I've been having the same problem for the past little while as well. The worst part for me, I get randomly disconnected from my wireless network while playing. Happens to me on any online steam game, doesn't matter what server it is. My bro, who's on a wireless network with me, has the same problem, minus the disconnects. My guess is it is either my crap 256kbps connection or my wireless setup. I know it doesn't have anything to do with my hardware at the moment (upgrading today
), I turn down my settings in css to get better fps and run half life 2 at max settings, 0 aa at a higher resolution with no stuttering at all.
A buddy of mine was suggesting I update the firmware on my router - wrt54g (off the top of my head), haven't tried it yet though.
I'm assuming you're on a network though. Is it wired or wireless? When we switched over, I noticed a slight performance decrease in my connection, not to mention the random dissconnections from the network.
I've also asked around on servers and the lag spikes seem to happen to many, but not all.