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Massive Spike Lag on Starcraft 2/internet

Last response: in Networking
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August 28, 2012 5:49:39 PM

Hey All,

So I created a thread previously in the homebuilt systems category (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/355711-31-spike-root-...) about this problem, and I was told to remake the thread here.

here's a tl;dr of what we figured out/solved in the previous thread:

-I get on average about 13 - 20 1 second lag spikes per minute while in game (virtually unplayable).
-ran tests on gpu, cpu, and ram. all came out fine
-Starcraft 2 added in a "Network Spikes/min" counter while in game, which syncs up with the lag spikes that I'm having.
-may still be a too small PSU or Motherboard issue as well?
-Looks similar to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnQWFdbHFNg
-my average internet speed is 28 mb dl/2.8 up
-my connection is via ethernet cable/WAN
-tried forwarding sc2 ports on router, no luck
-tried using different ethernet cable, no luck

We currently have a Sonicwall TZ-105 router that was just recently installed, which I believe may have made the lag worse. I share the connection with ~3 other computers in the house currently as well via the router.

Also recently i've noticed that in general my internet browsing/video loading has been very slow, especially for a 28 mb dl connection.
August 28, 2012 6:30:56 PM

You must be careful about the lag/ping counters in games. They measure server lag as well as network lag.

First step is to run a tracert to the game server IP if you know it. It is not critical to have the actual location but you do need a trace to something.

The first 2 IP in the trace route are the only ones you can do anything about. The first is your router and the second is the first router in the ISP network.

Open 2 command windows and issue PING -t xx.xx.xx.xx where xx.xx.xx.xx is the ip of first ip in your first window and the second ip in your second window.

Watch these so you see what a they look like when it is running correctly. Now leave these running and play the game. When you have a issue open the windows and see if the numbers change. You are looking for loss and increase in latency.

If it is to the first IP then you have a issue between your PC and your router.
If it is in the second IP then you have a issue between your house and the ISP.

If you see it in the first one repeat this doing the ping from another of your PC. If it affect both PC then you have a issue with the router. If not it is your gaming PC cause the issue.

If your issue is in the second you need to call the ISP and ask them if they can help detect any errors.

... If both are clear you are stuck.

You could continue this ping trick to all hops in the traceroute. Problem is what are you going to do if you find out the ISP has a problem where the connect to another ISP or if the game site has a issue with their ISP.
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August 28, 2012 6:51:09 PM

bill001g said:
You must be careful about the lag/ping counters in games. They measure server lag as well as network lag.

First step is to run a tracert to the game server IP if you know it. It is not critical to have the actual location but you do need a trace to something.

The first 2 IP in the trace route are the only ones you can do anything about. The first is your router and the second is the first router in the ISP network.

Open 2 command windows and issue PING -t xx.xx.xx.xx where xx.xx.xx.xx is the ip of first ip in your first window and the second ip in your second window.

Watch these so you see what a they look like when it is running correctly. Now leave these running and play the game. When you have a issue open the windows and see if the numbers change. You are looking for loss and increase in latency.

If it is to the first IP then you have a issue between your PC and your router.
If it is in the second IP then you have a issue between your house and the ISP.

If you see it in the first one repeat this doing the ping from another of your PC. If it affect both PC then you have a issue with the router. If not it is your gaming PC cause the issue.

If your issue is in the second you need to call the ISP and ask them if they can help detect any errors.

... If both are clear you are stuck.

You could continue this ping trick to all hops in the traceroute. Problem is what are you going to do if you find out the ISP has a problem where the connect to another ISP or if the game site has a issue with their ISP.



Thank you, so for the tracert I go to http://tracert.com/ and do I select public traceroute gateways or ping gateways?

EDIT: Found the Starcraft 2 tracer IP (http://us.battle.net/support/en/article/performing-a-tr...), will report back with findings
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August 28, 2012 8:08:36 PM

No open a cmd window and type

tracert
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August 28, 2012 8:52:28 PM

What I essentially did was open up cmd.exe and ran "tracert 12.129.202.154", which ran a tracing route over a maximum of "30 hops".

From 1 - 6 it appears to connect to my ISP (my isp is cox communications, and it looks like it's connecting to a cox server).
From 7 - 11 I am not sure what it is doing, showing connections to like "ip.att.net" or "ip.attens.net" with a bunch of letters and numbers.

In both tests there are 3 columns of (what i assume to be) ms ping. The second and 3rd columns for both 1 - 6 hops and 7 - 11 hops seem relatively normal, ranging from 7 - 15 ms. However, the first column for both tests ranges from 7 ms to 114 ms in the first 6 hops, and 10 ms to 103 ms in the remaining hops.

For hops 12 - 30, it just says "request timed out".

I just played a game, using PING -t with my IP given to me in hops 5 and hops 7. The IP in hops 1 wouldn't work.

after playing a game and looking over the results both of the tests ran similar. had 150 ms spikes every 10 or so ping tests (consistent through a 30 minute game).

the hops 5 ip ping tests would run between 18 ms to ~70ms, while the hops 7 ip ping tests would run between 10 ms to 53 ms.

It seems that both of them would get a large burst in ping ms, hitting upwards of 193 at random moments, then drop down to 10, then range between 10 - 90 for a time before hitting a 150+ ms again
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August 28, 2012 9:28:37 PM

Unfortunately does not tell us much. You game should tolerate those numbers. The key is still figuring out what is causing the lag spikes. The problems come when the ping times go up and stay up for minutes at a time random high times here and there are normal for a consumer internet connection.

There is little you can do about this the ISP does not promise delay values...they don't even promise bandwidth really.

Not sure you are much closer to a solution here. Unless the lag you see in the game directly corresponds to the higher ping times you have pretty much proven you do not have a network issue. That is not to say the game itself does not have a issue you cannot see with ping. I had one game that would send huge amounts of data at certain times that would cause lag. I ended up reducing the video resolution but that may have been luck also.

The problem is many of the tools used to troubleshoot software are detected as hacking tools by games.





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August 28, 2012 10:00:16 PM

hmm okay... well I need to fix this problem, starcraft is pretty much unplayable for me. I may go buy a new power supply and see if that fixes it (suggested in previous thread).

Those higher ping times would occur when lag spikes occurred on starcraft, and would correlate with the network spikes/min meter within starcraft itself.

I need to figure out this issue...
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