- Page 1 Asus RT-AC87U AC2400 Review
- Page 2 Performance, Value & Verdict Review
Asus RT-AC87U – Performance
As mentioned we tested using a second AC87U unit in bridge mode for full 4×4 compatibility. So how fast is the AC87U’s fancy new chipset? In short: we have a new peak performance champ.
At our test distances of 2m and 10m line of sight the AC87U achieved speeds of 85.9MBps and 77.3MBps, which give it a tangible edge on any AC1900 product we’ve seen before, though it doesn’t blow them away.
Interestingly when it came to speeds at our final test distance of 15m behind two standing walls the AC87U did slip. It remains extremely fast hitting 36.1MBps (in line with the Netgear R7000) but it didn’t break new ground.
It was a similar story with 802.11n 5GHz. The AC87U managed 47.7MBps, 45.6MBps and 19MBps at 2m, 10m and 15m which sees it very near to the top of the tree but again it slipped at maximum range.
Happily at 802.11n 2.4GHz, however, the AC87U arrested this 15m slide managing 21.8MBps, 19.9Mbps, 12.8MBps. This sees the AC87U break new ground at 10m and 15m and both it and the D-Link DIR-880L stand well clear of the pack at 2m.
Finally USB and a surprise: the Quantenna chipset didn’t show the horses to power ahead of the Broadcom-based AC1900 models. Its USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 results of 17.9MBps and 17.7MBps see it slide into fourth place amongst our fastest routers, but the top three – the Linksys WRT AC1900, D-Link DIR-880L and Netgear R7000 – carry a noticeable lead.
Incidentally USB 3.0 continues to lag behind USB 2.0 performance across all these routers showing it to be more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Interestingly Asus offers a ‘Reducing USB 3.0 interference’ mode for the USB 3.0 slot (different manufacturers dispute whether USB 3.0 causes network interference), but this effectively just cuts it to USB 2.0.
Should I buy the Asus RT-AC87U?
If you do you won’t be sorry. The AC87U is among the fastest routers we have ever tested and breaks new ground in no less than four tests. Furthermore it has been widely reported that early firmware has been glitchy (we actually experienced no problems) and Asus is working fast on updates which may boost overall performance as well.
The flip side is at £219.99 the AC87U is substantially more expensive than all but the Linksys WRT 1900AC and this means it faces the same caveat as that router: the sizeable gap in price doesn’t quite justify the smaller performance leads at various distances and bands. Notably the D-Link DIR-880L at just £129.50 (and even less at some online retailers) continues to offer value for money that cannot be ignored.
In time, and with several more firmware updates, the Asus AC87U may justify its price. But, for now, while the RT-AC87U beckons the start of a new router era, it isn’t quite the revolution you might be expecting.
Next, see our pick of the Best Routers
Score in detail
Build Quality 8