I realize the below is kind of a wide open question. I am looking for more of a wide answer and possibly some tips on what to look for in the statistics which may help figuring out the hiccups.
I am curious what makes some APs work better than others.
One example is our use of Apple TVs (not wired to the network). OS/x streaming full video from youtube and airplaying it to the AppleTV. In all of the tests, the laptop and Apple TV were connected to the same AP at a 99% connection, 5 ghz, 20 mhz channelization and all were placed in the same location/orientation. Results were something like this:
7363 some hiccups
7962 did not seem to be much of an improvement
7372 about the same
7982 no problems, minor blips. Significantly better.
I know that new hardware means new technology etc., but given the 99% connection in all cases it seems odd that there is such a clear difference with the 7982 especially compared to the 7962.
Is it simply that the CPU in the 7982 can keep up better than the others?
Note: We just ordered a number of R700s which should be roughly equivalent to the 7982
AP CPU does matter however at the same time alot depends on client capabilities as it is NOT just about AP's. If client are as capable as AP's then performance would be Top Notch in a test scenario you described above
(Simple analogy: You can't drive Ferrari on broken and potholed road)
few things to points ponder upon:
how many stream does your client support?
Was the test done when it was on power save mode? During PS mode, client work hard to save power and performance tend to take a little hit.
btw 7982 is Three-stream MIMO 3x3:3 and the rest of the AP's are 2 stream MIMO.
older models like 7363 and 7962 are low on RAM so 7982 and 7372 would outperform them anyway. go for new models keeping in mind your investments run for long. 7962 is already EOL.
If client population is controlled by you then please check their specs and see what they are capable of then decide the AP you would like to go for.