Intel PRO/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter on a Dell Inc. Vostro 220 Series Mobo



  • May I ask if the Intel PRO/1000 GT Quad Port Server Adapter is compatible with Dell Inc. Vostro 220 Series Motherboard so that I can use it as a pfSense firewall?

    Problem 1:
    I read this: http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.2R/hardware.html#ETHERNET and it says only Intel PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter (82541PI) and i don't know how to check the 82541PI code in the Intel Pro website http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/servers/intel-pro1000-gt-quad-port-server-adapter-brief.html
    Is this the controller-processor like the Intel NH82546GB?

    Problem 2:
    I also don't know how to check if the NIC is compatible with the motherboard. What to check? The NIC is a PCI and motherboard has a PCI slot. Is that good enough to say that they are compatible?

    Please tell me what to check. I don't know what details/values to compare?

    TIA



  • bump  ???



  • I don't know enough about the Vostro to give more details but I would say the card you are asking about is poorly matched to a standard PCI slot: A standard PCI slot would be hard pressed to give much more than 1Gbit/sec, especially if there are other PCI peripherals active (e.g. disks). The card is really designed for servers with wider PCI buses (and hence more bandwidth) and higher clock speeds (and hence more bandwidth). The brochure for the card doesn't mention 33MHz PCI (standard PCI clock speed) though I suspect that was just an oversight.

    You can probably save yourself a useful sum of money by purchasing a 5 port VLAN capable switch like the Mikrotik RB250GS (costs about the local equivalent of US$40 where I live) and using a single GigE interface in your box with VLANs so the switch acts as a port multiplier (one port out of pfSense into one port on the switch and 4 ports out of the switch).

    If the Vostro has a PCI-X slot or 66MHz PCI slot that changes things a bit by increasing the total possible thoughput of all the ports.

    Based on what I have seen in the the FreeBSD supported hardware list I expect the card would work in your system, subject to the bandwidth limitation I have already described.

    I have neither a Vostro nor an Intel GigE NIC nor a RB250GS so I'm not writing from experience.



  • Thank you for your insights sir.

    But I have 3 WANs that is why I want to have a quad port NIC.

    What I have available PC is the Vostro 220 and it is much faster than my current fw box which runs in pentium 4 and 80GB HD.
    With Vostro in Core2Dou and 320GB, I can use it for caching.

    Any idea on what NIC is suitable with Vostro that can be served with 3 WANs and 1 or more LANs?



  • Check the card's specification and the motherboard. There are 3 types of basic PCI cards - 3.3V, 5V and 3.3V+5V, but only 2 types of slot - 3.3V and 5V. Then you've got the 32 bit or 64 bit issue (though generally cards will work in either, just with limited bandwidth if you've put a 64 bit card in a 32 bit slot).

    That card is a 3.3V 64 bit card. The Vostro has a 32 bit slot and it looks, from what I can find, to be 5V.

    You may instead want to look at a PCIe NIC, since it has a 16x PCIe slot.



  • Thank you sir for that information.

    To check the compatibility of NIC and the mobo, both should have the same voltage and bit slot?

    But NIC should also be supported with FreeBSD.

    So I have to find a quad port NIC that is supported by FreeBSD that is compatible with my Vostro.
    Da*n, a tedious job.

    I will post later if I can find a quad port in my locality that is compatible with vostro.
    Voltage and bit slot should be the same, ok I will check that.

    OK,
    Vostro has:
    PCI 2.3
    PCI Express 2.0 (PCIe-x16) from G45
    PCI Express 1.1 (PCIe-x1) from ICH10R

    connector data width 32 bits 5V
    (maximum)

    Supported Intel Quad Port NICs by FreeBSD (WHY ALL SERVER ADAPTERS???, or it is just a name? Can I use this in desktop PCs?)
    Intel PRO/1000 MT Quad Port Server Adapter (82546EB) - Slot(s) Required 1 PCI-X / 133 MHz Full-height

    Intel PRO/1000 PF Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) -  Bus type PCI Express 1.0; Bus width x4 lane PCI Express, operable in x4, x8, x16 slots; Typical power consumption 4.95 W ( 3.3 V @ 1.5 A)

    Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) - Bus type PCI Express 1.0a; Bus width x4 lane PCI Express, operable  in x4, x8, x16 slots; Typical power consumption 12.096 W (12 V @ 1.008 A)

    Intel Gigabit VT Quad Port Server Adapter (82575) - Bus type PCI Express* 1.1; Bus width x4 lane PCI Express, operable in x4, x8, and x16 slots; Typical power consumption 10.65 W (3.3 V @ 1.5 A)

    From the four Intel quad port NICs that are supported by FreeBSD, which one is more suitable with Vostro? I can't find the connector data information on the NICs.



  • Maybe this gives no extra information at all, but that was all what i gould find out



  • The FreeBSD supported hardware list for 8.1 release at http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/hardware.html says _The igb(4) driver supports Gigabit Ethernet adapters based on the Intel 82575 and 82576 controller chips:

    *      Intel Gigabit ET Dual Port Server Adapter (82576)
        *      Intel Gigabit VT Quad Port Server Adapter (82575)_
    So these cards should work with the pfSense 2.0 snapshot builds. However I recall some complications reported with igb devices in the forums so it would probably be prudent to take a look to see if any of them apply to the box you intend to use. I have no idea of the current state of those problems.



