Network Card

taxman taxman at
Fri Apr 18 07:51:00 PDT 2003

On Thursday 17 April 2003 02:08 pm, jhoder at wrote:
> 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.


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

I dont have that much experience with different NIC's.  The only problems I've 
had come up were with ISA NIC's that wanted the wrong IRQ's.  FreeBSD would 
sort of let them have it and ifconfig up would work, but the card wouldn't 
work right.  setting the card to ask for an IRQ that was free worked wonders.
That was with a 3Com 3c509 that has a flashable config chip on it.
I guess it depends on what you need to do with your network.  If it's not 
mission critical and throughput is not that big a concern, most people say 
the cheap cards that are supported even teh realtech's work fine.  I have a 
realtech chip card and it does fine for me because I dont do anything to 
stress it.  Your situation is the important thing for you.

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

well of course.  Some are better written.  Anecdotal evidence form following 
the lists is that the drivers for the intel cards are particularly good.

> 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?

disable pnp in the BIOS in case you haven't already found that out.

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

usually better to ask different questions in different emails, but these were 
all related I guess.


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