Author Topic:   Why a server lags
posted March 21, 2000 09:02 AM            
One of the most popular evening servers (at least Central Time) is Sheldon's Challenge and it suffers from intermittent lag.

This post is an attempt to list the reasons why his (or any) server might lag. I don't pretend to be a network expert, but I'll try to state the obvious.

Three general reasons:

1. PC is inadequate for one of the following reasons:
a. Too slow.
b. Not enough memory.
c. Screen saver is not disabled.
d. Perhaps a Virus Scanner is running, and configured to check all files; that could definitely slow things down.
e. Perhaps a Virus Scanner is running, and some of the files being sent to Tread Marks were seen as program files due to conflicting naming conventions.
f. Perhaps a Virus Scanner is running, and configured to check compressed files and Tread Marks is sending files with a compressed file extension (even though they may not be compressed).

2. Network connection problems:
a. Connection rate too slow. The Tread Marks book states that a 56k connection is too slow.
b. Line is dirty. Perhaps there are PING utilities that can be used to test the true speed of a connection.

3. Tread Marks Server is not configured optimally:
a. FPS (Frames Per Second) rate setting is too small.
b. Kbyte per second setting is too small.
c. Too many AI's.
d. Accidently left d. blank.
e. Too many weapons.
f. Too many power ups.
g. Too many players allowed.

Well, this is just some food for thought. Please post more ideas and resolutions or tests to perform.

I know that Sheldon's server is connected via cable TV.

I have also noticed (especially lately) that whenever a new user connects and joins a team, the server lags.

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited March 29, 2000).]


posted March 21, 2000 02:49 PM            
1 a-b. I believe that running a server requires more in the way of RAM than CPU usage. Remember these are dedicated servers (nobody's playing on them).

c-f. Possible, but I would doubt that anybody who can get a server running would overlook something that obvious.

2. a - b. You said that Sheldon's server is on a cable modem. That's WAY more than 56k (but from what I've heard, the actual speed can fluctuate quite a bit).

3. a. FPS? As in Frames Per Second? I've never run a TM server, but I don't see how Frames Per Second could affect a dedicated server.

b. I could see that being the case, but if that WERE the case, then it would be low all the time. You seemed to imply that it fluctuates.

c. I doubt that's a problem. I'm guessing the clients see them as other people. It may be a little more CPU load, but probably not much.

e (what happened to d?). Depends on what you mean. If you mean that he added too many weapons, then that wouldn't cause a problem. You can't edit the map, and thus, can't add weapon spawn points. The only thing that would go up is the number of weapons that the random number generator has to choose from when picking what to put at a certain spawn spot. That shouldn't cause that much slowdown.

However, if you mean that there are too many weapons being fired at once, then that would be strongly related to g.

f. Uhhh? Power ups affect lag the same amount that a weapon would. They just sit there.

g. This is probably the biggest culprit. Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I've noticed that TM isn't overly lag tolerant. I'm only on a 56k, but I get good pings in HalfLife (200-250) with a ton of people on the server. And I also get fairly good pings when I'm on a server with just AIs. So I think that maybe the limit is a touch too high for the connection.



posted March 29, 2000 08:55 AM            
Here's a list of links I've found that talk about tweaking connections. Since Sheldon's server runs on a Cable Modem, this list focuses on Cable Modems:

Check your modem's speed here http://www.computingcentral.com/topics/bandwidth/speedtest.asp [courtesy Wild Tangent] before and after each tweak. This will allow you to benchmark your efforts. Be patient with this page -- it takes a few seconds for it to do its thing.

1. How to tweak a cable modem: http://www.speedguide.net

2. Scott's Cable Modem and PC Tweak Page: http://members.home.net/scottrichards

3. PH Net - Cable modems: http://home.tampabay.rr.com/philip1/cable.htm

4. Navas Cable Modem/DSL Tuning Guide: http://navasgrp.home.att.net/tech/cable_dsl.htm

5. Planet Maniac. This page seems to focus on the gamer having trouble getting good PING (low ping is good, high ping is bad) to the server, but has valuable info on how to determine if your ISP is to blame: http://maniac.neorift.net/pings.htm

6. Direct link to blame your ISP from Planet Maniac: http://www.planetquake.com/techtips/techtips-6-22-99.shtm

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited April 01, 2000).]


posted April 01, 2000 03:43 PM            
Added speed test http://www.computingcentral.com/topics/bandwidth/speedtest.asp to above link.

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited April 01, 2000).]


posted April 01, 2000 03:44 PM            

[This message has been edited by swisher (edited April 01, 2000).]


posted May 15, 2000 12:37 AM            
Does anyone know of another direct speed gauge thingy mo bober that will give you speed without you having to go onto a website and stuffs?

Dudymas: The Other White Meat


posted May 15, 2000 07:39 AM            
I think You are looking for AnalogX Netstat
Live. http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/nsl.htm Its freeware I use it and it seems to work good with DSL.


posted May 15, 2000 03:04 PM            
Thnx Dude


posted May 15, 2000 11:33 PM            
Bandwidth Meter http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/dhl12/band.html

Here one more TEST.