Cheap PCI 10/100MBs needed



  • Hi,
    I'm building a wired router out of an old WinXP (x86) machine, and I've heard great reviews about pfSense, so that is what I'm planning on using for the software.

    I have looked thru the hardware compatibility thread but I'm still confused about what to get for a PCI Ethernet NIC. I just need something that is cheap and will work. I am planning on putting in two of these and using my onboard Atheros.

    Also, if USB is a better and cheaper route than PCI I'm perfectly fine with that. Like I said, I just need something cheap that will work.

    Thanks!
    -Noah

    PS I'm using this guide as a reference: http://blog.bryanbibat.com/2010/03/19/weekend-project-turn-an-old-pc-into-a-supercharged-firewallrouter/



  • For networking USB is not a good choice (though USB 3.0 may change that).

    You'll find no shortage of existing recommendations if you read the other threads and search the forum. Generally speaking you can't go wrong with Intel brand cards and should avoid low end (10/100 Mbit) Realtek chipsets.



  • Go for the Intel NICs.  They may be pricier but they're worth it especially on low power CPUs where the interrupt loading is much lesser on the Intel's.

    In fact, you might be able to find Intel Pro/100s nics in a bargain bin for cheap (I get mine for ~US$3.50 each from the local repair shops where they pull these out of old servers).



  • Okay, thanks for the recommendations. I will go scavenge at a few of the local shops and if I can't find anything I'll check out ebay or something. Again, thanks for the pointers!
    -Noah


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