Gigabit Ethernet: On-Board Chips Reviewed

3COM / Marvell 940

The P4C800 is one of the few boards banking on the Marvell chip - despite the CSA interface. Reason enough for us to include it in this test.

The P4C800 is the cheapest way to get an Asus-built 875P board. However, users have to deal with the fact that the CSA interface is not used. Instead, the Marvell 940 is employed here, which - within the Intel architecture - cannot keep pace with the typical CSA solutions (see benchmarks). The results vary greatly: While copying large amounts of data via drag & drop in Windows required the most time in this test, the 3COM chip, backed by the command line program xxcopy, provided better performance than its counterparts, Broadcom and Realtek.

As a benefit, 3COM can point to the availability of 64 Bit drivers for Windows XP. With a processor load of about 30% while copying several files in gigabyte size, the Marvell 940 ranks in the middle of the pack. We logged the highest load at about 45%.

Additional information: Product Specifications

The Marvell 940 is still an old-school PCI component.