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NIC vs Integrated Desktop Motherboard

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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25

NIC vs Integrated Desktop Motherboard


I have a MSI desktop motherboard in a 1U case with a gigabit chipset. I've had a few problems with it like the connection going out when you download a file from it (flow control and green mode was disabled along with TCP offload) but after changing a few settings it was fine.

Would getting an Intel NIC gigabit adapter change anything? If it reduced latency or increased speed, I would consider that a profitable benefit. I know that NICs are not necessary for server motherboards because they are top-quality to begin with but I am doubtful of desktop motherboard network chipsets.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking at this NIC.

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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,876
If the onboard NIC is a Realtek or Broadcom chipset, an Intel NIC will hold up to much more abuse under heavy loads. Generally onboard NIC's are not very good unless they are a real Intel chipset.

I'd also make sure your BIOS is set to optimized vs. performance and make sure everything is flashed current. As well as latest drivers if available.

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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,490
Get a server grade Intel NIC, the overall performance will be better.

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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25
The onboard is a Realtek chipset. So I guess I will be getting the Intel NIC. Thanks.

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ashburn VA, San Diego CA
Posts: 4,445
If the driver is good you won't have issues with most 'cheap' NICs below the 500Mbps mark. It's really a crap shoot though, unless you've done testing and know the limits of the particular chipset and OS/driver combination. Generally I stick with Intel for the insurance that it's going to work well regardless of OS/driver, not so much for the performance potential.

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