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NIC card verse USB port for high speed cable.


Lugnut's Avatar
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08-16-01, 01:26 PM   #1  
I am planning to purchase the high speed cable access, Roadrunner. I downloaded the roadrunner applet to see if my machine will accomdate roadrunner. I expected that it would report all's well, particularly since I have a free USB port. To my surprise, the applet reported that I would only have "minimum" performance with the USB port, and then the applet recommended I use a NIC card for 'maximum' performance.

I certainly want the fastest speed available, but I thought USB ports were very fast already. Can someone give an informed opinion on the advantage of using a NIC card over the USB port?

And, secondly, since the applet was unclear on this point, is it referring to a Ethernet card, when they say NIC?

Just in case I left anything unclear, in Missouri, roadrunner supplies the cable modem which connects to the NIC or USB, so the modem is not an issue. My neighbor has roadrunner with a USB port and I have never seen anything that fast in my life, even at work on our T1.

Lugnut

 
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mrhoadar's Avatar
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08-16-01, 07:26 PM   #2  
NIC is short for Network Interface Card. The reason a NIC is faster is because it is a direct hardware connection that has a direct connection to the main BUSS via the PCI slot inside your computer. The USB connection is a software connection to a serial port that then goes through software. This is similar to the discussions in the past on this forum about Win Modems. Basicaly, the CPU has to work pretty hard with a USB adapter to make the software do the same job as dedicated hardware. NIC cards are cheap enough that if you want spead its worth the investment.

 
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08-25-01, 05:25 PM   #3  
Gary Tait
USB has more overhead than Ethernet, and the USB ideal
of 12 Mb/S is more than you can get. With ethernet (the NIC), it's more straight through.

 
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08-26-01, 06:24 PM   #4  
Nic VS USB




When I chose to go with cable, I was offered the choice of both USB & Nic card installed into a PCI slot. When I asked the salesman what the difference was, he just said we have people who can't install and won't pay for instalation of the nic card so we give them the choice of USB modems, so they can hook them up themselves. He also let me know not to expect the same level of performance from the USB. I installed the card and use the USBs for Zips and Scanners only. Marturo

 
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08-28-01, 07:31 PM   #5  
Buy a 10/100 base 3COM Ethernet card. 3COM makes very respected cards, and it won't sap the power out of your system like the USB would. USB performance depends a lot on the speed of your proccesor.

 
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08-30-01, 05:56 PM   #6  
Tommg
Unless your computer is pretty old, you may already have an ethernet card lurking inside it.

Tom

 
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09-07-01, 07:55 AM   #7  
Gary Tait
Most retail PCs don't come with ethernet
(AFAIK, all Macs do though).

If it does, you will see an enlarged telephone style
modular connecector, although older cards will have AUI
(15 pin, exactly like a joystick, almost smoked one plugging
it into AUI), and coak (a BNC connector).

 
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09-08-01, 07:14 AM   #8  
NIC vs USB



My Compaq had an ethernet chip set built on the mother board. It is a 1998 model that I installed a Linksys Nic card into one of it's 2 PCI slots. USB is slow and fit for scaners and joy sticks, not for high speed internet access. Would you rather have an ISA video card or one that uses AGP technoliges? That's about the same difference. Marturo

 
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03-07-02, 10:04 AM   #9  
I was reviewing my old posts and saw that I did not reply to this thread. Well, I recently got high speed cable after installing a NIC card. I am very happy. It is fast and does not bog down my cpu. I want to thank everyone for the meaningful replies.
You provided insight to a topic that I could not find myself on the web.

 
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03-10-02, 08:42 PM   #10  
Speed>>>>>>

That's great glad to hear you have cable now. I had Cable for some years but then @HOME went into bankruptcy, and we all were not sure If Mediacom would get anyone to come in. At the same time Bell South was running a special on ADSL so I went over to that. Cable is faster at different times of the day except when everyones online then it slows down abit.

With the ADSL it is the same speed all the time. I haven't had any trouble with it yet, and it seems fast enough for me. Who is your ISP for your Cable Company Lugnut? I think the new one that came in for Mediacom is called Comcast.

 
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03-11-02, 02:54 AM   #11  
roadrunner

I just got roadrunner hooked up, The service guy had to hook up a cable and then he put inside the pc a PCI ethernet adaptor and installed a driver, also hooked everything into a cable modem setting outside the machine. so overall if i did it myself i would of had to bye those 2 items. road runner here in NY is like $42 a month. wow what a difference though 1 sec and you are there
good luck

 
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