Cheap, good ethernet cards?

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Wed Apr 25 15:22:33 PDT 2001

On Wed, 25 Apr 2001, Martin Siegert wrote:

> In short:
> - RTL8139's are horrible
> - Tulip cards are ok
> - 3c905's are good.
> I'd rather downgrade the processor speed soemwhat and use 905s than
> save the the few bucks on the NIC. With respect to NICs it seems that you
> get what you pay for ...
> Martin

This matches my own experiences, although I would have rated old-style
tulips as good as well.  I'd settle for a tulip-based card in the right
price range at this point, as you've put your finger dead on my fixed
budget choice -- cheaper card or downgrade from 1.33 GHz to 1.2 or
accept a slower FSB.  Or monkey around with diskless/diskful
configurations and so forth, which would likely work fine but takes more
of my time and work.  The problem is that this is about a 10% clock
improvement and my applications are mostly CPU bound -- I really want to
avoid an RTL card, but the 3c905 won't win much for me relative to that
extra clock on a 266 FSB motherboard.


Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

More information about the Beowulf mailing list