Looking for a solid ethernet network card

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by lDreaml, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    I've been banging my head against this for the last 2 days and I'm honestly just flat-out tired of trying. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My internet speed is touted at being 1.5Gbps. Whether or not that's true I don't know, but yeah I need a card that can accommodate that supposed speed.

    Here is my prehistoric motherboard: https://www.newegg.ca/p/N82E16813131614

    Canadian buyer willing to spend $100+.
     
  2. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Need to know what the modem-side interface is.
     
  3. Sniper|3d-R|

    Sniper|3d-R| [H]ardness Supreme

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    You're not sure of your internet speed, and your not sure how to find out... but you believe you need a new network card for such speeds? Why? How did you come to this conclusion with no data or evidence for needing a new card? How do you know you're not already getting those speeds? You should find a bandwidth meter and find out as you may not need to spend any money.

    Your onboard card supports 10/100/1000Mbps. Do you have at least a 1GB network? What is your connected speed? What type of router/switch? What is the spec of the Ethernet cable?
     
  4. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    The advertised speed is 1.5Gbps. It's a modem-router combo from Bell linked above. The results from people's usage is mixed. Some achieve the 1.5, some don't. Not entirely sure what's up with all of that but since my onboard adapter maxes out at 1000Mbits I figured getting a new one to compensate for that possible 500Mbit upgrade was needed. I'm running Win7 64bit (just in case that info is needed).
     
  5. EniGmA1987

    EniGmA1987 Limp Gawd

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    1.5gbit is a very weird speed for an ISP to sell. 99% of people out there cap at 1gbit and those who can go higher will usually be sold at the next "whole number" up (2gbit, 5, 10). Are you sure it doesnt advertise "1.5gbit wifi" speeds? Cause there is a wireless AC standard that is 1.6gbit out there.

    Either way, no one here can help you unless you provide details on your connection interfaces to your ISP hardware. There are just too many connectors for us to randomly guess what you use. Also, your probably looking at significantly higher than $100, especially in Canadian dollars.
    Your MB and CPU are ancient (over 10 years old.......), so you will be needing a NIC that can offload just about every type of packet possible to the NIC hardware to get 1gbit or above. If your using fiber connection of some sort you will probably be looking at a NIC from Mellanox, or if you are on copper then you will probably be looking at a Chelsio NIC. Intel doesnt offload as much as the other enterprise brands on average.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  6. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    I apologize for the late response things are a little hectic over here at the moment. It is a fiber connection. I'm planning on using a higher end cat cable to connect directly to the modem. Whatever you recommend. I'll do whatever I need to to make this work properly so any and all suggestions are so greatly appreciated. Any specific NIC I should be looking for from Mellanox? I'm relatively ignorant when it comes to this stuff and don't want to make a mistake based on that ignorance.
     
  7. EniGmA1987

    EniGmA1987 Limp Gawd

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    The only pictures of your home hub 3000 I could find show it has only copper RJ45 connections for LAN and it has DSL connections on it. I dont know if thats right but it does not sound like a ISP router they would give you with a fiber connection or to support even gigabit speed. If this is the case, nothing you do will get 1.5 gigabit speeds as the unit simply cannot support that speed with only 1gbit connectors on it.
     
  8. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    That was my thought too but then I saw other subscribers of the service posting screenshots of them getting those speeds. I don't know what to make of any of this tbh, but if you have a suggestion for a network card that could match those speeds.. I mean, I'd be willing to throw money at it in the hopes that it might work.
     
  9. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    Ok. I know what you are going through here. First, we will work on the assumption that your ISP is really giving you 1.5 Gbp/s. We will further assume your cable modem has a NBASE-T compatible Ethernet NIC chip inside. It had better, otherwise you won't get anything above 1G. Most home routers and cable modems are equipped with 1G ports on them. BOTTLENECK. So, before you jump on spending some $, make sure that Ethernet port on the cable modem supports NBASE-T. NBASE-T will allow for 2.5G and 5G Ethernet connections over common UTP Cat5e and Cat6 cable respectively, and all the way out to 100 meters to boot.

    Now, if your cable modem has the right kind of Ethernet port/chip inside, the next thing you will need is a NBASE-T capable router or switch. Either 2.5G or 5G will work for ISP speed, but the key thing is when you connect that router or switch (what is doing DHCP in your LAN?) it needs to connect at the 2.5G or 5G link speed. Ok, now for your NIC. Indeed, most motherboard NICs these days cap at 1G. BOTTLENECK again. So, you WILL need a NBASE-T NIC. There are variations from Aquantia, including external Thunderbolt 3 ones that will also support 10GBASE-T for future proofing.

    Be careful, though. Just because older hardware might support 10GBASE-T does not mean it will also support the middle speeds that NBASE-T supports. If you buy a switch/router that says it will do 10GBASE-T it might only connect at 1G with that cable modem! All end to end hardware must support NBASE-T protocol.

