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techdood

Is there a reason to use a network adapter instead of integrated MB's connector?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

For a user at home who has a fairly modern simple home level motherboard, is there a reason to use a network adapter instead of just plugging in the cable into the motherboard? I have extra slots to use and I have a network adapter, I'm just not sure if I should bother connecting it and using it instead. I can't think of any difference or advantage?

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You should use network cards if you require bandwidth higher than supported by your motherboard.

I doubt you will see an improvement if the card support the same bandwidth as your motherboard unless your motherboard is damaged in some way.

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Most if not all current gen mainboards support 1gb ethernet out of the box. For a home user this is generally enough.

If you are an more advanced home user and use the computer as a streaming box and / or NAS you can experience a bottleneck. but is not likely.

 

So no, the average user will not need it.

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For a home user, the speed of the entire network depends on the slowest link in the system. Unless your motherboard has a Fast Ethernet port (100 MBps) or the chip is defective, you really don't need to upgrade to a network interface card (NIC).

 

However, if you want even faster connection (beyond 10 GBps or link aggregation) or care about the performance of the rest of the computer (anecdotal evidence suggest Intel NIC reduces CPU load, Realtek NIC are more likely to fail, and Killer Network offers lower latency, etc.) you may consider upgrade to a dedicated NIC for your system instead of using the onboard port.


"Mankind’s greatest mistake will be its inability to control the technology it has created."

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4 hours ago, SkyHound0202 said:

However, if you want even faster connection (beyond 10 GBps or link aggregation) or care about the performance of the rest of the computer (anecdotal evidence suggest Intel NIC reduces CPU load, Realtek NIC are more likely to fail, and Killer Network offers lower latency, etc.) you may consider upgrade to a dedicated NIC for your system instead of using the onboard port.

Not just lower CPU load, Intel NICs usually seem to reach a higher throughput.

When copying files to/from a NAS or if you are really trying to push full Gigabit broadband, then an extra ~30Mbit "might" be worth it.  But under most circumstances, it really isn't.  Especially as we are talking about a NIC they already have, which could be a worse chipset than the motherboard one.

Of course if they have another wired device nearby and are short of ethernet ports, they could bridge both adapters and use the PC as a switch.  You never know when that can come in handy, but again we aren't talking a typical use case.


Modems: 2 x VMG3925-B10B V5.13(AAVF.12)C0-jumbo
Router: i5-7200U appliance running pfSense.
ISP: Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 + Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra. (~60Mbit each)

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