nick4567 wrote: ↑
30 Jan 2020, 01:27
- get a 1Gb fibre broadband if you can
In addition to a gigabit ISP, get a high end router. One that performs fast and minimizes buffer bloat on your end.
The tarantula-looking gaming routers/APs with quad core processors will typically massively outperform what's built into your cable/DSL modem.
Put your cable/DSL modem in bridge mode, disable its WiFi, and attach a high end gaming access point instead, and then Ethernet to the gaming WiFi access point, enable all gaming QoS related features you can and configure to prioritize the Ethernet traffic over the WiFI traffic. And the powerful processor in high end gaming routers will manage your bandwidth better. It helps. It won't eliminate the weak links beyond your control, but it can outperform the box that the ISP gave you. Yes, I've seen crappy routers with gigabit connections. Ouch.
Definitely hardwire to the Ethernet port though for your critical gaming machine though. Even the hardwiring to an Ethernet port of a typical $300+ 8-antenna WiFI router (those usually have mondoo powerful processors) will usually be superior to the router that came with your gigabit connection. Even better if you configure your gaming QoS feature -- that way when someone else tries to Netflix in the same household, it won't sacrifice your game nearly as much. Yes, you don't want to use WiFi for your more important critical competitive gaming sessions, but let's face it -- if you want a powerful chip in a router costing less than $1000, those consumer devices often have many antennas sticking out of them anyway (Or whatever MU-MIMO Deluxe II Phased Array Photon Torpedo thingy it has).
Consider the powerful chips built into these boxes as a bonus for helping your game, they usually tend to be superior to the Ethernet ports built into your cable modem, even many models of gigabit cable modems! So, definitely bride-mode your cable modem or DSL, and leave the routing heavy-lifting to a router with a powerful processor (all Ethernet and WiFi). Bonus -- At least you'll be giving others in the household much better WiFi reception while still be able to hog better QoS for yourself on the Ethernet ports. And yes, pay attention to the reviews of the router you buy, especially from people who play games.
You'd be surprised how many low end ISP routers add so much ping jitter (thanks to its slow chips falling behind in routijng-processing) even to its Ethernet ports especially when the chip is overworked trying to manage/filter/route the network/WiFi/etc crap going on. Even a low speed junk stream towards you can sometimes essentially almost "DDoS" a cheap router into wildly laggy pings as it struggles to process. In some cases, it doesn't take much incidential/accidential/ddos/junk traffic to ping-jitter a cheap router by 10ms+ (a full tick cycle or two in CS:GO) even on one of its Ethernet ports. A high end router with a fast processor will make that far less likely that your router becomes your ping-jitter weak link. Bridge-mode and WiFi-OFF your cable modem, let proper heavy duty gaming-caliber router handle that responsibility, to help minimize your ping jitter for your gaming needs.
You can also split your WiFi (i.e. if you need a mesh network router) and your Ethernet into two separate subnets too, and QoS-prioritize your Ethernet by bridge-moding your ISP router to a high-performance QoS-progammable Ethernet switch. Gaming Ethernet switches now exist, as an alternative too, but definitely still turn off the WiFi built into your ISP router, because that's going to ping-jitter your external WiFi switch. Do not be tempted to use your ISP's router as as a multiport Ethernet switch; it won't be as low ping-jitter as a high performance switch -- most ISP boxes is not giving you top-of-the-line Ethernet-switching performance. If you must use separate WiFi device and Ethernet device, make them 2nd and 3rd devices, with ISP router WiFi turned off, and it bridge-moded into the gaming Ethernet switch. These 3-device setups are a bit of a hassle, but you want to minimize the load on an underperforming ISP router and maximize Etheret gaming performance, while making sure to QoS your Ethernet above-and-beyond WiFI traffic. For myself, I just use a gaming-league router that acts both as an Ethernet switch and a WiFi access router (2-device setup), and simply bridge-mode my ISP router to it. But you can also bridge-mode your ISP router to a high performance / gaming Ethernet switch, and then also connect a separate WiFi router to that Ethernet switch too (3-device setup). The goal is to eliminate routing load on your ISP router by bringing it all the way down to minimum (bridge mode + WiFi OFF + one Ethernet link to separate high-performance router) -- and your ping jitter can be less.
Sure, the worst "gaming-router-in-name-only" pieces of plastic may underperform those highest-end fiber-WiFi access points that the best symmetric-gigabit ISPs are now giving out. But it's rare that an ISP router outperforms a typical $300 gaming router in ping stability (ping jitter) performance criteria.
You could become your net admin and buy a commercial business router device instead too, and become a Ph.D in configuring it towards your gaming. But I'm not going to bother playing with Cisco IOS scripts and the attendant university-league network training courses that sometimes go with that advanced stuff. I'll leave that fanatical level to the backbone engineers.
It won't solve everything, the networks will always be problematic, but you don't want your router to be the weak link.
P.S. I don't have symmetric gigabit fiber yet (a widespread deployment is coming soon though). But I do have gigabit cable now. One big problem is upstream is really slow (30 Mbps), which if saturated, will also severely ping-jitter the downstream. You'll have to network-manage that. Direct FTTH is better but if you're stuck on cable, get the biggest upstream pipe you can get. Even 360/50
Mbps down/up would be superior in ping-jitter to 1000/30
Mbps down/up, for better consistent-feel gaming purposes. Due to the major asymmetry, combined with the semi-shared nature of cable, variances in upstream saturation of a cable modem connection has a rather disproportionate effect on ping-jittering downstream, creating more major latency-feel changes during competitive gaming.
Even somebody merely using iCloud or texting a smartphone photos & videos from an iPhone/Android (connected via WiFi), actually briefly changes lagfeel in the middle of a competitive game, thanks to the way it often suddenly briefly saturates a cable modem upstream. Surprisingly, that upstream surge often interferes with cable modems more than somebody simply starting a Netflix stream. Mere outgoing texted photos being worse than a Netflix incoming stream -- that's how bad cable modems go ping-jittering when upstreams get saturated. If you're on Cable Internet *and* you are using any cloud services to sync things around (iCloud, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, whatever) you definitely need to spend some money upgrading your network traffic management to protect your competitive game. To mitigate the odd chances that somebody in your household unwittingly interferes with the lag of your game -- you will want to mitigate that via QoS measures (including rate limiting) to prioritize your gaming computer (the Ethernet port on your high performance router connected to your gaming computer). Sometimes it's not easy to open a wallet and spend $200, $300, $500 on a proper gaming routing equipment that lets you prioritize your Ethernet port + maximum routing processing speeds. But it does help a bit. And sometimes a LOT.