What do you have delivering Wi-Fi access to your home, gerbils? Is it a nondescript grey or black box with a couple of meager sticks for antennae? Wouldn't you rather have a totally awesome space arachnid? Well, what if I told you that the Asus ROG Rapture Tri-Band AC5300 gaming router—which is not actually a space arachnid, despite appearances—supports 4x4 MU-MIMO for wireless transfers of up to an aggregate of 5.3 Gbps?
We first heard of the Rapture back in April when Asus was holding its Outshine the Competition event in Berlin. We didn't know much about it back then, but we have all the details now that it's been released. The Rapture GT-AC5300 is a long-range 802.11ac Wi-Fi router combined with a nine-port Gigabit Ethernet switch. It supports 802.3ad link aggregation so that users can bind two Ethernet ports to provide higher throughput devices that can use it, like a home NAS.
However, Asus correctly remarks that gamers need good traffic management (to ensure low latency) more than they need high throughput. As you'd expect, the Rapture comes with gaming-oriented QoS and traffic shaping features. Two of the Ethernet ports are dedicated "gaming LAN" ports that will see their traffic prioritized over other devices'. The router also supports "Game Boost," an automated service that analyzes individual packets to pick out traffic that looks like it came from a game and give it routing priority.
Users will manage the ROG Rapture's networking features from the ROG Gaming Center. Asus says that the Gaming Center should be easy to use for gamers who simply want to play and not spend all day managing their network. The company promises "easy one-click control" of common network settings, and it includes a feature called Game Radar that shows server ping times for game servers the world over. Asus integrated support for WTFast's Gamers' Private Network as well, in case you'd rather not leave your routing to the whims of backbone providers.
Asus says the ROG Rapture is available now in the US for $400, but as usual we found it at Newegg for a little under that.