Best Network Performance

Which setup will give me the best network performance:

1) Nforce3 based motherboard with PCI Gigabit network card
2) VIA K8T800 with Onboard Gigabit network

Im thinking the PCI bus will limit my network performance but then again if both are wired virtually through the pci bus then maybe it will be the same deal for both.

this is for a network server with 2x250's and 2x320's both in RAID1 with a PCI IDE Raid Card
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  1. If you have nForce3 and its native GbE NIC, then you should use that -- it's excellent. (I suggest "Optimize for" = "Throughput" with this NIC unless you're running in a very high CPU utilization scenario, where the other option might be better.) There are some kludged nForce3 motherboards which don't have the nice nVIDIA GbE, and I guess if you have one, you could try whatever GbE NIC they supply, if any, or try installing e.g. an Intel Pro/1000 PCI NIC.

    I don't have any experience with the VIA NIC, but if it is a PCI NIC, then I'd guess the odds are that's it's an inexpensive under-performing NIC, and you'd be better off with an add-on Intel PCI NIC, for those cases where the NIC actually makes a difference.

    Neither of the PCI-based NICs IMO are a good idea if you're running a PCI RAID controller. If you have on-board non-PCI, certainly use that; perhaps consider using the on-board SATA/IDE instead of an add-on PCI controller.
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