Asus RT-AX86U is an excellent Wi-Fi 6 router. Period. If you have not watched my review about it, please do so now. Not going to repeat here again but do a comparison against its predecessor – RT-AC86U. Worth the upgrade? By the way, I am going to name AX86U as X and AC86U as C for short. Alright, let’s have a closer look now…
For WiFi 5, same performance when near to the wireless router. No surprise here. At first floor, C performance is slightly better than X. Can hit up to 500 Mbps. But X is not far behind. For ground floor, speed is slower which is expected. Both of them is almost the same this round. At end of the kitchen, X is faster than C which has an excellent result for Wi-Fi 5 router. X managed to reach up to 130 Mbps there.
As for LAN, both of them perform at the maximum speed that my devices can support at 940 Mbps. Well, that’s expected. Asus PCE-AX58BT is being used for WiFi 6 tests. For WiFi 5 80 MHz, both of them are getting around 650 Mbps. X can up to 700 Mbps when using WiFi 6 connection. For 160 MHz, X manages to reach up to 900 Mbps. Slightly slower on WiFi 5 connection. FYI, C does not support 160 MHz bandwidth and WiFi 6. For AiMesh wireless backhaul performance, RT-AX88U is the main router.
X manages to get 800 Mbps easily. C is slower but not far behind. At end of the kitchen, both of them are having almost the same result. Getting above 400 Mbps there. How about USB 3.0 transfer rate? They are the same. Yes, getting the maximum transfer rate for both reading and writing. 113 MB/s for reading. And 112 MB/s for writing. No performance gain if you upgrade. But you do get an extra USB 3.0 on X while C is USB 2.0 only.
Even without WiFi 6, X is a lot of faster than C with 1.8 GHz quad-core processor. There is still CPU buffer left for other stuff to process. C has almost used up CPU resources while pushing file writing speed to the maximum rate.
If you run a lot of services on the router, X is the better choice no doubt. In short, AX86U is worth the upgrade if you have WiFi 6 devices. And keep AC86U as AiMesh node. Furthermore, it has a few useful features like 2.5G connection. For new user, go for AX86U directly. Definitely worth the extra bucks.