Is there any difference using DFE 520-TX and NC360T on 100Mbps lines

  • I am using NC360T (HP) and I also have DFE 520TX (DLink). But N360T rather hot while DFE 520TX rather cool.
    If do not use offloading feature, the performance when using NC360T much better than DLink one on 100Mbps lines? NC360T rather expensive comparing to 520TX.
    Is it worth to use NC360T?

  • Netgate Administrator

    The NC360T is an Intel dual port Gigabit PCI-E card.
    The DFE-520TX is a VIA single port 100Mb PCI card.
    They are very different. If you don't need 2 gigabit ports then it's a waste of money. I have no experience with a VR(4) card but general practice is to use Intel where possible. Their driver support is better. You can pickup an Intel Pro/100 card cheaply these days.

    The difference between these cards on a 100Mbp network will be minimal.
    have you tested it?


  • My ISP commitment WAN bandwidth is 35Mbps but we normally can load data at 50-70Mbps. Out LAN use 100Mbps switch accept servers using 1G switch.
    Last time, we used several 520TX PCI cards. pfsense run smoothly on that.
    We got some NC360T cards from old servers and we decided to use them. The most noticeable is very high temperature.
    On NC360T, there are some features that 502TX does  not have: 96k buffer, comply with more IEEE standard….
    I am not specialist on hardware so I wonder if the network connection more stable, faster on more expensive NIC?
    pfsense can gain the advantages of NC360T or not?
    PS: DFE 520TX use Realtek chip and we have no problem using it in pfsense.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, well large companies like D-link like to change chipset between revision numbers, which is helpful.

    Only you can answer those questions by testing. There are too many other factors.
    The Intel card is PCI-e so you might get some advantage there (minimal). In stability terms I would expect the Intel card to be better but it may not be. Many people are running Realtek cards without issue.


  • NC360T are cheap on eBay and they can be modded to work in a PCI-E 1x.

  • Assuming both options work (which they should) and don't have any quirks affecting certain things (such as VLANs in general are on occasion problematic on cheap desktop class NICs), the only difference would be an impact on CPU utilization. Cheaper/lower end NICs will cause you to have somewhat higher CPU utilization, and if you have a low end CPU, may limit how much traffic you can push. Most of the time that's not the case at 100 Mb though unless you have a 486 or something.

  • Thank you all,
    We are using some GA 945GCMX S2L with 2G RAM, CPU Intel E4600. CPU utilization always bellow 30% on both options.
    I think using DLink cards is better choice.

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