I have been searching for a good compare guide on this subject for a while. I cannot find one. It seems that everyone is concerned about the performance hit/gain of onboard sound, video and other nic nacs, but not of NICS. Oh sure I can go to this board and hear people say "it is not much different performance wise." How do we know? I don't have the time nor the monetary resources to buy nics and boards and test them, but it would be nice if someone who did had done this shared it. I am still on the hunt for a good site with a good article on it. I will Let you if I turn up anything. (pssssssssttttt Tom, buddy maybe you could do up one on this subject with some of the latest offerings from some major board makers).
Sooooo...... you want to compare the two, but you don't have the equipment to do it.....
Tell you what, I'll download the same file four times. Twice with my two different onboard NIC's (one 3Com, one nVidia), once with my PCI NIC (D-Link something or other), and once with my USB NIC (again, D-Link something or other).
I'll let you all know performance and cpu usage and memory useage and time to download and latency to three websites of my choice. Sound good? It might only be three, if I can't find my USB NIC.
I've got some feedback for you, in relation to onboard NICS and IRQs, the OP/SYS can be a problem sometimes, if the Graphics card is one that requires IRQ 11, like some of the GF4 TI series cards do, because Win98,Win98SE,WinME, seem to be determined to put the onboard NIC and the Graphics on the same IRQ 11, I've actually disabled the onboard NIC, and added a PCI NIC to manipulate the IRQs, however I've seen problems corrected, but no performance differences between the two situations at all. Win2K, WinXP doesn't seem to have this problem.
<b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
I'd be very interested in this as I'm trying to decide between the Abit IC7 and IC7-G mobos. The -G is £50 more expensive and the only thing I'd gain is Gigabit Ethernet. I don't need gigabit and can pick up a PCI NIC really cheap, so all that remains is the performance.
I'm going to use the NIC with an ADSL router; would the PCI or onboard LAN give better pings?
The only difference I've ever seen between a PCI NIC card (with no IRQ conflicts, of course) and an onboard LAN is that the system with the PCI card boots slightly faster. Otherwise, all else seems to be equal, ping times, download speeds, and all.
I'm using three systems that share an Internet connection, combined with a Draytek Vigor2200 USB 4-port router and a USB ADSL modem ... one system with an onboard LAN, and the other two with a D-LINK NIC card. I can't tell any difference in performance between the three systems, and that includes data transfers over the LAN. I do a lot of file synchronization between the three computers, and I've never seen anything resembling slower transfers just because one system isn't using a PCI card.
Personally, I kinda like the onboard LAN. It frees up a PCI slot, has it's own IRQ (18), and works exactly as advertised. It's a Realtek RTL8139/810x NIC, and actually functions best with the default Windows driver, interestingly enough. Newer drivers are larger in size, and slow down the system boot. And so, it's one of those "Don't fix it if it ain't broken" situations.
doesn't the on board nic, as opposed the the pci (3com (3c905tx) Im using) doesn't a on board eat more cpu cycles than a multi tasking pci? That was my assumtion. Incidently, THG DID a study a few months back..search the networking
Centralization <b><i>ISN'T</i></b> the answer, it's the <b>PROBLEM!</b>
Yes ... however ... the on-board NIC I'm using almost never needs more than 1-2% of the CPU while running (note: very briefly), with a driver that needs around 2MB of memory. Considering the speed of a modern CPU, that's barely enough to notice, and you'd have to monitor it just to know that it is operational. The network utilitization jumps to 4% for only a second when I open multiple browser windows, and my <i>e-mail</i> program requires more CPU cycles than that just to launch.
As you can see, with a good on-board NIC, it's really a non-issue.