Forum Thread

ASUS RT-AC3200 Tri-Band AC3200 Wireless Gigabit Router - Micro Center $199

elgrandeburro 73 66 June 16, 2016 at 03:07 PM
Deal
Score
+2
3,653 Views
See Deal
$199.00

Thread Details

Last Edited by elgrandeburro July 7, 2016 at 11:12 AM
Hi all,

Today at Micro Center, I noticed the RT-AC3200 was on sale (online and bricks and mortar).

Not the cheapest sale price I've seen, but a decent one.

Here's the deal:Availability:
  • Micro Center's website shows their general web store has this on sale for $199.00.
  • I also saw this at a bricks and mortar, in St Louis Park, MN, and it's probably at others.
  • "Web Store" deal end date unknown - Bricks and mortar good through at least 06/19/2016.
  • Update: Web Store deal still good - Bricks and mortar sale good through at least 07/03/2016.
  • Update: 07/07/2016: Same deal still exists. I would say this is the new baseline price at this point. I also see that Newegg, Amazon, and B&H have there's priced at $215, which is probably about the same as what you would pay at Micro Center with tax. Main advantage of visiting the store is if you're looking for a specific revision.
If you purchase something through a post on our site, Slickdeals may get a small share of the sale.

8 Comments

1

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Dec 2008
L2: Beginner
73 Posts
66 Reputation
Original Poster
#2
Personally I still bought the RT-AC68U revision B1, for use with Asuswrt-Merlin, DD-WRT, and Tomato. I didn't fully know how well the RT-AC3200 was supported by those third party firmware projects, and as such I left the deal behind. Anyone have input on that subject that would help me return my purchase and go for the RT-AC3200? Smilie
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#3
Quote from elgrandeburro View Post :
Personally I still bought the RT-AC68U revision B1, for use with Asuswrt-Merlin, DD-WRT, and Tomato. I didn't fully know how well the RT-AC3200 was supported by those third party firmware projects, and as such I left the deal behind. Anyone have input on that subject that would help me return my purchase and go for the RT-AC3200? Smilie
How do you know the revision number? How is it are different versions different?

I ordered the router only option from the amazon a couple of days ago.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FB45SI4/
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2008
L2: Beginner
73 Posts
66 Reputation
Original Poster
#4
Quote from Wand View Post :
How do you know the revision number? How is it are different versions different?

I ordered the router only option from the amazon a couple of days ago.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FB45SI4/
Note:
  • I've been intermittently editing this post to hopefully help others in their search. I was confused during my research of this router, and thought this consolidated info might aid you all. The following is the result of me digging through a lot of Google searches and forum postings. Due to my misunderstanding, or to posts that are a tad askew, some of the info listed is probably wrong. It would be fantastic to receive any updates or clarifications. If it would help, I could post this somewhere outside of a deals thread, as it really is info for a different router and not strictly about a deal.

In General:
  • Locating the Revision: It's on the box, with a bunch of other bar codes. They're all crammed together in a tiny space and it's easy to miss. However if you're buying online, it's pretty hard to determine the revision you get until it's in your hands.
  • Which Revisions are Supported: I believe all prior revisions (A1, A2, B1) are supported by those projects. The only one that isn't currently is a later revision: C1. That I think runs fine with Asuswrt-Merlin, but the other projects support for it are unknown at this time.
  • Does All This Firmware Talk Really Matter: It's easy to get caught up in all the technicalities, and for most people that aren't thinking about third party firmware stuff, it won't matter too much, but since I went through the process of getting up to speed on it, I figured I might as well grab a specific revision of the RT-AC68U. Best I could tell is that B1 was still fully supported by those firmware projects, and included a number of refinements. If you want to improve the stock experience, put Asuswrt-Merlin on it, if you want to try out new/other features, go for something like Tomato or DD-WRT.

My Best Attempt at the Revisions List:
  • A1: was the original release.
  • A2: added shielding to help with interference with the USB 3.0 port.
  • B1:
    • Changes the processor from a BCM4708A0 to BCM4709A0.
    • Processor change increased speed by 200MHz.
    • Processor change puts it more in line with the Netgear R7000 for comparison.
    • On the back of a B1 unit, you'll see the label "FCC ID", followed by this model number: RTAC68UV2.
    • The power amplifiers might have also changed in this revision.
    • Range might be reduced in this revision, or it might only be in the P SKU listed in the next section.
    • Maybe some other improvements.
  • C1: I don't remember this one well enough. Will update if I have time to look it up.
  • Other Revisions: Probably exist for all I know.

Router SKUs:
  • SKU's: In addition to the revisions, there are multiple SKUs. The ones I know of end in: U, R, W, P, TM-AC1900
  • Note: While they end in different letters, they seem to be the same hardware.
  • U: is generally the one that could be found in potentially any sales channel.
  • R: is for retail channels.
  • W: is for the white exterior version.
  • P: is a Best Buy specific SKU. Looks just like the U/R. See More Below.
  • TM-AC1900: T-Mobile's custom version of these routers. See More Below.

More About the T-Mobile Version:
  • General: The TM-AC1900 CellSpot is a custom version of the RT-AC68U. It can be modified to be recognized as a RT-AC68U if you feel like playing with the routers CFE. For some this is an attractive option as you can purchase the router for less than what you'll find the RT-AC68U for at retail. I haven't had any interest in pursuing this path, and as such I'm leaving out further details. It should be pretty easy to find this info if you're curious about it. Unfortunately I have no idea about where the TM-AC1900 lines up with the revisions listed above.

