Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/100/1000Mbps PCI-Express Gigabit Network Adapter Card - $25

rekd0514

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$25 and free shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106033

This is the best price I have seen and the best it has ever been according to camelcamelcamel. These are regularly $30+shipping, so this is a pretty good deal.

I have a spare right now, or I would probably grab one. It would be a nice upgrade on the NIC in your WHS, HTPC, etc. that is probably Realtek.
 
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Paradoxex

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I have heard mixed stories, to say the least, regarding the benefit of these over onboard LAN. What are these best for? Streaming video through a low-to-mid grade HTPC? Gaming PCs?

What is the actual benefit, or is it just in better drivers?
 

SixFootDuo

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@Paradoxex

A little trick you can also do is click the link and see if there are any real world end user reviews and see what they are saying. Seems this product has a 5 egg product review rating.

I will answer your question. Intel chip sets generally perform better than the cheaper off-brand chip sets found on most motherboards. With Intel you are getting better latency and throughput. This is more often than not an area people do not even think to upgrade.

Some people even claim these have have 1/2 the latency of onboard intel solutions.
 

InternationalHat

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I have heard mixed stories, to say the least, regarding the benefit of these over onboard LAN. What are these best for? Streaming video through a low-to-mid grade HTPC? Gaming PCs?

What is the actual benefit, or is it just in better drivers?

Realtek NICs/drivers can sometimes cause kernel panics with linux. This happened to me so I needed a replacement. Under heavy load, the Realtek NICs also have a tendency to have packet dropping issues. Some of them have options you can set to fix their problems but many of them just don't work properly.

Your throughput will also increase. I was seeing 30-50 mb/s with Realtek and 80 mb/s with Intel... limited by older storage hardware.
 

munkle

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Onboard is usually fine till you load it up. My onboard on my 880g board will crap out if I have the blizzard downloader trying to patch (p2p patcher) and trying to watch youtube. Does it every time, I have to disable and enable to get it going again.

Personally I would pay a little extra for motherboard manufacturers to put them (intel nics) on their boards like asus.

Good deal.
 
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techie81

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I have this NIC and I can tell you it is far superior to any on-board NIC.
 

kemist1117

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with my whs box which had integrated realtek i was getting it falling off the network every few days, installed this card and pow, it never drops of the network, also higher throughput
 

/usr/sbin

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I'm using my Killer 2100.

Truth be told, I wouldn't have bought it though (won it for free), and this Intel NIC is really good.
 

aldamon

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I have heard mixed stories, to say the least, regarding the benefit of these over onboard LAN. What are these best for? Streaming video through a low-to-mid grade HTPC? Gaming PCs?

What is the actual benefit, or is it just in better drivers?

The stories are only mixed from those too <insert colorful adjective> to buy the real thing. Same with sound cards.
 

J So

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FWIW it's the same price at Amazon and Primeable.

So I don't run a real network but I stream videos from my computer to my PS3 using PS3 media server on occasion, say a couple times a week. I am hardwired to the PS3 via my Asus RT-N16 flashed with Tomato.

Is there any need for me to upgrade my internal nic to this?
 

Jon55

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Does anyone have any benchmarks or reviews showing a PCIe NIC performs any better than an onboard NIC? I'm very skeptical. I mean if I'm wrong, please, prove it. I'm sure they can be better under certain circumstances, but (at least as far as gaming, occasional file transfer, and general usage) I've yet to see a modern onboard NIC fail to perform. I'm sure servers or something dedicated to a lot of network traffic could benefit from a PCIe NIC, but otherwise I just don't see the need for one. Maybe you guys are just buying low-cost motherboards?


I'm using my Killer 2100.

Truth be told, I wouldn't have bought it though (won it for free), and this Intel NIC is really good.

Every review has shown the opposite. While yes, it can do something positive in terms of performance, that "something" was a very tiny difference at a very high cost. But yeah, since you won it, why not throw it in.
 

bastage

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Going from the onboard realtek gigabit in my WHS to a older model intel gigabit nic my file transfers were heavily improved (regularly streaming 2-3 HD streams fromt he WHS & then writing files from my desktop). If I wasnt flat ass broke this week after my trip to vegas I would be in for 2 (one for my desktop & the other to replace the older gigabit NIC in my server)
 

aznpotpie

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Dammit wish it was PCI for my file server.Anyone have any suggestions for a PCI version?
 
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I'm tempted but it's only $5 off it's not the hottest deal out there

also I would like to see some type of benchmarks
 

SJetski71

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Dammit wish it was PCI for my file server.Anyone have any suggestions for a PCI version?
There are tons of proven/great intel PCI nics which can be found inexpensively on ebay and google shopping. Newegg and Amazon would likely have them with some reviews to browse.
 

rekd0514

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Except I think PCI slot is slightly throttling a Gigabit card.

