Linksys EA8500 Good Budget option?

Hello. I need some advice. I have spectrums base internet plan 200/10 but am able to get up to 235/12. I'm mainly looking to improve online gameplay, there's also a few Roku TV's in my household streaming media at the same time.

I currently have a eero but experiencing terrible lag when I play with SQM enabled on the router. I've read cake is better. I've posted here a few times before but I never got around to buying a router and flashing OpenWRT, even though you folks have been helpful in previous comments.

Thanks for reading.

Check this recent topic. Especially post #2 is insightful.

I have an EA8500. I'm using it as a dumbAP, but have done some performance testing with it in the past. It is a powerful device in a category of a SoC for wifiAP + router + an ethernet switch. It has some weirdness in it, performance wise, I have noticed in my measurements. It can't cope with full duplex gigabit, for example. I did not spend time with the device enough to make better informed guesses, where experienced performance penalties came from.

In general I found the EA8500 nice and powerfull enough for what I use it for, but wouldn't use it for gaining low latency and jitter with SQM for gaming. The problem with SQM is that it needs cpu-power, which EA8500 has, and fast interconnects between cpu and physical network interfaces, which EA8500 may have a culprit or two in it. My experience says that this class of SoC-devices are choked somewhere in their architecture and your requirement is hard for this class of devices despite of what marketing says about a "gaming device".

My recommendation is to dedicate either an x86-64 device or, as findings on the forum suggests, RasPi4 for routing with SQM up to gigabit, although, that is well above your wan bandwidth figures.

An example of x86-64 device is Odroid H2 and there are many others. I can't quickly find the topic from recent months on the forum, where couple forum regulars measured RasPi4 with a couple usb-ethernet dongles. I haven't tried to verify their findings yet. But RPi4 with a usb-dongle is definitely on top in power/price ratio. And according to the findings the RPi4's architecture is not choked, at least, in networking pushing packets between its ethernet socket and usb-dongle. This has changed in RPi4 to previous RPi generations.

I think, you don't have to dump your Eero for wifiap, just separate WAN routing with SQM to a dedicated device and configure Eero a bit more dumb. Although it is possible to get too much latency from wifi as well, better to do serious tryouts in gaming without wifi if and once going with a recommended device.

I'm not a gamer, but my son is, for whom I have done my share of work for finding decent latency and network capasity sharing between him and others in family, in another word fairness. A couple of times I have been forced to show my son a place beside ethernet socket to game on for finding out wifi was a source for whining "bad network" and "bad internet" - and just after a while finding son again gaming outside ethernet socket on wifi.