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 From:  "Alex Neuman van der Hans" <alex at nkpanama dot com>
 To:  <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  RE: [m0n0wall] Good NIC?
 Date:  Fri, 19 Aug 2005 15:54:40 -0500
So it means I can keep buying $4 NIC's! yay! :)

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Buechler [mailto:cbuechler at gmail dot com] 
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2005 2:52 PM
Cc: m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
Subject: Re: [m0n0wall] Good NIC?

On 8/19/05, lola <lola at yais dot net> wrote:
> my experience is:
> 
> intel and 3com are the best nics.
> 
> intel nics are a bit slower than 3com but use less cpu time. so 
> depending on what you want to build use one of these.
> 
> speed / performance => 3com
> 
> stability / cpu usage => intel
> 

This isn't true.  The lower CPU usage on the Intel makes them faster. 
Its support of polling mode gives it an even bigger speed advantage (even lower CPU load because no
interrupt time).  On a firewall, your bottleneck is typically CPU, and usually because of all the
time it spends on interrupts.

I, like several others, don't care a whole lot for 3com's either. 
When using PCI/PCI-X NIC's, they're Intel Pro/100 (fxp) or Pro/1000
(em) for me.


On 8/19/05, Daniel Heise <daniel dot heise at dhml dot de> wrote:
> Is there really such a big difference between NIC's? I've bought two 
> network cards from MS Tech for 4? per card. They implement the Realtek
> 8139 chipset. One of them is connected to my adsl modem the other one 
> to a 100MBit Switch. Would I notice any difference if I would use some 
> more expensiv network cards? Or is this something you have to believe in?
> 

This depends on many, many things.  Usually your max throughput is limited by CPU.  Realtek NIC's
love to spew interrupts like it's going out of style, hence they bog down your CPU far more than
good quality NIC's.  If you're pushing 3 Mb through a 200 MHz box, it isn't going to matter.  If you
want to push, say, 80 Mb through a 300 MHz box, now that's a different story.  For low traffic
setups, it really doesn't matter.

-Chris