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egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA

3 edits

Trying to decide between 5Ghz Wireless or Wired for Gaming

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Hey guys

Right now I have a Arris TG862G gateway that's connected to my Netgear N900 Dual Band Router. It does 450mbps + 450mbps on both bands.

I have my xbox 360 and ps3 hooked up via ethernet to the router since the 2.4GHz band is congested and I obviously don't want any possible lag.

My friend helped me build a sick ass gaming desktop over the summer and right now I have it hooked to the internet with a Netgear 5Ghz/2.4Ghz wireless usb dongle thing.

I know that 5GHz is great for gaming and HD video streaming but would going to wired improve my situation. I should state that i'm not really seeing any lag presently on wifi and that for the most part, my connection is stable. I also have nothing to lose by going wired except for a kind of long cat 6 cable going around my room

So anyways, what do you all use? Which do you prefer? I know the general consensus is usually that wired is better over wireless but now that we have 5Ghz band and soon the 802.11 AC band, does that statement still hold truth?


Tobin

join:2003-09-21
Burlingame, CA
kudos:1
5GHz "n" or "ac" should be fine, especially in such close range. I game on a 5GHz network where the router is 40 feet away and it's perfectly fine. It doesn't create any additional latency.

However I'd still go wired if all you need to do is loop a cat6 cable around your room.


TriForce

join:2008-05-27
Chico, CA
reply to egeek84
I prefer wired for speed and low latency when going though multiple walls. But in your case, the router is in the same room so the wireless signal should be excellent. Going wired shouldn't make a difference unless you transfer very large files on your network.

As for wired being better, it's still true. Speed, stability, and security is a lot better with wired connections. AC is rated at over a gigabit per second but you won't see anywhere near that due to encryption and wireless overhead (sending and receiving packets cuts bandwidth in half). 5Ghz has shorter range than 2.4Ghz so speeds will drop off faster as you get farther away from the router. Gigabit ethernet is full duplex (send and receive at gigabit speed).


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to egeek84
said by egeek84:

I know the general consensus is usually that wired is better over wireless but now that we have 5Ghz band and soon the 802.11 AC band, does that statement still hold truth?

Yep. Your actual throughput on wireless is going to be far lower than gigabit wired, and your latency will be much higher. Of course if you're connecting to a internet server, that latency is going to dwarf either and your bandwidth is going to be far lower than either.
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My place : »www.schettino.us


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
Please explain why latency will be higher on wireless, I am curious because I don't believe that one bit.


bradyr
Columbia College IT
Premium
join:2008-10-27
Sonora, CA
wireless always has a higher latency than wired connection, usually its just a couple ms (like 1-5ms higher latency than wired) so it's not usually anything noticeable. it's just the nature of the game... distance, interference, other people feeding from the troff (so to speak)..

wireless is also half duplex (well i'm reading 802.11ac could be full duplex) so you might notice that if you have a lot of traffic from multiple wireless clients.

i keep my xbox and ps3 wired just for because. i know that if i had to do wireless, it honestly wouldnt be a big deal. just that everyone and their mother would tell me to "switch to wired" if there ever was an issue.


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
that is the point, it's very negligible...


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to egeek84
A physical connection is always preferred due to the increased reliability and possibly speed.

I your case it sounds like speed is not an issue however wireless, being a radio signal, may get stepped on at some future time. (Just as you are getting ready for the final "kill" and becoming the master of the known gaming world. )
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PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
reply to egeek84
If your streaming videos and gaming are fine to your eyes on wireless, and consistent, then why bother with stringing cable?

You know the "correct" answer is that direct-wiring is the best connection, however there is nothing wrong with taking convenience into account.

My notebook computer generally is within a few feet of my router...yet I run it wirelessly. Why? Because I can perceive no effective difference from having it cabled in...just one less wire under foot.

If there was a noticable degradation of performance, then I'd plug it in!
--
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AnonMan

@comcast.net
reply to Cheese
Latency will ALWAYS be higher on anything wireless... The conversion of the media from wired to wireless and the transmission and receiving of it over the air naturally add latency.

