Network Card

jhoder at jhoder at
Thu Apr 17 11:09:24 PDT 2003

i'm looking for some words of wisdom about pci ethernet adapters for my freebsd 
system.  i'm running freebsd 4.7, an amd 750 duron on a msi k7t turbo mainboard.

from what i've read so far, it seems like cards with dec 21040 chips are 
preferred by at least some users, and the realtek (at least cheaper) ones are 
discouraged.  i've also noticed that prices seem to vary greatly, and i'm 
trying to stay away from the $20 range of cards in general.

i'm currently using a hawking card with a realtek rtl8139c chip and i've had 
some problems which include hanging on the boot process as well as problems 
with a mac i'm networking via ethernet to this machine.  i haven't fully 
determined if these problems are specific to the ethernet card, but it seems 
like that may be the case.

so, could someone tell me:

what's the big advantage of the dec 21040 chip?  is it that the driver is 
particularly well written?  i settled on an smc etherpower 8432t card but then 
started reading about some problems with other linuxes using this card.  then 
someone in tech support somewhere told me that they use intel cards which seem 
to work great.

can someone recommend a card (make and model) that they've had first hand 
success with using freebsd?

are some freebsd drivers more reliable that others?  still easily configured?

also, can i disable pnp on a realtek rtl8139c?  is there a way to disable pnp 
using a freebsd utility?  or do i need to do this with dos.  does disabling pnp 
have any adverse effects on freebsd otherwise?

i realize i've asked a lot.  any information you can offer would be greatly 


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