Small PCs cluster

Donald Becker becker at
Thu Jul 10 11:04:44 EDT 2003

On 10 Jul 2003, Daniel Fernandez wrote:

> Thanks for the answers, we also checked the Mini-ITX mainboard, but C3 
> processors don't offer enough FPU raw speed. On the other hand, the 
> integrated nVidia ethernet controller is in fact a Realtek 8201BL, this
> is our last trouble before we decide what to purchase. 

The nVidia Ethernet NIC uses the rtl8201BL _transceiver_.  Don't
confuse this with the rtl8139 NIC chip, which has the transceiver
integrated on the same chip with the NIC.

There have been several reports of mediocre preformance and kernel
problems from using the proprietary, binary-only nVidia driver.  It's
likely more efficient than the standard rtl8139 interface (before the
C+), but it's difficult to know without the driver source.

> Our actual cluster is equipped with 3Com 3c905CX-TX-M ethernet controllers,
> our doubt is about that Realtek controller because I suspect that Realtek
> ethernet nics put more load onto the main CPU ¿ can anyone confirm this ?

The 3c905C is one of the best Fast Ethernet NICs available.
It does well with everything but multicast filtering.

Donald Becker				becker at
Scyld Computing Corporation
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220		Scyld Beowulf cluster system
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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