hi, i have a 3 PC's network at home and i usually play games on them,like (medal of honor, ET, War3), but some times i get a (slow server) message although my PC is fast i think, PIII 1.2GHz, 256Mb Ram, and using a unex 8-port 10Mb Hub, and 3 100/10Mb NIC's, i use windowsXP.
What does a slow server mean?
is it relates to the PC or The Hub or what?
I'm assuming you're running 2000 or XP on your PC. I would recommend jumping your system memory up to 512MB as 256 just doesn't cut it anymore, especially for the games you're playing. In the BIOS on your gaming PC, find the AGP Aperture and you'll want to tweak that around. Its probably set to 64MB, you'll want to set it to 128MB (half of your system memory) or 256 if you jump up to at least 512MB. This feature uses additional memory for your video card to process graphics.
Everytime a signal enters that hub, it will get broadcasted out to every PC on that hub, or every connection on the hub. A server that sends 1 signal to that hub turns into 5 signals leaving the hub, bombarding each PC until the one that is looking for that particular information answers. It continues to do this and doesn't have any "smart" capabilites. Thus its called a "dumb" hub. "Smart" meaning it can forward the information directly onto the PC requesting that information without it being transmitted to all computers on the network.
*Upgrade from a 10MB hub to a 10/100MB switch. If you're running CAT5 or higher, you don't want to limit your network based the network hardware connecting your PCs. You can pick up an 8 port switch for 50-60 dollars now-a-days. That will make a great improvement for your network speeds.
Your PC is fine as is, but again I would recommend more memory as Windows XP will use a lot of your memory for loading all of your applications in the background. Make sure you disable what isn't needed while gaming. If you have Winzip Quick pick task bar open, KaZaA lite, hotsync manager for PDAs.. Anything taking up memory that doesn't need to run while gaming.
If you're strapped for money, set your PC's NIC down to 10-Full for the maximum performance out of your hub. Its probably set to Auto Negotiate or Hardware Default. This doesn't always work as it is intended. It may connect at 10-half which will kill your network performance. Set it to 10-full on all your machines and you should see some performance increase. If you get a 10/100MB Switch, set your NIC to 100-full and that should help. A switch will change a signal from 10MBs to 100MBs, 100MBs to 10MBs depending on what it deems necessary. Most printers (excluding these brands new printers with the 10/100MB nic) work on a 10MB NIC and most PCs send out at 100MB, technically the printer wouldn't be able to handle this, but a switch would change the PC's signal to 10MB which causes the printer to accept the signal. Hubs are only good for a handful of people who aren't doing network intensive gaming or large file sharing.
My Advice: Invest 60 dollars in a 10/100MB switch.
Recommendation: Invest a couple more dollars into bumping your memory up to 512MB and switch around the AGP setting in your BIOS. That should extend the life of your video card for a little while longer as far as performance goes.