View Full Version : Opinion for a good cheap net card ..

16th August 1999, 14:07
Yeah .. i'm looking for some good cheapo NIC that'd work under win9x, NT, and Red Hat Linux .. bet. 20-30 .. any recomendation ??

GigaByte 6BXE, celeron 300A@464, 128 PC100 RAM,
G200 8 M SD @112.5 core. driver 5.13, bios 1.6.

16th August 1999, 19:16
If you don't want to go with any less than the best quality, take 3Com. Their bulk cards are quite affordable too. (less than 50% of the retail price)


17th August 1999, 00:23
Erm, you can get un-named cards with realtek chips on them. 10/100mbps cards costing like under 15 here in the UK. Have a look out for them, I've never had any troubles from them.


My PC? Not that bad, got all sorts of crap in it, and all sorts of crap around it and my desk is also messy. Now what does that say about me? ;)

17th August 1999, 02:11
I've experienced problems with those cheap Realteks. The thing was that they didn't work with 3Com adapters..
I'm having a hard time in convincing me that it was because of 3Com hardware. http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by Buuri (edited 08-17-1999).]

17th August 1999, 02:12
3Com and Intel are usually the best brands to go with. $40-$100USD for these babies. Best on the market though, especially the 3Com Fast Etherlink XL series. These cards also support everything (I believe that Red Hat 6.0 has drivers for most of the 3Com and Intel line).

If you want less expensive I suggest getting a D-Link or LinkSYS. They work and can do anything you need them to. They will not have the quality of the 3Com's or Intel's, but they get the job done. About $20-$50USD.

Now if you want dirt cheap, but will work with a no frills, no chills package, get an Addtron. There are other cheap-o brands, but Addtron is about the best of the cheapest. For about $15-$25USD you get can a no frills, no chills, but functional, 10/100 PCI NIC. Great for just simple networking. I do not know if they have any driver support for Linux though. You will have to research that on your own.


PIII 540, 256 MB SDRAM, ASUS P3B-F, Winblows 98 SuckyEdition, 18 GB HDD, 6x DVD w/ decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 which will be replaced by a Matrox G400, SB Live!

17th August 1999, 11:40
CNet USA 10/100 $15 US.

17th August 1999, 13:39
Thanx for the reply guys ..
it looks like the 3Com is a winner here ..the boxed one will cost me about 250 l.e. (70$)and the oem ( only the card in an antistatic bag and the WOL connector ) for 200 l.e.( 60$ ) should this be half the price really ?? this is the 3C905b card.
Also i'm considering the RealTEK (RTL) too .. there r Genius cards with RTL chip and unbranded cards bet 70-90 l.e. 20-25$
It looks like Linux has support for RTL chipset as an NE2000 compatible.
Another quiestion folks .. i'm going to connect to connect only 2 pc's with those cards .. os it's not worth to buy a hub .. i heared that you can connect'em by inversing the tx and rx signlas at each end .. is that it ??
thanks again

GigaByte 6BXE, celeron 300A@464, 128 PC100 RAM,
G200 8 M SD @112.5 core. driver 5.13, bios 1.6.

17th August 1999, 13:45
I'm using two 3Com 3c509B's two AcerLan ALN-325's and a DLINK DFE-530TX. They all seem to perform the same tasks equably well, but the Acer and DLINK cards were both just under $20USD

17th August 1999, 23:58
2 cards, 2 comps, no hub = yes.

but only cross one plug. crossing both will ah cuse the cable not to work. http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif

the cable is commonly called a cross over cable. max length be tween systems i think is 300 feet (with out a hub) im not sure though.

i am running a cable 50 feet with no problems.

you can buy a cross over cable 20foot or under in most larger stores or have one made up. just make sure that the place you have make one knows what they are doing. one place by where i live said that you needed a hub and didnot even know what a crossover cable was. or they just couldn't be botherd.

I am begining to realize that i don't have a sosal life.
and im becomeing depressed over it. i don't know what i would do if I didnot have my computer and the few friends that anoyme from time to time.
why is life so hard and full of pain and fear of the unknown. wow maybe i should stop drinking and cruseing the net what do you think?

18th August 1999, 09:25
3com 10/100tx is what i normaly use (i liek the vortex chipset on them) or any noname using the dec tulip chipset is also a good safe buy

19th August 1999, 01:22
Talking of cable lengths - I have got a 40 odd foot CAT5 cable, and have some weird properties. Can onyone help?

Right, I have an RJ45 connector each end, and plugging in one end to the hub, the other into the NIC, it works perfectly at 10mbps. Switch it to 100mbps, and the connection is unreliable. You may think that it's cheapy cable? Let me continue. If I take off one of the RJ45 plugs, and stick on an outlet, then put a patch lead from that outlet to the hub (or the NIC if it's the other end), then it runs percetly at 100mbps.

Weird eh?


My PC houses one of these things which seems to affect some people's lives far too much...

19th August 1999, 02:46
Now there's a cheapo NIC for you!
It's really simple: your NIC is not up to standards what it comes to cable lengths while it's amp is not powerfull enough. Hub repeats the signals with proper voltage which shows to you as a working connection.

(hmm.. I wonder if I understood you right.. was it an extension you put to the end of it that made it work or a hub?)


[This message has been edited by Buuri (edited 08-19-1999).]

19th August 1999, 03:13
The problem with 3com cards is that 3com has this nasty tendency to make "minor" revisions to the chip without changing the revision number or chip name. These revisions sometimes (although not often) cause Windows to misidentify the chip until new drivers are released, but they ALWAYS screw up Linux. That's why some people tend to shy away from 3com cards under Linux.

I've never had a problem with them personally, even in situations where they supposedly have problems (multiple NICs in one machine doing NAT)...

