domain   directplay vs winsock   There IS a difference.    

DirectPlay sucks!

With th' 1.1 patch ya kin host or join two types of Outlaws games: DirectPlay or Winsock. DirectPlay uses Microsoft's DirectX fer communicatin' over th' net; Winsock uses Windows 95's built-in TCP-IP service. Which one's better? Take a guess. Winsock beats DirectPlay hands-down in Outlaws.

I suspect that Microsoft's Zone games are all use DirectPlay, which helps explain why they're laggy. I used a dial-up connection meter to monitor my modem's bandwidth while hosting games using both types of connection. I could get five or six other Outlaws into a game before my modem's 56.6K would start ta max out under a Winsock connection. With DirectPlay I started ta get data overflows (ie really heinous lag) with only two other players in my game!

I guess th' Winsock driver is just a heckuvva lot more efficient than th' DirectPlay driver when it comes ta Internet data transfer, at least as far as Outlaws is concerned. Then again, DirectPlay supports network types other than TCP-IP, like IPX. But if yer playin' over a modem Winsock is th' only way ta go. Winsock also keeps track of th' last ten IP addresses ya visited, an' ya kin label 'em so it's easy ta hop between games.

Nothin' like solid numbers to clear up age-old mysteries. Now that I have a second system networked here I could see precise network traffic by hosting a map on my Pale's Place machine with Outlaws running in Windowed mode and a bandwidth meter showing on the desktop. Then all I had to do to compare DirectPlay vs Winsock was to join in the hosted game on my other machine and watch the meter while running around and firing. Using the OLASH and OLWIMPY cheats so that I wouldn't have to stop and reload, I compared two activities: walking in a circle while fanning Sanchez's pistol and walking in a circle while three sticks of TNT exploded nearby. You can see the resulting network traffic averages in the following table:

Outlaws Bandwidth Usage
DirectPlay vs Winsock (lower is better)

  shootin' explodin'

As you kin see, DirectPlay took from 10 to 20 percent more bandwidth that Winsock. Does that mean that Winsock is 10-20% less laggy? Well it isn't quite that simple, but it might not be too unreasonable to suggest that Winsock games may be 10-20% less likely to start lagging. In any case, if you want to get the most out of every bit of bandwidth that you have in Outlaws, Winsock is clearly the way to go.


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 domain   directplay vs winsock   There IS a difference.