[Beowulf] onboard Gb lan: any opinion, sugestion or impression?

Jones de Andrade johannesrs at gmail.com
Tue Nov 14 12:46:57 PST 2006

Hi all.

First of all, thanks a lot for all the answers. They clarified this subject
to me.

Anyway, since this seems to be a good (AND cheap) solution in many cases, I
decided to ask a bit more in detail:

While looking for the motherboards for our 8-12 dual-core-nodes cluster,
already with the idea of using on-board dual-Gb ethernets on it, we came
across the MSI K9N Ultra and bigger ones family. In this family, there is
the MSI K9N Platinum (
which is appearing around here at a really affordable price (a bit more than
2 hundred dollars each here).

This motherboard uses the nForce 570 MCP chipset from NVidia, and the dual
lan bythe Vitesse VSC8601.

Here is where our concerns now are held: Basically, is this a good dual Gb
lan, good in terms of clustering applications? Has anybody ever used it
before, or heard about someone using? Or shall we step back about this
specific chip/motherboard?

Any help on this subject will be very welcome.

Thanks a lot,


On 11/14/06, Robin Harker < robin at workstationsuk.co.uk> wrote:
> ON-board NICS are as good as PCI, so as long as they are Intel or Broadcom
> don't even think about not using them. AS far as switches are concerned,
> ignore all layer 3 devices, as you will never use the functionality and go
> for a cheap as chips layer 2, (non-blocking) from a manufacturer you have
> heard off, eg:  HP, D-Link, SMC or Netgear.  If you plan to expand beyong
> 24
> or 48 ports, most now do switches with 10GigE uplinks.
> Regards
> R
> Robin Harker
> www.terrascale.com
> Tel: 01494 724498
> Cell: 07802 517059
> TerraGrid - High Performance Storage - One Brick at a Time
> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On
> Behalf Of Jones de Andrade
> Sent: 14 November 2006 13:26
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: [Beowulf] onboard Gb lan: any opinion, sugestion or impression?
> Hi all.
> Well, I've found some discussions within this list about brands of
> switches,
> and some about network card brands also.
> We came to a question here, in the cluster we are planning: how usefull
> are
> the, now so common, onboard gigabit networks (even dual networks) that are
> shipped in the motherboards? Great, bood, bad or terrible performance?
> stability issues? Much concern about it's use for clusters? Is there any
> example, or benchmark available of different onboard network chips in any
> (cluster?) application?
> Thanks a lot in advance,
> Sincerally yours,
> Jones
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