    I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  10. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    I recently did some connector and cable testing on 15 foot patch cables. I tested 18 variations for my job (I work for trueCABLE). Guess what? I could achieve stable 10GBASE-T link speeds with ALL of them. I mean stable, tested, no errors and heavily beat on tested. I used everything from our Cat5e UTP Riser to Cat6A shielded. All perform the SAME at short distances. Don't waste money on expensive patch cables. If you are going to buy a shielded cable because you have bad EMI/RFI in your environment then so be it, but don't spring for a higher category patch cable just because. Cat5e UTP will work great, at least at the 15 foot and less length and assuming the patch cable is terminated as well as I can terminate cable (I am beyond picky).

    Oh...and if you are wondering whether you are a candidate for shielded cable...then I wrote up a large blog about that and I don't feel like rewriting it here so a link will do....https://www.truecable.com/blogs/cable-academy/shielded-vs-unshielded-cable
     
  11. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    It helps greatly but confuses me all the same. I'm trying to figure out what's inside the homehub 3000 modem-router box they're offering atm.
     
  12. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    DonTC Thanks for the heads up. I kinda wish I was a bit more knowledgeable on the networking side of things so all of this stuff wouldn't sound like a foreign language to me. I get the general idea of it all, but yeah.
     
  13. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    Send me specs. dschultz@truecable.com Let's nail this down.
     
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  14. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    You are welcome! I recently wrote a blog about this topic, but it is in editing and won't be posted for at least a week. I have also been knee deep and in testing and termination of cable and connectors. I could not help but jump in.
     
  15. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Your internet package is designed for a total of 1.5Gbps for all devices (with more focus on wireless devices, it seems). However, it appears your hub only has a gigabit switch. As such, it can only provide up to 1Gbit to any single wired device. Your motherboard already has what it needs.
     
  16. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    ryan_975 I see.. Well I feel like a fool for paying extra now. Just one question though. How are some users posting speeds of 1.5Gbps on speed tests with the same service?
     
  17. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    May not be a fool. While you can only get 1Gbps via the wired connection, you should still have 500Mbps available via the WiFi side of the modem. Should allow full 1Gbps to your desktop and have 500Mbps left over for streaming via a WiFi TV or other device.
     
  18. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    Hard to say without seeing the speed tests, but that router allows users to run a speedtest from inside of it. If you log directly into the router and run a speed test you should see the full 1.5 gbs.

    ie. This guy runs a speed test in the router and gets ~1.3gbs and then on his pc at ~1gbs. These are the results that should be expected.
     
  19. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    I could not find actual specs on this device. I did look too. From what I gleaned, I agree that it is using 10/100/1000 (1G) Ethernet ports on it. Well, the maximum bandwidth any one device on the network can achieve is 1G, but of course that will be less with overhead (frame, TCP). It is interesting that the ISP will allow higher bandwidth usage on the WAN side than the switch side can support.
     
  20. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    Yes. This is to be expected. If you can run a speedtest directly from the Home Hub device to the ISP it will show the full bandwidth you are paying for. If you try running a speedtest from a PC on your LAN it will be restricted to 1G. Wireless will be much less, typically.

    You are not a fool at all. You were sold something and not advised of the gotchas and catches. It is like the same thing as buying a battery operated device and not getting the battery inside because the manufacturer did not say *batteries not included. Assumptions are killer, and if the ISP figures their customer base is not quite technical enough to ask all the right questions then they will put it out the way you bought it. In your case, you started asking questions! See, not a fool at all.
     
  21. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It depends on the underlying fabric that's serving those ports and the WLAN. It could be more than capable of switching the full 1.5Gbps across everything
     
  22. DonTC

    DonTC n00b

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    I would like to understand more about how the Home Hub is accomplishing this. At first glance it looks like snake oil to some extent. It is probably NOT a direct misrepresentation, but I can see it having a lot of asterisks in the spec. I wish I could find that spec!

    Oh well. I think in his case it would not be a good idea to buy anything more until it is better understood.
     
  23. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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  24. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is pretty commonly known- at shorter distances with little EMI, a to-spec CAT5e cable in good condition can support 10Gbit. The challenge comes when 10Gbit is otherwise expected and not achieved; for a consumer, the price delta for getting CAT6 or CAT6a is next to nil relative to the cost of the equipment involved, so generally speaking it is ill-advised to introduce an additional variable when working with 10Gbase-T.

    For larger installations done by professionals, it can make sense from a cost and time perspective, of course.
     
  25. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    If you really need a network card that's faster than 1.5Gbps, then I'd grab an Intel 10GbE controller. There are some lower priced models out there that may get close to your budget.
     
  26. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    For some reason I'd gotten the idea that Intel hadn't been supporting Nbase-T / Multi-gig, so I had to go and prove myself wrong. I'll also say that the Aquantia adapters have worked well in my experience.
     
  27. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I've had very little experience with them. Basically every 10GbE adapter I've worked with has been Intel or Broadcomm. The few Aquantia's I've dealt with came with gaming boards. Many of which I couldn't test because I don't have anything that supports 2.5GbE or 5GbE speeds. There have been a couple 10GbE Aquantia adapters and they were fine but that's about all I can say. In contrast, having worked in the IT industry the entire time 10GbE has existed, I've seen Intel and Broadcomm at their best and worst. So I know those adapters very well.
     
