Gigabit Ethernet: On-Board Chips Reviewed

Broadcom BCM5705

TThe Epox 4PCA3+ dates back to our big 875 comparative test, and it is equipped exceptionally well. For a network controller, the Broadcom-made BCM5705 is used.

Even on the outside, the Broadcom chip differs from 3COM, as the component is located inside a compact HBGA enclosure with 196 pins. It is also connected that way: via 32 Bit PCI and with 33 MHz. A feature named Adaptive Interrupts is supposed to reduce the CPU load. This makes sense in that the load is more balanced than that of competitors' chips.

According to NetIO and Netperf, data throughput is somewhat small, though things look better in the full-duplex mode under NetIQ Chariot.

For more information, visit: Product Specifications

The BCM5705 was one of the first Gigabit chips that was used in motherboards about 18 months ago. At the time, however, the corresponding switches were not yet used very often.