good 8 port Gigabit Hub ??

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Soulkeeper, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    my 10/100 hub is starting to turn itself on and off randomly so i figured i would get a gigabit hub

    what model would you all recommend ??

    i don't want a router or firewall setup of any kind, just the basic deal to connect a few computers

    also who makes the best gigabit nics ?


    thanks
     
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  3. Shazam

    Shazam Golden Member

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    You mean a gigabit switch?

    Bleh, they're commodity products, unless you want to purchase one that's mid to high end.

    I've actually never seen an 8-port gigabit switch. Only 12 or higher. I'm sure one exists though.

    Note that you'd need to upgrade your NICs if you haven't already if you want to take advantage of the speed increase.
     
  4. kami

    kami Lifer

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    I recently setup a gigabit network in my place (for a 1.5 terabyte file server. it's actually needed....not a novelty thing) and got a 5 port SMC gigabit switch. SMC also makes an 8 port version...so does Linksys. It works fine, and I am getting close to gigabit speeds with cat5 cable. Actually I'm not sure if it's my hard drive or the network limiting the speed. This thing is freakin fast.

    Anyway all the PC's use Intel Pro1000 NIC's. They work great and are cheap.
     
  5. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    yeah i got the intel pro 1000 in this system already
    maybe i'll look into getting a switch


    can i hook gigabit capable computers up to the switch along with 10/100 systems and not worry about the switch running at only 10/100 speed ?
    that is if i wish to transfer between two gigabit comps it will be gigabit speed, even tho i have a few 10/100 systems hooked up too ?

    2 or 3 systems will be running 10/100 nics
    and 2 or 3 will be running gigabit nics


     
  6. AFB

    AFB Lifer

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    Why don't you people post these things in networking ? There is a networking forum you know.

    Edit: WTF ?? I was just in the hardware forum? :confused:
     
  7. AFB

    AFB Lifer

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    Yes, that is the idea of a switch. That and a couple of other things.
     
  8. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Giga means that the Internal Clock is running 1000MHz. Trying to attribute it to "Speed of Transfer" is a Marketing thing.

    Current Giga NICs are highly dependent on the OS and System used. Nowhere in the real world it is close to 1000% (x10) improvement. MS's TCP/IP protocol on WinXP is not yet optimized for such high speed communication.

    Under "normal situation" between two home computers on a peer to peer Network. The gain of "Speed" might be only 25% to 50% (x .25 to .50).

    I.e. if your system is 100Mb/sec. and yields 10MB/sec. transfer, by replacing the NIC with Giga NICs and the Switch with Giga Switch the Network will probably yield 12.5MB/sec. to 15MB/sec. (if your hardware is fast).

    If one of the computers is equipped with Real Server OS like Windows 2003 the "Speed" from Server to client might improve by 150% i.e. you will get 25MB/sec. (x2.5)

    If you install Giga on Double Xenon Computers with fast SCSI RAID, and Server Software you might get 400% (x4) improvement.

    All numbers are approximation for demonstration purposes, YMMV.

    Link to: The Big Giga Thread

    Note: 1GHz = 1000MHz. 1000Mb/sec. (b=bit) is 125MB/sec. (B=Byte) 8bits = 1Byte. For Byte you use Capital B.
     
  9. gunrunnerjohn

    gunrunnerjohn Golden Member

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    And if anyone figures out how to improve those numbers, I'd sure like to hear about it! :D I would love to backup at faster speeds over my network, so far my gigabit investment was wasted. :brokenheart:
     
  10. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    haha well thanks everyone
     
  11. cmetz

    cmetz Platinum Member

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    Soulkeeper, the SMC 5&8 port gigabit switches are supposed to support jumbograms, a feature worth paying a little extra money for. Beyond that, they are pretty much all the same. I have a Hawking 4-port gigabit switch and according to my IXIA, it delivers the performance. At the 4/5/8 port level, that's just not hard anymore, it's all commodity chipsets anyway.

    Gigabit NICs: Actually, let's kinda talk chips, since what board is built around it isn't as important as what chip does the work. My assumption that I will have more data on in a few days (finally have one in my lab) is that the best is the Intel Pro/1000 CT / 82547EI CSA gigabit LAN-on-motherboard chip - since it must be built into the motherboard, this doesn't do you much good unless you want to buy a new system. Best so far PCI card in my tests is the Broadcom Tigon III (BCM57xx), as in 3c996BT or Netgear GA302T. Second best is the Intel Pro/1000 MT. I have not yet tested the Marvell Yukon chip that's become popular (see new D-Link and Linksys boards) but expect good things of it because it's based on SysKonnekt's logic.

