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Windows 7: Rubbish Ping in Game, Otherwise Fine


23 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Rubbish Ping in Game, Otherwise Fine

This is a frustrating, but very strange problem! You'd think that after 15 years of using Windows I could figure this out myself, but I'm stumped; I need more eyeballs on this problem, because I'm woefully inadequate to solve it.

I'm using Windows 7 Professional x64, build 7600, on a home-built PC. When I try running an online video game (Battlefield Bad Company 2 Beta, specifically), my ping is absolutely horrible. It doesn't have a ping readout, but it's behaving in the 600-900 ms range, with a few spikes into the 21,000ms bandwidth. During the game, it also lags out Ventrilo which then disconnects me (much to the chagrin of my clan!) I have verified the servers are close enough and all that rot (plus that wouldn't cause fallout with Vent). So now to the fun part of the problem that has me ready to remove copious amounts of my hair by means of my fists.

I tried this with an Asus PCI-G31 a/b/g wireless card and got this result. I am now using a D-Link DWA-556 a/b/g/n(d) card and experiencing the exact same results. The part that causes my hair to want to leave my scalp?

If I plug in my little ZyXel M-202 USB Wireless a/b/g dongle, works just fine. No ping issues, just an annoying little dongle on the desk. I really want an internal wireless card; call me strange, but I just do.

Originally I returned the PCI-G31 because of the rubbish performance, but now that the DWA-556 is doing the exact same thing, it has me mighty suspicious that the problem is with either Windows 7 x64, or else the problem resides in the wireless driver. I find it remarkably unlikely that two different wireless drivers would present with the same symptoms, however.

The PCI-G31 uses a Ralink RT256x chipset (all drivers for which sucked really bad as far as my in-game ping is concerned) and the DWA-556 uses an Atheros AR5008 chipset. I have downloaded the very latest drivers from Atheros for this card (8.0.0.279, built on 12/14/2009) and am still experiencing this kind of latency.

I just can't fathom it. Why would it behave just fine up until a single game? Then behave just fine with a dinky USB dongle that is so old the drivers only use one of the 3 MIMO antennae (creating some low, but tolerable, signal strength). Does it have to do with how it's handling UDP traffic? I don't know.

Short of stopping by Frys and getting some Cat5e cable and going medieval on some sheetrock walls in my house, do you have any suggestions (other than to just live with the wireless USB dongle). I really appreciate any wisdom you can impart; let me know if you need more info, though I tried to give as much as should be necessary.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Rubbish Ping in Game, Otherwise Fine




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