That said distance will determine latency somewhat but other factors can too.

A wired device can have a ping time of about 0.4ms but a wireless device is going to have around 1ms minimum and often 1-4ms.

Also with wireless you have background scanning that is done which during that time will induce high amounts of latency (but not really impact bandwidth). Some devices this can NOT be turned off without third party software, regardless of windows settings as they are controlled via the driver. (Intel wifi is a good example, every 60-90 seconds a scan is done regardless of any settings. (Confirmed with Intel driver eng. I have worked with.) My Atheros wireless does it about once every 5 min when I set it to disable background scanning vs the every 60 seconds it did before.

But the scanning apart wireless is just naturally going to be a bit slower on latency. Look at satellite for example. People can't game on that because HIGH latency. Well that is the distance based part. Same for cellular.

Now that said are you going to notice 1-4ms higher latency? Nope, not unless you are already over 100ms lol. Being in the same room helps with wireless but no matter what it will never be the same as hard wire.

I would say if wireless is easier though do that. I have no problems with 0.7-2ms more ping time and guarantee you that you won't neither, though other factors do play still

FWIW I assist in beta testing, fixing and developing of networking equipment for one of the top networking manufactures if that adds any credibility to make you feel better.

I currently use 802.11ac over a 1Gbps wireless link. My laptop and router are about 30 feet apart with one wall and my link is generally around 1Gbps. Unfortunately the nic in my laptop is not publicly for sale though as we are still testing things.

Anyway either way I think you are fine.


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
Again, as I said, it's very negligible, the main problem with latency is going to be outside of the router. Not internally.


Chris 313
Come get some
Premium
join:2004-07-18
Houma, LA
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reply to egeek84
Hell of a rig, man. I'd love to see full specs. My whole setup is done wired. Xbox/PS3, Computer. Everything's wired for full speed. I don't trust wireless. And as I do large downloads, especially during games, I want the fastest speed possible. Wired does that.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
reply to egeek84
As others have said, if I had the choice, I would go wired fully. Wireless is nice, but if you are a heavy gamer or movie streamer (like Netflix) I would take the extra steps and effort to wire everything up.

By the way, what kind of keyboard is that? My girlfriend has been looking for a light-up keyboard, and it looks like that could fit the bill.

--Brian


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
I am a gamer, haven't used wired in years, never have issues with downloading or streaming.


AnonMan

@comcast.net
People saying they are a gaming and did wire because they do heavy downloads etc. seem to fail to realize that wireless won't really impact that stuff. Say you have 802.11n and lets say it's the slower 300Mbps and not 450... Now let's just cut that in half and call half overhead. So now you have 150Mbps of actual bandwidth on the wireless...

How many of you have internet that fast? Well, none on this Comcast forum except the one guy I know who has the 305Mbps service so that said you being wired gives you no more bandwidth vs wireless... Now if you are 802.11g wireless, that's another story...

Also for those of you that don't know, games use VERY LITTLE bandwidth. The typical online game uses aprox. 1Mbps of actual bandwidth. Remember, games are just transmitting and receiving location information and sound triggers really. A person with a 3Mbps DSL line will have a better in a game experience if his ping is 10 and yours is 50 even if you have a 1Gbps internet connection. (assuming the 10ms person is any good and keeping in mind a human technically can't notice the difference between 10 & 40ms... Now 100 vs. 140 yes..

Anyway in short if your network does multitasking it's best to use QoS on a router. You can guarantee your games best latency even if a family member is watching netflix and another is downloading torrents. For games it's all latency not bandwidth.


egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA

1 recommendation

reply to egeek84
@tobin thank you, that's what I was kinda thinking as well. I think I will stick with cat 6 loop.

