[H-GEN] Time loss on copy

Frank Brand fbrand at uq.net.au
Fri Jun 16 04:37:27 EDT 2000

[ Humbug *General* list - semi-serious discussions about Humbug and ]
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2000, you wrote:

> sorry Frank for quoting you in full but your comments are interesting.
> Different people's perceptions. Other newsgroups I attach to scream at the
> mention of Tulip. A) they are wonderful, and B) they are total pigs to set up.

A) Thats OK I dont mind being fully quoted but maybe some others might not
enjoy it ;^>.

B) Yes I understand the ambivalence regarding Tulip cards (or any cards
really)...I just happen to have a lot more hits than misses with them, in fact
I have never had a miss with them but two of my friends I supplied them to have
been less that excited by them. Most techos I know that look after big networks
tend to have a preference for one card and have many of them but each techo has
a different preference.

I think that you will get the same sort of feelings expressed on any card. Pick
any one you want and some people would have had great results others not so.
They are just so finnicky. I  (and some other people) just happen to see a lot
of different cards and get a feel for them. I have probably seen (and have
stored in bags) just about every network card made. 

Until recently (ie. less than a year ago) the Australian Tax Office had networks
of over 10,000 PC's on Intel Pro ISA's. Until recently the Australian Bureau of
Stats had another large network based on ISA 3COM 509B's - that is not to
say the servers were running ISA though. However I do know that many Qld
Government servers retired recently (ie. within the last year or so) had SMC ISA
cards in them. For the vast bulk of users PCI has been a relatively recent
phenomemon and many of the smaller companies around still run on ISA cards.

> Isa cards for me have been excellent to set up and very poor performers, even at
> 10Mb. 1.7Mb -> 2.3Mb bandwidth versus 3.4 or higher using an equivalent pci.
> That's just broad base measurement. The drop in load on the cpu is much more
> pronounced.

Yes I tend to agree with you but the point I was making really was that there
are two different markets. The home user wanting a little network where speed
was not a major issue can pick up a very usable ISA card around the place for
$5 to $10 second hand..I have a stack of 5 ISA Intel Pro's sitting beside me
which generally perform well. That is they are reliable and give you a
connection you might use to transfer files etc etc.

There are other people here who are professionals and either through their own
interest or by being connected to an organisation that might assist in them
in acquiring a $150 plus new 3COM PCI card would want top end cards...or
absolutely demand the high throughput of 100 cards. However, to brand the cards
giving the 2 Mb transfer rates as being in some way totally useless for many
users who dont have a need for blistering speed and urge the expenditure of
biggo bucks is really a bit reckless. Just going to a PCI card to increase
throughput from 2Mb to 3 or 3.5 Mb is questionable economics for many people. 
To get into the 100 cards requires a 100 Mb hub with an absolute minimum cost
of around $250 new (there are nearly none of these reaching the second hand
market yet). I happen to use 10/100 PCI cards that I get in the second hand
market around $10-$20 but I use them on a 10 Mb network so whether they are PCI
or ISA is pretty irrelevant to me. (I keep looking longingly at the 100  Mb hubs
but then come back to reality and look at 10 Mb hubs - $60 versus $250.)

I have 3 or 4 test boxes in which I have been using second hand SMC Elite ISA
and Intel Pro ISA cards on and I am very satisfied with their performance. Beats
the hell out of copying to floppy disk I tell ya . : ^) Even beats copying to
tape or hard disk or zip drives or burning a CD.

> As for NE2000, this is the base base base Nic ethernet card. Ethernet in
>toto was popularised by Novell, and to open the doors wide they chose the
>cheapest possible implementation. An 80x9 chipset. Almost any equivalent card
>would perform better than this cheapest of all possible ethernet chip

No contest here. I do not use NE 2000's myself ...never have... but they have
sold gazzillions of them and many people use them quite happily so I do not
usually criticise.

With second hand ISA 3COM, DEC, SMC cards available around $5 to $10 and PCI
around $10 to $20  I dont really think you need to go to an NE2000 card now. I
have not personally used the 8139 RealTek PCI 10/100 card but at around $30 
new it is certainly an attractive price.

Anyone used the 8139 at all? If so, what sort of performance does it provide?

In any case it will not be long before new motherboards will not have ISA slots
so we will all be  going PCI in the long run.

In short yes, I sure as hell would not run an NE2000 card in a critical
server.... but I know people who do!!

Frank Brand
E-mail:- fbrand at uq.net.au
Home Page:-http://www.uq.net.au/~zzfbrand

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