best off loading low cpu high performance nic for gamers?

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by oROEchimaru, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    any opinions? i know a lot of people say intell... but no stores really give good descriptions if they off load or not. i need one for vistax64...

    i want one that offloads the processes to the nic from the cpu... reducing cpu%

    also anyone who has seen ping improvements welcome

    i imagine the killer nic could be out done by something else... any ideas for offloading tweaks?
     
  2. archivalbackup

    archivalbackup Gawd

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    For gaming traffic, you will not get any noticeable performance increase from a network card with TCP offloading. If you were running jumbo-frame iSCSI yes, running a highly utilized server yes, gaming no.

    Intel NICs With TCP-Offload:
    http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/pro1000mt_server_adapter.htm

    Large Send Off-load/TCP Segmentation Off-load Compatible with Large Send Off-load feature of Microsoft Windows* Server 2003, 2000 and XP which enables wire speed performance with low CPU utilization
     
  3. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    got any examples from neweggs under 100$?
     
  4. RavenD

    RavenD [H]ard|Gawd

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    Unless you're doing bulk file transfers over the network @ Gbit while you game, you're never going to notice the difference.
     
  5. archivalbackup

    archivalbackup Gawd

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  6. agrikk

    agrikk Gawd

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    This. The half a percent of one core utilization hit by your non-offloading, motherboard integrated gigE nic isn't worth the coin you are going to spend on the add-in card. Unless you are gaming on a PIII@733MHz at which point you need to buy a new rig.
     
  7. Madwand

    Madwand Gawd

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  8. Madwand

    Madwand Gawd

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  9. SpaceHonkey

    SpaceHonkey Gawd

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    Although that thing is horrendously expensive, you have to remember its an OS on a card, customized to do exactly what you're looking for. Other than that, I got no dukes.
     
  10. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    I concur with agrikk, archivalbackup and RavenD, you will not notice any performance increase with an add-on NIC unless you have a really old system circa 1999.

    While the KillerNIC does benefit some games, the lower latency and small performance increase does not warrant its price. In fact, you won't even notice the benefits of the KillerNIC while gaming.
     
  11. oakfan52

    oakfan52 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not to mention TCP Offload does not work in windows. Microsoft reccomends disabling TCP Chimney on all installs of server 2003 sp2. I can't imagine its any better in any of their other OSes.
     
  12. archivalbackup

    archivalbackup Gawd

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    Do you have a link for that statement?

     
  13. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    any examples of higher quality (something intel or comparable) that has offloading? under $100... its somewhat hard to judge by neweggs descriptions alone.

    quote:
    ere is the Reg tweak……

    Some of the new Network cards ( I know one from 3COM has it) do provide capabilities of offloading some of the network protocol functionality like checksum from CPU. This is helpful since its free your CPU time and in a nutshell increases the CPU response time and overall speed by allowing CPU to do other jobs. It may not work on all cards of some of the cheap models but nothing wrong in giving it a try. To implement this tip, do as follows:

    Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters] and look for the data key "DisableTaskOffload" and set its value to 0 to enable the task offload. By default if key is present, its set to 1 to disable the task off load. If this tweak does not have desired effect, you can change it back to 1.
    For those who want to know more, Microsoft has an article (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/network/hh/network/209offl_0wdj.asp) on it.
     
  14. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    quote from:
    http://www.msfn.org/board/Vista-Tips-Tweaks-t57697.html&st=77
    "Here's one for you folks that have NIC's that will handle Offloading. You can look in your NIC card settings to determine if yours can handle offloading, if you see settings for TCP items offloading then your NIC probably handles offloading. The problem is, guess what...Vista doesn't set up for TCP offloading even if your NIC can handle it. Look at the below registry entry to see what I mean;
    CODE
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
    "DisableTaskOffload"=dword:000000ff

    The reg entry above represents that TCP offloading is neither on or off in Vista. This registry setting values are either 1 or 0, its a reverse logic thing here too where a 0 = On and a 1 = Off (not the normal 1 = On and 0= Off). A value of 255 (the hex ff above) means its set to neither On or Off so in effect it is not set either way, not configured, and has no effect when set to 255. Now, lets get back to your NIC for a second, if your NIC will not handle offloading then enabling this setting will not do you any good, OK - 'nuff said. This does not tell the NIC to use offloading, this tells Vista to offload to the NIC which it doesn't do a lot of times by default, so lets make our NIC's earn their keep.

    This setting, in some cases, can improve the performance of TCP/IP (more specifically IPV4, even though it does seem to have an effect on the overall TCP/IP transport). If your NIC can handle it and will do better then Vista's own TCP/IP handling performance (we are not speaking about the auto-tuning here), then I'd recommend you use it. This works well with most high-end, high quality, NIC's that support offloading, but give it a try, you can always change it back.

    Before making this change in the registry make sure to back the key up first!

    (There are actually two parts for this change one for TCP/IP and one for IPSEC, i'm only giving the TCP/IP part here because the majority of people don't use IPSEC and will not have the proper keys in the registry for IPSEC because its not being used. Don't worry, your not missing anything by not being able to set DisableTaskOffload in IPSEC.)

    Change the DisableTaskOffload setting from 255 to a 0 like shown below.
    CODE
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
    "DisableTaskOffload"=dword:00000000

    After you make the change then re-boot. Your done. Ensure that your NIC also has the proper offloading settings selected also, it will not do any good for Vista to offload TCP/IP to the NIC if the NIC settings are disabled or not set up properly. the settings on the NIC are the ones that tell the NIC to do the offloading after its handed off by Vista with the above reg tweak.

    (Before anyone asks, this does not increase your bandwidth or your receive window. It only improves performance of TCP/IP on NIC's that will handle it) "
     
  15. oakfan52

    oakfan52 [H]ard|Gawd

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    1-800-MICROSOFT. Talk to any Premier Support Engineer. TCP Chimney = Disabled everytime I've brought it up. It has caused way to many problems.
     
  16. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    can you explain yourself more? kind of confused by your writing.
     
  17. marylandman

    marylandman Gawd

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    probably not even that. I don't think its worth getting a dedicated NIC just to game. Stick with onboard and focus on the game.