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Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Review

The GT-AC5300 has fast performance, excellent Wi-Fi range and includes plenty of unique gaming-centric features.

When you consider that Asus’ ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 has a market price that ranges from $320 to more than $400, it’s easy to understand why. As far as we know, it is the only router on the market that combines high hardware specifications, eight Gigabit Ethernet ports, and an extensive list of gaming-specific options.

If playing online games is something you are passionate about, this router is a fantastic choice. After all, is said and done, the Asus RT-AC88U or the RT-AC5300 will provide the same experience at a lower cost for the vast majority of other home users.

Despite the fact that it is two years older than the RT-AC5300, the GT-5300 appears precisely the same as the older model, which has a big square design and eight antennae. The Wi-Fi standard is the same as that of its older brother, which is another plus.

Both routers are tri-band devices with two 5-gigahertz bands, each of which has a peak speed of 2,167 Megabits per second. A third 2.4GHz band has a maximum speed of 1,000Mbps. MU-MIMO technology is also supported by the router, which allows it to handle devices on different Wi-Fi tiers without slowing any of them down.

Design

To be quite clear, the GT-AC5300 is not the router for individuals who are seeking a beautiful little router to tuck away on a bookshelf or to use as a wireless access point. A big box with a horizontal base and no less than eight exterior antennas that can be moved is what this piece of networking hardware looks like. A decorative grille covers the top surface, providing enough perforated surface area to protect the internals from overheating while yet looking good.

The material utilized is black plastic with a gloss that is near to being completely matte. On top of that, there are orange accent stripes on the hem and sleeves. The absence of dazzling RGB illumination is compensated by the presence of six tiny status LEDs. The router weighs a heavy 4.14 pounds, which is quite a lot (1880 grams).

The connections are also routed over the top of this router through the rear of the device. The router has two USB ports in addition to a physical on/off the power switch when many other routers are limited to only one. Also following this trend are the wired Ethernet connections.

Whereas typical routers have four Ethernet ports, the GT-AC5300 recognizes this and increases the number by a factor of two, resulting in a total of eight Ethernet ports, all of which are Gigabit in speed. Due to a large number of accessible ports, the vast majority of users will be able to complete all of their wired connections without the need for an additional switch in their configuration.

With an 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, commonly known as WiFi 5, the GT-AC5300 falls behind the latest Wi-Fi 6/6E standards, but it is still a significant step ahead of the competition. The AC5300 designation comes from a stated 1000 Mbps throughput on the 2.4 GHz band, as well as a pair of 5 GHz bands that are each 2167 Mbps, resulting in a tri-band router. There is also support for wireless features such as Beamforming and Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), as well as a variety of other technologies.

The GT-fundamental AC5300’s specifications are also excellent. This features a quad-core processor running at 1.8 GHz, 256MB of NAND flash memory, and 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM. There is also some flexibility built into this router, which is a nice feature.

It can function both as the principal node on Asus’ AiMesh mesh router system, which can link Asus routers into a mesh network, and as an AiMesh node on its own, according to the company. Even so, we’re not clear why anyone would want to utilize a router this costly as a node in the first place.

Specifications

Processor1.8GHz quad-core processor
Memory256MB NAND flash and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
PortsRJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for 10/100/1000/Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 8 USB 3.0 x 2
EncryptionOpen system, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise
Wi-Fi TechnologyIPv6
Beamforming: standard-based and universal
2.4GHz x3, 5GHz-1 x3, 5GHz-2 x3
Dimensions2.55 x 9.64 x 9.64 inches
Weight4.14 lbs. / 1880 g
Price$449.99

Performance

In throughput tests, the GT-AC5300 had respectable results, but the lack of Wi-Fi 6 caused it to fall short of the competition in terms of performance. Using our NetPerf program, we saw that the throughput on 2.4 GHz was 133 Mbps while we were close to the router, but dropped to 94 Mbps when we were 30 feet away.

The 5 GHz close result was more remarkable, coming in at 615 Mbps, however, it fell significantly with greater distance, down to 352 Mbps in the end. Something that seemed outstanding a few years ago is now considered ordinary.

The GT-AC5300 is equipped with Asus’ outstanding Quality of Service (QoS), and given the hardware that powers this router, we were expecting some impressive results. Overall, it performs admirably in this test, with average frame rates of 112.4 when playing Overwatch over a wired connection and 114.5 when using a 5 GHz connection with no video streaming.

After that, we introduced network congestion caused by 10 8K videos streaming at the same time, which overwhelmed our 300 Mbps internet connection and reduced the average frame rate to 98 while connecting through Ethernet with the QoS turned off. With QoS enabled and still using a wired connection, the frame rate increased to 111.8, which is pretty similar to what it was before we added the movies, which is remarkable.

WTFast is a valuable tool, and we wanted to examine its usefulness in detail, so we conducted independent tests on wired and 5 GHz connections, particularly because it supports our test game, Overwatch. When connected via Ethernet and with WTFast enabled, we were able to achieve the highest average frame rate of 117.9 with the ten 8K videos streaming, despite the fact that video streaming was sacrificed with the highest dropped frame rate of 49.5 percent on our videos when using the fastest connection.

The findings were even more dismal when using WTFast on 5 GHz, with an average frame rate of 63.6 demonstrating a substantial reduction from the previous value. At least in our dataset, we were unable to determine the impact of WTFast on our gaming, and our FPS scores were typically higher when the feature was turned off.

Verdict

In the end, the GT-AC5300 is two halves of the same coin, and that is exactly what it is. Asus’s previous “Top Gun” router, which is currently being offered at a discount price, has the advantages of excellent hardware specifications, effective network congestion management, and a slew of capabilities such as built-in network-level antivirus protection, according to one interpretation.

However, this router does not support Wi-Fi 6, which reduces maximum throughput speeds, and does not support WPA3, the most recent wireless security standard. Even though current owners of the GT-AC5300 will most likely be satisfied with their current level of performance, those in the market for a new router will be better served by another, the more recent router from Asus, the RT-AX82U, which is available for a similar price and provides better performance without the significant drawbacks of being a little out of date.

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