FastE NIC Recommendation

Michael Stein mas at ucla.edu
Mon Nov 18 01:34:02 EST 2002


> I'm finally getting my home cluster together so I'm looking for some
> inexpensive FastE NICS. I want inexpensive NICS that offer PXE and
> decent performance for MPI codes (i.e. a good network load). Also,
> in the next year or so, I'll be going with channel bonding so the NICs
> should also handle bonding reasonalble well.  Or perhaps GigE for home
> use will be cheap enough by then.

What's inexpensive?

Depending on your price range you might consider the Intel pro/1000MT
desktop (not server) PWLA8390MT for around $50 each.  This is 10/100/1000
and I think it has PXE (the spec page says PXE and I think I remember
seeing a boot screen at one point).

I've hardly done any testing on these though, but I've seen one do >
700 Mb/second.  This was in a dual AMD server type machine (but 64 bit/33
Mhz PCI slot, of course the Intel desktop NIC is only 32 bit).

This takes the E1000 driver from Intel.

Beware that FE might be lower latency than GB (and/or this
driver/adaptor?).  I don't have latency numbers for this adaptor but
I've been seeing poorer latency on GB than FE.  Anyone know why
this is?
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