Which Intel Nic?



  • Posted on here before for suggestion on hardware. Within a month I'll very soon have an Intel P8H77-i motherboard, 8GB of Crucial Ballistix 1333Mhz that I'll have no use for, an Intel Celeron G530 and a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 that I'll have no use for. Which means I just need a case, PSU and a NIC.
    The motherboard has a Realtek® 8111F port in it. Which I was told previously isn't support. So it looks like I'd have no choice but to get a dual NIC. And everyone seems to recommend an Intel one, so that seems the best way to go. However, I'm not looking to spend £100+ on a NIC, any suggestions on cheap NICs at all?
    I'm looking to keep this thing as small as possible, so I'm looking at something like a Streacom case, so most likely need the NIC to be low profile.



  • Completely depends on budget:
    if below $50 - Intel 1000 /PT dual nic, you should be able to get a used Dell or HP for $35-45 on ebay
    If below $100 - i350-am4 from ebay (aka i350-T4) - which is a 4 port nic.



  • Word of warning, OCZ SSDs are notorious for failing. Samsung or Intel are much better if you are able to afford. Intel with a super-cap is best.



  • If below $100 - i350-am4 from ebay (aka i350-T4) - which is a 4 port nic.

    Do you know if this will operate in an x2 slot? I'm looking at the Supermicro X10SBA-L Mini-ITX board. Supermicro says the slot is "1x PCI-E x2 (in x8) slot".

    If this quad port NIC will operate on this board, then I think I've just found the pfsense solution I'm looking for.



  • @Harvy66:

    Word of warning, OCZ SSDs are notorious for failing. Samsung or Intel are much better if you are able to afford. Intel with a super-cap is best.

    Ah, I know, I've had the Vertex 2 for ages with no issues though, my Vertex 3's gave me the blue screen issues, but that was sorted with firmware updates. No idea why I bought them to be honest. Needs to be used for something though. And if it does fail, there isn't much I would lose with PFSense, apart from settings?
    Bought two Vertex 3's too, which I'm going to have in my server. Been a little reluctant with that though, I don't know whether to have one as OS, or use the Western Digital Green I've had for a few years…



  • @marvel:

    If below $100 - i350-am4 from ebay (aka i350-T4) - which is a 4 port nic.

    Do you know if this will operate in an x2 slot? I'm looking at the Supermicro X10SBA-L Mini-ITX board. Supermicro says the slot is "1x PCI-E x2 (in x8) slot".

    If this quad port NIC will operate on this board, then I think I've just found the pfsense solution I'm looking for.

    Many devices won't work on x2 lane connections.  If it doesn't it should just fall back to a x1 (which does work, at least with the official i350-T4 cards, not sure about the $100, quad-port Chinese b-stock knockoffs).



  • Thanks Jason. I assume if it falls back to x1, performance will be reduced? Any idea how substantial the hit would be? I may need to re-think this board…



  • Pci-e 2, which is what the card is, specifies 500MB/s per lane (in one direction at a time)



  • @Keljian:

    Pci-e 2, which is what the card is, specifies 500MB/s per lane (in one direction at a time)

    Which should be enough for 4 port 1gb(125MB/s/port). The biggest benefit for having more lanes for the i350 is its support for virtual NICs and internal switching. Great feature for VM DMA passthrough. An i350-T4 can support up to 32(8/port) virtual NIC DMA passthroughs via VT-D. The internal switching allows these virtual NICs to talk directly to each-other via DMA through the PCIe slot. A 4x PCIe 2.1 slot means a max total of 2GBytes(full duplex)/s of guest-to-guest performance without involving the host or real switch to do the switching.



  • @Harvy66:

    @Keljian:

    Pci-e 2, which is what the card is, specifies 500MB/s per lane (in one direction at a time)

    Which should be enough for 4 port 1gb(125MB/s/port).

    not really. As 1000mbit is actually 250 MB/s per port as it is full duplex. (down and up at the same time)


  • Netgate Administrator

    Of all the Gigabit NICs currently running worldwide how many do you think have ever seen 250MB/s throughput?  ;)

    Incidentally I have a few OCZ SSDs here and none have given trouble (once they had the correct firmware!). That's despite one reporting it had 0% life left almost from week 1.  ::)

    Also you will probably be able to get that Realtek NIC working. The 2.2 snapshots will almost certainly support it and until before 2.2 is released there are some newer re kernel modules on the forum.

    Steve



  • @Keljian:

    @Harvy66:

    @Keljian:

    Pci-e 2, which is what the card is, specifies 500MB/s per lane (in one direction at a time)

    Which should be enough for 4 port 1gb(125MB/s/port).

    not really. As 1000mbit is actually 250 MB/s per port as it is full duplex. (down and up at the same time)

    If you're going to count both directions, then we need to adjust PCIe 2 to be considered 1GB/s per lane.


Log in to reply