10Mbps or 10/100Mbps?


I'm setting up a home network to connect 3 computers together. I will most likely use NIC's with RJ45 connectors and a Hub, however I'm not sure whether I should use 10Mpbs NIC's or 10/100Mbps NIC's. The network will mainly be used for file and printer sharing, but no doubt it will also be used for multiplayer gaming as well. I know that 10Mbps is more than adequate for file sharing, but will it cut the gaming mustard?

I used to have two PC's connected via BNC NIC's (no Hub) at 10Mbps and I used to get network slowdown in Age Of Empires 2! So I'm reluctant to get another 10Mbps NIC incase this happens again - or was this just a result of using unbranded cards?

I can get 3 RJ45 10Mbps NIC's and a 10Mbps Hub for around £85. However if I were to get 3 RJ45 10/100Mbps NIC's and a 10/100Mbps Autosensing Hub it would cost more in the region of £130. Is it worth the extra money? Or would I be OK with 10Mbps NIC's?

Any advice would be appreciated.

7 answers Last reply
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  1. the hub will be your major source of slowdown, not your 10 mb nic's. try using a switch or a router instead. 10Mb cards should do fine for just three pcs gaming, but when hooked up to a hub, they share that bandwidth and have to deal with constant data collision and crap like that. thats the real problem: old tech like hubs should be traded beofre you upgrade to 100 Mb cards.

    ignore everything i say
  2. I suggest getting 3 100Mbps NICs and a 100Mbps switch. It'll cost a bit more but you won't be sorry!! It's a lot faster!!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  3. Antivirus and AMD_Man speak the truth. You can pay now or regret later.

    <font color=blue>Remember. You get what you pay for. All advice here is free.</font color=blue>
  4. Hmmm, well I've found a switch thats in my price range (hopefully :D):


    I take it thats what you had in mind. Does it matter what NIC's I use with it? Or can I just use any 10/100Mbps NIC's?

    What are the main advantages of using a switch instead of a Hub then? I'd never heard of a switch until you told me about them!

    Thanks for all your help.
  5. Most NIC's are fully compatable... Especially if they are auto negoatiating...
    Some can be a bit finiky... I mix SMC, Realtek, and LinkSys and all auto sync fine. It's 3COM's I find to be quirky. For supposedly being among the best, I find they(3COM) sometimes don't play well with others, are picky about slots they work in and/or interupty they share well with, and sometines don't even autosync with other 3Com models..

    Its tuff to beat those cheap, budget Realtek 8139 (A,B or C) chipset NIC's...
    They're everywhere, Pricewatch, computer shows/shops, and cheap($8-12 0r 6 for $39). No problem, PNP, and drivers are on every Win cd from win98 on... And I know they mix well with SMC stuff (I used to use all SMC hubs and NICs, never a problem with SMC stuff..)

    And second that Switch Vs Hub for speed... Switch is immedialely and noticabley
    faster! I went from a SMC hub to a Linksys router/switch and the switch is Signifigantly Faster... Ya can ask the network engineers why, All I know is that you'll actually FEEL the difference when ya hit your LAN...

    I like your choice of SMC switch as I've always had good luck with SMC equiptment, but ya might comsider a router/switch combination - it;s a killer for convienience if ya ever go fast internet commection!!! I went Linksys just because of local sale price on Linksys - and they're also a smooth setup...
    If ya ever get a fast internet connection, it just doesn't get much better then a routed, swithced LAN for a sharing solution!!!
  6. That switcher looks good. What is the price?

    <font color=blue>Remember. You get what you pay for. :smile: All advice here is free.</font color=blue> :wink:
  7. Thanks for all the info. I've just persuaded my dad that a swtich is the way to to go :)

    I found that switch at http://www.dabs.com for £57.56, which was about the same price as a 10/100Mbps Hub. I've found some SMC NIC's for £10 from http://www.simply.co.uk, so thats £87.56 excluding cabling - which isn't half bad!

    Thanks again for all your help :)
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