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Network Cards vs On Board

Syralys
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I never really questioned this until I was reading on it, but do Network Cards PCI-E do better than On board? I've read that it can be, but it's really dependent on the type of internet or the router you are using.

 

Would installing a Network card help in gaming or is it just for a faster speed for download and upload?

Here is a picture of my speed test which checks out normally for what is advertised for my download and upload from my ISP. This isn't even the best service my provider has to offer the best they offer is 1,000 down, 50 up, and 1,500 GB data limit. My plan right now is 200 down, 10 up, and 900 GB Data limit which the picture shows me getting more, and knowing real world results isn't going to come close to these speeds it still makes me wonder if a network card is worth investing in the near future.

 

If a network card can possibly help what ones would you recommend?

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Unless your motherboard is really old, it can probably handle up to speeds up to 1Gbps. Which means it wouldn't really make a difference if you upgraded your NIC

CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600x | GPU GIGABYTE GTX 1070ti WINDFORCE | MOBO ASUS Prime X570-P | MEMORY XPG Spectrix 2x8GB 3200MHz  | PSU OCZ Zx 850W | CASE NZXT H440

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The onboard network chips connect to the chipset using a pci-e x1 lane. These lanes have a maximum throughput of either 500 MB/s (~4gbps) for pci-e v2.0 or 970 MB/s (~8gbps), so in any case, you're not limited by the fact that the chip in onboard instead of in a slot. They're exactly the same chips as the ones used on pci-e cards.

Motherboard manufacturers will tend to use cheaper chips, and that's why you see chips like Realtek 8111 and its variants all over the place... it's an old design which is perfectly fine for 1 gbps

Unless you're going to buy a pci-e network card on the higher end (like let's say 40$ or more), you're going to get chips of the same "class" of performance.

 

On the higher end, you'll see some chips made on newer manufacturing processes, or chips with more inteligence in them (more hardware offloading) but basically this doesn't translate into higher transfers, not really.

 

What you may notice with these higher end network cards is slightly smaller processor usage when transferring at very high speeds (like 3-400mbps and up), or when transferring through multiple connection (like when downloading 10 torrents where you're downloading from 50-100 peers on each torrent)... it would be something like 8% processor used by the onboard network card to deal with all those connections and that transfer speed compared to around 5% processor usage for the dedicated network card.

 

 

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