[Cialug] best supported/performing Ethernet adapter?

Nathan C. Smith smith at ipmvs.com
Mon Jun 13 11:46:08 CDT 2005

I suppose it is a "server" in some sense of the word. ;-)  More like a pile
of disks with a tiny computer attached.

I had one of the netgear gigabyte cards in this very machine, I think it
killed the machine by burying the PCI bus or something though.  Everything
was slowed down so I pulled it, what's the sense of having gigabit if you
can't use it?  In my experience so far, the machines with a dedicated bus
for onboard GBE, or more than one PCI bus fare better with Gigabit cards.
I'd be interested if anyone else has had a different experience.  (this was
true for two much faster Windows machines as well)

Other than the price of the 3C905 cards I can't complain much about them.  I
think I had them all from one batch with the same chipset though.  One rumor
I heard said 3Com got crazy and put several different versions of the card
out (chipsets?) and wrote a really fat driver to cover them all.  They were
some of the last of an expensive pedigree.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Champion [mailto:dave at visionary.com] 
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 11:27 AM
To: Central Iowa Linux Users Group
Subject: Re: [Cialug] best supported/performing Ethernet adapter?

Realtek chips aren't as bad as they used to be... but I would get 
something better for a server.

I haven't seen anything recently, but the Netgear Gigabit-over-copper 
cards were supposed to be about the fastest available, and only cost 
about $30.

The only "name brand" cards I really don't like are 3com... mostly 
because of the crappy and over priced later generation 3c905 cards. The 
3c595 cards were rock-solid, after that they went down hill.


Nathan C. Smith wrote:
> Realtek does OK until you pound on it with something like video+file 
> transfers.
> Does Intel write/contribute their own Linux driver?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John.Lengeling at radisys.com [mailto:John.Lengeling at radisys.com]
> Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 10:17 AM
> To: Central Iowa Linux Users Group
> Subject: Re: [Cialug] best supported/performing Ethernet adapter?
> cialug-bounces at cialug.org wrote on 06/11/2005 10:11:46 PM:
>>I think it is a true statement that not all Ethernet cards and their
> drivers
>>are equal.  My sense is that the inexpensive realtek and VINE 
>>chips/cards depend more on well-written drivers than intelligence 
>>built into the chips/cards.  Can anyone recommend a well-performing 
>>100 megabit card with good Linux support?  Are 3Com and Intel cards 
>>good choices?
> Intel seems to be the best for:
> - performance
> - multiple OS support 
> - leading edge features like jumbo packet, VLAN, QOS 
> We use a lot of their 1000G dual fiber and dual copper server cards 
> with Linux.  They also seem to regularly update their driver several 
> times per year for bug fixes and improvements.
> You get what you pay for...all will pass ethernet packets around, but 
> you pay more money to get higher performance, better drivers, leading 
> edge features.  I use Realteks at home since I need some to just pass 
> packets.

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