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The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router designed to elevate your online gaming experience. It’s an excellent performer loaded with features and top-shelf hardware.
Lightning-fast reflexes and a speedy PC are essential for online gaming success, but neither will get the job done if you’re connected to a sluggish Wi-Fi network. That’s where the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 comes in. This sleek, dual-band Wi-Fi router is designed specifically for gaming. Using Wi-Fi 6 technology and powered by a quad-core CPU, the Rapture delivered speedy throughput in our testing and provided a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout our home. It’s equipped with high-speed ports and offers a slick user interface, lots of settings designed to optimize your gaming experience, and free parental control and anti-malware software. At $399.99, the Rapture GT-AX6000 isn’t cheap, and it lacks 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E, but its overall feature set and outstanding performance are plenty to make it our new Editors’ Choice pick for premium gaming routers.
RGB Lighting On a Router? Why Not?
With its black finish, red accents, and RGB lighting effects, the Rapture GT-AX6000’s aesthetic screams “gaming router.” The 2.2-by-13.3-by-7.8 inch (HWD) enclosure sports four removable, adjustable antennas and has power, Wi-Fi activity, LAN and WAN activity, and WPS activity LED indicators along the front edge. The top of the router sports a backlit Republic of Gamers logo that uses Asus’ Aura RGB lighting engine to display rainbow, wave, breathing, gradient, evolution, and marquee as well as static lighting effects.
All of the Rapture’s ports are located on its rear panel. Here you’ll find a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port, a 2.5Gbps LAN port, four gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, a USB 2.0 port, a reset button, and a power jack. The router supports both WAN and LAN link aggregation, as well as load balancing for optimal network traffic distribution. One of the gigabit LAN ports can be used as a dedicated gaming port that automatically gives bandwidth priority to its connected client device.
The Rapture is an AiMesh-compatible router, which means you can combine it with other Asus AiMesh devices to create a whole-home Wi-Fi mesh system. It is powered by a 2.0GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 256MB of flash memory. As a dual-band AX6000 router, it’s capable of maximum data rates up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio band and up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz band, for an approximate total of 6,000Mbps. The router also utilizes the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies such as Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), 160MHz channel bandwidth, 1,024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Target Wake Time, MU-MIMO data streaming, beam-forming, and WPA3 encryption.
The Rapture can be managed using the same gamer-themed web console and mobile app as the company’s ROG Strix GS-AX5400 router. At the top of the mobile app’s Home screen, you’ll see the network name, IP address, and the SSIDs for both Wi-Fi bands. To the right is a game controller button that takes you to a screen where you can assign bandwidth prioritization for gaming, media streaming, web surfing, and file transfer applications. A status circle in the center of the screen displays Aura RGB lighting settings, a real-time network traffic chart, network SSID names, the number of wired and wireless clients, and CPU and memory usage. You use the arrows to toggle through the various status screens.
Beneath the circle on the app’s home screen is a Mobile Game Mode button that lets you boost bandwidth allotment and decrease latency when playing games on your mobile device. There’s also an AiMesh button for configuring a mesh network.
Meanwhile, the bottom of the home screen offers buttons labeled Home, Devices, Insight, Family, and Settings. The first returns you to the home screen, while the Devices button takes you to a screen where you can view a list of all connected devices, examine traffic usage for each device, set bandwidth limits, apply QoS settings, and view each device’s IP and MAC address information. Use the Insight screen to do things like search for available routers to add to your AiMesh network, share Wi-Fi access via QR codes, and view security events such as blocked malicious websites or infected devices.
Tapping the Family button opens a screen where you can create profiles for family members and assign age-based parental control filters that block access to social media and sites containing violence, gambling, and adult content. Finally, the Settings button lets you configure anti-malware settings and parental controls, run diagnostics, configure application-based QoS and Open NAT (port forwarding) settings, and adjust Wi-Fi, LAN, and WAN settings.
Testing the Rapture: Speed to Beat All Comers
Using the mobile app, I had the Rapture GT-AX6000 up and running in a matter of minutes. (If you’re not an app person, you can also install the router using a web console.) I powered up the device, tapped the plus button in the top right corner of the home screen, and selected Set Up a New Network. I chose Asus Wireless Router from the list and used my phone’s Wi-Fi settings to connect to the router. I returned to the app, and after 30 seconds or so the router was discovered.
I then tapped Get Started and followed the on-screen instructions to power-cycle my modem. After another 30 seconds the router was connected, and I created SSIDs and passwords for both radio bands. I created a login account and waited 45 seconds for the app to set up my network. After a quick network optimization, the installation was complete.
The Rapture performed like a boss in testing. Its score of 129Mbps in our 2.4GHz close-proximity (same room) throughput test was slightly faster than the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 AX5400 (121Mbps), the TP-Link GX-90 AX6600 (120Mbps), and the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 (128Mbps).
In the 30-foot test, the Rapture’s score of 45Mbps edged the Linksys (42Mbps) and the ROG Strix (44Mbps) but was a hair slower than the TP-Link’s 46Mbps.
In the 5GHz throughput tests, the Rapture GT-AX6000 beat all comers, scoring 868Mbps in the close-proximity test and 435Mbps in the 30-foot test. That topped the Hydra Pro 6 (830Mbps and 400Mbps respectively), the TP-Link GX-90 (840Mbps and 339Mbps respectively), and its Asus stablemate the GS-AX5400 (846Mbps and 424Mbps respectively).
To test a router’s file transfer performance (read and write speeds), we move a 1.5GB folder containing a mix of music, video, photo, and document files between a USB drive and a wired desktop PC, both of which are connected to the router.
File Transfer Performance: Routers
The Rapture delivered a write speed of 72MBps, which beat the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 (55MBps), the TP-Link GX-90 AX6600 (70MBps), and the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 (69MBps). The Rapture also scored 72MBps in the read test, beating the Linksys (57MBps) and the TP-Link (68MBps) but trailing the ROG Strix (85MBps).
Finally, to test the Rapture’s wireless signal strength, we used an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and its Survey mobile app. This combination generates heat maps that show the router’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz signal strength throughout our test home. (Note: Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.) The white circle on the map represents the location of the router, and the colors represent signal strength. Darker greens indicate the strongest signal, yellows indicate a weaker signal, and grays indicate no perceptible reception.
A Top Performer for Hardcore Gaming
At $399.99, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 is one pricey router. There are certainly cheaper gaming routers available, including the excellent Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400. That model is a more palatable $250 and also an Editors’ Choice pick, but it lacks multi-gigabit ports and has a lower overall maximum throughput rating.
So if you take your online gaming seriously, the GT-AX6000 is worth every cent as a top-of-the-line router. Armed with a powerful processor and Wi-Fi 6 circuitry, it turned in class-leading scores in our throughput tests and provided a relatively strong Wi-Fi signal throughout our home. It also delivered fast file transfer scores in testing. In addition to rock-solid performance, the Rapture is packed with features including a pair of multi-gig network ports, game-enhancing settings, a dedicated gaming LAN port, and robust parental control and network security software. All this earns it our Editors’ Choice award for Wi-Fi 6 gaming routers.