    The National Semiconductor chipset (DP83820) found on many low-end boards is known to have lousy performance. I have not yet tested but have in my lab a RealTek-based (8169) gigabit board, and I expect that it will be the Rtl8139C+ of the gigabit world, that is, I expect it to also have lousy performance.

    Someday when I have time (ha!) I'll do somewhat scientific performance tests from my lab and post them for the world to see. Most of the time I'm doing tests it's for a particular project where I'm looking at a fairly narrow problem, I haven't yet just done the big head to head.

    As far as performance goes, there's raw network performance and there's real-world throughput. A few days ago I was testing something for a project and I got 940Mb/s UDP netperf performance between two OpenBSD boxes with P4 2.4Cs, one on an Intel CSA gigabit and the other on an Intel Pro/1000MT gigabit. TCP dropped it to about 740Mb/s. That should give you an idea of what raw capability is possible. The simple reality is that if you're running Windows and doing SMB file sharing off your IDE hard drive, well, you've got a lot of bottlenecks there, hardware and software, and in the real world you'll probably end up getting more than 100Mb/s, but a lot more at that level than at the level of 10x that. If you want to do real world file service at approaching 1Gb/s, there are folks at Network Appliance and Sun waiting for your call ... just don't expect that out of a commodity PC running Windows for a while.
     
  12. onelin

    onelin Senior member

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    Dell makes 8 port gigabit switches. I haven't decided if I want an 8 or a 16...the 16's and 24's were just on sale recently.
     
  13. cmetz

    cmetz Platinum Member

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    onelin0, Dell had the 16s on sale for the same price as the 8 - $179 - which was a great deal. I'd wait for that deal to come around again. Though Dell's been more stingy on deals lately :(
     
  14. onelin

    onelin Senior member

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    My friend bought a few, I'm considering buying one from him at cost :) otherwise another friend wants to dump an 8 port for $100.
     
  15. jonny13

    jonny13 Senior member

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    I upgraded to a Linksys 8 port gigabit switch back in December and never drop below 25 or so MB/s between two desktops with XP and from the server to the desktops, can get into the low 40's for MB/s. So, the difference is quite large, even between desktops. And that is just with standard WD 200 GB drives and no raid. So, if you are moving a lot of data, I would definitely recommend the upgrade.

    Jonny
     
  16. sharq

    sharq Senior member

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    Just out of curiosity, I run a 10/100 router, the most I've had to transfer is a backup of 20gb worth of data cause I was formatting a computer. On avg it's the equivalent of a 700mb linux iso, which takes a few minutes. I never timed it, I just start the dl from ftp, go get a coke, and a snack, and it's done when I'm back. Just a few mins. Some times when I transfer over my 802.11b, that can take a while, but that's a different issue. So what are you guys transfering that you need the approximately 100% - 150% (based on JackMDS post) increase, on avg?
     
  17. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    ok i think i found the switch i might get

    LINKSYS Gigabit 8-Port Workgroup Switch, Model EG008W - Retail

    is that any good ?


    i own an 8-port 10/100 linksys hub right now, but it keeps turning itself on and off

    are there any issues with this switch ??
     
  18. AFB

    AFB Lifer

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    Look at Newegg reviews.
     
  19. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    yeah i did that
    two people commented
    one said it was great the other said it was so loud he returned it
     
  20. jonny13

    jonny13 Senior member

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    That is the switch I have and it seems to perform very well, haven't had an issue with it yet. I don't notice the sound since I have it in my rackmount with 5 - 120mm fans going so that drowns out just about everything a little switch is going to throw out.

    Jonny
     
  21. Soulkeeper

    Soulkeeper Diamond Member

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    thanks
    i might just get that one then
     
  22. AFB

    AFB Lifer

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    Sound ? In a switch ?? There putting fans in everything nowdays.:confused:
     
  23. onelin

    onelin Senior member

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    Maybe some people have a DVD burner on only one system and archive from other systems... I burned 15-20GB of rarely accessed stuff a couple weeks ago to a friend's burner and it took a lot more than "a few minutes" over 10/100... we're talking ~30 mins. I've used gigabit with the same machine and it's significantly faster. When I do something I don't like waiting, you can shrug it off like I used to with my 4x burner, but :)

    My case only has 1 5.25" bay so this will be my longer term reason, as well as a fileserver due to a 1-HDD limitation as well. (we're talking laptop weight LAN case yet micro-atx)

    We're talking no scsi, raptors, or raid...but if that's the case, the decision is significantly easier.

