gigabit ethernet card question...


[H]F Junkie
Aug 17, 2000
Newegg has two netgear ethernet cards... one costs $29 and the other costs $94.... it seems in their documentation that they recommend the $94 for the server and the cheaper one for the workstations... also... they have Intel Pro 1000 cards(for workstations??) for $38.... Intel Pro 1000 for server for roughly $100 and Intel Pro 1000 Dual Port for Server for $135 if you were to buy one of these cards.... which one would you buy.... it will be going in a server that is connected to a 48port Netgear switch that has two gig ports..... lastly... what is the deal with the dual port nic?? Also I want price/performance.... like if one will give me 95% of the performance for 1/3 the price.... that's prolly the one I will go with!! :)

Thanx, QwertyJuan

Cheap Netgear

Expensive Netgear

Intel Server Adapter

Intel Workstation Adapter

Intel DUAL port Server Adapter
The "server"-rated cards typically support a few extra features like IRQ moderation to avoid taxing the host system too much. In Intel's case, the "server"-rated cards also allow things like adapter teaming/fault tolerance and hot-swap PCI.

Also, as a minor note, the more expensive Netgear doesn't support old 10baseT, just 100baseTX and GigE.

Intel's dual-port NICs are essentially two NICs on one PCI card. They're handy to have if you need multiple Gigabit ports (for adapter teaming, routing, or bridging) and want to save PCI slots.

I'd get the Intel server NIC if I were you, or get the dual-port if you want two Gigabit ports in the system (and it sounds like you might). Make sure your server has 64-bit PCI slots, else your Gigabit cards will never perform at their best. I'd say having two Gigabit cards in one PCI slot would severely bottleneck the PCI bus, but two separate Gigabit cards doesn't really help unless you put them behind separate PCI bridges. And a lot of servers don't even have one 64-bit PCI bridge, let alone two. :(

EDIT: also, find out if your switch is using copper ports for Gigabit. Some Netgear units (like my FS509) actually use fiber ports for the Gigabit uplinks, and fiber-to-copper converters typically cost more than a new NIC.