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Mobile ad hoc networking has gained prevalent interest of the network community in recent years because of it's ability to offer distributed and decentralized communication facility on ad hoc basis. A major issue that affects such a network with dynamically changing topology is the performance since the nodes have both limited battery life and communicate in a bandwidth constrained network. In this paper we provide an extensive performance analysis of the three most popular routing protocols: Destination Sequenced Distance vector (DSDV), Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) and Ad hoc On demand Distance Vector (AODV). The performance will be investigated using different scenarios that varies from simple to extreme cases in terms of packet rate and mobile node speed while using different Traffic classes, Constant bit rate(CBR), Variable bit rate(VBR) then combined both classes in one scenario to see the impact of this combination. Under that chosen scenarios the three routing protocols are compared with respect to Average energy consumption, Average throughput and Normalized routing load.