I'm shopping a dell machine and wanted to know what the experts thought about the value aded by getting an upgraded NIC. I've got cat6 throughout network and gigabit routers.

On-Board Single Gigabit Network Adapter [Included in Price]

Intel® PRO 1000PT 1GbE Single Port NIC, PCIe-1 [add $139]

Intel® PRO 1000PT 1GbE Dual Port NIC, PCIe-4 [add $199] Dell Recommended May delay your PowerEdge T100 ship date

Broadcom® 5722 1GbE Single Port NIC, PCIe-1 [add $59]

Broadcom® 5708 Single Port 1GbE NIC w/TOE PCIe-4 [add $99]

Broadcom® 5708 Single Port 1GbE NIC w/TOE iSCSI, PCIe-4 [add $99]

Do the intel or broadcom nics perform better than the onboard? I'm using the servers for app servers/db servers/dcs. OS - windows server 2008 standard


The servers are xeon quadcore with 8gb ram and 7200rpm drives. They will be used for dc, sql server, iis.

  • 1
    Server details please; OS, protocols, apps, client type/number, switches etc. We need this before we can give you any real advice - will your environment support TOE for instance.
    – Chopper3
    Aug 13, 2009 at 19:08
  • 1
    It may be worth mentioning the OS you intend to run: drivers are often specific to OS and are significant in reliability and throughput of the whole subsystem.
    – mas
    Aug 13, 2009 at 19:10
  • i'm not sure what PCIe-4 brings to the table. i'm not sure that TOE brings any advantages to my setup.
    – mson
    Aug 13, 2009 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


Thanks for your answers, W2K8 can make use of the TOE, iSCSI acceleration and interrupt-coalescence offered by the last NIC in your list, of course you may not be using iSCSI so that may not be of consequence to you.

Whilst a PCI-ex1 adapter should have enough grunt to keep up I'd be tempted to go for a x4 adapter to give you the headroom and ensure that you're not hampering any other cards on the same bus.

The other two features will be of use to you, particular interrupt-coalescence in a DB environment. I'd go for either of the 5708's but given the iSCSI-accelerated one is the same price I'd go with that.

Of course you could always try the stock NIC and see how you get on, it might be perfectly adequate.


The Intel Adapters are quite nice. My vote goes to the Dual NIC

Intel® PRO 1000PT 1GbE Dual Port NIC, PCIe-4 [add $199] Dell Recommended May delay your PowerEdge T100 ship date

This is what we use in almost all of our servers - one for Internal networks, one for the outside world.

  • 1
    +1 There's are reason the Intels are on backorder- they are in demand.
    – kmarsh
    Aug 13, 2009 at 20:17

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