What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

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What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby Necrodude » 2019-2-09 @ 13:03

My question is like the title
"What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?"

Basically I want my super socket 7 system to be as fast as possible. I want my fps game to have the highest frame rate possible.
Im going to use the computer for lan games.

Any good card you can suggest for me.
Last edited by Necrodude on 2019-2-09 @ 13:26, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What is he least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-2-09 @ 13:14

The 3Com cards were always highly regarded, I think the 3C905B / 3C905C cards are quite easy to get and have good CPU offloading.

Intel cards are pretty good too, they also have offloading. I think both have good DOS drivers?

Ideally, just stay away from realtek cards, or no-name cards. They're all equally not-so-valuable now, so just look for 3Com and Intel cards :D
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Re: What is he least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-09 @ 13:24

Good question, as I'm interested to know more about that. I have tried several NICs, such as the Intel PRO/100 Intelligent Server Adapter, the D-Link DFE-550TX and the 3Com 3C905C-TX-M, but none have provided any real offloading to the CPU or at least a tangible one. Instead, all I got was worse performance, and slow boot times caused by the interface that controls the offloading chip.

Ironically enough, the least worse of the cards I tried is the D-Link DFE 538TX, which is based on the Realtek 8139 chip. And if they performed so bad on a Tualatin, I cannot imagine on a Super Socket 7 system... But my experience might have been due to XP, instead of 98. Maybe it gets better with the VXD drivers, but with WDM ones, it's been a disaster.
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Re: What is he least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-2-09 @ 13:34

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=41474&start=0

Looks like it was discussed previously, seems like the conclusion was Win9x doesn’t support any CPU offloading.
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a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby Necrodude » 2019-2-09 @ 17:21

cpu offloading or not. Some cards has to be faster the others. Some drivers has to be better than other. The question is witch card and driver is best and witch card is second best and so on
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby GigAHerZ » 2019-2-09 @ 17:32

I've been using 3COM 3C509B ISA cards everywhere. I have lots of them and they are well supported and compatible with wide amount of software so often you don't even need additional drivers.

I remember reading somewhere that those cards do lot's of offloading from cpu to it's own chip. But i don't know how could i check or test it.
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby Necrodude » 2019-2-09 @ 18:13

Right now I am using a intel PRO GT 1000 card, and before that I had a 3com ehterlinklink III card of som sort. Swapping cards made no difference with the performance whatsoever.

Anyone who has any idea witch 3com card is supposed to me the quickest?
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-09 @ 18:36

I remember that Gigabit NICs were the worst in terms of performance, because the higher bandwidth put a strain on the CPU. Take it with a grain of salt but that's what I remember when talking about Gigabit NICs on home desktops.
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-09 @ 18:49

You'll need to modify the TCP receive window variable in the registry along with other things to get perfromance increases visible with various cards. By default there's a software level bottleneck in the way. Program called TCPoptimizer can automate all of this.
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby dionb » 2019-2-09 @ 19:36

3Com cards are highly regarded, widely available and have excellent driver support (at least the common ones), but they use a PIO design instead of using shared memory, which limits performance and - most relevantly here - increases CPU dependence.

As a networking person I've been collecting a bit pile of vintage network cards and one day intend to do some apples vs apples benchmarking. I'd suspect Intel, DEC or AMD chipsets to generally beat contemporary 3Com designs. That said, 3Com are miles better than Realtek, that leave absolutely everything to the CPU.

I'd suggest going with PCI rather than ISA if possble, and if your application doesn't need high throughput, stay with lower speed (10/100 not GbE).
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-09 @ 21:40

Now I understand why the 3C905C-TX-M causes that overhead on the CPU and the performance reduction... I have reinstalled it back in the RDD, but this time I'm using another driver version (v4.31 for 2000/XP) which drastically mitigates the performance impact. Now the NIC runs way better, although I lost some points in 3DMark benchmarks, but at least it works as it should now, without slowing the system down. I can safely say that the driver version matters even for NICs.
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby Necrodude » 2019-2-09 @ 22:19

Tiido wrote:You'll need to modify the TCP receive window variable in the registry along with other things to get perfromance increases visible with various cards. By default there's a software level bottleneck in the way. Program called TCPoptimizer can automate all of this.


Thank you! I will try that.
I found a lot of interesting tweaks on the site! :)
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby candle_86 » 2019-2-10 @ 02:45

looking4awayout wrote:Now I understand why the 3C905C-TX-M causes that overhead on the CPU and the performance reduction... I have reinstalled it back in the RDD, but this time I'm using another driver version (v4.31 for 2000/XP) which drastically mitigates the performance impact. Now the NIC runs way better, although I lost some points in 3DMark benchmarks, but at least it works as it should now, without slowing the system down. I can safely say that the driver version matters even for NICs.


From my limited testing a k6-3 can't push more than about 134mb/s burst and around 60 sustained.
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Re: What is the least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on a super socket 7 system?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-2-10 @ 03:23

3com, Intel, and DEC Tulip (including clones) chipsets tended to be the best for performance.
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Re: What is he least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?

Postby SirNickity » 2019-2-11 @ 20:35

BinaryDemon wrote:Looks like it was discussed previously, seems like the conclusion was Win9x doesn’t support any CPU offloading.


That can't be right. The 3C509 / 3C905 made a big deal of those Parallel Tasking ASICs. That's WHY people bought 3Com cards. And what other OS would you have been using when they were being sold? Maybe NT in a server role, but IME it always seemed like desktops were primarily 9x, not NT Workstation. It would be pretty lame if the most popular cards were being sold with features that just didn't work on the most popular OS. :-P

Not impossible, just pretty lame.
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Re: What is he least cpu dependant Network card for a win98 on super socket 7 system?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-2-12 @ 05:13

SirNickity wrote:
BinaryDemon wrote:Looks like it was discussed previously, seems like the conclusion was Win9x doesn’t support any CPU offloading.


That can't be right. The 3C509 / 3C905 made a big deal of those Parallel Tasking ASICs. That's WHY people bought 3Com cards. And what other OS would you have been using when they were being sold? Maybe NT in a server role, but IME it always seemed like desktops were primarily 9x, not NT Workstation. It would be pretty lame if the most popular cards were being sold with features that just didn't work on the most popular OS. :-P

Not impossible, just pretty lame.



I was using the 3Com Parallel Tasking cards back in the Win9x days.

They definitely were the fastest I ever used back then. I had a K6-2 system at the time.
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