switching to GigE

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hnzw_rui
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switching to GigE

Post by hnzw_rui » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:47 pm

As the topic says, I'm switching to a gigabit network. Looking at the following for the upgrade.

HP ProCurve 1400-8G
Intel Gigabit NIC - PCI
Intel Gigabit NIC - PCI-Express

Getting either PCI or PCI-e adapters, whichever slot's empty on the respective PCs.

I've seen inexpensive 8-port GigE switches, but I've seen some comments about them being no good. I've heard good comments about HP that's why I opted for that. I couldn't find an actual Cisco switch (not Linksys-Cisco) that I could afford. Question is, would the ProCurve, which seems to be more geared towards consumers instead of enterprise, still perform decently? At least stability and throughput-wise?

Another question, looking at cables right now, and was just wondering, is cat5e fine or should I get cat6? Longest run would be ~50ft. The rest will be around 2~20ft. I'm not buying bulk cat6 cable since there's no space I can store it afterwards. I've still got a big roll of bulk cat5e adding to the mess that is my room. Besides, prices for shorter cables are already pretty decent (Monoprice).

Thanks in advance!
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Re: switching to GigE

Post by kenc51 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:53 pm

HP switches are very good, but that one has a fairly small buffer (144KB)
You might want to look for a business class switch if you plan on using more than 4 ports with a lot of traffic, especially if you want to use 9K Jumbo frames.

CAT5e will do fine for your needs though!

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Re: switching to GigE

Post by hnzw_rui » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:35 pm

Define a lot of traffic... Like all 8 ports used at the same time? Not really expecting that...

Set-up would be DSL modem >> 802.11G router >> HP ProCurve switch >> 5 PCs & HD Homerun

For the most part, it'll be driving internet traffic, small file transfers, some video streaming from file server to one or two PCs (3mbps/stream max), and MPEG TS from the HD Homerun (20mbps/stream max). Switching to Gigabit because I needed to get an 8-port switch (2 new PCs + HD Homerun) and figured I might as well go gigabit as I do occasionally transfer 10~50GB of data over the network in one sitting.

How much difference does using jumbo frames make? Also, if I use jumbo frames, would all the devices on the network have to support it?

Lol, $80 for the switch is about the max my budget would go. Especially considering that the Intel NICs cost $30 ea. Are there other good offloading gigabit NICs that can be had for less than the Intel? Newegg only, please. :)

Thanks! :mrgreen:
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Re: switching to GigE

Post by Major_A » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:38 pm

If all your computers on the network are decently spec'ed then you don't need a $30 network card. I bought a 5 port D-Link switch and have it going from my HTPC to my main rig and it runs fine on $5 network cards.

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Re: switching to GigE

Post by KnightRid » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:25 am

I bought a Dlink DGS-2205 which is only a 5-port (4 really with the uplink) and I like it. Speeds are still slower than I would like, but I think it has to do with Vists - still looking into it.

Oh I also have a D-Link DIR-655 Wireless N gigabit router - I went all gige, now just have to get some adapters for some of the computers.

Mike

Oh are you using cat5e or cat6 - just curious if you have any speed comparisons.
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Re: switching to GigE

Post by hnzw_rui » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:38 am

Major_A wrote:If all your computers on the network are decently spec'ed then you don't need a $30 network card. I bought a 5 port D-Link switch and have it going from my HTPC to my main rig and it runs fine on $5 network cards.
Yeah, that's the thing. The PCs it will be installed on are:
Pentium III 733 MHz w/512MB PC133 SDRAM
Pentium IV 1.8(?) GHz (Williamette, Socket 478) w/512MB DDR 400 RDRAM
Sempron 3200+ 1.8 GHz w/1GB DDR 400 SDRAM
Celeron 430 1.8 GHz w/2GB DDR2 533 SDRAM
=>Tentative DVR box:
Sempron LE-1100 1.9/Athlon 64 LE-1620 2.4/Celeron 420 1.6/Celeron DC E1200 1.6 w/1GB DDR2 SDRAM

Yep, they're all beasts, as you can see... Dinosaurs are considered beasts, right? ](*,)
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Re: switching to GigE

Post by kenc51 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:14 am

hnzw_rui wrote:Define a lot of traffic... Like all 8 ports used at the same time? Not really expecting that...

