Best Gigabit NIC



  • Hi all,

    Just installed v1.2.3 and I want to get gigabit NICs
    I was so tempted to get Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop Adapter (82540) but wanted to ask community if that's good choice.
    My main goal is to have gigabit support out of the box. Can you guys recommend?
    Above one cost about $13 on ebay.

    Thanks,



  • Should be fine, Intel is the recommend nic provider. If your motherboard support PCI-Express it might be better to get such a card.



  • The Intel Desktop NICs are OK, but their Server NICs are better if you can get them (they're also more expensive).



  • Thanks guys!

    Unfortunately my MB does not have PCI-E.
    I bought one intel gigabit NIC last year and for some reason it does not work in gigabit mode. It must be that chip model that is not supported by pfSense/freeBSD.
    Is there any way I can run a command that will show model number? or does it say somewhere on NIC it self?
    I hate to buy another one that will be the same.
    Also is it true that cables must be at least CAT 5e in order gigabit to work properly?



  • my recommendations:

    Intel PWLA8391GT 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106121

    Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106033

    Rosewill RC-400-LX 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz Network Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166017

    Rosewill RC-400 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz Networking LAN Card With Heatsink & 4 LED indicators:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166002

    hint: go for one of the intel nics.



  • @ericab:

    my recommendations:

    Intel PWLA8391GT 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106121

    Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106033

    Rosewill RC-400-LX 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz Network Adapter:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166017

    Rosewill RC-400 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI V2.2, 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz Networking LAN Card With Heatsink & 4 LED indicators:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166002

    hint: go for one of the intel nics.

    ericab,

    since none of PCI models appear to be on http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,25.0.html list will it still work with pfSense? is this from your personal experience?



  • Search on e-bay for:  Intel dual MT

    That will show the results for the Intel Dual Port Gigabit MT Server Adapter.  It goes for as low as US$27 sans shipping.  It might be a dual port but you can choose to use just one port and leave the other for future expansion.

    Alternatively, you may replace the existing onboard with the other port on the NIC.  It's interrupt handling helps immensely on lesser CPUs.  In fact, I'd say it's a better bet than even an onboard PCIe Realtek.

    I have 2 such units sourced from ebay and haven't had a problem with them.  Used them in 1.2.X and 2.0 Betas without a hitch and have TSO and RX/TX CSUM enabled.



  • @dreamslacker:

    Search on e-bay for:  Intel dual MT

    That will show the results for the Intel Dual Port Gigabit MT Server Adapter.  It goes for as low as US$27 sans shipping.  It might be a dual port but you can choose to use just one port and leave the other for future expansion.

    Alternatively, you may replace the existing onboard with the other port on the NIC.  It's interrupt handling helps immensely on lesser CPUs.  In fact, I'd say it's a better bet than even an onboard PCIe Realtek.

    I have 2 such units sourced from ebay and haven't had a problem with them.  Used them in 1.2.X and 2.0 Betas without a hitch and have TSO and RX/TX CSUM enabled.

    Thanks for suggestion!
    Can you tell me your model #?
    All what I'm finding is ones that say 8492MT or just dual port server adapter.
    Does it mean that all Intel dual MT have same chipset?



  • PWLA8492MT is correct.  It's otherwise known as the MT Dual port server adapter.  They're based off the 82546 chipset.



  • @dreamslacker:

    PWLA8492MT is correct.  It's otherwise known as the MT Dual port server adapter.  They're based off the 82546 chipset.

    Thanks! I will get one.



  • Just wanted to report back. I've got Intel dual port nic and is working great in gigabit mode.
    Thanks guys!



  • Hi all. JohnnyBeGood can you tell me please by PM if you buy from Ebay and which seller? I already look but there are various sellers. Thanks.

    @JohnnyBeGood:

    Just wanted to report back. I've got Intel dual port nic and is working great in gigabit mode.
    Thanks guys!



  • @rahex:

    Hi all. JohnnyBeGood can you tell me please by PM if you buy from Ebay and which seller? I already look but there are various sellers. Thanks.

    @JohnnyBeGood:

    Just wanted to report back. I've got Intel dual port nic and is working great in gigabit mode.
    Thanks guys!

    PM Sent. Item was as described.



  • Sorry to reopen this but do modern motherboards cope with putting a PCIX card like the one mentioned in a normal PCI slot? Does this work at all and if so what is the performance cost of doing so?

    thanks,

    Simon



  • @S_D:

    Sorry to reopen this but do modern motherboards cope with putting a PCIX card like the one mentioned in a normal PCI slot? Does this work at all and if so what is the performance cost of doing so?

    It CAN work, but your PCI-X card must support 32-bit at 33MHz AND your motherboard must be free of obstacles where the PCI-X extension normally goes so you don't short something & fry your system.

    For performance, here's the math: PCI runs 133MB/s (32-bit @ 33MHz); PCI-X runs 1064MB/s (64-bit @ 133MHz); Gb NICs = 1024Mb/s = 128MB/s.  So, theoretically, PCI can handle only 1 Gb NIC while PCI-X can handle 8 Gb NICs.  Math is pretty simple at this point: 1 PCI = 1 Gb NIC, so a for PCI-X Gb NIC running as PCI:

    • Single Gb NIC, equal performance (but maxing out your PCI bus).

    • Dual-port Gb NIC, half throughput per port.

    • Quad-port Gb NIC, quarter throughput per port.

    Note that the NICs still connect as Gb, but the throughput is limited.  Well, unless it's a crappy Realtek NIC–all the Realtek Gb NICs on all my computers connect to all my 3Com Gb switches as only 100Mb (known Realtek bug).  Even forcing 1 Gb in driver doesn't work.  Plus Realtek has issues with offloading and driver incompatibilities across their plethora of NIC chipsets.  I don't understand why so many manufacturers use Realtek chips.  Even Intel embeds Realtek NICs on their motherboards instead of their own chipset.  WTF?

    I agree with all the other comments about Intel NICs.  They are rock solid with great driver support.



  • Hi Benntech,

    Thanks for the really comprehensive answer to this, that's great.

    I think I may re-review this, and perhaps wait till next quater when the new Atoms are out, and look at the available motherboards then…

    Thanks again


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