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Im thinking about building a server and the vendor has the option of adding a Network Adapter in addition to the one built-in? (they're both 1Gbps)

What benefits will I get in terms of performance gains, reliability...?

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closed as not constructive by Brent Pabst, Lucas Kauffman, Shane Madden, Michael Hampton, TheCleaner Nov 18 '12 at 20:26

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This totally depends on the on-board device, the discrete card available to you and the drivers/firmware in use, none of which we could speculate about on ServerFault without additional information. – Brent Pabst Nov 18 '12 at 19:32

What if you are a person that needs more than one NIC? Maybe you need 6 ports. That's why you can get additional cards, if you need to attach more than one TP cable to your machine.

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The answer depends on a lot of things, including:

  • The type of the network adapters already on the motherboard. (e.g. GBit NIC, 10 GBIT, infiniband?)
  • The support for the network adapters already on the motherboard. (E.g. no driver yet for your OS?)
  • Do you need more network cards than are included on-board?
  • Do you need specific features of a card? (e.g. TCP offloading when the on-board NIC does not support it).

Etc etc.

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