@Triforce can you explain to me what full duplex and half duplex means? Does duplex basically mean like full speed of the type of connector? and yes my motherboard has a gigabit ethernet port as well as my router

@john thank you for the info John! That's true the internet server also matters

@cheese i think because wireless is prone to interference and overall is very sensitive so because of that you may lose packets and have higher latency? just my guess though i could be wrong

@brady i wasn't aware of that, interesting. And yes I do have multiple wireless clients utilizing the 5ghz band as well as the 2.4 band. Actually now I have my desktop hooked up via ethernet, it's mainly mobile devices using the 5ghz band now like my ipad, macbook pro, ipod, etc. I also keep the consoles wired, much more stable and it sucks cuz they both use older wireless technology, the xbox 2.4 wireless n and the ps3 wireless G (bleh lol)

@pende oh man that is the worst haha! yeah im not gonna "chance" it and just stick with wired

@pete true. Thankfully now we have better options. In 2003 for example, your option would be wireless g or ethernet. (and even then I think wireless was more of a novelty) But yeah, im gonna plug it in!

@anonman, I was curious about that background scanning feature! My netgear adapter has an option to disable that (it's called gaming/multimedia mode or something like that.) Now that I know, im gonna be sure to enable that feature to prevent the scanning. Thank you for all your insider info, much appreciated. Oh and im super stoked to try out 802.11ac once it's more mainstream

@chris thanks bro!
Specs:
Intel i7 -3770 @ 3.40GHz, quad core
16GB of OCZ overclocked memory
Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
Superclocked nVidia GTX 680

My friend told me to stop buying shitty dells and he took me to my local MicroCenter (which unfortunately has since shut down) and we picked out all the parts and it cost me around 1000 after everything. He built it for me for free and I couldn't be more pleased with this thing. It runs everything like butter and I can turn up everything on high/extreme in all my games with no stutter.

@plenc It's a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate! The one with blue lighting is the 2012 edition and the green one is their current model (2013 edition) I love this keyboard cuz it's a mechanical keyboard so keystrokes are more accurate and it's got tons of macro options. I also love the way it sounds when I type, click click lol.

@anonman ty for the info


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
said by egeek84:

@tobin thank you, that's what I was kinda thinking as well. I think I will stick with cat 6 loop.

@Triforce can you explain to me what full duplex and half duplex means? Does duplex basically mean like full speed of the type of connector? and yes my motherboard has a gigabit ethernet port as well as my router

@john thank you for the info John! That's true the internet server also matters

@cheese i think because wireless is prone to interference and overall is very sensitive so because of that you may lose packets and have higher latency? just my guess though i could be wrong

@brady i wasn't aware of that, interesting. And yes I do have multiple wireless clients utilizing the 5ghz band as well as the 2.4 band. Actually now I have my desktop hooked up via ethernet, it's mainly mobile devices using the 5ghz band now like my ipad, macbook pro, ipod, etc. I also keep the consoles wired, much more stable and it sucks cuz they both use older wireless technology, the xbox 2.4 wireless n and the ps3 wireless G (bleh lol)

@pende oh man that is the worst haha! yeah im not gonna "chance" it and just stick with wired

@pete true. Thankfully now we have better options. In 2003 for example, your option would be wireless g or ethernet. (and even then I think wireless was more of a novelty) But yeah, im gonna plug it in!

@anonman, I was curious about that background scanning feature! My netgear adapter has an option to disable that (it's called gaming/multimedia mode or something like that.) Now that I know, im gonna be sure to enable that feature to prevent the scanning. Thank you for all your insider info, much appreciated. Oh and im super stoked to try out 802.11ac once it's more mainstream

@chris thanks bro!
Specs:
Intel i7 -3770 @ 3.40GHz, quad core
16GB of OCZ overclocked memory
Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
Superclocked nVidia GTX 680

My friend told me to stop buying shitty dells and he took me to my local MicroCenter (which unfortunately has since shut down) and we picked out all the parts and it cost me around 1000 after everything. He built it for me for free and I couldn't be more pleased with this thing. It runs everything like butter and I can turn up everything on high/extreme in all my games with no stutter.

