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are router good for gaming?

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June 23, 2012 6:56:00 AM

hey there toms hardware people,

pretty soon im going to be building my first pc. it is going to be for gaming and brief editing. i have the fastest connection possible in my country australia. im not sure what it is but. i am going to route a cable all the way into my room.(100m cable) and i was thinking of having a router in there so i can give ethernet connection to my xbox ps3 and computer as it is faster than wireless. if its only ethernet would a router matter. like a 10$ vs 100$ router would there be any difference if using ethernet and not wireless. would having a router cripple my speed?

any help will be appreciated

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June 23, 2012 11:41:30 AM

The problem for most gamers is not speed (as in throughput), but response time (how quickly do I receive a response from a short message). As a general rule, games don't have heavy download requirements, but tend to send a lot of short messages, in bursts. If some action takes place in the game (e.g., player movement), the sooner you know about it, the better. Any unnecessary delays could result in a disadvantage due to your late response. That's why gamers focus so much on PING times. They’re looking for the lowest value they can get.

And that's where the router has a potential to be a problem. Any router introduces a certain amount of overhead compared to a direct connection to the modem. There's just no avoiding it. But usually the impact is more pronounced on throughput, not so much response time (although a particularly heavy loaded router could still be a problem, for example, if someone is simultaneously downloading a large file). More commonly what kills response time w/ a router is wireless. In general, wireless is slower than wire and certainly less reliable due to concerns over interference.

The bottom line is, stick w/ wire whenever possible. Ideally a direct connection to the modem is preferred, but it's usually impractical if you or others need to use the Internet connection for other users/purposes. And focus on any optimizations that improve PING times.

As far as $10 vs. $100 routers, there aren’t real many differences that would benefit the gamer specifically. About the only thing you might want to consider is QoS (Quality of Service) support. QoS allows you to prioritize traffic, which could improve your gaming experience if you are likely to have others using the Internet at the same time. But QoS support can be found on some of the least expensive routers, not just the high end. There are routers specifically designed for gamers. They’re expensive, but the primary advantage they offer is still QoS, and perhaps various predefined gaming profiles (e.g., managing firewall ports would be a little easier). For most ppl, it’s probably overkill. But for the diehard gamer, it might be of interest.

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June 24, 2012 4:35:09 AM

eibgrad said:
The problem for most gamers is not speed (as in throughput), but response time (how quickly do I receive a response from a short message). As a general rule, games don't have heavy download requirements, but tend to send a lot of short messages, in bursts. If some action takes place in the game (e.g., player movement), the sooner you know about it, the better. Any unnecessary delays could result in a disadvantage due to your late response. That's why gamers focus so much on PING times. They’re looking for the lowest value they can get.

And that's where the router has a potential to be a problem. Any router introduces a certain amount of overhead compared to a direct connection to the modem. There's just no avoiding it. But usually the impact is more pronounced on throughput, not so much response time (although a particularly heavy loaded router could still be a problem, for example, if someone is simultaneously downloading a large file). More commonly what kills response time w/ a router is wireless. In general, wireless is slower than wire and certainly less reliable due to concerns over interference.

The bottom line is, stick w/ wire whenever possible. Ideally a direct connection to the modem is preferred, but it's usually impractical if you or others need to use the Internet connection for other users/purposes. And focus on any optimizations that improve PING times.

As far as $10 vs. $100 routers, there aren’t real many differences that would benefit the gamer specifically. About the only thing you might want to consider is QoS (Quality of Service) support. QoS allows you to prioritize traffic, which could improve your gaming experience if you are likely to have others using the Internet at the same time. But QoS support can be found on some of the least expensive routers, not just the high end. There are routers specifically designed for gamers. They’re expensive, but the primary advantage they offer is still QoS, and perhaps various predefined gaming profiles (e.g., managing firewall ports would be a little easier). For most ppl, it’s probably overkill. But for the diehard gamer, it might be of interest.

So all in all. however little it may be it is still better not to use a router, right?
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June 24, 2012 4:50:30 AM

Yes. Whenever you can eliminate the router, the better it is, at least in terms of performance. Of course, a router brings other advantages in terms of security (e.g., firewall), cost effectiveness (e.g., sharing of the public IP), etc. But putting all those other considerations aside, it's always better to have a direct connection to the modem.
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June 24, 2012 4:59:11 AM

eibgrad said:
Yes. Whenever you can eliminate the router, the better it is, at least in terms of performance. Of course, a router brings other advantages in terms of security (e.g., firewall), cost effectiveness (e.g., sharing of the public IP), etc. But putting all those other considerations aside, it's always better to have a direct connection to the modem.

okay, Thanks
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June 24, 2012 4:59:19 AM

Best answer selected by tuganu.
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