ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 review: An excellent gaming router that’s exclusive to StarHub
Performance Analysis & Conclusion
To test the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900, we are using our standard test setup which consists of two notebooks, one acting as a host machine and the other as a client device. The router, or in this case, node, acts as a gateway. For systems where manual settings are possible, a channel bandwidth of 80MHz is selected where applicable.
Since the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 is capable of tapping into the DFS spectrum, I used one of the DFS channels to test, specifically channel 100. Our test environment is moderately noisy and I can detect about 16 to 20 networks at any one time.
The client device is a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is one of the few client devices in the market to come with a 3x3 Wi-Fi receiver, allowing it to achieve wireless speeds of up to 1,300Mbps.
To evaluate, we will be measuring the time and calculating the speed achieved when transferring a 1GB zip file. We will do multiple tests with different setups and different distances to simulate use around a typical single story flat and in a multi-story home.
Here are the test distances we used and what they represent:
- 2m - Right beside the router
- 5m - In an adjacent room
- 10m - In a room that is farther away
- 15m - To simulate extreme distances (e.g. master bedroom toilet)
- Second storey - One floor above
- Third storey - Two floors above
To evaluate the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900's performance, I will be comparing it against the Linksys EA8100, which is also a dual-band router with DFS capability. Unfortunately, since I don't have the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 on hand, I will be including results of the Linksys EA9500, which is also a tri-band AC5300-class router.
I have also included results of the Netgear Orbi, which was the winner of the best mesh networking system category at Tech Awards 2018, and the Google Wifi, a very popular mesh networking system. But note that only a single node was used.
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC2900’s performance was generally very good. At close ranges, it outpaced the Linksys EA8100 and was about as quick or even faster than the mighty Linksys EA9500. However, performance dipped considerably as we got to 10 metres even if we were on a DFS channel. If it’s any consolation, we noticed the same with the Linksys EA8100.
What’s impressive is the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900’s performance from the second floor. Few networking units can even broadcast reliably to this area but the Rapture GT-AC2900 could and with decent speeds of around 150Mbps, which is comfortable enough for even high-res video streaming.
It’s hard to fault ASUS’ new ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 gaming router because it has just about everything a gamer or regular user would need. It has a pleasant, compact design; it’s choke-full of features; it performs well; it even has RGB lighting. All things considered, it’s a great alternative for those who find the S$559 asking price of ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 too prohibitive. Really, the only thing buyers will be missing is the second 5GHz network. If you don’t have that many users at home or if you don’t have that many connected devices, that missing 5GHz network isn’t a big deal.
Now, the good news is that StarHub is bundling this router free as part of their new Turbo Gamer 2Gbps. For more details of the new plan, click here.
But if your contract isn't up yet, the ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 is also available exclusively to StarHub broadband customers for S$399. It’s much more affordable than the flagship ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 but it's still rather pricey, especially for a dual-band router. However, considering what it offers, I think the high price is well justified.
For readers who are not StarHub broadband subscribers or who have no intention of subscribing to StarHub’s new gaming plan, your only option is to get a friend/relative/colleague who is a StarHub broadband customer to help. It’s a hassle for sure, but the trouble is worth it because this is one terrific little router.