  • Sir Metu thanks for that but those are only controller processors.

    Considering Sir wallybybobs' info, so I have left with 3 choices:

    1. Intel PRO/1000 MT Quad Port Server Adapter (82546EB) - Slot(s) Required 1 PCI-X / 133 MHz Full-height

    2. Intel PRO/1000 PF Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) -  Bus type PCI Express 1.0; Bus width x4 lane PCI Express, operable in x4, x8, x16 slots; Typical power consumption 4.95 W ( 3.3 V @ 1.5 A)

    3. Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) - Bus type PCI Express 1.0a; Bus width x4 lane PCI Express, operable  in x4, x8, x16 slots; Typical power consumption 12.096 W (12 V @ 1.008 A)

    What a dilemma!  ??? :o :'(

    EDIT: Maybe the solution to the complications mentioned by Sir wallybybob is Sir Metu69salemi's post.



  • The PF is for fibre, not copper. The MT again looks to be a 3.3V card.

    The PT is probably your best choice.



  • Sir the PT has PCI Express 1.0a Bus but the Vostro has PCI Express 1.1 (PCIe-x1), is this okay?



  • Can I suggest doing your own research?

    Also, you'll need to put it into the 16x slot, not the 1x slot.



  • I've read some but I don't quite understand.  :-[

    I think now I understand better with this: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=23934.0

    OK, Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) is an x4 - copper type adapter but can be used in Vostro's x16 PCIe slot.

    I've found this so maybe it really works although I have no idea with his mobo. This will add confidence in buying this NIC.
    [quote author=foomaster link=topic=35569.msg183788#msg183788 date=1302477107]
    Works like a charm:

    pfSense 2.0-RC1-amd64 (cdrom)

    Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter
    Chipset 82571GB

    Again, thanks for all your help.



  • That quad port card in your OP is a PCI-X card only as far as most are concerned. There are 3.3V PCI slots and it could fit and operate in one but they are EXTREMELY rare to find. The dual voltage PCI-X cards will have 3 notches cut on the edge connector, not just two like that one has.

    As for your PCIe questions, for your needs ignore the 1.0, 1.0a, 1.1, 2.0, etc specifications. They're irrelevant to your needs. They would be fully backwards compatible. What you need to be concerned with is the xNumber such as x1, x4, etc. This is what indicates the slot type. An 1x card can fit in any slot because it's the smallest connector. An x4 card can fit in an x4, x8 and x16 slot but not an x1 slot, physically too big.

    Now I'm going to throw a curve ball here. There are such things as open back slots. Working off the same principal that an x1 card can work in any slot (it only configures the number of lanes the card needs), a card should be able to work on LESS lanes than it's edge connector is intended to interface with. With an open back slot you can insert an x16 card into an x4 connector if it had an open back slot.

    There IS a problem with that though. Each lane (1-16, that's where you get x1, x4, etc) is at least 250MB/s (that's where the specification comes in, newer specs have higher per lane bandwidth). If you put an x16 card (something expecting at least 4 GB/s available bandwidth) into say an x4 slot it should work but it's only going to have access to 1 GB/s bandwidth. I say should work because some manufacturers might have some kind of feature disabling the card if it doesn't connect to a minimum number of lanes.

    Oh one more thing, just because a slot is x8 or x16 doesn't mean it has all available lanes connected. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to have 20 lanes available to slots, first is going to be an x16 for a video card, the remaining 4 lanes might go to an x16 slot wired as x4. Going on what I just told you that same video card could work in the other slot but at reduced bandwidth.

    Now here's some numbers for you to consider. A quad port gigabit card can push 2 Gb/s per port (gigabit speeds in each direction in ideal circumstances), thus 8 Gb/s total. Converting bits to bytes that's only 1 GB/s needed (8 bits to a byte). Basically at 1.0/1.1 specification you need no less than an x4 card/slot to take FULL advantage of a quad port card. Will you likely be pushing all that traffic? Not a chance but if you want a quad port card that's what you will need.



  • Thanks sir for that info.

    Applying what you said, Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter (82571) is an x4 compatible with Vostro's x16 slot. So I think I can take FULL advantage of the NIC.

    But this:

    That quad port card in your OP is a PCI-X card only as far as most are concerned.

    .
    I thought the PT is a PCie card.



  • The card I was referring to was the GT card in your OP. That card is indeed a PCI-X card. The PT card you asked about later is indeed a PCIe card and will work in the x16 slot.



  • I see.  ;D but what's OP?  ???

    Yup as Sir Cry Havok and others emphasized, the slot type must be compatible to make it work.



  • It means Original Post. It's used to refer to the first post in the thread.



  • I was about to edit my last post since I already found the meaning of OP..  ;D

    I was reading the meaning of OP here>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OP
    hahaha

    thanks a lot.



  • EDIT : Error, I create a new topic for my problem ( http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,41937.0.html ).


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