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Network Cards--Cheap vs. Expensive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alex Ethridge, Feb 13, 2003.

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  1. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

    Apr 10, 2000
    I've been using network cards for years now. My take on them is that they are in the same classification as modems. Both are networking devices of a sort. There are network cards one can get for less than $5 each when purchased in quantities of ten; and then there are the ones (like 3com, for instance) that cost ten times that much or even more.

    My questions are:
    • Is there a difference in reliability?
    • Is there a difference in the accuracy of transferred data?
    • Is there a difference in durability?
    Some cheaper NICs have given me a bump or two in the setup process; but, I have no specific experience that I can point to that indicates any real difference after that.
  2. JSanguancheu


    Aug 11, 2002
    From my experience, there really isn't much diferrence in performance. Haven't had one go bad on me yet after putting them in several machines over the years.

    I generally tend to stick with Intel or 3Com cards, not because I think them more reliable. It's mainly because I know I'll never have to worry about finding drivers as most of the newer versions of Windows come with the drivers for these brands.

    my $.02 :)
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    There is a potential difference in the more expensive boards, since they do a lot more processing on-board. OTOH, for most networks, it's simply not a factor. I've been using the inexpensive Netgear cards for years, and they've always performed well and didn't break the bank.
  4. bassetman

    bassetman Moderator (deceased) - Gone but never forgotten

    Jun 7, 2001
    My Realtecs cost between $10-$15 US and work fine.
    I personally would stay away from the cheapest of anything tech.
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