ISA vs PCI - which one for dual ethernet? What brand of hub?

ISA vs PCI - which one for dual ethernet? What brand of hub?

Post by ian steve » Sat, 04 Nov 2000 04:00:00



I recently acquired a machine with a 3COM Etherlink III ISA and am
about to purchase a second ethernet card so that I can configure the
system as a server/router/firewall.  I have been reading the ethernet
HOWTO which mentions that PCI cards are auto-detected and that ISA
cards need to be properly configured as modprobe might be harmful to
them.  Would it then be worth my time to save the hassle and fork out
the money for two PCI cards (I can get the same card as is present in
PCI form for $10 used, so it's not a big expense) and replace the ISA
card?  Or is configuration for ISA ethernet cards easier than it
sounds?

Also, I'm looking at hubs as well and some (like the 3Com HomeConnect
5PT) run at $150+.  Is this a decent price to pay? or can I go cheaper
since I do not need the various software which would come with the
hub.  I'm looking for something with four or five ports for home and
work-at-home use.  Is there anything (including older hubs I might find
used) that anyone can recommend?

thanks,
ian.

 
 
 

ISA vs PCI - which one for dual ethernet? What brand of hub?

Post by Lac Hao Vie » Sat, 04 Nov 2000 04:00:00




Quote:> I recently acquired a machine with a 3COM Etherlink III ISA and am
> about to purchase a second ethernet card so that I can configure the
> system as a server/router/firewall.  I have been reading the ethernet
> HOWTO which mentions that PCI cards are auto-detected and that ISA
> cards need to be properly configured as modprobe might be harmful to
> them.

        I think it's the other way around.

 Would it then be worth my time to save the hassle and fork out

Quote:> the money for two PCI cards (I can get the same card as is present in
> PCI form for $10 used, so it's not a big expense) and replace the ISA
> card?  Or is configuration for ISA ethernet cards easier than it
> sounds?

   Both are easy, but PCI bus is faster than ISA bus.
Quote:

> Also, I'm looking at hubs as well and some (like the 3Com HomeConnect
> 5PT) run at $150+.

        It depends on how many machines your local network may have; the more
port you need, the more momey you have to pay. I've got five-port
100Mb/s Linksys hub, which works very well for me. I've got it at $20.

  Is this a decent price to pay? or can I go cheaper

Quote:> since I do not need the various software which would come with the
> hub.  I'm looking for something with four or five ports for home and
> work-at-home use.  Is there anything (including older hubs I might
find
> used) that anyone can recommend?

> thanks,
> ian.

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

ISA vs PCI - which one for dual ethernet? What brand of hub?

Post by lynx » Sat, 04 Nov 2000 04:00:00




> I recently acquired a machine with a 3COM Etherlink III ISA and am about
> to purchase a second ethernet card so that I can configure the system as
> a server/router/firewall.  I have been reading the ethernet HOWTO which
> mentions that PCI cards are auto-detected and that ISA cards need to be
> properly configured as modprobe might be harmful to them.

3Com should be OK, even in an ISA version. misprobed NE2K clones can hang
the machine; but the NE2K driver doesn't even do probing anymore, IIRC,
precisely because of this. myself, i'd still look for a PCI card, just
because it's so much less hassle and worry. having to set hardware parameters
the hard way got old with me a _long_ time ago...

Quote:>  Would it then
> be worth my time to save the hassle and fork out the money for two PCI
> cards (I can get the same card as is present in PCI form for $10 used,
> so it's not a big expense) and replace the ISA card?

how much is your time and effort worth? for hardware functionality, 3Com
is good enough that ISA versus PCI shouldn't make a difference; but how
much work, thinking and manual configuration are you willing to do over
the lifetime of the card just to save ten bucks?

Quote:>  Or is configuration for ISA ethernet cards easier than it sounds?

you set the card's parameters (the one 3Com i owned, you had to run a
dos-based program to set them in the card's NVRAM), write the same
parameters down somewhere, boot to linux, and edit the isapnp and
modprobe configuration files to reflect whatever values you set the
card for. unless the driver is compiled into your kernel, in which case
you'll be editing the kernel's boot command line in lilo.conf instead.

and then you can forget about it, so that the next time you fiddle with
your hardware, it'll be time to scratch your head all over again trying
to figure out what you did and how...

Quote:> Also, I'm looking at hubs as well and some (like the 3Com HomeConnect
> 5PT) run at $150+.  Is this a decent price to pay?

for a 3Com, i'd say so. i've seen noname sixport hubs for $60, and likely
you could get second-hand stuff even cheaper still, but for a new 3Com
that sounds like a fair price.

--
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        " ... far away on the other side ... "
         -- Mike Oldfield, _Moonlight Shadow_

 
 
 

ISA vs PCI - which one for dual ethernet? What brand of hub?

Post by Glitc » Mon, 20 Nov 2000 14:47:27



> I recently acquired a machine with a 3COM Etherlink III ISA and am
> about to purchase a second ethernet card so that I can configure the
> system as a server/router/firewall.  I have been reading the ethernet
> HOWTO which mentions that PCI cards are auto-detected and that ISA
> cards need to be properly configured as modprobe might be harmful to
> them.  Would it then be worth my time to save the hassle and fork out
> the money for two PCI cards (I can get the same card as is present in
> PCI form for $10 used, so it's not a big expense) and replace the ISA
> card?  Or is configuration for ISA ethernet cards easier than it
> sounds?

> Also, I'm looking at hubs as well and some (like the 3Com HomeConnect
> 5PT) run at $150+.  Is this a decent price to pay? or can I go cheaper
> since I do not need the various software which would come with the
> hub.  I'm looking for something with four or five ports for home and
> work-at-home use.  Is there anything (including older hubs I might find
> used) that anyone can recommend?

I bought a generic 9 port hub (8 ports RJ45 connector and 1 BNC
connector) for $9 at a local computer show.  It's been about 6 months
and it still works. It has lights on it to show when a connection is
active as well as when data is being transferred (the same lights
blink).
 
 
 

1. 2 PCI Ethernet or 1 PCI + 1 ISA Ethernet?

Hello,

I got a cable modem connected to my Pentium 90MHz
appletalk/samba/file/print server. It's pretty fast for serving two
clients at home. But the motherboard has only 3 PCI slots and they all are
occupied by 1 MGA display card, 2 PCI ethernet cards. One ethernet card
serves the local network and the other is connected to the cable modem.

Now I'm going to install my new SCSI tape drive and I got a PCI SCSI-2
card... No more slot for it. Should I get a ISA ethernet card for the
cable modem or should I get a ISA SCSI card? My concern is the
speed/performance of the network once I drop a ISA ethernet card into the
system. 'cos I heard that ISA card demands more from the CPU than PCI
interface. What do you think?

Kelvin

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