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Is my network card dying?


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#1 ninjamunky

ninjamunky

    Neowinian Senior

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  • Location: Usapa

Posted 24 August 2010 - 20:44

I've been trying to play Team Fortress 2 lately and I'm getting this really annoying lag where I get stuck and the graphics get all jittery. And it holds me there for a while until it either releases me or someone kills me. It's really frustrating. Recently, today in fact, I was playing and got disconnected. I looked up at my modem and there was no up or downstream activity. However, when the game disconnected, the modem returned to normal.

I'm by no means and expert on network issues... I'm thinking my network card is kicked and maybe sending bad packets or losing packets or something. I also think I read somewhere that if you left your on-board networking enabled the system would still allocate resources to that. I'm not sure if mine is on or off in the bios or if that would effect it?

Help?


#2 MR_Candyman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 21:10

This would be nearly impossible to diagnose without extra parts. What I have found is it's usually your router or modem causing the issue. Network cards don't usually die, but they do occasionally. If you set up a LARGE transfer direct to another computer and watched it to see if it hangs or times out at any point, then that could tell you if it's your network card or not.

#3 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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  • Location: Usapa

Posted 24 August 2010 - 21:18

See, I thought my network card might have failed cause it was just a cheap, ~$20 one or something. We have been through several modems and routers. They start acting up and the manufacturers say it's the provider and the provider says everything is working fine... so it's hard to make a call. I was reading on the back of a cheap Netgear router the other day that some of the higher-end models they list are good for "lag-free multiplayer gaming" We've always had linksys, but currently we're running with a D-Link modem. Is there a difference if I would buy a higher-end modem/router combo?

#4 MR_Candyman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 21:23

Don't buy into any manufacturer's hype - especially when they mention gaming. Read reviews on modems and routers and choose what to buy. D-link routers in my opinion aren't great, BUT their network cards are the most rock solid things you can buy (and usually are the cheapest), and their switches are phenomenal. For routers I always go with a Linksys, but that's mainly because I like their setup options and the fact they never question my warranty claims (been dealing with them for almost 20 years now).

#5 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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  • Joined: 10-June 05
  • Location: Usapa

Posted 24 August 2010 - 21:36

How often do you have to replace your modems and routers? It seems like we've been replacing ours ever year to year-and-a-half.

#6 MR_Candyman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 21:47

How often do you have to replace your modems and routers? It seems like we've been replacing ours ever year to year-and-a-half.

Not often at all. Personally, I've never been forced to replace mine. I just replace customers' ones. I have a power conditioner and a UPS on all my computer equipment though so i don't have to deal with spikes and brown-outs.

#7 ozgeek

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 22:17

Perhaps it's not your modem/router but perhaps your computer is holding up internet traffic. I have a D-link DSL-G604T on 1.5mbps adsl and it has been working since I bought the router. Have you got anyone to test your phone line for quality?

#8 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 22:28

Perhaps it's not your modem/router but perhaps your computer is holding up internet traffic. I have a D-link DSL-G604T on 1.5mbps adsl and it has been working since I bought the router. Have you got anyone to test your phone line for quality?


That's what I've been thinking. My brother seems to play on a private WoW server and he seems to be just fine. I think he experiences lag once in a while, but not so much as mine. I don't think we've ever had anyone in to test the quality of our cable line.

Why would my computer be holding up traffic? What would cause it and how could I fix it?

#9 sic133

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 07:10

D-Link routers aren't the best. What I would recommend is buying a new network card (PCI I suppose? shouldn't cost you more than $10, really) If you can find one in a computer store those things are really cheap. If that doesn't solve I would suggest changing your router for a Netgear or Linksys. They have never let me down (You shouldn't have to replace routers/modems every year! Those should last at least several years if not more if you configure them properly, are well ventilated, etc). Check for firmware and/or updates to all your equipment and software (Games, computer OS, pc hardware, router, etc) so eliminate any kind of conflict or patch that needs to be installed.

