View Full Version : Feasibility of 4 PC on one 1.5MB connection

11-04-04, 08:01 AM
Hello All,

I've been doing LAN parties of between 4 and 8 players for many years now, but were all very intrested in taking our LAN online. Broadband is quite new round our area (but then again the North West of England is always behind the times) so we havn`t had the opportunity till now. I was wondering if any of you knew whether or not its feasible to run 4 PCs on one 1.5MB connection all simultaniously playing games like Call of Duty, Rome Total War, TOCA Race Driver 2 and W40K Dawn of War online.

And what kind of pings would we get? Prehaps theirs a way of predicting what sort of pings you would get with 4 PCs from what ping you get with just one? Surely its not x4, a 1.5MB bandwidth can`t be filled by a mere game? I ussually get around 30-50 within the UK, we don`t seem to get good pings in England, even within the UK, has anyone else noticed this?

Also, I know there are number ways of setting these things up, through a gateway PC over a LAN or through a router. Which is best? I would assume the router because its a hardware solution as opposed to a software solution so its bound to faster right? If a router is the best option, can anyone recomend a good 4-point router well suited to this role? (although if the price is right an 8-point router would be better so we can expand) We of cource want the best performance we can get, but we don`t want to be shelling out unneccesrily, we just want reasonable online perfomace for 4 PCs on a 1.5MB connection, with a budget of around 100 ($160 USD). Saying that, if you really need to pay top-dollar to get the performance of 4 PCs I`ll hear about any priced product that can recomended.

And finnally any tips to avoid classic beginner pitfalls or performance tweaks?

Chris :thumb:

11-04-04, 08:16 AM
Certianly possible....I've had as many as 6x peeps playing from my home, on my DSL connection...and since I'm somewhat far from the CO, I realize a little over have of my 1.5 meg DSL line, about 660 of it.

Yes a hardware router would be preferred over using Windows ICS or some other software sharing.

Pings were still under 100...much of this, if you wish to have several PCs jamming at once out through the router, depends on the quality of the router you get.

A super cheap router, once PC would ping OK, second PC wouldn't add much for pings...3rd PC...everyones pings would go up, so on and so forth.

The better the quality of the router, the less of a ping increase each additional PC adds.....up until the point that you max out your connection bandwidth.

Of course, much newer games which requite a lot of bandwidth per client, such as the Battlefield 1942/Vietnam series....you might struggle getting that 4th or 5th person online. I've played with 2x players with no problem from my home, using TeamSpeak at the same time.

But older games, such as Call of Duty (well, the game is not so old, but it's still using the old Quake 3 engine)...they don't use much bandwith per client. You should be fine.

Oh, and "Welcome to Speedguide!" :D

11-04-04, 08:36 AM
Thank you very much for your advice, but I didn`t understand what you meant by:

"and since I'm somewhat far from the CO, I realize a little over have of my 1.5 meg DSL line, about 660 of it."

whats CO?
and I think you made a few typos, should that have read: "I USED a little over HALF of my....". Don`t want to nag, just I want to be sure of what I`m reading.

I noticed you refered to DSL, I`m not sure what type of connection I have to be honest with you. It runs through a cable TV set-top box so presumbly it would be cable not DSL? Either way, are there any type of broadband connections that should be avoid for performance reasons, and which is the best? I know almost nothing about this stuff.

OK, so with routers its a simple case of you get what you pay for, fair enough. Do you know a good make & model that would kick ass with 4 PCs?

I can`t expect that people will know what sort of bandwidth usage of the specific games we want to play. But do you know a good peice of software that would allow me to moniter connection usage so I can have a go at guessing what sort of performance we would get with the games myself?



11-04-04, 09:16 AM
For some reason I thought you were looking at DSL, after rereading your post, I see you didn't mention that at first. My bad...probably had just come from replying to a DSL post and still had DSL in my mind.

When I say "distance from the CO"...CO=Central Office of the phone company. DSL is "distant dependent" when it comes to performance...the farther away from the CO you are, as the line travels, the less throughput your connection has. The closer, the more throughput you have. Most ISPs support the common aDSL to 17,500 feet, although there are some that will sell a G-Lite flavor of DSL to 22,500 feet, or a hair more.

Cable broadband is generally not distant dependent, so no matter what your distance, you're about the same performance, because they basically put a router in your node, so you're always fairly close. Although on the flip side, others share this node with you, so your performance can vary upon the use of the rest of your node.

"Realize a little over half of my DSL line"...not a typo, that means....since my connection type is a 1.5 meg connection, and I live about 13,000 feet from the CO....I get about half of my bandwidths worth when I run various online speed benchmarks, about 660kbps is my actual bandwidth. That's what I mean when my connection will realize that much of the potential.

You can often find out how much bandwidth a game will consume, per client, by hitting up forums about the game. Resources such as planetquake, or planetbattlefield, planetunrealtournament, many of the gamespy forums will have that info in the "Server FAQs" section.

Off the top of my head, I remember Battlefield clients taking about 50 - 80KB/s per client, the first Unreal, around 28, Quake 3 a little under 20.

Certainly these can vary according to the rate each client is set at. You know when, in the client, you go into your options, the network connection setup, and often choose from a list of :Dial up, ISDN, Cable/DSL, T-1 or LAN, etc. You can raise, or lower, the amount of bandwidth required by each client, with these settings. So if you have 4x peeps set at T-1 sharing a DSL connection, they may lag. Lower the settings on each to cable, or even ISDN...and gameplay won't really change all that much, but required bandwidth per client will lower, therefore they won't lag as much.

11-04-04, 09:47 AM
Wow! This is great stuff, you being extremly helpful, cheers :thumb:

So presumably, if I were to find out what the client bandwidth usage is on a cable/DSL setting for each of the games we want to play and multiply that by 4. If thats then confortably below 1.5Meg and I`ve got a decent router then I should be as certain as you can be of sucess without actually setting it up? This is just the sort of info I needed, thanks again.


11-04-04, 09:54 AM
You can say that....yes.

Just got off the phone with a chap in the UK!

11-08-04, 06:52 AM
What are the rated upload speeds for the line, do you know? I know you said its a 1.5mbps connection, generally if its cable it would be asymmetrical and the upload wouldnt be nearly as high, which is the most important speed for gaming and ping times. If your upload is only 128kbps, with 4 people your going to notice some high ping times generally, if its 256kbps or higher you will probably be ok.

11-08-04, 10:22 PM
Anticipate 8-16k per client per game. The initial connection to the game server is a bit more, but after that it's all streaming UDP type packets, and is relatively low bandwidth. Be aware that delay is going to be more of an issue, and try to connect to game servers under 100ms ping time.


01-15-05, 11:08 AM
Get an 8 port router if you are all in the same room. Or an 8 port hub to the router/cable modem if it's cheaper. If you've got a cable modem ie TV and internet on two modems, one for each then the question is simply how many players are in the same location. You don't need a router with a cable modem, only with DSL/ADSL. With cable an 8 port 100/10BPS unit would be totally adequate. You could also run a network hookup if you are gathered together, couldn't you?
I ran a Lynsys router and hubs for more than 8 computers in a temporary office and the slow down wasn't noticed. BUT we did have four DNS numbers inputted into the router rather than the usual couple which your isp provides.

03-27-05, 02:40 AM
How can u have more DNS numbers inputed ?