Windows XP and Client side Lag ??

  User-7F6FF770-BD4F-47E5-9BA55A2F8E7FDFF9 10:38 13 Jul 2003

I have been frustrated with lag ever since I upgraded to a new Windows XP machine a few months back and I heard a whisper that XP may be the cause of it.

I am running an AMD XP processor at 2.0 Gig with a GeForce 4 TI 4200 graphics card, 56k modem using AOL.

I have no problems with offline games but online games are unplayable about 50% of the time due to lag.

The 2 games I play mostly are Everquest and planetside.

Planetside, when it is lagging, will allow me to move freely, however, certain actions , such as reloading a weapon, take 10-20 seconds before they register, the odd thing is that see other players carrying on their business as usual, so clearly data is being exchanged between myself and the server yet I still experience these delays.

Evequest exhibits similar behaviour in that spells dont regster as being cast but I see other players doing things.

Finally, when things get really bad my modem gives up and I get disconnected.

I have no problems at all with web browsing and downloading files.

I have been told that this is client side lag, but it means little to me and I was wondering if anyone can help me with this problem.

Thanks in advance.

  jazzypop 12:17 13 Jul 2003

Lag in online games is due to a combination of slow ping times and/or packet loss - see click here for a useful guide to lag.

If the only thing that has changed is the move to XP, and your perception of lag has increased, I would investigate a newer driver for your modem. See if this helps with reducing packet loss.

Interesting article jazzypop but I dont think its what I am experiencing.

Its not packet loss I dont think because the commands get through eventually, they just take some time, also EQ has a packet loss monitor and this rarely rises above 2-3%, even during the worst lag spikes.

And I dont think its the ping times, these are usually low for both PS and EQ.

Its almost certainly my setup, I know this because I still have my old 700 megahurtz athlon machine with a geforce 2 card and it performs fine on the same phone line.

The modem drivers (like all my drivers) have been updated to most recent, I have even gone as far as to reformat and re-install Windows XP.

I am sorely tempted to install Win 98, I dont really want to but I am not sure what else to try from here.

  jazzypop 13:07 13 Jul 2003

I am not aware of any specific XP-related online gaming issues. The TCP/IP drivers for XP are, if anything, better than the W98 ones, AFAIK.

If you are not experiencing slow pings or packet loss, then you are not almost certainly not suffering from client-side lag.

Has anything else changed since moving to XP? Have you installed a new firewall (or are you using XP's built-in version)?

A new virus checker?

Try a general-purpose speed checker, such as the one at click here - although it is designed for broadband connections (so ignore the 'slower than expected' comments), it is a thorough checker that gives detailed reports.

In case it is your modem settings, see click here

Otherwise, try a short session through another ISP such as the pay-as-you-go service at click here - this will show whether it is AOL that is causing the holdups. Note that you will probably need to use a different browser than the AOL one to make the initial connection to the Web.

Thanks for the links, I will try them when I get home from work.

I already tried 2 other pay as you go type ISP's and they were no better.

I wondered about the firewall myself earlier and tried to see if the built in XP one was active for my AOL connection. However AOL uses its own dial-up software and theres no way to actually activate or deactivate (that I can find) the firewall for that connection.

What puzzles me is that I can surf the web for hours and download huge files at a good speed , yet the lag in the 2 online games I currently play and 2 others I tried briefly, will be so bad that it actually causes my modem to drop the line.

I have also tried a friends modem in my machine and that made no difference either.

You can imagine how sore my fore head is getting from all the bangs on the wall it gets :)

  jazzypop 13:22 13 Jul 2003

Sorry about your head - pehaps the dazed state you are in is causing your strange perception of slo-mo?


As you have tried the alternative ISP and alternative modem approaches, and normal surfing / downloading is fine, then I suspect the firewall. However, I am not familiar enough with AOL to be certain.

Ah yes but the firewall options were available with the other ISPs that I tried as they used the ordinary dial-up networking and I made sure it was switched off.

And yes, you guessed it, it made no difference.

The more I think it through, all that I have tried and changed, I become more convinced that its something in XP, my machine has recently been reformatted anyway so its no great loss to try WIN 98, at least I will know one way or the other then.

If no revelations come my way by this evening I am going to do just that.

Thanks for you help jazzypop.

  sil_ver 13:41 13 Jul 2003

Perhaps not the answer you seek but is an easy option. Why don't you install 98 (an excellent gaming platform) on C: and then install XP to a separate partition or drive, creating a dual boot system? This way perhaps your headache will go away :-)


I actually split my 120GB drive into 2x 60mb drives when I reformatted, drive D is actually still unformatted.

Can I just install 98 onto drive D: somehow ?

I have never used a dual format system before so I wouldn't even know where to begin.

  jazzypop 14:32 13 Jul 2003

The easiest way to set up a dual-boot (for you) is to format drive C:, install W98.

Then put your XP CD in the drive, reboot, and XP will offer to setup a dual-boot system - just install XP onto D:

  sil_ver 17:05 13 Jul 2003

I agree

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