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Do I Need to Upgrade to Gigabit Equipment?

by tonyny77 / September 28, 2007 7:11 AM PDT

I have a simple home network: two Windows PCs (one is XP and the other is Vista) connected to a 10/100 Mbps router which connects to my DSL modem. But I'm planning to get a Windows Home Server unit and I see that the one by Hewlett-Packard will come with a 10/100/1000 Mbps network interface.

Because of this, I get the impression that my backups to the server might run all night (or longer, possibly) unless I upgrade my existing equipment to handle the 1000 Mbps speed that the server will be capable of.

So the questions are:
1 - Would you upgrade the NICs on the PCs?
2 - If I upgrade the NICs on the PCs, should I get a 1000 Mbps router, OR
3 - Keep my current 10/100 Mbps router, but maybe use a 1000 Mbps hub to connect all the network components and then connect the hub to the 10/100 Mbps router?

I realize my Internet connection will not be increased at all. I don't know enough about wired networking to be sure, but I fear that using a hub to connect the two PCs and the Windows Home Server might actually slow me down if there are many "collisions."

Your expert networking advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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I have one, but don't let the numbers fool you. . .
by Coryphaeus / September 28, 2007 9:47 AM PDT

I ran a regular 10/100 home network for several years. File/folder transfers would actually be around 40-60 Mb/s on my 10/100 LAN. I purchased a couple of IBM ThinkCentres (spelling correct) with built in Gigabit LAN. Then I purchased a Linksys WRT350N Gigabit router. Then I added a Gigabit NIC to my home built web server. Then I added a Gigabit PCMCIA card for my IBM R-40 ThinkPad.

Is Gigabit faster? Yes. But it's not Gigabit speed. File/folder transfers now run about 250-350 Mb/s. Faster than 10/100, but not at Gigabit speed.

The IBM desktops are running P-4 3 GHz (dual core) processors with a Gig of RAM. The server is an AMD 2 GHz with a Gig of RAM, and the laptop is a P-4 Mobile 2.2 GHz with a Gig of RAM.

In a nutshell, 10/100 will not run at 100 Mb/s, and Gigabit will not run at 1000 Mb/s. You have to take into account HD read/write speed, and there is no HD today that will read or write at Gigabit speed.


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BTW, keep it simple. . .
by Coryphaeus / September 28, 2007 9:50 AM PDT

Use a router only.

Also, I don't know what you'll be spending on that Windows Home Server, but I built my web/home server for a pittance. Installed XP Pro and it stores all my backups and my web site.

And I forgot to mention that I'm running XP Pro on all machines.

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One more thing. . .
by Coryphaeus / September 28, 2007 10:00 AM PDT

I just moved a 1.5 Gig movie file. It took 2minutes, 15 seconds. I'll guarantee it would have taken longer with the 10/100 router.

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Fast by what respect?
by rmatrem / October 19, 2008 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: One more thing. . .

Coryphaeus, at first glance, that is fast!.. but I believe the point is still made with the example you gave...

1.5GB * 8Gb/1GB = 12Gb,
12Gb/135seconds = .0888 Gbits per seond,
.08888Gb * 1000Mb/1Gb =
a grand total of 88.88 Mbits per second...
Which is still less than a 10/100 router! That caught me by suprise!

However, you are right. There is no way you would get that with a 10/100 router. At least, I have never seen it.... yet...

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For what it's worth
by Dango517 / September 28, 2007 10:20 AM PDT

I do not have a LAN but I did upgrade my NIC to an 10/100/1000 ethernet card and its great. Improving my systems performance more then the 1GB RAM I've install. The ethernet card has 1GB memory and is hard wired. Surfing the net is much smoother and all most lasts indefinitely without interruptions before the up graded it was haltingly and slow. Well worth the thirty dollars I've spent.

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