More About the Best Buy SKU:
  • The Best Buy SKU, P, is confusing as I'm not sure exactly where it was introduced, I think it might be with the B1 iteration.
  • After looking in person at an U and a P, both revision B1, each unit came with the same firmware version installed.
  • The back of the units referred to themselves respectively as a RT-AC68U and a RT-AC68P, though the FCC ID right next both of those labels showed RTAC68UV2.
  • From those exterior appearances, these two units seem to be the same.
  • I've read random postings stating the P versions were "locked down" some how in regards to their output power.
  • The vagaries of those postings didn't make it clear as to whether that was some Best Buy specific thing, or if that was because of the new FCC rules/mandate/etc. From what I can tell it was the later. In that case, I think that only occurs if a certain firmware version or later has already been installed, and it would affect all the router SKUs: U/R/W/P.
  • The P seems to just be another version of the U/R.
  • I decided that I didn't want to deal with the Best Buy route, so I returned mine, and found the U branded ones at Micro Center.

Newer Versions, Revisions, ETC:
  • There are even newer versions that I've read about, and several I've actually seen at Best Buy so far.
  • They're referred to simply as the RT-AC1900, RT-AC1900P, come in similar packaging with a few obvious differences.
  • Besides the name change, the things I quickly noticed were that the box color scheme had been altered.
  • New boxes have mostly a white background on the larger sides, black on the smaller sides, previous models had an all black background.
  • It's not clear to me if they are supported by any of the firmware projects.
  • It's also unclear if they're just C1's, or if they're some other revision or new versions altogether.
  • I've also seen new labeling like "V2" and "V3" listed on the back of the boxes, which gives you the impression of more revisions/versions.
  • Unfortunately I didn't take enough time to record it all down, so the best I can offer you is my jumble of thoughts.

A Subjective Side Note:
  • Why I Chose the ASUS RT-AC68U Over the Netgear R7000: The R7000 is awesome and I would love to own it. What pushed me towards the RT-AC68U was the simple fact that it had a better level of protection from bad firmware flashing - i.e. less chance of bricking your router. For a device that can cost up to $200, I felt like lessening my risk for once. The R7000 has a number of key third party firmware developers using it personally, which lets you know it's got an excellent potential at working well. There are also a great set of developers who are doing fantastic work with the RT-AC68U, and in fact, something like Asuswrt-Merlin is for Asus routers only (though there is at least one fork that has brought Asuswrt-Merlin to the R7000). Merlin himself has done wonders for Asus firmware, and having his work as an option, as well as Tomato and DD-WRT, is a huge plus. There are other considerations too such as does Netgear or Asus have better quality hardware, to which I've read opinions that lean in either routers favor. Several advantages the R7000 has had, that I would really like, is that it tends to run cooler, uses a bit less power iirc, and has better throughput in some areas, though the RT-AC68U is no slouch. As far as a stock experience goes, the firmware included with the RT-AC68U is better, and from what I read, by a good deal. Because of the factors already listed, I decided to go with the RT-AC68U.

Confused? Me too Smilie. To repeat a part from the top of this post - my choice was to go with the B1 as it seemed like the latest edition that had some refinements I liked, and was fully supported by the firmware projects I would like to use. Other people feel different and go with the original editions. So far, mine seems to be doing well. Want to improve your stock experience? Load Asuswrt-Merlin on to it. Want to travel down different roads that add other features, try Tomato and DD-WRT.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by elgrandeburro June 20, 2016 at 07:58 AM
#5
So what's the cheapest price you've seen on this? A quick search I performed shows this as the lowest. Again, a quick search Wink
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2008
L2: Beginner
73 Posts
66 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Quote from Joosh View Post :
So what's the cheapest price you've seen on this? A quick search I performed shows this as the lowest. Again, a quick search Wink
I ran into that too. For camelcamelcamel / Amazon, I think that is the lowest price it has ever been. When I look through Slickdeals postings, I see sites like Newegg have had it for $180 before. That said, Newegg looks to be $250 at the moment. So depending on your perspective, this is a good deal or a great deal? Wink
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by elgrandeburro June 16, 2016 at 09:10 PM
#7
As far as Merlin firmware is concerned this device is compatible, I have this router with Merlin on it, I don't know about Tomato or DD-WRT
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2008
L2: Beginner
73 Posts
66 Reputation
Original Poster
#8
Quote from manwdaplan View Post :
As far as Merlin firmware is concerned this device is compatible, I have this router with Merlin on it, I don't know about Tomato or DD-WRT
Thanks manwdaplan. How is your experience with it?

I researched more and it definitely appears that Tomato and DD-WRT have this router in their builds. That said some of it seems to be early going, and I haven't yet read enough of what others have experienced for stability. Good to know all this. Debating on whether to get this router still.

If it helps anyone, I did see the revision on the all the boxes. That said, I can't recall correctly the order of the last two digits. The revision was either 2.35, or it might have been 2.53.

Other useful random info: I think it eats up a few more watts at idle and full load than say the RT-AC68U. Both routers use the same processor. Thought I read something too about the power amplifiers being changed to ones that are able to offload some of the processing from the CPU, which I'm guessing should help.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by elgrandeburro June 17, 2016 at 10:07 PM

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#9
now it needs a $100 rebate 😄
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 1
1
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard