In the Forums...
Posted: December 26, 1999
Written by: tapped
So you just picked up the last tin-box copy of Quake III Arena at your local [insert name of game-stuff store here] and you're ready to become an l33t player. You fire up the game, select your model and skin, configure your controls, set all your game options, jump on your favorite server, and all in the world is good... or is it?
Railgun in hand, you're zoomed-in on the enemy, and with the sweet taste of a good clean frag on your lips, you squeeze the trig... er... mouse button, and... NOOO!!! Those evil, disheartening words appear in the middle of the screen, mocking your very l33tness: "Connection Interrupted"
Having taken note of your intent, your enemy sees his chance (ie - the "icon of death" above your head) and... SPLAT! You're rail-slugged into a pile of tiny gibs. You curse and swear your connection, your ISP, your modem, and that LPB who just made you wish for high-speed 'net access all the more. Such can be the life of a dial-up gamer.
What's a guy or gal to do? There's no cable or xDSL access where you live, and you've done everything you can think of to improve your connection. Nonetheless, despite all your efforts, it seems there's nothing left to do but fire up the bots... but wait!
3Com U.S. Robotics Internet Gaming Modem
An "Internet Gaming Modem?" What the... Yep. A modem designed for gamers. Never in the history of gaming has a modem ever been targeted specifically at the gaming market, but why? Surely a modem that could deliver a rock-solid connection and significantly lower ping times would be a hit, right? Well, that's exactly what 3Com U.S. Robotics was thinking.
Offering "up to 43% faster PING times than five competing brands, based on independent testing by Henderson Communications Laboratories," 3Com's ambitions for this particular modem appear quite lofty, indeed. In a best-case scenario, this would translate to a ping of 114ms, where another 56k modem would deliver a ping of approximately 200ms. That's pretty dramatic, to say the least.
So how can they claim this massive leap in performance? What did they do differently with this particular modem that would make it so significantly faster than other modems? Well, I had the opportunity to speak to speak with 3Com's Jim Thornsen about their Internet Gaming Modem's performance, and more specifically, what it is that makes it so different from the rest. (I spoke with him on the phone, and didn't ask for his permission to record our conversation, so I'm unable to quote him word-for-word.)
Essentially, 3Com's Internet Gaming Modem attempts to improve upon the standard V.90 protocol by maintaining a higher degree of integrity during data transmission, something that is absolutely crucial to a stable connection during online gaming. For a more detailed explaination, something straight from "the horse's mouth," so to speak, you can read how Jim explained their solution to STOMPED.