Gigabit (1000base-T) NIC performance?

John Hearns john.hearns at
Fri Feb 9 02:29:39 PST 2001

John Connett wrote:
> Apologies if this is slightly off topic.  However, I suspect some that
> follow this list may be able to point me to further information.

if you are looking at a render cluster, wouldn't it make
more sense to use servers with gigabit uplinks and RAID arrays
to hold the data?
Then the actual render machines would be connected via fast ethernet
switches, probably with gigabit uplinks.
I really don;t think and average render box could justify using
a gigabit NIC - the time taken for doing the calculation far
exceeds the data transfer time.

Any anyway if you have lots of boxes using gigabit your servers
will have to cope with that load.

I would dearly like to do proper benchmarking on this though,
with a real rendering jobs.

> I have just started looking into using Gigabit (1000base-T) Ethernet
> with Linux.  Initial investigation suggests that there is quite a wide
> price range for NICs ($105 - $650).  Are there any public performance
> comparisons between such NICs?  I would be interested to know if the
> higher priced items produce better performance!
Looking at the cost of the NICs is only one pasrt of the story -
its the cost of the switches, and their port density.
Say you had forty 1U render machines in a rack - you would then
have to find rack space (and money!) for a 40 port gigabit
switch for each one. That doesn't compute for me.
Far better to go for two times slim, and much cheaper,
24 port Ethernet switches.

John Hearns                       Systems Engineer
Tel 020-7208-2600                020-7208-2626 Fax

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