by Matthew Rondina
If you’ve been looking for cutting edge wireless hardware look no further than the ASUS RT-AC5300 Extreme Tri-Band Router. The router features the ultimate in high speed gaming performance that has been built from the ground up with the hardcore gamer in mind.
The ASUS AC5300 retails for $399.99 USD / $449.99 CAD offering the ultimate in performance in the high-end tier of wireless gaming.
The World Gaming hardware review vault is open to take a detailed look at the router that should be in the home of any serious gamer.
The AC5300 features a very commanding design, with sharp modern edges and a large footprint. The look of the router falls somewhere between modern-art and a high tech alien spider, it’s large and very impressive looking.
From the unboxing I could feel the outstanding build quality, the device is solid as a rock with a good amount of weight to it as well.
The central unit 10 x 10 x 2.6 inches high, weighing in at a beefy 4 pounds, it’s size definitely lands it in the heavyweight category.
To further accent the powerful design are 8 high performance antennae that extend from the body of the router which help to ensure that you get a strong signal during your gaming sessions. From my hours of experience with gaming, internet surfing and high performance streaming they do their job extremely well.
The antennas are removable, allowing you to expand mounting options or attach custom antenna, but with performance and range like this you won’t need to be subbing in additional hardware anytime soon.
Taking a 360 degree tour of the unit, you’ll find it’s quite feature rich when it comes to ports. The rear of the unit has a power input, WAN, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3.0 & 2.0 for storage/networking functionality.
The router’s file transfer performance is excellent, but it would be ideal to see another USB 3.0 port for added devices, the single port means you could potentially swapped inputs.
The overall build is quality is extremely high, and the design choices are bold, giving you hints at the powerful performance under the hood.
The AC5300 has a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor backed by 512 MB helping to drive the performance of the tri-band 2.4 & dual 5 GHz networks. I found I had a solid connection with all devices in my home and the AC5300 efficiently handled devices on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
ASUS’ Tri-Band smart connect automatically chooses the optimal band for your device giving you great performance. I found my old router was unable to parse the signals often offering slow or dropped connections, the 5300 adapted to all my hardware.
The device also boasts MU – MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) which, in a nutshell, allows the router to communicate to multiple devices simultaneously, dramatically cutting down on lag and speeding up your network performance.
This really made a big difference in my multi-user household.
I roughly have 7 or so devices on my network at a time and did not notice any dramatic slowdown even when transferring large files or watching 4K content streams. The AC5300 does a great balancing things on a device heavy network, to ensure all users receive a quality connection.
The 8 antenna provide great range, with ASUS touting up to 5400 square feet of coverage, the 2800 square feet I tested the hardware on gave me excellent coverage with no dead zones to speak of.
The device also features adaptive QoS (Quality of Service) allowing gamers to easily prioritize game packets and activity. This provided low latency experiences that helped to give me an edge against my online opponents, I never found lag-related issues with the AC5300.
The setup of the AC5300 went very smoothly allowing me to get up and running in minutes. The Quick Internet Setup (QIS) got me off and running right away with plenty of expert options allowing me to tweak my network’s gaming performance.
The graphic setup interface of the AC5300 is great offering a slick UI that presents along of information in a very accessible manner.
One of the most appealing aspects of the router’s software is the WTFast GPN (Gamers Private Network) A simple sign up process gives you access to a more responsive and smoother connection while gaming. Enabling the GPN before each gaming session gives you a boost will less interruption.
I was able to put the RT-AC5300 through the paces for a few months and I am happy to report it provides fantastic gaming performance in many different areas.
I used the router with both console and PC multiplayer experiences and didn’t face any connection issues. I was able to stream my Xbox One connection to my Windows 10 PC with little to no input lag, my older wireless hardware provided a unplayable experience only a few rooms away.
My PC gaming experience was mostly with Quake Champions and the hardware allowed for hours of flawless connection with little to no lag.
The ASUS RT-AC5300 is a fabulous piece of hardware that offers excellent software support to bolster it’s performance. With hardware brawn and software brains of WTFast game accelerator, intelligent band assignment, and adaptive QoS the AC5300 will always keep you in the game. The price tag of the AC5300 is on the higher end-tier of wireless hardware, but the performance it offers cements it as one of the best routers on the market.
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!