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Exactly What is Required for Smooth Live?


bgarcia
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Don't know if this is technical enough, but I'm wondering exactly what I need to get smooth gameplay over LIve. I have fixed-wireless highspeed service, and I haven't managed to play a decent game of ESPN NFL(granted I've only played 3 times, and the first two times my ISP had issues). But last night, my ISP seemed to be fine and I still had what I consider major lag and very jerky action. Honestly, dial-up on Madden PS2 was smoother last year, and this year my one Madden PS2 game was very smooth (even when my ISP had issues last week). So, is the peer-to-peer just not ideal, or is my ISP not up to snuff? If anyone can tell me the ideal parameter to test my ISP for, I'd be grateful.

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Would you say your Live games run as smooth as playing against the CPU (or against someone in the same room)? And how many times would you say you see the black 'waiting on remote connection' screen during a game? Thanks for the info, I'm just trying to see if I can determine what my ISP may be doing wrong.

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Let's see what your latency and packet loss is to Redmond.

 

Type the following in a command/DOS window:

 

ping http://www.microsoft.com -n 100

 

Then tell us what your results are. When done, it will tell you something like:

 

Ping statistics for 62.218.174.89:

Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),

Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

Minimum = 40ms, Maximum = 54ms, Average = 41ms

 

Do this in addition to speed tests at dslreports.com.

 

You may want to try this at different times of day to see if your results are constant.

 

(obviously, the vast majority of online games are not connected to Redmond for actual gameplay). However, this gives us a fixed point of reference to start out with.

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I would say having the best possible - and I mean reliable, as well as speed wise - internet connection.

 

I have Optimum Online cable here in the Bronx, and I get insane down/up speeds from them. Consistently 3500-5000 kbps down and 900-1000 kbps up, according to each of the speed tests at DSLReports.com.

 

I don't know much about wireless ISPs, but if they're anything like Satellite, I don't think they're good for gaming. Can anyone clue me in as to how wireless ISPs work?

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If you want to run a test to the actual Xbox Live sign in servers, you can use this URL: as.xboxlive.com. I get about 87ms to that server with my connection. That's definitely better than the 150ms I was getting when I first got Live.

 

I have Earthlink cable through Time Warner here in Dayton with dowload of around 2700 kbps and upload around 365 kbps. I can host some games with little to no lag (Mechassault, Unreal and some Ghost Recon) as long as I keep the players in the server to a reasonable number. I have also never had a problem actually connecting or playing a game.

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Wow, some pretty impressive numbers here. I'll give the suggested sites some tries, and see what I get back. I'm pretty sure my problem is inconsistent ISP service, as I've noted significant differences of test results (from dslreports) even within a short time period.

 

Ruffneck, I too had my doubts about wireless, thinking it would be as slow as satellite service. But it really is quite fast, I normally ping about 50ms to most sites I test with no packet loss. I'll have to test with higher packet counts though and see if it holds up. I know my ISP has been tweaking his server/router management code, so hopefully that'll start giving me consistent rates.

 

Thanks for the feedback gents. Once I get this ironed out, if it pans out I'll be sure to post my gamertag/Live info and compete with some of you. Though don't expect me to download the latest ESPN NFL update since I play as the Raiders :)

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Well, I've managed to run ping tests to Microsoft over the past two nights. On Tues., one resulted in 4% pl, an hour later 1% pl. Last night, even though my service was 'jerky' (I believe I have weather-related hardware probs), I managed 5% pl. All average ping times were 60ms. So not too bad, I don't think.

 

I now believe the system is capable enough for effective online gaming, once my ISP implements the bandwidth caps on other users. He's awaiting replacement of a defective Cisco router to implement that.

 

If I can consistently maintain 512kbps down/128kbps up, do you think I'll have a smoother experience?

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This is interesting guys...perhaps you can assess my connection. I have a particularly bad upload as well. Here are some test results:

Ping statistics for 66.77.165.178:

Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),

Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

Minimum = 25ms, Maximum = 33ms, Average = 27ms

 

I will test dslreports.com test shortly.

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Failsafe,

 

I too have what I consider outstanding 'statistics' most of the time. The question becomes how consistent is your performance. Most of the time I do a quick speed check before going online, and if it's acceptable, I go ahead. But what commonly happens to me is encountering lag during the game, sometimes even loss of connection to my opponent. No way I know of to figure out whose connection was more responsible, but I have found that oftentimes my speed checks after a bad gaming session have dramatically dropped. In that case, I blame my ISP. A lot can change in the span of one hour for you ISP, especially if he can't handle extreme changes in bandwidth load.

 

My problem appears to be that he has customers who are paying for higher bandwidth. When they decide to do some serious data transfers, my connection takes a huge hit. Heck, one night I had a whopping 2kbps upload! The next morning I was getting >1mbps both ways. He's working on limiting everyone so we each have a decent chunk at all times, but he's a small operation and it's taking some time. Good luck finding your solution, although your problem may be your opponents' connection.

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