[Beowulf] Re: Cheap SDR IB

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Jan 30 14:47:37 PST 2008

On Wed, 30 Jan 2008, David Mathog wrote:

> IB would be massive overkill for gaming, 100 (or even 10) baseT should
> work just fine unless the network is hideously congested, in which case
> the game is probably going to become unplayable due to dropped UDP packets.

And in fact most online games (e.g. World of Warcraft) are played over
connections that are almost certainly slower than 1.5 Mbps -- my boys
play (two or three at a time) over a shared DSL link at 768 kbps.  It
can be laggy if anyone (like me, yum updating a host or their mother
working on her EMR) hogs the link but otherwise it is playable.  Major
lag in gametime is usually due to bottlenecks elsewhere.

They accomplish this by putting movement in a lagged map of the
"universe" on your local machine, and updating object data across the
slow link as fast as possible to keep the Universe views of everybody in
any given visual field in sync (PC and NPC alike).  You can tell when
certain network outages occur because you can e.g. move your character
around but nothing happens and all the other players disappear.

There are a few orders of magnitude difference between DSL (acceptable
when it isn't too congested due to OTHER people using the line) and
GigE, let alone IB.  GigE >>or<< IB might well be able to run the gaming
universe on the >>server<< and just render the display on the host
without too much lag, but that's very different from what real RPGs do.


> Regards,
> David Mathog
> mathog at caltech.edu
> Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
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