Re: Best Ethernet NIC with a Gigabyte?

Discussion in 'Gigabyte' started by Paul, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Keith Lee wrote:
    > All:
    > I have an older Gigabyte motherboard with an AMD 1100 CPU. What would be the best NIC to work with it? I
    > am hoping to get DSL soon. Thank you.
    >
    > Keith


    At one time, Ethernet devices were categorized according
    to their performance. A high performance device was one
    that could handle back-to-back packets with ease. For example,
    early in my career, I worked on a product which only
    had two buffers, and that would be considered a low
    performance product. (Of course, the product documentation
    doesn't say that :) )

    That was a long time ago (just after Ethernet was introduced),
    and most chips today are fully featured. A typical good design
    uses ring buffers and DMA, for both transmit and receive. Some
    even have various kinds of offloading features, but I haven't
    been keeping track of that stuff.

    This is an example of a chip you can get on a $10 NIC
    card. The document here claims, the receive side has
    a ring buffer, while the transmit side uses fixed buffers.
    And I think that causes a slight bit of grief for the
    software people.

    http://www.cs.usfca.edu/~cruse/cs326/RTL8139_ProgrammersGuide.pdf

    So as long as you avoid certain of the $10 NIC cards,
    you'll be getting whatever performance your OS can
    manage.

    Occasionally, you'll run into an old chipset, that has some
    problems with its PCI bus, but for DSL download speeds, I
    wouldn't expect even the most broken PCI implementation
    to limit your fun. Some of these PCI bus problems become more
    evident, when you try to transfer files between two
    PCs.

    There is room on some OSes, for link tuning. For example,
    as a joke, I installed Win98SE on my current Core2 system.
    I did some download testing, and noted the usual crappy
    performance. I found a package that claims to modify some
    TCPIP settings in Win98, and after I used it, I was
    able to download at 500KB/sec (full link rate), just
    like in WinXP. So if your performance sucks, it isn't always
    the hardware that has a problem - it can also be the
    window size/delay product which is causing it. I'd
    give you a link to the package, but it's on a disk
    which is currently disconnected.

    Paul
     
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