no real difference other than you dont have the buy the 3com card, and that you wont be taking up a pci slot :wink:
hehe...i am using the onboard lan on my ECS k7s5a, and it runs just as fast as the linksys i have. so it is fine.
Actually Tom did an article on this not to long ago. Showed there was a little improvement of CPU time and throughput using professional nics (like 3com). Also there was added features and what not.
To tell yo uthe truth though you will see little gain in the 3com over the onboard NIC for basic use. The only reason to get a 3com NIC is if your a nut like me whole like to have everything at the best it can possible perform even if you can really tell! :smile:
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begone demon! i mean 3com. avoid 3com nics like the plague. in my experience they are about as evil as a sb live on a 686 southbridge
the best nics around are intel. no matter which cpu i choose, i always have that in my box. but no, an onboard nic will take maybe .5% of the cpu's time, while a pci nic will take like .25%. if it's got onboard nic, spend the $20-$25 on a couple cases of beer for when you assemble the pc
I digress. 3 com nics are among if not the best. Intel nics are fine as well. If 3 comm nics were the "devil" as someone suggested why oh why are they found in over 50% of all large networks? The thing is alot of what the hardware nics bring to the table will never be used in a home network enviorment, were a cheap software nic will suffice.
It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
i have a linksys lne100tx v4, which is fast, little cpu usage, and clean transfers...like you said...but i decided to eliminate a pci card, and use the onboard stuff...just to make it simple..and the onboard works fine.
but i put linksys lne100tx's in all the computers at my house. i like them
i haven't had a problem with my linksys router. i've had 2 3com nics. never had a problem with them except for when capturing (video). that's obviously something i can't have-- dropping frames, corrupted captured files, pull it out and all is well. then had a realtek which was good. but on tyan s2460 with heavy network traffic for some reason my sys would lock up and bsod. now i've been using intel nic for about 3 months and not 1 problem. i'm sure 3com is widely used in the business sector, they do have good products. but, they do not seem to take to kindly to capture devices. go around to video forums (not the one here), they cause their share of problems.
ALL other things being equal, there is a very slight potential for a built-in NIC to utilize a little less CPU. The reality though is that all other things are NOT equal.
Given all of the variables that go into network performance, using any given NIC will not change real world performance, or even benchmarking performance at all.
Your best bang for the buck to get the best network performance possible (in a 100mbps environment) is to use excellent quality cables and treat them as gently as possible. Never bend, kink, pull-on or stretch the cable. When running cables from place to place make sure that there are no narrow-radius bends. Don't let the cables hang at a right angle coming out of your hub/switch. They should come straight out and then bend very gradually if necessary. The quality of the cables makes a huge difference in performance at 100mbps, but isn't noticable at all at 10mbps unless the cable is defective. Even though I've made 100's of network cables myself, I still prefer to use the best quality pre-made, molded, strain-relieved cables that I can find. It's almost impossible to hand make a cable without untwisting a little more of the pairs then is done pre-made ones. This tiny bit of extra untwisting of the pairs, combines with the little kinks, pulls, stretches and outside interference to seriously hinder performance.
The reality of 100mbps networks is that while the wire has the capacity of 100mbps, each node on the network can only approach that limit with a very long transfer and no other network traffic. Also remember that the limit of 100mbps includes all of the network overhead--the data important to the actual user's application might only be half of what is actually being transfered. As I said above, IMO the area you have the most influence over in effecting good performance is the quality of the physical wiring.
"There are no mysteries with computers...just fix it you idiot!" (R. Warren 1909-1990)
hmm...i like that...and yeah...one of the computers on my home network, which has poor transfers, has the crappiest cable...i knew it had something to do with the cable, but i didnt know they were that sensative. i do know that you are supposed to keep them as far away as possible from tvs, monitors, and flourecent lights. which is funny, because at my old high school, they used to run the cat5 cable right next to the flourecent fixtures on the ceiling...and then drop them along a pillar to the computers in the area...of course, the network performance was poor...you would actually get a poor ping if you played a network game of starcraft or something...it was sad...