Quad port Gigabit NICs



  • Looking to consolidate my 2 dual port Intel gigabit NICs (serving my LAN) and onboard Realtek (WAN) to a good 4 port Intel PCIe gigabit NIC.

    Which is the newest and good performing 4 port Intel chipset working on pfSense these days?



  • i350 is pretty much it for "new" intel 1GbE, all the R&D is at 40Gbs and beyond now. Ver 2 was just a design change of the power circuit, I think even the PCI hardware ids are the same?

    Buyer beware of the many clones/knockoffs/shadow-factory models on the grey market: while they typically work ok at least for awhile, they are half price or less for a reason. On the same token it does mean you can afford lots more spares so it depends what kind of use case you have in mind.

    For the truly frugal fleabayer the ubiquitous and super cheap 82571 chipset NICs are very well proven (em driver: "Pro PT" etc etc) and work great unless you require the advanced VT-c/SR-IOV type stuff of the i350. Rule of thumb: if you don't already know what those features are, you don't need them.



  • How long do these fleebay i350s last? I see them for around $55 and wondering if the real Intel ones are worth $200+ price. My micro-ATX has just 2 PCIe slots and I am looking to remove the VLAN configs from them and give each network it's own port.



  • If you are worried and on a budget, just get a quad port 82571 pulled from a server, there are some $40 or less now. Very well tested and reliable cards, will easily saturate gigabit no different than i350.

    Look for things like Pro 1000 PT, hp NC364T, some dell part # I forget, many other variants including some odd ones like 6 port silicom versions, just don't get one with bypass capacitors (rare).



  • +1 on Aluminum's recommendation of the older but still solid Intel chipset cards re-branded such as the HP NC364T.

    I recently installed a HP NC360T (dual port version) which I bought off Amazon for a cracking $15 from a third party seller called AMTECH. Shipping was quick, came with both the low profile and high profile card and worked flawless with pfSense straight out of the box. It was a total breeze. I must admit I've always been skeptical buying cheap off third parties, this was my first time, but AMTECH were fantastic.

    AMTECH actually has the quad port variant (NC364T) as well which is going for just $50 (+$3.99 shipping), unnecessary for my uses and this being my first pfSense box I wasn't sure I was going to like pfSense so I held off forking out too much.

    If you'd like the link to it drop me a PM.

    Cheers,
    Joe



  • Get a new and real Intel i350 one for real money or a refurbished one at amazon for some coin.
    Needless to discuss that everyone wants a brand new cool NIC for $10,00 but able to sort him
    with the newest network geeks.



  • "refurb" is most likely a lie if it is <$100, hell if you paid less than $150 aftermarket and got an honest i350 quad port anytime in the last year I'm impressed.

    The clones/shadow-shift cards are very convincing, the ethernet controller is intel, and it will probably have a valid hardware id and intel firmware (unless they really botched it) but they substitute many of the other components - caveat emptor.

    Conversely there are truckloads of 82571s yanked out of servers out there for cheap from reputable sellers.



  • "refurb" is most likely a lie if it is <$100, hell if you paid less than $150 aftermarket and got an honest i350 quad port anytime in the last year I'm impressed.

    Quad Port ~$126
    Dual Port ~$72



  • @BlueKobold:

    "refurb" is most likely a lie if it is <$100, hell if you paid less than $150 aftermarket and got an honest i350 quad port anytime in the last year I'm impressed.

    Quad Port ~$126
    Dual Port ~$72

    Clones/knockoffs, and damned overpriced ones at that: a knockoff i350-T4 is ~$50 in bulk.

    Notice how you can't read the silkscreens on the major components? Granted some of them at least make a half-assed effort to scratch a fake "Delta" etc or paste in a picture of a real one.

    Not every real intel card has a yottamark (not all the OEMs bother) but its pretty hard to fake and a reliable indicator of a legit card. Not impossible, but outside the means of most shadow shifts.


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