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Best modem for Gaming/Ping? Please help.

Posted on 2003-03-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I would very much like broadband, but it simply isn't available, nor are digital lines for ISDN, so I'm stuck with 56k. Anyway, enough of the ranting, I was wondering what would be the best possible modem for gaming online? I've been told the Diamond SupraExpress is the best, and when I asked my ISP what they would suggest they told me a 3com or Lucent modem. My current modem is a horrible USR Winmodem, and my ping fluctuates like you wouldn't believe. I also have a USR Performance Pro modem which performs well, but it disconnects on me all the time, so I'm in the market for a new one.

Here's a quote from my ISP regarding their equipment:
"We use only the most reliable equipment from the best manufacturers. Products from SUN, Cisco, 3COM and Lucent are used exclusively throughout our network."
They also told me that they run v.90 equipment.

I've heard it's best to buy a modem that compliments your ISP's equipment, so would that mean I -should- in fact get a 3com or Lucent modem? Would a Diamond modem perform worse? Should I get an internal or external?

Any help is greatly appreciated thanks,
Tyler
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Question by:dfzor
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29 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8188266
suggestions??
I would get the 3com external myself, they have always seemed to work better then most internal modems. Plus they do not use any of the system resources, at least not any noticeable amount.
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8188434
Any 3com modem in particular? :)
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8188454
If you do not need voice for anything then go with a 005686-03.
That is the modem I use and have had very good luck with them. I have had one fail on me and it was covered by warranty and took like 3 days from time I shipped it back until it was returned to me. I have 3 of them, two connected to computers and one for a spare (only used once for 3 days)

I am sure there are many other modems just as good but this is the model I have used for many years now.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8195210
there used to be a USR/3com External Gaming modem specifically designed for what you want. I dont know if they still have the model available but that along with an Diamond Supra Express (external serial or PCI) modem (note there are many supra models....do not go for a USB and do not go for the surpra max)
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8205054
I'm trying to decide between the USR 2977 and the 5686 now.. hmm I'll report back what I decide on and award the points when I do. :)
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8205357
Big difference in the two selected modems, one is an internal (hardware based) and other is external.
one cost about $45 (2977) and other costs about $95 plus you will need a serial cable.

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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8205538
I actually found the 5686 for $53 with a serial cable included:
http://www.ictcompany.com/ver1/productinf_a.asp?item=USR5686

And at the same site, the 2977 for $42, so the prices are within the same range.
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8205573
Sorry, make that $56, $53 was the bulk price.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8205691
That is good price but one thing you may want to know, if you buy an OEM (plain box) modem then USR will not warranty it. They will only cover the retail units.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8205732
The 2977 is an OEM modem also.

I had one of these go bad in a computer I built for a customer and I had to buy a replacement while I sent the bad one back for warranty (to the wholesaler I purchased it from) it took them 3 months to send me a replacement. I have since went to using retail units and let the customers deal with the companies directly with warranty repairs.

You can save money by buying OEM (plain box) devices but the warranty can be a pain if ever needed.
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8206546
I usually go the way of OEM, the price difference is enough reason for me. This place has a 30-day warranty, and covers dead-on-arrival products. I just can't decide on a modem.

I've been considering going the way of a Lucent chipset, but I don't know of any companies that produce quality modems using their chipset.
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
vee90dotnet earned 200 total points
ID: 8206606
Zoom produces some modems utilizing the Lucent/Agere chipset (both the software and hardware based ones) as does Actiontec & Xircom. Xircom though I would stay away from as this is now an Intel entity and they are in the process of dissovling it.
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8207094
I think I'm going to go with this modem:
http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/productdetail.asp?product_id=291916

Any objections? :)
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8207237
That is a good modem, but don't forget you need that serial cable also.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8207339
very good modem...i tested this for zoom :)
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8207587
Hmm, how will I know if the modem requires a female or male serial cable? I know my computer has male, does that mean the modem should have a female?
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8207613
if it's in the same packaging as the one i tested (which was a shrink wrapped retail box) it will have the serial cable in it.
0
 

Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8210481
Hmm, I wish I could split this question up between the two of you since you both helped me arrive at my final decision.