- Slarty nee Ash

Portions of this message may have been Copyright 1999, Jorden van der Elst. All rights (and lefts) reserved.
Specs? You want specs? Yeah. Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up. See this? This is my boomstick! It's a twelve gauge double barreled Remington, S-Mart's top-of-the-line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop Smart. Shop S-mart. Ya got that?! Now I swear, the next one of you primates, even touches me...

27th August 1999, 00:55
a linksys 10/100 pci card is a good cheap card.

it has a nice manule, has diagnostic tools and 4 led's (clearly marked) the card works well with others. (net gear and 3com cards.)

in my opinion its a well made card.

netgear ia a cheap card it works but it looks cheap and is not as well made as the linksys/3com (led's are not clearly and well marked.) a single sheet of paper is the manule and thire are no diagnotic tools with the card. (software other than drivers)

3com nice card but around 80.00 (so it shouldn't be listed here. nice led's (some kind of chip real small, good drivers diagnotic tools, i don't know abbout a manule cuase i did not pay for mine i got it out of an old computer (well not that old. a tech for some reason installed one extra so i took it as i only needed the onboard nic. http://forums.gagames.com/forums/smile.gif for the comp i was useing at work.

eck...... a mouse, run its a mouse, its going to infect you with a nasty cheese fetish.

27th August 1999, 05:16
I got a great deal for you:


LinkSYS Switched Network-in-a-Box. Comes with 2 x 10/100 Mb NIC's, 2 x 15' (4.6m) CAT5 cables, Decent 3, Unlimited user version of LAN Internet sharing software and a 5 port, full duplexed, auto-switching 10/100 Mb switch all for the extremely low price of $115.95USD (trust me, this price is a STEAL). I just got mine in a few days ago, and let me tell you, this network in a box FLIES!!!!

A switch is kind of like a hub/router/bridge all rolled into one. It acts like a hub (like plug and play, but it works), but has a deticated 200 Mb/s of bandwidth per port (100 Mb each way). Hubs on the otherhand only have X Mb for all the ports combined (so a 10 port 100 Mb hub has 10 Mb per port if all ports are active). Switches memorize who is on what port so it doesn't have to sit there and ping all the ports and cause massive amounts of collisions. I could go on, but man do these babies haul serious butt.

To test out my switch I copied 115 MB of MP3's from my friends computer to mine...under 20 seconds!!! That's about 5.75 MB a second, which is pretty damn fast (it could go faster, but my friend has a slow hard drive). Pings are all around 30 ms and gaming is silky smooth. If you are looking to get a good, fast network up fast, grab one of these puppies, THEY RULE!!!


PS - Maximum PC has a review on it in it's August magazine.

PIII 540, 256 MB SDRAM, ASUS P3B-F, Winblows 98 SuckyEdition, 18 GB HDD, 6x DVD w/ decoder, (TEMPORARY!!!) Voodoo 3 2000 which will be replaced by a Matrox G400, SB Live!

1st September 1999, 12:41
Hey Jammrock,
I will be getting a cable modem soon.
Would the network side of the modem hook up to that rig and let me connect both of our computers to one cable modem?

Oh, No! no sig yet!

3rd September 1999, 13:35
You want to keep away from some RealTek cards, despite the suggestions of many on here. The ones in question, I believe, are the ones based on the 8019/8029 chipset. These cards are really nothing more than an old NE2000 chipset glued onto a PCI interface. I don't think linux supports them at all (the 8129 is a different matter), so you should steer clear of them. They are always listed as being dirt cheap. Addtron and one other manufacturer uses this chipset on their boards...so beware.

I'll have to also recommend 3COM if you are using Win9x or WinNT primarily. They're pricey, that' for sure, but they give good performance under all OSes.

If you are primarily using linux, save yourself some money and get anything that has a DEC Tulip chipset on it. They're cheap, and the drivers for the DEC Tulip are the most dynamic of any PCI network cards for linux (just go into the kernel networking config, and you'll see quite a few options in there that work solely on the TULIP chipset cards.) They're the only cheap network cards that I'll even consider purchasing.

3rd September 1999, 21:27
The AOpen AL320TX (10/100 PCI) has drivers for virtually all major PC NOS, see here http://www.aopen.com.tw/tech/download/network/aln320tx.htm
Cost here $25 (Canada). I've been using them at home now for several months, no problems.

Ron. BH6 etc.

5th September 1999, 08:47
ok guys .. now i'm really confused ..
at a time i was decided to get the 3com's but i found out they'll cost me a real fortune (3-4 times the price of some other cards) and i don't have the money .. so when i setteled to get the Real tek cswan tells me to stay away .. cswan wat do u have against'em ? i checked out some linux resources on the net and even the real tek site .. and it sounds that many of their chips r supported through a specific driver or more commenly the ne2000 driver.
for the linksys cards : do they work under linux ? r they ne2000 compt. ?
cswan : wat cards use the dec tulip chip ? it's not easy to find anything here in egypt http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/frown.gif
ron .. thanx man .. but i didn't find AOpen cards neither http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/frown.gif
so for now .. my choices r limited to realtek, link sys, and mybee some DEC OEM cards ..
thanx guys ..it's a late reply i know .. but i sepnt lot of time lookin around http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/frown.gif

Giga Byte 6BXE, celeron300A@450, 128 Ram
G200 8M SD, driver 5.13, Bios 1.6

6th September 1999, 17:56
3Com make good cards, but as others have indicated, they are probably the most expensive on the market.

Intel make good cards and a not too bad price.

One firm I just finished a contract for uses SMC exclusively and the second exclusively Dlink. Both work well and are inexpensive.

I havae also had good experiences with the Netgear 10/100 card from Bay Networks and the price is excellent.

PDP-11, Dec-writer & ZD-11 Terminal Unit, RSTS-OS