“I was wondering if you could perhaps help me. I read your bio and was impressed with your skills and talent. I play DAoC and experience SERIOUS lag in the game. I have a AMD 4.2ghz Dual Core with 1gb ram â€¦ An NVidia GeForce 7600GS video card â€¦ It has 512gb ram. I am on a 3gb cable modem. When I am in the game for the most part it is playable â€¦ But when I go where there are other players the latency is so severe that either I canâ€™t move for minutes at a time or I go link dead and have to quit out and restart the application â€¦ I am not an expert on PCâ€™s but I know enough to kill all my background programs before playing â€¦ When the really bad lag occurs my HD is hitting solid â€¦ The light never goes out â€¦ I have a 140gb Western Digital HD and have formatted and re-installed WinXP Pro and ran all the updates and have the newest drivers for my video card. I donâ€™t know if this is enough info for you to help but would sure appreciate any and all help you can give â€¦ I thoroughly enjoy playing the game and it is very disheartening to experience this absence of performance on a machine I have spent so much money on â€¦ I have other friends that play on lesser machines with not as much resources as I have and while they do experience moderate amounts of it they donâ€™t even come close to my frequency of occurances â€¦ I have and run the latest spyware / virus software and donâ€™t use any p2p (bearshare/limewire) software â€¦ I donâ€™t know if you can help me but I could sure use any and all advice you can give. !!!“
My answer after the jump:
Lag can be caused by lots of things, as you’ve figured out. Does the game give you a network latency measurement? That would be my guess. Network latency is separate from bandwidth; you can have lots of bandwidth and you’ll still have latency. If nothing else, the speed of light limits how fast your packets travel across the Internet, and if the server on the other side of the world, communications back and forth can easily take more than half a second (which is too much for gaming). In the case of multiplayer games, packets have to travel from your computer, to the server, to all the players, back to the server, and then back to you. That’s why they try to match-make multiplayer games and servers within a specific geographic region.