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MCA Ethernet Networking

Lutiana

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So I have a Model 95, and I am going to using it as an NT 4.0 Server (FTP and web) and as such I need to get it onto my network. I have 3 MCA ethernet cards and I an not really sure which one is the best to use.

So which should I use?

1. IBM Lan Adatper/A (the newer one, 48G7172)
2. 9-k 10/100Mbs Ethernet card
3. 3Com 3C529-MCA

I have a 486DX-2 66 complex in the thing with 64Mb of RAM and currently the 3Com is in there and it works pretty well. There was an article that I found at one point that did a comparison between some of these cards, but I cannot for the life of me find it. It compared throughput in the 95 between them as well as CPU utilization. So you if you have a link, please share it with me.
 

trmg

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It looks like the LAN Adapter/A may be the best choice. The 3C529 is a close second, but the LAN Adapter/A seems to have slightly better throughput.

I don't see the 9-K card on that site unless it goes by another name.
 

trmg

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I would honestly try the LAN Adapter/A and 9-K card and see how they compare. The 9-K card is Fast Ethernet, so if it doesn't eat up all your CPU you may benefit from slightly faster throughput.

Definitely LAN Adapter/A over the 3C529 according to the benchmarks.
 

trmg

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LOL, he basically says this in the conclusion (did not read that part before posting).

And the winner is...? From the numbers above, I would give the performance crown to the LAN/A : Performance is always with the best adapters, and the CPU load is the lowest of all adapters tested. Believe me, I would say this also if I hadn't written the Linux LAN/A driver myself ;-)

Place 2 goes to the 3COM boards: While the 3C523 offers a slightly better performance, the 3C529 attracts with onboard 10baseT and a smaller form factor (handy e.g. in the P70 portable PS/2!). I wouldn't overrate the 3C529's lower performance too much: The rate is still more than you will ever get on a loaded 10 Mbps wire.
 

kgober

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Do you have NT 4.0 drivers for all of the cards? If not, that would be the first selection criterion I apply.

The second criterion would be "does this card/driver combination actually work in real life?" If one doesn't, is it something you can reasonably fix? If the problem is simply that your TP transceiver doesn't fit then a short AUI cable can probably fix that (assuming you can get ahold of one). If the problem is "driver does not appear to work like the documentation claims" then it might not be fixable in a reasonable amount of time.

I am assuming you have done all these things already and the candidates you listed are what remain (or at any rate, that you know all of them will work). In that case, if it were me I would test them and see which one is faster on my own network with my own clients (throughput test only, unless you are planning on running a lot of apps on your server then CPU load is irrelevant). If anything else works at least as well as the 3c529, take the 3c529 out and save it for another system. I'm guessing any 10/100 card will be better than a 10-Mbps-only card.

-ken
 

glitch

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The 3Com cards are solid, I've used a few of them in various MCA systems in the past. Sounds like the IBM board is the thing to do as long as it works/you have drivers for it, performance-wise.
 

ralswede

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Oct 4, 2023
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chulofiasco, Do you still have a 3C529 3com card in stock? RJ-45 jack version?
 
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