Which of these NICs will work?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sat Sep 4 09:02:50 UTC 2010

On 03/09/2010 18:32:49, Robert Huff wrote:
> Ryan Coleman writes:
>>  Any thoughts? I need/want to get a multi-port NIC for my new
>>  system but I haven't purchased the guts for the server yet. 
>>  http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100010064+600013872+600016290&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=27&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc= 
>>  Basically, this machine will have two external (real-world) IPs
>>  and one network LAN ( address, finding three-NIC
>>  motherboards is not exactly possible so this is my alternative. 
> 	Intel network cards have a very good reputation; I have been
> running a dual-port Pro/1000 GT for years and the thing is still a
> rock.  Others will have a better opinion on performance issues.
> 	The Intel employee who maintains the driver is frequently seen
> on current@ and occasionally on questions at .  Nice guy, very
> responsive.

I second all the other respondents praise of the Intel cards.  Intel is
a safe choice of NIC -- basically you can be sure that it will not only
be supported, but it will work very well.

Of the other branded NICs there, unfortunately it is impossible to say
much about them based on the manufacturers name.  The important thing is
the chipset.  If the chipset is supported then you can be 99% certain
the card will work.  (The other 1% are manufacturers who do stupid
things to the card firmware.)  Unfortunately that is the sort of useful
information that vendors almost never tell you on a website.  Probably
because they think all those letters and numbers will scare people away.
 They're right of course: that sort of cheap card tends to use chipsets
from people like RealTek, many of whose products attract a wholly
justified level of opprobrium.  [Definitely avoid things that use the
rl(4) driver.  Stuff that uses re(4) is passable for some uses.]

Also "working well" is quite subjective.  It depends on the sort of
traffic patterns and load levels you need to deal with.  Cheaper NICs
will not be able to cope with sustained mega-bit levels of traffic and
complicated networking layouts, but they will be fine for occasional
light use in a desktop box.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at infracaninophile.co.uk               Kent, CT11 9PW

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