Intel PRO/1000 PT Server Adapter

  • Hello all

    I want to ask a stupid question!  ;D

    I want to get the Intel PRO/1000 PT quad port card to expand my network and the intel seems the best bet according to this forum.

    The question is, I have pfsense running on a Dell Dimension 2350 tower with I guess a standard atx board, would the above card fit in fine although its meant for ?rack servers?

    Thanks in advance.


  • askgoogle:


    For PCs with PCI Express (PCIe*) slots, the Intel® PRO/1000 PT Desktop Adapter offers the newest technology for maximizing system performance and increasing end-user productivity.


    –> no

  • To put it a bit more eloquently:

    The Intel PRO/1000PT requires a PCI Express slot.

    Your Dell does not have PCI Express slots, so that card is not compatible.

  • Ok thanks guys, you just saved me wasting about £150  ;D

    GruensFroeschli I checked out the link you provided, thanks, I have had a search to try and find if they also come in dual or quad ports but couldnt see any.

    I have seen desktop based adapters with quad ports but they were'nt produced by intel.

    Could you guys recommend a reliable adapter with atleast 2 ports, preferably 4, I've seen a few quad adapters on ebay but they are based in HK and go for like £30 so im presuming they crap.



  • Do you need gigabit speeds? (A single Gigabit port can more than saturate a PCI slot.)

    If 10/100 NICs are OK you could look on Ebay for multiport NICs. I've picked up a dual port 10/100 intel board (fxp driver) and a couple of SMC dual port boards using Digital 10/100 NICs (de driver).

    Multiport cards tend to be pricey - probably because they are seen more as a "server" component rather than a "desktop" component so if you don't want to spend a lot of money I suggest you look on Ebay for multiport cards based on Intel 10/100 or Digital/Intel 21143 chips.

  • @GruensFroeschli:

    This one would work:

    I am running pfSense thru 2 of those now - very nice cards with which I am well pleased.

  • Remember that the Intel server NICs use a different interrupt scheme further offloading the host CPU.
    That's why they are so much more expensive compared to the desktop variants.

  • Thanks for your feedback guys, no I dont need gigabit for wan, just for the internal networks, Im currently upgrading my hardware as well as getting another adsl line, so Ill be setting up dual wan, once I recover from my operation, I just got released from hospital today  ;D

    Ill also check out the the dual 10/100 cards that wallabybob suggested, perhaps this would be ideal for dual wan setup?

    Thanks again guys!


  • Can't say anything about the smc de cards but the intels are just fine.

  • You could always use a PCI-X Intel Gigabit server adapter in the Dimension 2350. The computer only has 32 bit 33MHz PCI, so you can't take advantage of the 64 bit interface or higher PCI bus speeds supported by the NIC, but it should work nevertheless.

    However, before putting money into what could be a fairly expensive card, bear in mind that increasingly PCI Express is taking over. Many modern servers have no PCI-X slots in their standard configuration, and PCI-X slots seem to be disappearing in all classes of hardware (though not legacy PCI slots).

    I have a Dimension 2350 I was given which I use for Windows XP Professional. It has one of the cheap Intel 1000GT desktop adapters, which works fine on my LAN. I would rather use server grade NICs for a firewall, though if your usage is light, the 1000GT may well work just fine. It will support VLANs in FreeBSD 6.2 (I also have one in a FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE box), but it has no support for any sort of offloading, nor for jumbo frames.

    Rather than sinking a lot of money into the Dimension 2350, you could consider buying a new Dell PowerEdge T105. There's often very good deals available on this entry level dual core AMD Opteron based tower server - at the moment Dell UK are selling them in a limited offer for £99 plus VAT and shipping, which is £173.90 all in - go to the small business part of the Dell site. If you have a Dell account manager, they may be able to beat that price, but I doubt there's much scope on that size of order. I believe that the hardware runs fine with FreeBSD 6.3-RELEASE, though there's problems with 6.2-RELEASE. In pfSense terms, that means it should work fine with 1.2.1, but is unlikely to work with 1.2. However, I can't guarantee correct operation. There certainly has been plenty of traffic about them on the FreeBSD lists.

    There's one built in Broadcom Gigabit NIC, which I believe is bge rather than bce (the latter is a later family). That should do for your LAN - it is a server NIC. If you can't use VLANs, you could always use the single PCI slot to put in a cheap 10/100 PCI NIC for the WAN - you may well already have something suitable. There's two PCI Express 8x slots and a PCI Express 1x slot free.

    The spec of the £173.90 Dell T105 is Opteron 2.2GHz (dual core), 512MB RAM, 160GB 7200rpm SATA hard disk, DVD/CDRW combo drive and 1 year basic warranty. It won't set the world on fire, but it's a decent machine for a firewall.

    If you want a rack server, look at the Dell PowerEdge R200. I have one of those I'm intending to deploy for pfSense - though they're not as cheap as the T105.

  • Thanks very much for all your feedback, its very much appreciated.

    I've decieded to go with 2 x intel pro 100+ for my wans and 1 x intel pro gt 1000 for my lan :D

    I'll at some point upgrade the desktop as David suggested to server, as things expand.


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