I'm setting up a Quake3Arena gaming server on a T3 line and could get as many as 32 players on at once. I have some 3Com Server NIC's that years ago cost me around $170(US) but they are not supported at all by Red Hat Linux 7.3 so I need to find a new NIC. When I search different forums and read different articles I find too NIC's to be popular. The 3Com 905 series and the Intel 100Pro series NIC's but when I see the prices for these NIC's they almost seem too low...
Can a $70 NIC work well in this environment? I was wondering what NIC's people have seen in other server situations like web, email & gaming?
Web servers might get hit with thousands of simultaneous requests with small chunks of data while on the other hand gaming servers might only have a small number of clients connected but it would be transferring large amounts of data. The two situations seem totally different. Can a common NIC work well in both situations or are there NIC's that are tailored for specific tasks?
I have good experience with 3C905B-TX with Windows NT and 2000 but not sure if it will perform well in Linux. Use in 3 servers on a network with about 200 workstation. Use the servers for Roaming profiles, printer server and other normal Windows 2000 service.
What is the difference between server NIC and workstation NIC? I find Intel and 3com have server NIC and workstation NIC base on the same processor and similar model number but sell for about $100 more.