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Discussion Starter #1
Ive got a 750K Broadband connection and Ive been using the USB 2.0 port to connect my cable modem to the computer, however Ive been told that USB port uses up too much resources since I pretty much have broadband on all the the time. I was also told that I would get better performance and stability if I used an ethernet connection.
Should I get an Ethernet card or stick to USB? :???:
 

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Emulation to the max!
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Yes I defintely agree with WEXP. Switch to an Ethernet card, it is much better. Faster more efficient and it saves you an usb port if you don't have many.
 

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An Ethernet aka NIC can be had for as little as $5 from Acortech with free shipping code (can we post coupon codes here?) or wait for one of those free after rebate ones.

IIRC, I heard there are network security flaws with USB. Do they only pertain to 1.0 or 2.0 share the same problems as well? Thanks
 

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Looks like your motherboard is pretty new. Should theoretically have abuilt on one already. Since I had a K7S5A and it had one, and that was a couple years ago, I'd say there's a good shot yours has one as well.
- Modem
 

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750/8=93.75 kb per sec. Does your connection downloads at this speed? If no get an ethernet. Most new mobos comes with ethernet nowadays. Or a Ethernet pci card deosnt cost that much. For less than 20 bucks you get it from ebay
 

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War Games coder
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If it's a realtek card and you're not running windows, stick with the USB.
Code:
[i][b]From the FreeBSD man pages[/i][/b][br]
NAME
	 rl -- RealTek 8129/8139 fast ethernet device driver
SYNOPSIS
	 device rl
...
<snip>
...
	 The RealTek controllers use bus master DMA but do not use a descriptor-
	 based data transfer mechanism.  The receiver uses a single fixed size
	 ring buffer from which packets must be copied into mbufs.  For transmis-
	 sion, there are only four outbound packet address registers which require
	 all outgoing packets to be stored as contiguous buffers.  Furthermore,
	 outbound packet buffers must be longword aligned or else transmission
	 will fail.
...
<snip>
...
BUGS
	 Since outbound packets must be longword aligned, the transmit routine has
	 to copy an unaligned packet into an mbuf cluster buffer before transmis-
	 sion.  The driver abuses the fact that the cluster buffer pool is allo-
	 cated at system startup time in a contiguous region starting at a page
	 boundary.  Since cluster buffers are 2048 bytes, they are longword
	 aligned by definition.  The driver probably should not be depending on
	 this characteristic.
	 The RealTek data sheets are of especially poor quality, and there is a
	 lot of information missing particularly concerning the receiver opera-
	 tion.  One particularly important fact that the data sheets fail to men-
	 tion relates to the way in which the chip fills in the receive buffer.
	 When an interrupt is posted to signal that a frame has been received, it
	 is possible that another frame might be in the process of being copied
	 into the receive buffer while the driver is busy handling the first one.
	 If the driver manages to finish processing the first frame before the
	 chip is done DMAing the rest of the next frame, the driver may attempt to
	 process the next frame in the buffer before the chip has had a chance to
	 finish DMAing all of it.

	 The driver can check for an incomplete frame by inspecting the frame
	 length in the header preceding the actual packet data: an incomplete
	 frame will have the magic length of 0xFFF0.  When the driver encounters
	 this value, it knows that it has finished processing all currently avail-
	 able packets.  Neither this magic value nor its significance are docu-
	 mented anywhere in the RealTek data sheets.
Unfortunately, this card is one of the most widely circulated. It's integrated into my laptop, and currently both NICs in my server are Realteks :(.
 

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The Hunter
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15,879 Posts
Well a friend of mine had problems with USB, and nowadays we can't even get USB modems anymore since all providers give Ethernet modems :p

I bought an Ethernet card a few days ago, and it was surprisingly cheap.

And inserting and installing it is a breeze.

So especially when you notice any problems or your speed isn't optimal, you should get an Ethernet card :)

2 Thoughtless: I bought it for 20 euros in a computer store, no need for ebay to get it (cause you'll be paying shipping costs as well)
 

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Forgot this place existed
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100 Posts
Ethernet, you don't need any drivers to make it work, and I got a bunch of problems using my cable modem on USB, ****ty drivers, a lot of XP blue screens when playing online games, ect.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I just bought an Ethernet card for £10. WinXP automatically installed the drivers and according to Device Manager its a "Realtek RTL8139 Family Fast Ethernet NIC" card.

[Thoughtless] said:
750/8=93.75 kb per sec. Does your connection downloads at this speed? If no get an ethernet. Most new mobos comes with ethernet nowadays. Or a Ethernet pci card deosnt cost that much. For less than 20 bucks you get it from ebay
Well I never could download at that speed when I had USB. Ive noticed that with Ethernet my system sped up a little.

Apparently windows update detected a newer driver for the ethernet card. dunno if I should install it.
 

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Premium Member
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Windows Update "drivers" are not always the newest. Always go to the manufacturers website to get the latest :) They keep wanting me to download an ATI Graphic driver from 2001 :p
 

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AKA snkmad
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KillerSHots, what all those info mean??
 

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War Games coder
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Basically means that as far as a lot of people can tell, RealTek cards are very poorly designed and sometimes prone to transferring faulty data when the driver fails to capture the error.
 

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Hrrm. Never had any probem using realtek ethernet. It can go pretty fast. I was able to transfer a file in my home network with a speed of 8mb per sec. Since your internet connection doesn't go faster than 93.75 kb per sec, I would say stick to the Realtek
 
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