bad lag on pc games with xp

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Am having problems getting into a game of starcraft or counter-strike. Have a fast, new computer with xp home edition. Have no problems with websites or emails. But when I try to get into a game starcraft, lag goes straight up as soon as I enter a game. With counter-strike it says connecting to server, counts down to zero, then kicks me off the server, every time. Am connecting to internet with cable company.

Please help, am desperate. New hardware is taking a beating from exasperation.
so you have cable?
Rather the server your attempting to connect to is crappy.
You have Sooo many apps sucking cpu usage.. or just stuff that's cloggin your Connection pipe.
I dought it's windows xp.. i'm a 56ker.. and i play TFC and FLF often.. and i don't have and "extra" lag besides my 56k
If you have got XP - have you got the Firewall on your connection ??? I have found if I have this on, then this can cause problems when trying to play UT - just a thought ?
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