I would say the general PC with a Realtek is fine, but when you get into streaming and transferring with HTPCs and WHS you will like having the extra stability/reliability of Intel NICs. Trust me I know. :)
 

stiltner

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Lets put it this way, if most of your data goes ISP to PC, then who cares. If you move data from PC to PC.

These will make a difference. Not to mention, EVERYTHING supports Intel NIC's. You will not never, nope, never have issues getting these supported. They're the bread and butter. You can drop them into any OS and have 0 issue.
 

kemist1117

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I would say the general PC with a Realtek is fine, but when you get into streaming and transferring with HTPCs and WHS you will like having the extra stability/reliability of Intel NICs. Trust me I know. :)

This

Lets put it this way, if most of your data goes ISP to PC, then who cares. If you move data from PC to PC.

These will make a difference. Not to mention, EVERYTHING supports Intel NIC's. You will not never, nope, never have issues getting these supported. They're the bread and butter. You can drop them into any OS and have 0 issue.

And this.
 

rekd0514

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What do you mean exactly?

What I meant to say is it bottlenecks because the PCI is only 133MB/s theoretical, but I don't think it is an issue. It may just be slightly slower than a PCIe slot, and a PCIe is more future proof. I think PCI slots are slowly going to be removed from newer motherboards, so it's something to be aware of.
 

AeonF1

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If only Intel also sold PCIe wireless-N cards. I have had a lot of bad experiences with wifi cards but the Intel one in my Thinkpad works everytime, better range, better sustained connection speeds.

Whoever engineers Intel's networking chips deserve a pat on the back.
 

rekd0514

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If only Intel also sold PCIe wireless-N cards. I have had a lot of bad experiences with wifi cards but the Intel one in my Thinkpad works everytime, better range, better sustained connection speeds.

Whoever engineers Intel's networking chips deserve a pat on the back.

All you need is one of these and buy an intel wireless mini card. I just found out you could do this as well, and it would certainly be much better than anything else available.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mini-PCI-E-PCI-...715?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e6283ec23
 

MRAB54

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I've never seen an onboard NIC that outperforms an Intel PCIe NIC. At 25 bucks, I'd jump on it if I had the need.
 

Sabrewulf165

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I see a lot of "Intel > Realtek" but what if you have a motherboard with an Intel NIC onboard?
 

MRAB54

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I see a lot of "Intel > Realtek" but what if you have a motherboard with an Intel NIC onboard?

I've tested Intel server boards with onboard Intel NICs vs PCIe NICs and you usually can get an extra 40 mbps or more using am Intel PCIe NIC. Onboard Intel is still pretty good.

If you need two NIC's you're probably better off going one onboard and one PCIe rather than two onboards because the onboards usually share the bandwidth. It really depends on how the good the motherboard is.
 

fattypants

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I'm kinda WTFing at the reviews. Every recent one is posted twice. Is newegg trying to beef up their review numbers or something?
 

Sabrewulf165

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I've tested Intel server boards with onboard Intel NICs vs PCIe NICs and you usually can get an extra 40 mbps or more using am Intel PCIe NIC. Onboard Intel is still pretty good.

If you need two NIC's you're probably better off going one onboard and one PCIe rather than two onboards because the onboards usually share the bandwidth. It really depends on how the good the motherboard is.

Intel DP55WG. Just one NIC onboard. My question was mostly out of curiosity since a lot of people seem to swear by Intel NICs vs onboard Realtek, but onboard Intel (which is common on Intel-branded boards) is rarely mentioned.
 

kemist1117

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Intel DP55WG. Just one NIC onboard. My question was mostly out of curiosity since a lot of people seem to swear by Intel NICs vs onboard Realtek, but onboard Intel (which is common on Intel-branded boards) is rarely mentioned.

Havent had to stream etc from an intel mobo so can't speak to that but the drivers have the same features as the pci-e nic's so you probably wont see a great deal of difference in stability and feature set.
 

Xaijin

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I've tested Intel server boards with onboard Intel NICs vs PCIe NICs and you usually can get an extra 40 mbps or more using am Intel PCIe NIC. Onboard Intel is still pretty good.

If you need two NIC's you're probably better off going one onboard and one PCIe rather than two onboards because the onboards usually share the bandwidth. It really depends on how the good the motherboard is.

That is because the pcie lanes are not shared bandwidth, whereas onboard nic is (not recommended to get a board with dual nics). Old pci cards were as well.
 
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