Gigabit Ethernet PCI card

I would like to use one of my machines as a NAS server on my home network, but the onboard Ethernet is 100/10, not Gigabit.

The machine only has one PCIE slot and thats occupied by the graphics card. There are gigabit ethernet cards available for PCI, how much are these limited by the PCI bus. The card would be the only card using the PCI slots so using all the bandwidth available for the PCI cards would not be a problem.

The hard disks used are connected using SATA, but not SATA II. The processor is and AMD Athlon 64 3200, but this may be upgraded soon.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Rob Murphy
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  1. You'll probably be limited by the HD transfer rates first. HD's will typically max out at around 60 MB/s, and average closer to 40 MB/s, and to sustain transfers, you need that speed on both sides of the transfer. The file system inefficiencies / crowding / fragmenting also come into play, as do the network file transfer inefficiencies. So.. if you're not putting much more on the PCI bus, I'd say that the odds are that a PCI NIC is not going to be a significant bottleneck here.

    I have a handful of PCI graphics cards that I bought for around $0.50 online, and a couple of inexpensive PCIe NICs, so I'd use that setup instead myself, but if you're already have the other configuration, I'd advise you to not worry about it.

    I'd recommend an Intel-based NIC. The more common Realtek-based ones can be OK, but with higher CPU utilization. But again, if you're drive-speed limited, as you would typically be, esp. in single-drive configurations, then the choice of NIC and its interface aren't that important.
  2. Thanks for the advice. I have 3 spare SATA ports on the motherboard, and may use those to set up RAID. The machine will still be used for other things so I'll leave the graphics card in the PCIE slot. I need to get a switch with 1 or 2 gigabit ports before I do this.


    Rob Murphy.
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