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Windows 7: Ping/Jitter spikes only while streaming apps/games are running

06 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 32bit
Ping/Jitter spikes only while streaming apps/games are running


I've been having a problem with ping jitter over the past few days. I initially noticed it with TF2 issues, but it seems as though it is more broad than that. I've narrowed it down to a client side issue, because when running ping tests, I ping to the router instead of to an outside service. Also, the symptoms vary based on what programs I'm running--it's not truly random.

  • When connected to a TF2 server, my ping jumps rapidly from ~60ms (normal) to ~300-1000. This occurs on every server, regardless of how many people are in it.
  • When viewing a youtube video, there are no immediate problems but upon investigation with the command prompt, ping varies rapidly ONLY while data is being transferred (buffering).
  • When connected to a mumble server (VOIP client, similar to ventrilo), voices are warpy and cut out every 1-0.5 seconds.
  • I've included a Photoshop diagram of what I'm talking about: imgur
  • One peculiar thing I've noticed is that ping (computer -> router) stays much lower when these types of apps are running but not transferring data. 2ms while the apps are running, 16 ms or so while they are not.
  • edit: The spikes occur ONLY when the problematic programs are in focus. So if I run TF2 in windowed mode and leave it running in the background, no ping problems will occur.
I suspect that this issue would happen with any app that features a constant stream of data over the network.

I'm at a loss as to what I should do from here. I've already tried this fix (the multimedia registry fix).I don't think it has to do with those sound issues, since when I completely disable sound (by disabling the devices within the 'playback devices' preference pane, the issue does not go away.Ah, okay. So it turns out I did NOT actually do that. The issue continues, but I know it's related to the Multimedia Class Scheduler service.

I'm not sure where I should go from here. I suspect it has to do with a service that runs while those streaming apps run, or some type of automatic throttling mechanism on my machine, since the issues are all local. I have no issue downloading things--it does not appear to be a bandwidth problem. Only ping (and specifically, really bad jitter).

Thank you for your attention.

Edit: I've narrowed down the issue to the MMCSS service detailed in various other places (here). However, it seems as though there is no visible fix. Unfortunately, changing the throttling settings for mmcss in the registry did not work; nor did disabling mmcss and changing audiosrv's preferences in the registry; nor did stopping mmcss AND audiosrv through the windows services.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Ping/Jitter spikes only while streaming apps/games are running

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