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Descrete NIC worth it in an old PC?

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August 19, 2008 5:41:38 PM

I have an old Compaq Presario s4000j (its like 5 or 6 years old). I have no idea what my current connection speed is or what my Comcast cable is capable of. The manual for my motherboard doesn't say what the ethernet connection speed is. What would be the best way to answer those questions (well, I guess technically they're statements, but whatever)? Would one of the cheap 10/100/1000 NICs be worth it? Would I actually see a difference?

Thanks as always!

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August 19, 2008 5:57:03 PM

If you have an ethernet port onboard use it. Its speed will be 10/100. A Gig ethernet port 10/100/1000 will only give you a speedup on a LAN that supports 10/100/1000.
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August 19, 2008 5:59:17 PM

Wanker79 said:
I have an old Compaq Presario s4000j (its like 5 or 6 years old). I have no idea what my current connection speed is or what my Comcast cable is capable of. The manual for my motherboard doesn't say what the ethernet connection speed is. What would be the best way to answer those questions (well, I guess technically they're statements, but whatever)? Would one of the cheap 10/100/1000 NICs be worth it? Would I actually see a difference?

Thanks as always!


If you have an ethernet connection on your motherboard is should be sufficient for internet browsing since your internet connection is very unlikely to use anything more than 10Mbi/s. Unless you paid for high end cable internet connection I wouldn't expect you to need to upgrade to a discrete card.

If you don't have a ethernet port on your motherboard a discrete card for 10/100 is probably only $10, and it might be worth it if you have someone needing it for just browsing the internet and free up your own system.
August 19, 2008 6:03:28 PM

You will see a difference if you transfer files from PC to PC, which would reside on the same network.

I remember transfering 2gb on a 10/100, to where I was getting about 9-12mb transfer, then chaning out my router switch with a 10/100/1000. The same transfer was around 26mb. Took more then half the time to transfer the files which was nice.

Although you won't see a difference internet wise since your not going to have the same kind of connection. You can't have 1gb connection, for say a 10mb cable modem.

Edit:

Another way of looking at it... Say your car can go 120 mph, but yet your on a residential street limited to 25mph.
August 19, 2008 6:33:52 PM

I'm basically in NE:



I have a nice shot to CA. :D 
August 19, 2008 6:35:58 PM

One of the benefits of college dorm life:

August 19, 2008 6:41:09 PM

Don't ya guys miss the old 56k modem days?? :oops: 
August 19, 2008 6:42:30 PM

lol, my mobile (cell) tops out at just over 60k download speed! And that's just on the 3G+
August 19, 2008 6:42:57 PM

mi1ez said:
66MB/s???

Is that actual internet connection speed or is your uni server the server they use to test speeds from?

That's actual internet speed, though you almost never find a server fast enough to really use it. For example, I get this from Las Vegas:



Actually, it isn't even all that bad from Australia:

August 19, 2008 6:57:54 PM

Grimmy said:
Although you won't see a difference internet wise since your not going to have the same kind of connection. You can't have 1gb connection, for say a 10mb cable modem.

Edit:

Another way of looking at it... Say your car can go 120 mph, but yet your on a residential street limited to 25mph.


That's kinda what I was thinking. But how would I figure out what my cable model connection speed is?
August 19, 2008 7:00:32 PM

The above test should give you an idea.
August 19, 2008 7:34:15 PM

Wouldn't that just give me what my current NIC is capable of using? How is that going to tell me what my cable modem is capable of putting out?
August 19, 2008 7:43:39 PM

Because if it is less than the NIC is capable of you know the limitation is your connection speed via the cable modem.
August 19, 2008 7:59:30 PM

:whistle: 

Wow, that answer was pretty obvious. I guess I'll stop asking stupid questions atleast until I can get on my home PC and run that speed test.
September 4, 2008 5:07:46 PM

nforce NICs already have TCP/IP checksum offload... is there any benefit in terms of CPU utilization to having an add-in NIC?
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