View Full Version : $300.00 network card - is it worth it?

04-01-2004, 09:08 AM
I have a question that is off topic but on topic. I know very little about all this but need to learn because it seems we are always having problems with our network.

The guy here that works on our computers is telling me if we set up Linux as the master computer everything will work a lot better but I have to change cards and that will cost me another $300.00

Can anyone tell me if there is any truth in this or someone just trying to make some extra money?

The $300.00 is not labor just the card I need.

04-01-2004, 09:28 AM
The Linux solution is an excellent choice, if you add SAMBA 3.0.x to the formula.

The Linux box can act as the domain controller, for the network.

However, I really think you will be better off w/ a peer to peer net.

04-01-2004, 09:37 AM

You can download the rpm from samba.org unless you feel
comfotable with the build process.

I use RedHat 9.0 w/Ximian (easy way to keep the system patched)

Hope this helps

04-01-2004, 09:43 AM
Yes it does.

So your saying it would be worth the money.

04-01-2004, 10:03 AM
To give you some hardware detail.

As the Domain controller, the Linux box will need a very fast and very large fixed drive. (raid is better).
The reason is that you will be copying each users settings and documents on their W2K or XP system to the home directory of each user on the Linux box.

The /homes directory on the Linux system would be 27 gig on a 40 gig drive.

I have never spend $300.00 for a network card. 3COM SMC or any name brand is a good choice.

04-01-2004, 10:09 AM
If you have 5 or fewer users it ain't worth it.

If you have 20 or more users it is worth it.

If a centralized login, time server, file server is important, it is worth it.

Assuming a new server cost is around 800 - 1000 using decent parts.

04-01-2004, 10:48 AM
The $300.00 is not labor just the card I need.

That has to be the most expensive network card I have heard of.... A decent 10/100Tbase card should cost about $80 (max), the ones I use are about $20 each....

04-01-2004, 07:36 PM
Thanks I thought I was being tricked. But it does sound like Linux is the way to go just need a different guy doing the work.

04-02-2004, 05:34 AM
Linux is deffinatly the best option for a server but you will need someone with good knowledge of Linux.

I've been messing around with PC's for over 20 years, several months ago, I got my first Linux system - it baffels the hell out of me.....

Setting up Linux is hard enough, configuring Samba is just a nightmare... :(

04-29-2004, 10:21 AM
You might not be getting swindled. The $300 could be for a gigabit card. Im not saying you need this by anymeans, just trying to point out he might not be selling you a $30 card for 10 times the price.

For the most part, unless you are also investing in special cable and gigabit cards in all of the other machines there is no point in going with this one.

05-01-2004, 11:14 AM
That is a pricey network card and unless you are running a very high volume file server, the card is probably an overkill. Some NICs can cost several $100 but in your application I doubt you need Gig-E fiber.

A good qaulity server NIC, such as the Intel Pro 1000 MT, can be purchased for ~$130.00. This card provides multi-gig expandability and failover options. Once again probably an overkill for your needs.

If you are buying a new server, many come with Gig-E on-board NICs that work quite well. Unless you have very high bandwidth requirements, >100 users, or transfer large files, then I suspect a $25.00 NIC would handle everything just fine.

Ask your system's consultant why you need this card? What benefits does it provide? What would be the drawbacks to using a less expensive card.

Also, do not let your consultant buy hardware on your behalf, Have them submit to you specifications and a list of three recommended vendors. Do your due diligence and get reasonable prices. Generally large online stores will have very competive pricing.