    I still have some old 8 port intel 10/100 hubs I got 5 years ago for <$20 a pop (dirt cheap back then, yay price errors!) they have loud as heck fans, though :( Hey that's it, I can justify a new switch based on that! :D

    edit: added the important part
     
  24. jonny13

    jonny13 Senior member

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    They have fans in most (if not all gigabit switches) now since the it actually has a few CPU's in there creating some heat. It isn't very loud, but if you are in a silent room, you might here it.

    I use my switch because I rip movies and also download a lot of TV shows, etc. So, I move 5-10 GB at a time. I mainly got it when I kept having friends coming over and raiding my archive. It would takes hours and now it takes 4-5 times less time. I have a friend that does a lot of animation and he moves 10-15 GB of files around each day, depending on what he is working on. At work, they have about 2 TB of space used to store all of the animations and they need fast access to them.

    Jonny
     
  25. networkman

    networkman Lifer

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    I have an 8port Hawking Technology gigabit switch here at home; I've got three PCs hooked up to it using the Intel Pro/1000 adapters(32bit) and the speeds are not what I expected they'd be. Granted, there are going to be other bottleneck to contend with at that speed, but even on the best scenario thus far, performance was only about 3x that of the 100bT speeds that I'd been getting previously(on the Cisco 10/100 switch). Still, three times faster is an improvement and comes in real handy when transferring very large .AVI files. :)
    BTW, that factor of 3 is not typical.. often, it's much closer to 2x - just depends on which system is sending/receiving.

    I've still got everything set to Auto-negotiation and so fourth so there's a bunch of tweaking to do yet.. I'm using Win2K on all of my boxes.
     
  26. CZroe

    CZroe Lifer

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    We need to talk. I just built an IDE RAID5 fileserver (Six 120GB Western Digital Special Edition drives on a Promise SuperTrak SX6000). I am also considering Gigabit. Anyway, I'm in a weird situation: I plan to use it to backup all my other PCs weekly (Network Ghost of a 30GB laptop and 40GB desktop) and host a file repository and CD/DVD-Image archive for all computers (To be run from the network via Daemon-Tools; the best virtual DVD rom ever). The problem is that I just did it on an Intel D850GB which has a maximum PCI bandwidth of ~90MB/s...

    Page 12, errata 5

    "Intel® 82850/82850E MCH

    5. Sustained PCI Bandwidth
    Problem: During a memory read multiple operation, a PCI master will read more than one complete cache
    line from memory. In this situation, the MCH pre-fetches information from memory in order to
    provide optimal performance. However, the MCH cannot provide information to the PCI master
    fast enough. Therefore, the Intel® 82801BA terminates the read cycle early to free up the PCI bus
    for other PCI masters to claim.
    Implication: The early termination limits the maximum bandwidth to ~90 MB/s.
    Workaround: None
    Status: There are no plans to fix this erratum."

    After PCI bus overhead, I suspect it will be closer to what I've heard reported from other sources: 80MB/s maximum transfer throughput. PCI bandwidth @ 133MB/s is already a major factor discouraging an upgrade to Gigabit, so this only exasperates the problem. The fact that I'm running six IDE channels off of the same bus means that it will certainly be more than saturated. The file transfers over Gigabit, like Fast Ethernet, will be going straight to the drives on the same bus thereby doubling the traffic on the bus. A motherboard upgrade is not something I plan on doing for the system designated as the fileserver (A fileserver is the only thing a 1.3GHz P4 system is good for). The SX6000 will have 256MB of onboard cache memory in addition to the 8x6MB included on the drives, but that will only be useful for file transfers once I get a removable HDD in there as I doubt the drives will ever be a bottleneck through the other methods. I will be running Windows Server 2003.

    As you can see, my usage is very bandwidth intensive and will benefit from any increase in network performance, but I must ask: How much? Do you think Gigabit will simply steal all the PCI bandwidth and severely bottleneck the drive array or will it sort of balance out? Overall, will it be worth it for the cost of two Netgear cards and a crossover cable? Would it still be worth it after throwing in the Linksys switch (~$160)? My brother seems very interested in firewire networking, though I don't want the fileserver on the same floor and we would need to buy all the equipment for that too (PCI card, hubs, cables, etc). That isn't a good alternative, is it?

    Thnx!

    EDIT: This is so why I was hoping someone would make an AGP Gigabit card ;)

    I have a large plain-old hub with a loud fan in it. It stopped working too.