that it was bustling.
If you display it in 3D style, you can clearly see the congestion situation in the 2.4 GHz band. However, in the case of the neighborhood I live in, all the mountains are short (small dBm), so it seems that other radio waves are less threatening as a threat. However, in order to communicate efficiently according to its purpose, I think you can understand that it is better to use the 5 GHz band and the 2.4 GHz band separately.
When you need stable communication, such as online gaming or streaming high-quality video, use the 5GHz band signal near your Wi-Fi router. If you just want to do a little research a little further from the router, it’s better to go with the 2.4GHz band. For this reason, it is important to assign different SSIDs (access point names) to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands at the time of setup and to use them consciously and properly.
Easy setup in a web browser
For the RT-AX3000 V2, the initial setup allows you to assign separate SSIDs to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (with separate passwords). It’s easy, but let’s take a look at the initial setup of the RT-AX3000 V2 on a Windows 11 PC.
By the way, there is also a method of operation that does not separate the SSID of the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band. In this case, the signal quality will automatically switch to better. However, as it can cause unwanted bandwidth, if you want to manage it tightly, it is better to operate the 2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band with different SSIDs. In addition, setup can be easily done from a dedicated smartphone app, so even people who don’t have a PC can feel safe.
What is the change in transfer communication speed between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5?
Let’s compare the speed of the RT-AX3000 V2, a Wi-Fi 6 router, with the previous generation Wi-Fi 5 router. However, my Internet environment is not very fast, and I can’t exclude the situation of the upstream channel, so I decided to compare it with the communication speed on the home LAN.
The PC used for this verification is a 2in1 PC “ROG Flow Z13 GZ301ZE” (model number: GZ301ZE-I9R3050TE) which supports ASUS Wi-Fi 6. And is a self-assembled PC based on the “TUF Z690-PLUS WIFI D4” motherboard also made by ASUS.
The Wi-Fi 5 router comparison is also the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 from ASUS. We just connected a 2in1 PC Wi-Fi router and compared the time it took to copy files with each other.
Table 1 Testing Component Specifications
|Components||Main Specifications of Self-Assembled PC|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12900K|
(16 cores/24 threads, up to 5.2GHz)
|CPU Cooler||ASUS “ROG RYUJIN 360”|
(simple water cooling, 360mm radiator)
|Motherboard||ASUS “TUF Z690-PLUS WIFI D4”|
(Intel Z690, BIOS 1601)
|Memory||G.SKILL [Trident Z RGB F4-3200C16D-32GTZRX]DDR4-3200 16GB×2|
|Storage||Corsair [Force Series MP600 CSSD-F1000GBMP600]1TB M.2 SSD PCIe 4.0|
|Video Card||NVIDIA [GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition]|
|Power Supply Unit||Super Flower [LEADEX PLATINUM SE 1000W-BK]1000W, 80 PLUS PLATINUM|
|Operating System||Microsoft [Windows 11 Pro]|
Stable data copy time on Wi-Fi 6
The test measures the time it takes to copy a 4.2GB 4K video file stored on each PC or a 2.8GB folder containing 100 RAW images to another PC using Windows file sharing. In all situations, Wi-Fi connects to the SSID in the 5 GHz band, but the RT-AX3000 V2 allows the user to select the frequency range used for 5GHz band communication in the 80 Hz or 160 Hz (default) range.
Since some Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices in the world don’t support 160Hz communication, this time we also verified the 80Hz setting and simulated “Wi-Fi 6 which can only communicate up to 1201Mbps”. Also, note the comparison between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 communication in these limited conditions. By the way, all your PCs are connected by wired LAN (GbE), so Wi-Fi connection is only between 2in1 PC and router.
The graph above measures the time it took to copy files from a 2in1 PC to an assembled PC 5 times (passed #1 = first time). In both cases, 2402Mbps (160Hz) Wi-Fi 6 finished copying in no time, followed by 1201Mbps Wi-Fi 6 (limited to 80Hz) in second place and Wi-Fi 5 in last place.
It’s much more stable than when I reviewed the RT-AX3000 two years ago, so it looks like the drivers are more complete. With this, you can see that simply changing your router from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6 will further increase your connection speed. Next is when I copy files from my PC to my 2in1 PC.
Even in this case, Wi-Fi 6 (2402Mbps, 160Hz) is blazing fast. In particular, when copying a 4.2GB video file, Wi-Fi 5 (867Mbps) took more than 120 seconds, but Wi-Fi 6 (2402Mbps, 160Hz) took less than 40 seconds, which is about three times the difference. Wi-Fi 6 (2402Mbps, 160Hz) is as fast as copying from a 2in1 PC to a self-built PC, but Wi-Fi 6 (1201Mbps, 80Hz) and Wi-Fi 5 (867Mbps) are subject to sharp speed drops.
From this result, if the receiver (2in1 PC) uses Wi-Fi, the effect of Wi-Fi communication standard and communication speed will be noticeable. In contrast, with a frequency range of 160 Hz, stable high-speed communication is possible regardless of the receiver or sender.
By the way, the motherboard used for the self-built PC, TUF Z690-PLUS WIFI D4, also supports Wi-Fi 6. This is only when copying files from a self-assembled PC to a 2in1 PC, but I’m trying to see what will happen if you connect with Wi-Fi 6 (2402Mbps, 160Hz). Let’s have a look for reference.
When the Wi-Fi connection between your PC and router is Wi-Fi 6, the communication speed is slightly lower than when you connect to a Wired connection with GbE. In terms of theoretical communication speed, Wi-Fi 6 is 2402Mbps and GbE is 1000Mbps. Therefore, the former tends to be faster, but actually, Wi-Fi can be quite slow depending on the radio wave environment, so a wired GbE connection is advantageous in my house.
However, it’s definitely faster than Wi-Fi 5, so the benefits of a Wi-Fi 6 router are obvious.
Summary: If you are looking for cost, the RT-AX3000 V2 is the right choice
The RT-AX3000 V2 is a mid-range Wi-Fi 6 router with mid-range specs and mid-speed. However, to fully take advantage of the communication performance of a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router, a high-spec Wi-Fi 6 using three or more antennas for Wi-Fi 6 in laptops and desktop PCs is required.
Given that 2×2 Communication is the main thing with two antennas in a common notebook or tablet PC, the RT-AX3000 V2 can be said to be a specification that fits the actual situation of today’s Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices. The speed of the Wi-Fi 5 routers is also distinctly different, and the new generation of Wi-Fi routers is also convincing in terms of security.
In fact, the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 used for comparison is not very old, but it is not compatible with WPA3-Personal. While the fact is that WPA2-Personal works well, there is no doubt that the RT-AX3000 V2 is more convincing.
On the other hand, starting this year, the operation of Wi-Fi 6E in the country will finally be legally recognized, and it is hoped that the Wi-Fi 6E router will also come to other countries. Wi-Fi 6E is the next generation Wi-Fi standard that enables faster communication because it can use radio waves in the 6 GHz band in addition to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
There are already new laptops and motherboards for self-built PCs supporting Wi-Fi 6E in terms of hardware, so if you want the best Wi-Fi environment, you can wait for Wi-Fi 6E to pick up. However, the newly released 6E Wi-Fi router is expected to be quite expensive, so if you value cost effectiveness among current devices, the RT-AX3000 V2 is recommended.
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