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This may be my finest post yet ;)

Posted 12-01-2009 at 11:10 PM by Anenome


Originally Posted by Butters66 View Post
I am sure they will. That breaking of the speed of light thing to get sub 10 ms ping times will surely leads to all kinds of neat things for them, including faster FPS games.
Sure, sure, mock now, but you've just forced me to resort to MATH!

Speed of light
= 186,282 miles / second

Circumference of the earth
= 7926 miles

Minimum theoretical ping (ie, playing with your next door neighbor by shooting a connection around the world first)
= 42.6 milliseconds.

Distance from LA to NY
= 2462 miles

Minimum theoretical ping between LA and NY \ time it would take light to travel there by fiber optic cable
= 3 milliseconds

So yeah, we don't need to break the goddamn speed of light to achieve single-digit ping within a reasonable distance. Playing L4D2 with your neighbor next door over fiber optic could run into sub-millisecond ping. Even the gigantic United States, second largest land mass in the world, would experience single digit ping anywhere within it to anywhere within it.

Now, I hear you saying, "That's the speed of light in a vaccuum!" and "Factoring in switching equipment would mess that number up big time!"

I agree completely. But I don't think it would be as bad as you think. Light in a glass medium is reduced in speed, yes, and can be calculated by multiplying c by the refractive index of the medium. Fiber optic cable's refractive index is ~1.538, depending on kind, and the figure is temperature dependent too. But that's only important for extremely sensitive applications. Therefore our new figure is
c = 112,119.64 miles/sec through fiber optic cable.

So, revising our previous figures from theoretical to more practical, our minimum pings are thus:

Circumference of the earth
= 70 ms ping

Contiguous US
= 21 ms

Now, this raises an obvious question: Just how long IS a millisecond?

Well, if you're driving a car at 100 miles per hour, a millisecond is the time it takes you to move 2 inches >_>

Human muscle response to stimuli is on the order of 200 milliseconds! So, at ~20 milliseconds, we're still talking about being 10 times faster than we need to be, which is good because the human eye can pick up 200 ms worth of lag, even if the hand cannot react that fast.

So, even if the switching equipment ended up doubling our 21ms ping to 42ms, we'd still be perfectly happy.

And now we finally know the question to that famous answer:
42 is the ideal minimum ping for online gaming when using fiber optic cable! 13 billion years just to figure that out. Huh.
Where's Arthur Dent when you need him :P
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    brandonjclark's Avatar
    {best Vader voice]
    Posted 12-19-2009 at 04:42 PM by brandonjclark brandonjclark is offline

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