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3Com Internet Gaming Modem (Page 3/4)

Posted: December 26, 1999
Written by: tapped

Installing the Modem

There really isn't much to say about the installation of this product, as it was rather uneventful. My previous experiences with 3Com's modems have been excellent, especially when it comes to installing and uninstalling drivers. The Internet Gaming Modem proved to be no different. After removing my 3Com U.S. Robotics 56k ISA modem (568702), I seated the Gaming Modem in a free PCI slot, booted, and Windows 98 proceeded to detect the new hardware. After feeding my CD-ROM the drivers disc and installing the software, all that was left was a reboot, and the modem was installed and ready to go.

Once back up and running, the provided software puts a nice little modem icon in your system tray from which you have access to a few different options. You're able to switch between "Normal Mode" and "Gaming Mode" and access a string field into which you can enter customized init strings. This is a nice little touch, but I'll add that switching modes is not done "on the fly;" you're required to disconnect and then reconnect with your mode of choice enabled.

Goin' for a Spin

The first thing i did was hit a few of my regularly-visited sites, just to see how it performed as a standard modem (after all, what good is any modem if you end up browsing the 'net slower than Mac on a 9600 baud-rate modem?). In this respect, the modem seems just as fast as my trusty 3Com U.S. Robitics 56k ISA modem: Pages loaded just fine and there were no disconnections.

I then decided to see what it would do "under pressure." Right away I fired up GameSpy and did a refresh for Quake 3 Test (1.08) servers. Immediately I was suprised by the ping-times GameSpy reported. Where I was used to seeing 190-250ms pings, GameSpy was showing a range of 130-200! A smile so wide crossed my face it almost hurt. Double-clicking on that server reporting 130ms, I awaited connection with new-found hope.

As I entered the game, I had to wait a second for the connection to stabalize, which is normal, in my experience. When my waiting turned into more waiting, that hurtful smile turned into a crooked grimmace. Checking my ping, I wasn't sure what to make of the reported 350+ value. Worse yet, I was forced to disconnect due to 3 consecutive interruptions in my connection to the server.

I tried several servers with reported ping-times below 150, yet each turned in responses between ~180 and ~600, the later figure being the more frequent. Not quite knowing what to do, I tried the following:
  • I uninstalled all network components from the Network control applet.
  • I uninstalled the gaming modem, and removed it.
  • I rebooted and re-installed all necessary network components.
  • I shut down and put the modem back in the same PCI slot.
  • I booted back up and re-installed the modem's drivers and software.
  • I rebooted into Safe Mode to check for any hidden conflicts in Device Manager and found none.

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