@plenc It's a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate! The one with blue lighting is the 2012 edition and the green one is their current model (2013 edition) I love this keyboard cuz it's a mechanical keyboard so keystrokes are more accurate and it's got tons of macro options. I also love the way it sounds when I type, click click lol.

@anonman ty for the info

I don't lost packets that I am aware of and my latency is no different from wired, I tested it earlier.


egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA
Well the thing is, and this only happens on ocassion, I noticed that when I was playing World of Warcraft on wireless, I would have short lag spikes. On wired this doesn't happen (well rather it could happen but I haven't seen it happen yet) and my guess is because when you have a direct connection from the router to the PC, there's no possible airwave interference.


TriForce

join:2008-05-27
Chico, CA
Full duplex = having dedicated channels for downstream and upstream data. Ethernet has separate lines for both and the NIC supports full duplex.

Half duplex = downstream and upstream data uses the same channel. Wireless uses the typical channels in North America 1-11. A 300Mbps router is really 150Mbps (150 receive/ 150 send).


egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA
said by TriForce:

Full duplex = having dedicated channels for downstream and upstream data. Ethernet has separate lines for both and the NIC supports full duplex.

Half duplex = downstream and upstream data uses the same channel. Wireless uses the typical channels in North America 1-11. A 300Mbps router is really 150Mbps (150 receive/ 150 send).

interesting!! I never knew that. Ty for the info


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplex_%28 ··· tions%29


egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA
interesting, and here I was thinkign duplex only referred to Ethernet. Now it makes a LOT more sense

and from the article: Full-duplex Ethernet connections work by making simultaneous use of two physical pairs of twisted cable (which are inside the jacket), where one pair is used for receiving packets and one pair is used for sending packets (two pairs per direction for some types of Ethernet), to a directly connected device. This effectively makes the cable itself a collision-free environment and doubles the maximum data capacity that can be supported by the connection


JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to Cheese
said by Cheese:

Please explain why latency will be higher on wireless, I am curious because I don't believe that one bit.

You think wireless has lower latency than full duplex wired gigabit?

Negligible? Sure. Measurable? You betcha.

If nothing else (and there is more than nothing else), you are adding a hop to every packet - behind the wireless radio is a wired switch (or router) - and hops are not free.

So what do I win?
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
said by JohnInSJ:

said by Cheese:

Please explain why latency will be higher on wireless, I am curious because I don't believe that one bit.

You think wireless has lower latency than full duplex wired gigabit?

Reading comprehension, works wonders. I never said it was lower but you stating "your latency will be much higher" is ridiculous.

It's very negligible and a couple of ms is measurable? LOL


Tobin

join:2003-09-21
Burlingame, CA
kudos:1
Extremely ridiculous to assert that the inherent latency added by a wireless router will have a meaningful impact on his gaming experience. Interference and lower max bandwidth can contribute to the problem, but I always have a 1ms ping to my Airport Extreme Basestation.


Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1
reply to egeek84
Also, adding an extra hop to each packet? LOL


Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:10

1 recommendation

reply to egeek84
You have a lot of good info in this topic to make your decision. I could run my 5 XBox 360s via wireless with zero issues, but I actually wired 5 rooms for ethernet to address HD TVs, BluRays, XBoxes, etc. The only wireless gaming I do is via my laptop. Bottom line for me is that I don't want any possible variables affecting my gaming.


egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA
said by Johkal:

You have a lot of good info in this topic to make your decision. I could run my 5 XBox 360s via wireless with zero issues, but I actually wired 5 rooms for ethernet to address HD TVs, BluRays, XBoxes, etc. The only wireless gaming I do is via my laptop. Bottom line for me is that I don't want any possible variables affecting my gaming.

I really do. Thank you everyone for your contributions to this thread! Great discussion
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JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
Aptos, CA
reply to Cheese

Re: Trying to decide between 5Ghz Wireless or Wired for Gaming

said by Cheese:

Also, adding an extra hop to each packet? LOL

Yep. Again, please do learn a bit about how networks operate. Hint: there is no magic involved.
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My place : »www.schettino.us