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Do resolution or graphic details affect data that is sent between game client and server?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

As a general rule of thumb: Graphics do not affect network Latency.

That said, poor graphics (especially games which blit to and from the graphics card a lot), can eat up CPU cycles on processors with a low number of cores (or games which don't separate rendering into a separate thread). If you are CPU bound (limited by your CPU, which rarely happens) because of poor graphics design (like rendering on the CPU), then it is possible that your graphics will affect the latency of your network data (which must also be processed by the CPU).

This is a rare set of condition, and unlikely in any modern game.

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the other answers are correct, in that network latency generally will not be affected by your graphical settings. however, if you set the graphics details higher than your system can reasonablly handle you'll be playing a slide show with input lag, which is no fun either.

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No they do not. The server just sends player movements and actions. All graphical rendering, which is what is affected by resolution and detail levels, is handled on your own computer and does not affect the network at all.

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But won't tiny details like a small part of the wall that has been shot be ignored on data traffic if you have low resolution and low detail where you could not detect visually that small wall damage? – RedDragon23 Jun 18 '11 at 16:04
@Weslei that doesn't prevent them from being transferred over the network (if the game transfers part of the wall being shot) – tzenes Jun 18 '11 at 16:05

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