Wireless Performance - more
Here's the IxChariot plot for downlink, showing relatively stable throughput.
Draft 802.11ac throughput IxChariot plot - Linksys EA6500 - downlink
The uplink plot is very different. With a strong signal in Location A, the router shifts to a higher throughput level two times, peaking at around 600 Mbps (!) for a short time around 45 seconds into the run. It then falls back to bounce around the 300 Mbps line for awhile and then begin its upward climb again. I reran the test a few times and found a similar pattern each time.
Draft 802.11ac throughput IxChariot plot - Linksys EA6500 - uplink
I have seen other draft 11ac and N routers take awhile to shift up to their maximum throughput at the start of a test run. But I haven't seen the multiple shift, fallback and repeat pattern before.
Maximum 11ac Throughput
I ran our multi-pair test to see how throughput scales as more test scripts are run simultaneously. The plot below shows the EA6500 behaving more like the ASUS, with (just) over 400 Mbps of total throughput with one pair and total throughput peaking at four pairs. The EA6500 even beats the ASUS with a peak total throughput of 548 Mbps vs. 527.
Draft 11ac throughput vs. traffic pairs
Our testing so far shows that the EA6500 has high routing throughput with plenty of simultaneous connections. But its storage filecopy performance doesn't set any records, especially if you write to it with a FAT32 formatted drive attached.
Since we don't test with a standard AC client, it's tough to say that one product is really better than another. But it seems like the ASUS RT-AC66U still holds the crown for best overall draft 11ac performance, especially as signal levels drop. With a strong signal, however, the EA6500 holds its own against not only the ASUS, but the Buffalo and NETGEAR AC routers too.
Part 2 of the review has the rest of the wireless test results so that you can decide if the EA6500 is the draft 11ac router for you.