Reviews

ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router Review – A Gaming Router with A Dedicated Gaming Port and Mobile Game Mode

ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000

RM838.00
9.7

Build Quality

10.0/10

Hardware Specification

9.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Gaming Features

10.0/10

User Experience

9.5/10

Wireless Throughput

9.5/10

Value

10.0/10

Advantages

  • Excellent design
  • Four-powerful antennas
  • Gaming LAN port
  • WPA3 Support
  • 160MHz channel
  • Stable firmware
  • Excellent wireless throughput
  • Centralized management via ASUS Router App
  • Mobile Gaming Mode
  • AiMesh and AiProtection bundled

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Non-removable antennas
Figure 1: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Packaging
Figure 1: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Packaging

ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 is the newest addition in their TUF-series lineup. Being the first of its kind in TUF-lineup, the router targeted towards gamers with a few gaming features bundled together. The TUF series is focused towards longevity and suitable for providing a stable gaming experience. The TUF Gaming AX3000 were designed to meet the most extreme requirement by the gamers by passing a few durability test in order to serve you for the next 5 to 7 years. Similar to other ASUS routers in the market, the TUF Gaming AX3000 still carries a few standard features such as AiMesh, AiProtection, AiCloud, VPN client, IPTV support and printer server.

Figure 2: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Accessories
Figure 2: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Accessories

The standard supplied accessories are, a unit of TUF AX3000, a power adapter, three-selective plugs, a CAT 5E RJ45 cable, a user manual and a warranty guide.

Figure 3: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Top View
Figure 3: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Top View

The TUF AX3000 comes in a bulky size. So if you are planning to place the router in a closet or in a compact place, I won’t really recommending to do so. On top of the housing, a TUF branding can be seen instead of the traditional ASUS branding, a few led indicators were present. To be honest, the router gave me an impression of a Huracan, a sports car from Lamborghini.

Figure 3A: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Side View
Figure 3A: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Side View

This router suitable to be placed within an open area such as on a table or in a server rack (enclosed w/ a dedicated fan or non-enclosed) due to its ventilation hole located on sideways. I must say, the mapping of the ventilation holes on the housing of the router, quite good.

Figure 5: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - I/O Panel View
Figure 5: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – I/O Panel View

The antennas of TUF AX3000 are non-removable, once again, this is a minor disadvantage for those who want to place this router in a compact area. Moving forward, the TUF AX3000 offers five Gigabit BaseT ports, with one port dedicated for gaming. The gaming port can be used for a gaming PC or console for maximum bandwidth allocation. A USB 3.1 Gen 1 port is present beside the power switch along with a WPS button and a reset button.

Specifications

ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 has the following hardware specifications:

BrandASUS
ModelTUF Gaming AX3000
Wireless ClassAX3000
Wireless Technology802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
1024-QAM high data rate
20/40/80/160MHz bandwidth
Data Rate802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54 Mbps
802.11n : up to 300 Mbps
802.11ac : up to 1734 Mbps
802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 2402 Mbps
ProcessorsBroadcom BCM6750 1.5GHz (Tri-Core)
FLA1256MiB
RAM512MiB
EncryptionWPA3-Personal
WPA2-Personal, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS Support
Firewall & Access ControlFirewall: SPI intrusion detection, DoS protection
Access control´╝ÜParental control, Network service filter, URL filter, Port filter
VPN SupportIPSec Pass-Through
PPTP Pass-Through
L2TP Pass-Through
PPTP server
OpenVPN server
PPTP client
L2TP client
OpenVPN client
Ports1 x Gigabit BaseT WAN, 4 x Gigabit BaseT LAN
1x USB3.1 Gen 1
FeaturesMU-MIMO
Traffic Analyzer
Adaptive QoS
AiProtection Pro
AiMesh
Parental Control
Download Master
OFDMA
Beamforming
Dimensions265 x 177 x 189 mm (LxWxH) with antenna
265 x 177 x 55 mm (LxWxH) without antenna
Weight675g
Table 1: ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 Specifications (Source 1, Source 2)

The TUF AX3000 utilizes the same tri-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz as the RT-AX3000, with a few feature additions bundled that makes the TUF AX3000 to be superior than the RT-AX3000. The installation process of the TUF AX3000 is similar with other ASUS routers. If the TUF AX3000 is your first ASUS router, you can refer to the guide here.

User Experience

The TUF Gaming AX3000 has its own unique ASUSWRT theme, similar to its counterpart. From my point of view, the color selection does synchronize well with TUF theme. The router is running on the latest firmware issued at the moment this review being written.

Figure 6: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - ASUSWRT Network Map
Figure 6: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – ASUSWRT Network Map

Having its own theme-color, the TUF AX3000 offers standard features as other gaming router from ASUS. All the accessible menus mapped on the left. Users also can see the current system status of their TUF AX3000. An AiMesh button is present. This allows you to further add your preferred mesh nodes in your existing network.

  • Figure 7: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - AiProtection
  • Figure 8: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Web and Apps Filter
  • Figure 9: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Time Scheduling

Being a router targeted towards gamers, ASUS never fails when it comes to bundling extra security features in their routers. AiProtection Pro feature is a mandatory feature that allows your home network stays protected eventhough you’ve opened up a few ports to be accessed remotely (if needed), the AiProtection Pro still can protect your home network from being compromised. Extra parental features such as web and application filtering, and time scheduling is standard.

