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 From:  h underscore reuver at mantell dot xs4all dot nl (Huub Reuver)
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] Another Soekris Alternative Idea
 Date:  Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:51:10 +0200
On Sat, Jul 10, 2004 at 12:57:48AM +0100, Bryan Kohlstedt wrote:
> 
> 
> Any thoughts on this:
http://www.synertrontech.com/proddetail.asp-productno=1U-860A&categoryname=Server+System+Solution.htm
> 
> The 533mhz fanless with 3 realtek nics is the same price as a soekris 
> 4801. One of the things I like about it is the rackmount case. In 
> additional, the processor is faster. The only thing is I don't know how 
> 533mhz vs 4801+encryption accelerator would come out. There's no 
> possibility in adding on such a card with the synertrontech board.
> 
> Any thoughts on compatibility? Any other thoughts?

I would say the processor works on a higher clock speed. It not necessarily 
runs faster. A C3 is not directly comparable to Intel's or AMD's in clock 
speed. The 800MHz version should run faster anyhow. At twice the clockspeed 
it should be able to perform at least comparable.

With a comparable board I found the networkspeed of the VIA Rhine NIC/C3-600 
a little low in combination of a Intel EEPro100 with scp. But I have not 
performed elaborate tests (and the server with EEPro is a little cripled 
in the harddrive configuration). Generally I achieved speeds up to 4MB/s 
with a Realtek compared up to 8MB/s with an Intel. 

My current opinion is the the Realtek and VIA Rhine are comparable. At least
they don't manage to use the full 100Mbit/s. With Intel-Intel communication
I did see speeds above 10MB/s (continuously with streaming data).

If you need speeds close to 100Mbit, at least chose the option with Intel
NIC's. If you can live with 10-40Mbit the Realteks might offer an 
alternative.

The Geode might run at equal speed with an C3-533, with hardware encryption
it might outrun the C3. I think the NS DP83816 outperforms a Realtek. The 
net4501 was after all mostly limited by the PCI-bus for raw networkspeed 
and the processor for encryption. But it does al at a measly 15W. Without 
a harddrive ar CD-drive the power usage of the C3 might be comparable.
The VGA and I/O for keyboard and mouse might prove useless powerconsumers.

You might want to look up the comments for a Realtek network cards in 
NetBSD: "This really redefines low end..."

If you look at the sources available I think both are very well documented
and supported in open source.

I'd personally compare the Geode with hardware encryption with an C3-533
with intel NIC's. Otherwise I'd purely choose the cheapest solution offering
speed for some money or if the difference is low I'd choose based on the time
to delivery.

Just my 2 cents.

With regards,
Huub Reuver