Internet Gaming Modem

by David Ciemny

I have a Gateway Pentium 2, 350 MHz. I was using a Voodoo 2 card and a Microsoft FF wheel. The unit came equipped with a US Robotics 56K winmodem. I purchased GPL in December of '98. For almost one year I tried to discover the wonder of racing on line and was unable to do so. Horrifying connections and all the problems that are routinely posted at the various forums and websites. In fact I almost gave up on GPL because it was very frustrating off line as well (that was due to the controller in my opinion).

I knew I had the aptitude to do it. I then thought it must be something in the hardware. I first switched to the Logitech Wingman FF wheel. Immediately I noticed a vast improvement in the handling of the vehicle. I then decided to try on line one more time. This time my connection was a lot better (still had a long way to go). Just like you stated the Logitech wheel does not hog the CPU.

While enjoying some success on line (connection wise) I figured it could still get a lot better. Still way too much warping and disconnects. However I could see the potential on a good day. I read about the USB modems at your site. I posted a few messages around the GPL community and received mixed reviews. I would say it was a 50-50 split between success and failure regarding GPL and a USB modem.I decided to try the USB method. My retailer (User Friendly Computer Store) agreed to take back the USB if my satisfaction was not achieved. I purchased a CNET Pegasus 56KV90 USB modem. Also at this time a 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 (pci) card was installed. When all was said and done I experienced all the negative things people had posted about USB modems. A loss in frame rates, disconnects,etc. You name it, it was happening. Including not only losing connection to the game but to the internet itself. It was very odd yet I was not frustrated.

At the time I was torn between the USB modem and a 3Com US Robotics 56K V90 internet gaming modem. I first noticed the modem at 3 COM's website but could not find out any real specific info on it. I even called 3 Com and while pleasant they just recited the info that was posted at their site (

Mind you the failure and limited success I had online was experienced while using AOL as my ISP. I then decided to switch. I was tipped off by a gentleman whom I was just shooting the breeze with about a small ISP about 30 minutes south of Buffalo, NY (Angola to be precise) named Universal Technology (UTEC). When I spoke with the guys at UTEC (Larry and Tom) they were already aware of the gaming modem and had nothing but good things to say about it. That was enough for me. I switched my ISP to UTEC (also using Mindspring as an experiment) and installed the gaming modem. The performance of this modem has been just super. No warping, no disconnects, nothing. I did turn off error control and adjusted the FIFO buffers to one click from the left. I am participating in full field races and seeing everything around me. When first lap carnage breaks out I can see the cars sliding and have a chance to avoid them. This would have never happened before.

At 9:16 PM yesterday I recorded the pings that were shown at WinVROC for all available races. In order:


The combination of changing my wheel and modem has opened up a whole new racing world. Now I can run GPL the way it was meant!!!

Thanks for all your support Alison (as always) . I hope GPL will live on for a long, long, time. By the way the other modem UTEC mentioned was a Diamond Supra Express 56K V90. It's not labeled as a gaming modem but they seem to love it anyhow.