Figure 10: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - QoS Settings
Figure 10: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – QoS Settings

There are three quality of service profiles offered, Adaptive QoS, Traditional QoS and Manual (Custom) QoS mode. The QoS settings offered here is pretty decent for its price. I firmly believe, no router in a such price range offer more than a single QoS profile. I believe the purpose of this feature is to give flexibility to the users to choose or customized their desired QoS settings that fit to their requirement.

  • Figure 11: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Game Boost
  • Figure 12: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - List of Device in Game Boost
  • Figure 13: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Open NAT

The TUF AX3000 offers a feature called Game Boost. The purpose of this function is to prioritize your gaming device, i.e. PC or gaming consoles to get most bandwidth while being utilized by your family member at one time. You can take this one step further by setting up Open NAT profile for your device with multiple game profiles. This will further improve the network latency and provide you with latency-free gaming experience.

Figure 14: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Port Forwarding Analysis
Figure 14: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Port Forwarding Analysis

It is really important for any routers to support port-forwarding by default especially when it comes to gaming. Fortunately, the TUF AX3000 produced a good reading when tested with an open port.

Figure 15: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - IPv6 Analysis
Figure 15: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – IPv6 Analysis

Surprise…Surprise… Although this router just received its first firmware update, the IPv6 works well. Another advantages to be added in the ‘good boy‘ list. Accessing to a IPv6 site or downloading a file from a site, the quality of the bandwidth speed remains unchanged, thus changing the perception that IPv6 reduces bandwidth although it increases a few seconds of delay in reaching a site.

Figure 16: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Multiple VPN Connection
Figure 16: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Multiple VPN Connection

At the present time, VPN feature is much needed as the public starting to worry about their data while spending time over the internet to carry out their daily chores. This is where the TUF AX3000 shines. What I liked personally about this feature is, it allows multiple VPN (also known as VPN Fusion in ROG-routers) profiles from the same provider or different provider to be merged together under a single router. Similar to policy-based-routing that can be found in ASUS-Merlin firmware, you can customize the route type of your device through a specific VPN profile.

Figure 17: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Wireless Settings
Figure 17: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Wireless Settings

When it comes to wireless throughput especially for the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology, a compatible device is needed to fully utilize the bandwidth to meet certain limitations such as no option to use a wired connection. I would recommend a few PCIe adapters such as AX58BT or Archer TX3000E to fully utilize the technology. Figure 17 on above showing my personal preferred wireless settings.

Figure 18: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Wireless Throughput
Figure 18: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Wireless Throughput

Figure 18 on above shows the standard wireless throughput when paired with a right Wi-Fi 6-enabled adapter. The wireless reception of the adapter from the router located in a server rack is pretty good. Surprising though, as I able to get a better throughput compared to its rival with the same adapter. The estimated distance between the router and benchmark PC is 10m. Enabling 160MHz mode further enhance Wi-Fi 6 throughput as I nearly reach 800Mbps, similar to its LAN performance. In other word, the TUF AX3000 is suitable for 800Mbps and above users. The performance of real-time wireless throughput depends on the surrounding environment, more congested, less throughput achievable.

Figure 19: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Firewall Analysis
Figure 19: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Firewall Analysis

Figure 19 on the above shows a Shields Up test conducted to test the security of the TUF Gaming AX3000’s firewall on the service ports. Surprisingly, the router tends to block all the service ports, thus producing a good result. This indicates the router’s firewall is doing a great job. If you happen to use a VPN connection while conducting the test in your device, you will find that port 443 will be opened by default, however, you don’t really need to worry as it is considered normal.

Figure 20: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Administration Panel
Figure 20: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Administration Panel

Under administration system, you can change your login credentials, set up reboot scheduler if you want to refresh your public IP every 24-hour or once in a week. In addition, you can carry out a few basic operations by SSH‘ing into the router.

Figure 21: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - ASUS Router App
Figure 21: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – ASUS Router App

The TUF AX3000 can be managed via ASUS Router App that is available for both mobile platforms. There is a hidden mode, or I can say, a God-mode for mobile gamers. It is called as Mobile Game Mode. It prioritizes mobile gamers in your home network over other device in use, either via wired or wirelessly. The GUI also displays the status of the mode with a few information such as ping, diagnosis and packet loss.

Figure 22: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Standard vs Mobile Game Mode
Figure 22: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Standard vs Mobile Game Mode

I’ve used an iPhone 7 Plus as a benchmark to carry out the ping test. The general result shown in the Figure 21 is a standard reading. However, when it comes to a real-time game performance, it does improve the latency. In general, I able to get roughly around 10 to 12ms of ping response time. When engaging in a match, I able to get 23ms for Mobile Legends and 20ms for PUBG Mobile only when gaming with mobile game mode were turned on. It is a significant improvement over there.

Conclusion

To conclude the review, the TUF Gaming AX3000 is a gaming router. Pricing at RM839, the router does offer a few extra features than its counterpart. Bundled together with a few gaming features, the router promised a smoother gaming experience. Based on my one-week testing, the router did excel well in terms of gaming performance.

Figure 24: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review - Conclusion
Figure 23: ASUS TUF GAMING AX3000 Review – Conclusion

With a decent tri-core processor, the router able to handle even the most extreme situation. If you’re hosting a private LAN party at home, the TUF Gaming AX3000 certainly can largely handle an amount of traffic required to provide a smoother gaming experience. If you’re looking for a gaming router under RM900, then the TUF Gaming AX3000 certainly built for you.

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