  28. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    10Gbase-T, and 10Gbit in general, remains in a weird place. On the desktop, while Aquantia released their 10Gbit adapters first and those reached consumers first, the ones that only do 2.5Gbit and 5Gbit are now more common- and boards seem to be shipping with 2.5Gbit adapters from Realtek too.

    In the commercial datacenter space, 10Gbase-T never really seemed to catch on. SFP+ has been popular and has seen some 'prosumer' adoption, and it's really the cheaper option today, but it's also on the way out for commercial infrastructure. Generally speaking, 40Gbit is also on its way out too- the commercial space is that far ahead. For example, Intel just celebrated their 400Gbit transceiver release, where they put all of the components on one ASIC, which simplifies the part from what Mellanox has been selling for five years.

    And in the commercial desktop space, well, almost no one needs >1Gbit on the desk, still. And WiFi is at the point where it'll be faster and cheaper for the vast majority, making the likelihood of higher wired desktop speeds even less probable over time and really imperiling the future of 10Gbase-T overall.
     
  29. Aluminum

    Aluminum Gawd

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    Most NBaseT I've seen ports on network hardware and appliances are using the Aquantia chipsets now actually. Starting to see it a lot more in wifi infrastructure to feed the faster APs. Yes yes we all know wifi is generally shit, but with multiple radios and enough clients 1Gb isn't actually enough.

    Intel makes nice NICs, but their chipsets are not found on the other end very much. Also their limited X550 NBaseT support is determined by OEM firmware (and OS sometimes) which is annoying. Broadcom and others are much more dominant inside the hardware on the other end of NICs.

    I would pick up a new aquantia for $70 or less over a used intel 10GbE w/o NBaseT or non-chinaclone new X550 part for at least twice the price. The drivers and throughput on them are actually great.

    Realtek...is realtek, no thanks.
     
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  30. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If there's a NIC option that's 'not Realtek', I'm likely to consider it first, and if there's an option that's Intel, that goes to the top of the list.
     
  31. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    I'm trying to sort through it in the "bypass hh3k" threads but this forum has the answers how people are able to get 1.5Gb/s to a single device. Short answer from what I'm seeing is its not possible by default. Long answer is you need to buy some pricey gear.

    For ISP related stuff, DSLReports always has the answers.

    https://www.dslreports.com/forum/sympat

    **EDIT**

    Yeah so its pretty advanced stuff. Basically you'd be swapping our the HH3K with your own router that has a fiber SFP port and doing a lot of configuration that you may or may not be comfortable with. Your own router should be able to bond two Gigabit ports together to a switch that will then output two Gigabit connections to your PC that you'll also need to bond together in Windows.

    Definitely good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  32. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is... relative. If the ISP were planning on actually providing 1.5Gbps from the RJ45 jack, they'd have put a multi-gig / Nbase-T or SFP+ NIC on it and marked and marketed it so. On your end, that means a NIC on a PC or a swithc or router that also has a multi-gig / Nbase-T or SFP+ NIC to make use of that speed.

    Systems with those NICs are starting to become widely accessible, but building a network around that kind of speed is still a bit out of reach for most consumers. You're certainly not going to run down to your local electronics store, pick up whatever Netgear etc. router they have on the shelf, and be able to make use of those speeds.


    Most likely, you'd have to build a router out of a PC and one of the common (several free) router distributions along with one or two faster NICs, and then use a (likely expensive) switch to get higher speeds to individual clients. Certainly a multi-project process for the uninitiated ;).
     
  33. lDreaml

    lDreaml n00b

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    Yeah this became scary fast. I'm just going to accept my fate and be happy that I can download at 1Gbps... If I even reach that speed that is.
     
  34. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    10Gbit is scary because there are few 'fire and forget' options.

    1Gbit internet really isn't; but going faster can be troublesome because very little consumer-oriented hardware can take advantage of it and there are essentially no inexpensive options available yet.
     
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  35. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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  36. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    GotNoRice and IdiotInCharge like this.
  37. Balkroth

    Balkroth Limp Gawd

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    For 10G that is true and not true, providers are buying packages for this now to provide to their customers, and it's getting to the point where it's almost consumer level and some are exploring this. Well, They've been looking into since docsis 3.1 and DAA promised full duplex, which is now docsis 4.0 , but it's being rolled out . But since all the white box hardware is rolling out, a 4 port router/switch with 10G ports and cumulus thrown on it is probably gonna happen soon with pre programmed stuff.
     
  38. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    I've got gigabit network and 1 gig service, so why am I getting these high speeds?
    it hit 1.9 gbps a few times as I was testing it.
    1.7gbs Plex Server.jpg

    these are my typical speeds on my machines,
    speedtest-3-machines.jpg
     
  39. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Simply, you're not- there's something goofy in your test chain. Try different test sites, as seeing anything greater than 1.1Gbps is physically impossible.

    Or 10Gbps for a few bucks more.