MUD Client Speed Benchmarks

These speed tests were performed running on a Thinkpad 560 (120 Mhz Pentium) with 20 MB RAM, running Windows 95, connected to the Internet via 10Mbit/s ethernet. Screen was in 800x600 resolution, with 16 bit color. Faster times can be obtained by lowering screen resolution and/or number of colors.

MUD test was performed connected to the Highlands II MUD. Telnet test was performed connected to a telnet server running on a HP-735 workstation.

zMUD Version speeds (UPDATED 8-Apr-99)

Version EXE size Memory start Memory end ^Q test #SEND
5.53 2836k 6004k 6392k 43 14
5.31 2248k 4392k 4852k 33 11
5.22 2248k 5236k 5828k 60 22
4.62 1578k 4352k 4972k 64 26
4.30 1322k 3812k 4204k 152 57
4.01 1171k 3864k 4204k 50
3.62a 1087k 3728k 4076k 43
2.91 856k 4568k 5256k 58
2.0 611k 3176k 3188k 73

The main test is to load a script containing about 36 triggers (the actual triggers that I MUD with), then use the #SEND command to display a previously captured log file (4300 lines) to the screen. The Memory columns shown the memory used by zMUD before and after the test. The ^Q test is the time displayed when Control-Q is pressed (a timing function that has been built into zMUD for the last few versions). The #SEND column is the number of seconds used to display the log file. For the ^Q test, the Scroll Amount is set to 5. For the #SEND test, Scroll Amount is set to zero (since most old versions forced Scroll Amount to zero when using #SEND). For very old versions where #SEND wasn't available (2.91, 2.0) or not working (4.30) then #READ was used, which makes the times a bit slower for those versions.  In later versions where the size of the buffer can be set, a default size of 1,000 lines is used.  In versions 5.4x and greater, all plugins are unloaded before testing.

MUD/Telnet Client Scrolling Speed Test

Client Version Time (secs) Notes
zMUD 5.21 32-bit 6  
zMUD 4.50b 32-bit 7  
CRT 1.1.4 37 (1)
GMUD 1.9b 9  
MUTT 0.1j 62 (2)
MUD Master 2.40 10 (3)
MUD Sock 0.7B 48 (3)
Phoca   38 (2)
Pueblo 2.01 10 (4)
Tintin III 7 (3)
QVTnet 4.0 24  
MUD Manager 2.0 crashed  


  1. Updates screen after each line is received. This results in smooth, but very slow scrolling and is equivalent to zMUD Scroll Amount setting of 1.
  2. Does not support ANSI color codes
  3. Runs in Console mode of Windows. This results in faster scrolling, but application is not a true GUI Windows client.
  4. Only updates screen when entire buffer is received from the MUD, resulting in very jerky scrolling. This is equivalent to zMUD Scroll Amount setting of 0.

Test description:

Send 20 look commands (abbreviated with l) to the MUD, followed by an inv command. This was done in a quiet room in the MUD School of Highlands II which has very little lag. Time is from pressing Enter after the first look command until the MUD displays the results of the inv command. Several tests are performed and the results are averaged and rounded to the nearest second. All clients are run with their screen size maxmized. Note that Console mode clients (Note 3) allow a smaller number of lines on the screen, resulting in faster scrolling. If the default font is not fixed-space, Courier font is selected. Otherwise clients are run with the default settings obtained after a clean installation.  Note that on a 28,800 baud modem, approximately 4 seconds is required just to transfer the data from the MUD.

Telnet Test

Client Version termcap test syslog test
zMUD 4.50b 32-bit 15 secs 3 secs
zMUD 4.34a 32-bit (1) 3 secs
CRT 1.1.4 59/12 secs (2) 12 secs
GMUD 1.9b (3) (3)
Local HP console   7 secs 2 secs


  1. zMUD v4.34a hangs when displaying a large amount of text over a fast network connection, so a time could not be determined.
  2. CRT takes 59 seconds to display the termcap file when directed connected to the client. If connected via an intermediate gateway, CRT speeds up to 12 seconds. This speed difference is due to its method of screen updating. Normally, CRT updates the screen after every line, resulting in slow display. When an intermediate server is used, text is buffered so that CRT updates after every buffer is received, resulting in faster scrolling. The syslog test was only done using an intermediate server to show the best-case timing.
  3. GMUD does not support telnet option negotiation, so a telnet connection to this server could not be made

Test description:

This test was performed over a high-speed ethernet connection, rather than the 28,800 modem used in the previous tests.  Telnet connection was made to HP-UX server and the 'cat' command was used to display large files.

termcap test
cat /etc/termcap (43,049 byte file). Lines do not wrap
syslog test
cat /var/adm/syslog/syslog.log (20,746 byte file) Many lines in this file word-wrap

This page was last updated on July 23, 2001.