DragonFly users List (threaded) for 2006-10
Re: Network Slowdowns?
Justin C. Sherrill wrote:
On Sun, October 8, 2006 1:39 pm, Jonas Trollvik wrote:
We *always* replace 3Com on general principal when encountered, and
at our own (not client) expense. Not about right or wrong, its about
what works *always* and what doesn't always work.
Odd, we do the exact opposite, replacing all non-3Com NICs we come
across with 3Com NICs, for the exact same reason you do: to get
something that we know works, and works reliably. :)
At a prior job I had, we'd buy large quantities of (mostly PCI) network
cards and hand them out with cable modem installation, at probably the
rate of 20-30 a week.
We started with 3Com cards, and then switched to RealTek, because they
were a third of the price, and (totally counter to my expectations) had
half the Dead-On-Arrival rate of the 3Coms. The biggest Realtek issue was
Windows driver quality.
The RealTek are a bit like the old 'Timex' watches.
The design was so crude they had no *right* to work at all!
But they were cheap and cheerful (chipset cost reputedly one Hong Kong dollar,
i.e under 13 cents US) - so - some very determined folks wrote drivers for them
that worked around the problems quite well, and NIC's dropped from US$200+ to
HK$ 100, then less.
My watchmakers told me, BTW, that the reason the Timex could 'take a licking and
keep on ticking' was that the mainspring used to power them more properly
belonged in a wall-clock, and was powerful enough to drive sandy gears and
corroded bearings that would have stopped a Rolex cols.
So, too the original RealTek when backed-up by a powerful CPU and fast RAM.
The Intel & 3Com NICs of similar vintage, OTOH, were capable of being fully
functional, doing low-level handshaking, and looking for / providing netboot
even if the CPU was 'hors de combat'.