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Cheap Dual/Quad 1Gb NIC


Royco
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I'm looking to add a PCI Network card to my Microserver Gen 8 (to use with virtual sophos machine).

 

I've red one HSS thread (Additional network card) and the HP NC360T and NC365T are suggested, but I wonder if there are other (cheaper) good candidates.

 

What should I look for? I don't know much about network cards. What specs are a must?

 

 

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What's the performance like of the lower-end cards? I don't know enough about each model to make a suggestion, but AFAIK, the higher-end cards are able to offload the I/O overhead from the CPU resulting in much higher throughput than others (like, those $10 Realtek cards.) But I don't know if there's a black/white line between good vs bad, or what the higher-end NICs are able to do. Or vs upgrading to a better CPU to better the machine overall... benefits of going iSCSI HBA with a high-end card? 

 

... so many options!!

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Performance can vary, more of my concern is compatibility. The OP mentioned 'virtual' so I assume that they will run ESXi or HyperV or KVM. The N364T is an Intel based card so compatibility is very good.Low end cards are Realtek and support for them varies. An iSCSI HBA will only help if you are running iSCSI.

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I've discovered lower-end Intel chips aren't all that good.  Proper FDX over gigabit (so you can transfer from one server to another via a client PC at 110MB/s+) doesn't seem possible using the lower-end chips like the i217-V.  

 

Take this scenario:

 

Asustor AS-5104T NAS (source)

i5 PC with i217V NIC (client)

OpenMediaVault i3 NAS with i210AT (destination)

 

With this, I can only get 60MB/s copy between the Asustor and the OMV.

 

Now replace the i217V with a i210AT PCI-E NIC, and instantly I can get 110MB/s+ all day every day.  

 

The i217V and the likes are only a transceiver for the low-spec NIC built in to the PCH on Intel boards.

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I think they use the same chipset as the Pro/1000CT - in fact it's probably the same card, the CT has missing parts that would otherwise make it a dual card.  

 

I only stopped using the CT because it uses nearly 5 times the power of the i210AT. (i210AT uses 1W, the CT 4.5W)

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Yeah, considering an i3-4350 on a B85 board with the i210AT and two SSDs idles at 19W, that extra 3.5W for an older NIC does make a significant difference.

 

Heck, some SSDs use 5W which is about the same as a 7200rpm 2.5" HDD.  I have a 320GB WD Black that uses the same power as my old Kingston 120Gb SSD.  I tend to stick to Intel SSDs, they're rated at 0.2W for the Pro SSD 1500.

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I dont see what diff any gigabit nic from around 2008 onward will make

 

all mine inc realtek 8169 atheros intel broadcom pull 113 MB/S each way and will do it full duplex whilst pushing and pulling

 

 

I have a few old pci gigabit nic's that wont reach anywhere near that due to being from around 2001 and pci ofc

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