AC68u vs new router

I am wondering what you would do in my situation. I currently have a router that I am considering flashing to AC68u (maybe you know the one) and then installing ddwrt or merlin? I know the process can be a bit finicky and I'm not trying to have my house without internet cause I'm fooling around.

But thats an old router and I'm feeling like its probably not worth it to fool with that and instead just get either a router and use that old one as an access point or get a wifi router. Here are the ones i'm considering.

Speeds are about 300mbps down/5-10 up. Essentially needing SQM for gaming mostly but wouldn't mind running adguard on openwrt instead of unraid.

nanopi R4s - ~$78, use old router as AP/switch
GL-MT3000 - ~$79, use old router as switch/also buy switch
Cuddy WR3000 - ~$60, maybe only need switch later, 3 lan ports is just enough for now
DL-WRX36 ~$80
Flint 2 ~ $160, not sure if worth the price over any of the other options since i'm only at 300down

Any advice is appreciated

Edit: was also considering a topton n100 device from ali express($140) but was unsure if those were considered reliable, or if they are more difficult to use with openwrt

The ASUS RT-AC68u is not really supported (effectively no wireless) by OpenWrt (nor fast enough to do effective QoS at those speeds), so if that's what you're looking for, you need to switch to different hardware - which has the added advantage that you won't break your existing hardware before getting the new one functional.

All of your examples would be be decent choices, only the DL-WRX36 is probably a bit marginal.

Alderlake-n/ n100 based systems will give you more opportunities for future speed increases, more margins - but they do require dedicated/ external APs (can be OpenWrt based, doesn't need to) for the wireless side. There's not reason to expect them to be unreliable, case in point, I've been running an Atom j1900 24/7 for a decade, on a 2.5" SATA HDD (aka spinning rust) that's even half a decade older than that, two failures in all that time (RAM errors on the original Atom N270 I assembled in 2009, which prompted me to upgrade to j1900 in 2014 (much more performance, a quarter of the power consumption), a failing PSU (capacitor plague) a few years ago, which was solved by another old notebook PSU).

Yeah I think I'll skip fooling with the old router. I am actually leaning more towards the DL-WRX36, since its a good price point and I don't have to get a separate AP, I don't have a giant house or anything, all single level and not brick/concrete walls.

Why do you say the DL-WRX36 is probably marginal? From what I have seen its pretty good as far as hardware goes, but just more complicated to get openwrt installed. But I haven't seen much of whether the actual wireless range/performance is good.

The on-paper specs are better -and the device is good- but the networking drivers are not as optimized as filogic 820/ 830, needing a lot more CPU performance and RAM. I would be more confident about any of the other devices to meet your goal speed, than the dl-wrx36 when it comes to sqm.

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I have an AC68U running DDWRT as it is not supported 100% by OpenWRT.
It runs fine with DDWRT, can be easily flashed.

It has hardware acceleration so can do speeds up to 900 Mb/s but not with SQM.
If you really want SQM with speeds of 300 Mb/s than this router is not suitable.

I have a DL-WRX36 running OpenWRT and that runs fine and can do what you want (it has quad core A53 at 2.2 GHz) but an X86 n100 will be even better and more future proof

Ahh I see, I don't know much about filogic820/which devices have what drivers but I've seen filogic mentioned a decent bit. Yeah the main reason I have been looking into upgrading is just to get rid of buffer bloat which I think having decent sqm is the solution vs just regular qos but I'm actually not 100% on if thats how it works lol.

Techincally I have a TM ac1900 that I was considering flashing to ac68u but I think its essentially the same after flashing.

Would you say an n100 with the ac68u(tm-ac1900) as the AP would be worth while over the DL-WRX36. I don't think I'll be going past 300 down/whatever i can get up unless fiber gets installed which doesn't seem likely anytime soon.

If the wifi on my current router would be as good/better than the dl-wrx36 I would probably just get a r4s and use my current router as the AP. I would imagine the 4x4 wifi 6 on the wrx36 would be better than the 3x3 wifi 5 on the old router for any wifi 6 devics and maybe comparable for wifi 5 devices? Has that been your experience?

Most clients are still 2x2 but wifi 6 is noticeably faster than wifi 5 if you are not too far away from the router and your clients support it.

In practice for me wifi 6 is on average about 15-20% faster but YMMV