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Upgrade to gigabit nic card

Last response: in Components
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June 4, 2012 6:50:02 AM

My system is a 2004 Pentium 4 3.2GH running Windows XP SP3 with 2 GB Ram, 200 GB HDD, Nvidia 7900 GS. The Motherboard is Intel Corporation D915GAG (J2E1). I know it has a PCI-E slot because that is what my video card is in. I The program Speccy tells me that I have 2 more available slots, both 32-bit.

This is what Speccy says about my ethernet card: Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection - Packet Scheduler Miniport
IP Address (erased -- security)
Subnet mask
Gateway server
Preferred DNS server
DHCP Enabled
DHCP server
External IP Address
Adapter Type Ethernet
NetBIOS over TCP/IP Enabled via DHCP
NETBIOS Node Type Unknown node type
Link Speed 0 kbps

And, finally, my question: I would like to make my internet/lan connections a little faster. I am assuming that getting a faster Gigabit ethernet card will help. Can I simply replace my current ethernet card with a Gigabit card? Will my motherboard support the faster connection? Are there any restrictions on what I can use? Or other factors I need to consider? Any help or guidance on this will be appreciated.
June 4, 2012 9:00:37 AM

Unless your Intel Pro/100 is hitting 90% utilisation, then I wouldn't bother.

Time to upgarde if you have Virgin Media 100Mb/120Mb broadband.
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June 4, 2012 9:37:28 AM

You'll only see speed increases if your connection to the internet is faster than 100mbps. Most people don't have that kind of connection, so a NIC upgrade wouldn't do you any good unless you do. Just because the NIC can do 1gbps doesn't mean you can take advantage of that speed. You're limited by your connection to the internet as a whole.
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June 4, 2012 12:43:14 PM

The performance of your machine plays a big role as well. I have 20Mb Virginmedia cable and while it runs great on some of my machines it runs rubbish on others, it mainly runs rubbish on my netbook and laptop but my desktops get good performance.

But like the others said, I wouldn't bother. I think you would need to look at other areas first.
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June 4, 2012 1:41:32 PM

Well, duh!! How dumb of me. I knew that my nic card was 100, but I never put that together with the download speed of my cable provider. I never get more than 10/11 out of them. I just didn't realize what I was looking at.

Thanks for all the responses, guys. Is there any other way to speed up my internet? My internet default browser is IE8. Sometimes the internet is painfully slow and halting. Also, I have been getting warnings from Norton that the internet was using most of my cpu's processes. Not sure what to do about that. I plan on adding a couple more GB of ram, but not sure if that will help to not use all the CPU process.

You can probably tell that I really don't know much about how all of this works or what the heck I'm talking about. Any advice on making my internet experience better (that I can afford?). (No, a new computer is out of the question at this point.)

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June 4, 2012 2:13:04 PM

Well internet speeds can vary drastically during the day as there is a finite amount of bandwidth along each part of the connection and so as many people in your area are using it, the bandwidth available per person can really drop off. All you can really do is upgrade the internet connection if you are able to in your area and can afford it.

Its also possible the service (e.g certain websites) itself gets overloaded at certain times of day in which case improving your end of the connection will not help.

Also be careful that many modern programs and websites will constantly use the network (e.g. that tech news video thing over there on the right will use a nice amount if playing, even if the tab is not currently being displayed).

Not sure on XP, how you can check what's using the network since if i recall it doesn't have the resource monitor program to list out every connection your computer is making and how much data there sending/receiving.

Networking itself (espically over wired connections) should use very little RAM or CPU time. If there is an issue there its almost certainly with a specific program, not the network work connection itself. Use task manager to find out what is using up all the CPU time or memory.
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June 11, 2012 1:15:27 PM

Best answer selected by sblack162.
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