Gigabit Ethernet switch improving World of Warcraft performance?

Posted on 2004-11-26
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
Warning:  This is likely a stupid question.  

My wife and I play World of Warcraft simultaneously at home on a DSL network.  My Intel-based computer as well as my wife's Mac natively support Gigabit Ethernet.  Our Linksys router is not Gigabit Ethernet compliant.  I am trying to decide whether or not to upgrade to a Giagabit Ethernet switch/router.

1.)  I need an expert to clarify any misconception(s) I have about the speed advantage of switches in general prior to discussing Gigabit Ethernet specifically.  Recently, I did some research about TCP/IP (which makes me dangerous enough to think I know what I'm talking about) and I want an expert to verify or dispute my deductions.  Switches operate faster than routers - due to the fact that switches simply read the IP header and "route" the traffic "at full bandwidth" to the proper port.  Whereas, routers need software to decypher the TCP header and are forced to "shotgun broadcast" to all downstream ports causing "packet collisions."  I think I read a statistic that theoretically an ideal router can operate at a maximum effecientcy of 60% or something due to the "shotgun approach."  Thus switches are far more effecient.

2.)  I know that a valid purpose of installing Gigabit Ethernet in a home networking situations is to allow the internal sharing of data at Gigabit Ethernet speeds.  However, I'm a hardhead.  I want to believe that a Gigabit Ethernet switch will enhance my World of Warcraft performance due to reduced "packet collisions" if nothing else.  Am I dreaming?

Thanks for the time you put into tactfully telling me that I'm dreaming.
Question by:p2pfan
    LVL 79

    Assisted Solution

    I seriously doubt that it would have any affect on your gaming experience. Your bottleneck is not the current 100Mb network, your bottleneck is ths bus speeds and disk write speeds of the systems themselves. On user PC's, these speeds are just now beginning to approach the 80-90Mb mark. Servers that are specially tuned for high-speed access reach a max of about 800Mb throughput over a Gigabit network.
    Then why are manufacturers putting Gigabit network cards in even the consumer model PC's? Because they can, because the cost is so minimal. The market for the Gigabit switches would not be growing as fast if there was not a demand. Now there's a demand - I have a Gigabit nic, by golly, I need a gigabit switch to go with it. That's just the reality of the market.

    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    My comments based on my experience:
    - Gigabit will only increase fille transfers between the 2 computers with a factor of 3 - 5, not to the internet since the speed to the internet will not increase (your dsl modem does not connect at gigabit speed).
    - Once you use a switch, you benefit from switched technology. (hubs feel much slower with more pc's)
    - Try to find a website that compares the different internet providers (adsl?). Some give a better steady result. Or you might be able to move to VDSL (2.5 - 3 times faster than adsl) This will increase your game experience.

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