I'll award vee90 the points from this just because he suggested I go with Zoom, and he seems to need the points more. :) I appreciate your help as well ray so I'll award you 20 points, it's not much but sadly it's all I have remaining.
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Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8232690
Alright so I bought the Zoom modem, and it was dreadful, I connected at 26.4k tops, with the latest drivers and latest firmware. I tried various init strings with no luck either. The responsiveness of the modem as a whole is what bugs me, I know my winmodem connects at 24k sometimes but that number is deceiving because it ends up downloading at 5k or so (without compression), the Zoom modem on the other hand responded maybe %20 of the time it was connected. So I'll be returning that (with a 15% restocking fee - ugh) and picking up the 5686 Sportster, but here's the question, I can afford either the 5686-03 ($50) or the 5686D ($65), the 5686E ($80) is too much, would the revisions be *that* much different anyway? The E/D models come v.92 ready, and the -03 is upgradable. It says on the site "USR5686D (005686-04)" so basically I'm deciding between revision 3, 4, or 5.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8232719
Does your ISP support the V92 standard?
If not then go with the "03"
My ISP (Earthlink) does not support the V92 and when I use my mode that already has the V92 update it connects at a much slower speed (33,600 or slower) it completely bypasses the V90 standard.

I tried two different V92 modems (USR) and both did the same so I went back to my old standby V90 modem.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8232739
interesting....just wondering what init strings did you use?  and what connect speeds would you normally get with your old modem?  Rayt333 does have a valid point in his post... it's possible that your ISP doesnt support v92 and the v92 itself is causing connection speed issues (and usually init strings can fix this...but sometimes not).
0
 

Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8238935
I actually used various strings from modemhelp.org and modemhelp.net for disabling v92, running both exclusive v90 and also tried v34 still, the highest was 26.4, usually it was 24 though. With my old winmodem I usually topped out at 36, and with my old "Performance Pro" I could hit 44, usually getting 40. Now, I do have some great news to report, I'm in the process of exchanging my old one, with no restocking fee for the 5686E. :)

I'm actually using Earthlink now, and while they don't support v92 I'll just use an init string to disable it, I'm not really worried about getting a slow speed, as long as my ping is fine, compression more than makes up for slow connect speeds anyway for browsing, and I decided 3com modems are where it's at, since on Earthlink now my Performance Pro pings wonderfully, but for some reason it still has the disconnect problem, now in a different IRQ/com port, but either way I'll be getting that nice new Sportster. :)

I appreciate your continued responses, I realize that this is already a PAQ, and I have no points to further reward you guys with, so thanks.
0
 

Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8238960
Oh and ray, I emailed Earthlink about the v92 protocol and they told me "Our engineers are currently looking into the new technology, but no decisions or estimated time frames for v92 availability have been made available yet." So that may be good news, but who knows.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8243484
LOL...sorry dfzor that's the line that they've been holding since v.92 came out.  Trust me..from my *intimate* dealings with ELNK they're not going to be support v.92 anytime soon. Main reason is that their dialup vendors (mainly sprint, genuity and uunet) are not upgrading their networks to v.92.
0
 

Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8246436
So he basically fed me a pre-recorded line. It's understandable though, why upgrade a dying technology?
0
 

Author Comment

by:dfzor
ID: 8264172
Good news :) so far this modem is working great, good speed, good ping, I get spikes every now and then but that's to be expected with line conditions and whatnot. I connect at 38.6, which I'm not sure whether it's "true" speed as it's one of "those" numbers, but I'm not worried about it. It hasn't disconnected on me once in the past few hours I've been using it and it rarely stops responding. Not to mention it's nice using a hardware-based modem because it doesn't skip my music when connecting/disconnecting.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Hopeleslylost
ID: 9578186
Ok ,now I'm really lost.I'm new to this site and have been reading post about modems.I also am stuck with useing 56k dail up, I never thought it was all so complicated...lol.My old modem went nuts on me so I got a us robotics faxmodem pci v92-v90.Also I use earthlink.Before old modem went on vacation I was connecting at 33 to 48 depending on what time it was...lol. Now it stays at 45.2. And when I trie to play online games my ping is so bad I can't play. I went to pcpitstop and tested my internet connection and it says my download band speed is 33.and to check with isp. elnk says check with sprint,sprint says they only have to supply 9.5..lol...Is there some setting I could change to improve my connection? I wasted $20 for that modem booster thing. I also tried that tweekmtu thing. Before I changed modems I had no trouble with my games online ping never got over 300...lol..now thats the low side. Any suggestions
   Hopeleslylost
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 9579706
Hopeleslylost
If you have a question then you should post it as a new question, not on somebody else's question. Do you need help on how to post a new question?
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Expert Comment

by:Hopeleslylost
ID: 9579768
Sorry 1st time here I have it figured out about posting now..lol wont happen again
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