Set-up would be DSL modem >> 802.11G router >> HP ProCurve switch >> 5 PCs & HD Homerun

For the most part, it'll be driving internet traffic, small file transfers, some video streaming from file server to one or two PCs (3mbps/stream max), and MPEG TS from the HD Homerun (20mbps/stream max). Switching to Gigabit because I needed to get an 8-port switch (2 new PCs + HD Homerun) and figured I might as well go gigabit as I do occasionally transfer 10~50GB of data over the network in one sitting.

How much difference does using jumbo frames make? Also, if I use jumbo frames, would all the devices on the network have to support it?

Lol, $80 for the switch is about the max my budget would go. Especially considering that the Intel NICs cost $30 ea. Are there other good offloading gigabit NICs that can be had for less than the Intel? Newegg only, please. :)

Thanks! :mrgreen:
Sorry for not getting back sooner, I've being busy the past week.

Unless you plan on using 4+ ports with a lot of traffic (ie. more than 4 users) with large file transfers, that HP switch will do very well.
You're better off paying the extra ~$10 for a good switch that will last forever. Cheap switches tend to die when you most want them to work.

Jumbo frames allows you to send files in larger packets than the standard used for ethernet (1500K)
It gives more performance, especially with large files, but ALL network cards and devices must be able to support it otherwise you get data corruption or no link at all.
Does the wireless AP support GigE? If not, it will force the switch to run at 100Mbit

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Re: switching to GigE

Post by hnzw_rui » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:37 pm

kenc51 wrote: Sorry for not getting back sooner, I've being busy the past week.

Unless you plan on using 4+ ports with a lot of traffic (ie. more than 4 users) with large file transfers, that HP switch will do very well.
You're better off paying the extra ~$10 for a good switch that will last forever. Cheap switches tend to die when you most want them to work.

Jumbo frames allows you to send files in larger packets than the standard used for ethernet (1500K)
It gives more performance, especially with large files, but ALL network cards and devices must be able to support it otherwise you get data corruption or no link at all.
Does the wireless AP support GigE? If not, it will force the switch to run at 100Mbit
Thanks for the input. Now, I've got a dilemma. The HDHomerun only has a 100Mbit NIC. The wireless router is also 100Mbit, but this, I can replace. I had previously thought that the switch would auto-sense 100Mbit and 1000Mbit segments and would transfer accordingly. Similar to having both 802.11b and 802.11g devices on the same network, 802.11g devices suffers a speed penalty, but its transfer speed doesn't go down to 802.11b level.

Is there any point to purchasing all those Gigabit NICs, or would they just be downgraded to 100Mbit due to the HDHomerun? The switch, I would still buy. If I can't do GigE now, it will be reusable further down the line and the cost of a 10/100 switch is practically the same as a 10/100/1000 one. It's the NICs that would set me back $150. If I don't go GigE, those are unnecessary as all PCs already have built-in 10/100 ethernet ports.

Again, thanks for all the information. :)
File Server/Media Encoder/PVR PC
Antec P182 / Corsair 550VX / Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R / Core 2 Duo E7200 @ 2.53 / Wintec AMPX 2x2GB DDR2 800 / Sapphire 100233L Radeon HD 3450 / WD Caviar SE16 750GB x3 / WD Caviar GP 750GB / Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7190A x2 / XP Pro SP2

unRAID Server
Antec 300 / Corsair 520HX / Abit AB9 Pro / Celeron 430 @ 1.80 / Kingston ValueRAM 2x1GB DDR2 667 / ATI Rage XL / Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB x9 / unRAID 4.3.3

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