gigabit vs. firewire400 vs. usb2 networking


R

Ric

I have 2 computers currently connected by crossover cable using 10/100
Ethernet adapters. One is running on a 2 GHz AMD Athlon XP, the other on a
450 MHz PIII. When transferring files over this connection I average around
70 Mbps. After doing a little reading I realize this is pretty good,
considering a lot of people can't break past 50 Mbps. However, I'd like to
do better if possible.

My first thought was adding a pair of gigabit Ethernet cards, since they're
pretty cheap now. The theoretical speed is more than enough to keep up with
any of my hard drives. However, I read somewhere that you need at least a
700 MHz processor to handle the max bandwidth of gigabit. I'm not sure how
true that is.

Other (even cheaper) options I've considered is firewire400, since the AMD
already has a firewire port and I have a cable, I'd only need to add a
firewire card to the PIII.

There's also USB2.0: I'd add a USB 2.0 card to the PIII and get a USB2.0
bridge.

Besides storing files, the PIII is also host to a few internet servers and
misc. software, so I don't want a solution that is going to take a constant,
significant chunk of the processor.

Any of the 3 options, in theory, should be faster than the hard disks.
However, in the real world, considering attainable speeds and cpu usage,
which one would be my best option? The price difference isn't substantial,
so speed and cpu efficiency are my main concerns.

Thanks!
Ric
 
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J

Jack

Hi
Firewire is not a good idea to mix with Network.
For USB2 transfer you need to buy a special USB2 Network Transfer Cable.
Cable.

http://www.comready.com/scepkomx9sko.html

Connecting a regular USB2 cable between to computer would probably damage
your Computer's Motherboard.

The best way to do it is by two Giga NICs connected with CAT6 crossover
cable.

However to do not get misled by numbers the actual performance is much less
then Giga.

Home Giga Network: http://www.ezlan.net/giga.html

Jack (MVP-Networking).
 
S

Steve Winograd [MVP]

"Ric" said:
I have 2 computers currently connected by crossover cable using 10/100
Ethernet adapters. One is running on a 2 GHz AMD Athlon XP, the other on a
450 MHz PIII. When transferring files over this connection I average around
70 Mbps. After doing a little reading I realize this is pretty good,
considering a lot of people can't break past 50 Mbps. However, I'd like to
do better if possible.

My first thought was adding a pair of gigabit Ethernet cards, since they're
pretty cheap now. The theoretical speed is more than enough to keep up with
any of my hard drives. However, I read somewhere that you need at least a
700 MHz processor to handle the max bandwidth of gigabit. I'm not sure how
true that is.

Other (even cheaper) options I've considered is firewire400, since the AMD
already has a firewire port and I have a cable, I'd only need to add a
firewire card to the PIII.

There's also USB2.0: I'd add a USB 2.0 card to the PIII and get a USB2.0
bridge.

Besides storing files, the PIII is also host to a few internet servers and
misc. software, so I don't want a solution that is going to take a constant,
significant chunk of the processor.

Any of the 3 options, in theory, should be faster than the hard disks.
However, in the real world, considering attainable speeds and cpu usage,
which one would be my best option? The price difference isn't substantial,
so speed and cpu efficiency are my main concerns.

Thanks!
Ric

I use Firewire400 networking between my three main computers. When
copying large files, I typically get data transfer speeds of 90-140
Mbps. For example, I just copied a 272,391 KB file in 16 seconds, for
a speed of 133 Mbps.
--
Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd, MS-MVP (Windows Networking)

Please post any reply as a follow-up message in the news group
for everyone to see. I'm sorry, but I don't answer questions
addressed directly to me in E-mail or news groups.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Program
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
 
S

Steve Winograd [MVP]

"Jack" said:
Hi
Firewire is not a good idea to mix with Network.
For USB2 transfer you need to buy a special USB2 Network Transfer Cable.
Cable.

http://www.comready.com/scepkomx9sko.html

Connecting a regular USB2 cable between to computer would probably damage
your Computer's Motherboard.

The best way to do it is by two Giga NICs connected with CAT6 crossover
cable.

However to do not get misled by numbers the actual performance is much less
then Giga.

Home Giga Network: http://www.ezlan.net/giga.html

Jack (MVP-Networking).

Why do you say that Firewire isn't good for networking? I've set up a
Firewire network between my three main computers, and it works fine
for sharing files, printers, and Internet access, with speeds up to
twice as fast as Fast Ethernet.
--
Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd, MS-MVP (Windows Networking)

Please post any reply as a follow-up message in the news group
for everyone to see. I'm sorry, but I don't answer questions
addressed directly to me in E-mail or news groups.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Program
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
 
R

Ric

Jack said:
Hi
Firewire is not a good idea to mix with Network.

What's wrong with firewire? At least XP has a built in TCP/IP driver for it.
For USB2 transfer you need to buy a special USB2 Network Transfer
Cable. Cable.

http://www.comready.com/scepkomx9sko.html

Yes, that's what I meant. But what would the realworld speed be on such a
thing? Is it going to come close to 480, 240, 100, 50?
Connecting a regular USB2 cable between to computer would probably
damage your Computer's Motherboard.

The best way to do it is by two Giga NICs connected with CAT6
crossover cable.

I thought CAT5 was sufficient. The distance is less than 6' between
computers.
However to do not get misled by numbers the actual performance is
much less then Giga.

Home Giga Network: http://www.ezlan.net/giga.html

That page suggests giga performs very poorly, and would only give about 50%
improvement. Is that too cynical, or is it likely? Will USB2 outperform
giga?

I don't think the harddrive is capable of sustaining 40 MBps, so a
connection that can sustain around 300 Mbps would be sufficient to keep up
with the drive. In reality, 30 Mbps is probably a good transfer rate for a
hard drive, so 240 Mbps would do. That's what I'm reaching for...

Ric
 
J

Jack

Hi

Well base on my actual experience with the regular users, the 15' limit and
the Bridges installations that start to pop up make it a little
uncomfortable to people who are less knowledgeable in Networking than some
of the Gurus.

Jack (MVP-Networking).
 
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J

Jack

Hi

Yeah CAT5e will do.

All your questions are valid, but specific answers might really depend on
the total picture

of the Network and Hardware.

From a point of view of price, compatibility, ease of use, and Speed, I
would stick two Giga NICs and let the "chips fall where they would fall".
The Giga page on ezlan.net meant mainly to explain to the general public
that currently on basic Networks Giga NICs is far away from Giga transfer.

Jack (MVP-Networking).
 

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