Maybe while you're at it, flush your DNS and reset all connections? It has happened with some customer's pc's that they have network issues and their network just needed to be reset, or restarted, etc.

#10 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 18:19

D-Link routers aren't the best. What I would recommend is buying a new network card (PCI I suppose? shouldn't cost you more than $10, really) If you can find one in a computer store those things are really cheap. If that doesn't solve I would suggest changing your router for a Netgear or Linksys. They have never let me down (You shouldn't have to replace routers/modems every year! Those should last at least several years if not more if you configure them properly, are well ventilated, etc). Check for firmware and/or updates to all your equipment and software (Games, computer OS, pc hardware, router, etc) so eliminate any kind of conflict or patch that needs to be installed.

Maybe while you're at it, flush your DNS and reset all connections? It has happened with some customer's pc's that they have network issues and their network just needed to be reset, or restarted, etc.


Yeah, I got the D-Link router because it had a lot of higher-end reviews on Newegg and was on the cheap side as well. I figured maybe it was a diamond in the rough so to speak. We've had a few linksys setups (modems and routers) and they all seem to do the same thing. Sometimes I wonder if they overheat. We've opted not to stack the modem and router like linksys makes them to do so that they can dissipate heat better (especially the modem - I'd think that would be more important than the router).

Perhaps we just use them too hard. I don't know... I can't see us using any more than any other normal family. Who knows. Perhaps I'll try a different card for cheap. I tried disabling the on-board NIC in the bios since I don't use that, but that didn't seem to fix anything.

#11 majortom1981

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 18:26

Have you done a speed test at speedtest.net when this happens have you tried pinging a computer on the net? This could be an internet connection problem and not on your end.

#12 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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  • Joined: 10-June 05
  • Location: Usapa

Posted 26 August 2010 - 21:50

Have you done a speed test at speedtest.net when this happens have you tried pinging a computer on the net? This could be an internet connection problem and not on your end.


Posted Image

There's my speedtest.net results. The bar chart it produced said my result stacked up to about 66% of the average for my ISP...

Posted Image

And there's my pingtest.net results... It gave me an 'A' Excellent...

The upload speed on my speedtest looks a little low. Don't you think?

#13 MR_Candyman

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 21:58

Well, depends on ISP. I'm on 5.0 Mbit down 800kbit up on wireless internet with Xplornet. My results below. As you can see I'm well above my ISP average

Attached Images

  • speed.jpg


#14 OP ninjamunky

ninjamunky

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 22:21

My down speed is about 2/3 the size of the ISP average and my up speed is about 1/3.

#15 Innuendo

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 22:40

There are lots of factors that make up a good, stable internet connection.

1) The connection to your ISP - Seems like you have tested it adequately and it seems to be in top shape. There's not a high ping or data loss.

2) The modem - This is almost never the culprit of bad internet performance these days. Some older modems were horrible, but if you have a DOCSIS v2 modem then chances it's the cause of your problems is very small.

3) The router - Some routers, especially if they are older and/or cheaper, are fine for browsing & email, but once you start doing peer-to-peer file-sharing or browse game servers trying to connect to a game hundreds upon hundreds of connections open up at once and the older, cheaper routers can't handle that many open connections at once causing them to reboot or crash/lock up.

4) The network card - Some network cards are poo, especially older Realtek-based cards. They'll be fine for light workloads, but crank up the workload and problems ensue.

5) Concurrent programs - What other programs are running on your PC and other PCs on your network as you are trying to game? Peer-to-peer programs can sap your internet connection if they are not configured correctly.

The cheapest attempt to fix the problem is make sure your network card is running the latest drivers & your router is running the latest firmware. Reduce all unnecessary programs from running while you try to game. This may fix your problem & you'll be a happy gamer. If not, come back and report your exact make and model of your router, modem, and network card. There may be some work-arounds to get past your problem.

Good luck.