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First post, by 4dam

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So as in topic. I'm searching for a good network adapter from 99 to 2001 year.
In progress I have 2k build and I want to make it year properly and with network.
Could you guys advise me some models?

Thanks 😉

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Reply 1 of 12, by cyclone3d

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3COM 3C905B-TX looks like it was released in 1998. That is pretty close and a great chip to boot.

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Reply 2 of 12, by dionb

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Which motherboard (relevant because of PCI version and voltage)?
And which OS?

For DOS, ISA 3Com 3C509B/C cards are best (DOS is hardly capable of high speeds anyway, these are trouble-free and well supported/compatible)
For Win9x, PCI 3Com 3C905B-TX or similar are your best bet (again, excellent support and compatibility, and Win9x network performance is too bad to utilize more mercurial Gb cards)
For Win2K/XP, I'd go with an Intel gigabit card such as the EtherExpress Pro 1000 (in one of its many guises)

As for the motherboard, some newer NICs (notoriously the Realtek RTL8139C and D revisions) required PCI 2.2 and 3.3V, even though the standard said that universally keyed cards should be backwards compatible. All 3Com NICs support 5V PCI 2.1 slots. I believe all of Intel's do too (PCI is their own standard...) but not 100% sure. I definitely have one EtherExpress Pro/1000 working in an i440BX-based board (with PCI 2.1), but can't guarantee every single one will work.

Reply 3 of 12, by retardware

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dionb wrote on 2021-10-11, 17:07:

... EtherExpress Pro 1000 (in one of its many guises)...

I'd vote for that one, too.
Has even W98 drivers.
3C905 is too old, too slow.

Reply 4 of 12, by 4dam

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dionb wrote on 2021-10-11, 17:07:
Which motherboard (relevant because of PCI version and voltage)? And which OS? […]
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Which motherboard (relevant because of PCI version and voltage)?
And which OS?

For DOS, ISA 3Com 3C509B/C cards are best (DOS is hardly capable of high speeds anyway, these are trouble-free and well supported/compatible)
For Win9x, PCI 3Com 3C905B-TX or similar are your best bet (again, excellent support and compatibility, and Win9x network performance is too bad to utilize more mercurial Gb cards)
For Win2K/XP, I'd go with an Intel gigabit card such as the EtherExpress Pro 1000 (in one of its many guises)

As for the motherboard, some newer NICs (notoriously the Realtek RTL8139C and D revisions) required PCI 2.2 and 3.3V, even though the standard said that universally keyed cards should be backwards compatible. All 3Com NICs support 5V PCI 2.1 slots. I believe all of Intel's do too (PCI is their own standard...) but not 100% sure. I definitely have one EtherExpress Pro/1000 working in an i440BX-based board (with PCI 2.1), but can't guarantee every single one will work.

2003 Socket-A

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Reply 5 of 12, by soggi

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4dam wrote on 2021-10-11, 18:06:

2003 Socket-A

I would recommend an Intel FE or GbE card, but a Realtek FE/GbE would also do. Both have good driver support.

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

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Reply 6 of 12, by dionb

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4dam wrote on 2021-10-11, 18:06:

[...]

2003 Socket-A

Windows 2003 Server with a Socket A motherboard?

Tbh I have no idea of 2003 server driver support. 3Com was bankrupt by then so probably not much. Intel would be a better bet.

Reply 7 of 12, by snufkin

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I took that to mean a Socket A motherboard from around 2003 (so shortly before socket 939?), running Win2k (from the first post).

If 4dam is looking specifically for a card from '99-'01 (I am wondering why a 2003 motherboard with a 2000 network card...) then maybe something like the Netgear FA310TX (only suggesting that because I had one and the manual says copyright 2000)? It's not gigabit, but then I think that was only just being ratified/released around that time so was probably mostly restricted to backbone between servers.

Reply 8 of 12, by dormcat

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4dam wrote on 2021-10-11, 18:06:
dionb wrote on 2021-10-11, 17:07:

Which motherboard (relevant because of PCI version and voltage)?

2003 Socket-A

Any specific MB make / model? Or if you are still looking for candidates?

Many Socket A MB in 2003 had built-in Ethernet socket(s); my (ex-)Asus A7N8X Deluxe had two, driven by BroadCom AC101L and Realtek 8201BL, respectively.

Reply 9 of 12, by soggi

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dormcat wrote on 2021-10-12, 20:16:

Many Socket A MB in 2003 had built-in Ethernet socket(s); my (ex-)Asus A7N8X Deluxe had two, driven by BroadCom AC101L and Realtek 8201BL, respectively.

Argh! I should have written that article which is in the pipe for many years...about PHYs.

What is a PHY (Physical Layer Transeiver)? -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_layer

Assuming you mean that https://soggi.org/motherboards/asus/A7N8X-Deluxe-2.0.htm - the mentioned ICs are just PHYs.

Exactly there is:

  1. MCP-T integrated NVIDIA nForce MCP MAC / Realtek RTL8201BL PHY
  2. MCP-T integrated 3Com 3C905 MAC / Altima (Broadcom) AC101LKQT PHY

Yes, the NVIDIA MCP-T southbridge has two Fast Ethernet controllers integrated and they are not from Realtek and not from Broadcom.

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...

Reply 10 of 12, by dormcat

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soggi wrote on 2021-10-13, 05:04:
Argh! I should have written that article which is in the pipe for many years...about PHYs. […]
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dormcat wrote on 2021-10-12, 20:16:

Many Socket A MB in 2003 had built-in Ethernet socket(s); my (ex-)Asus A7N8X Deluxe had two, driven by BroadCom AC101L and Realtek 8201BL, respectively.

Argh! I should have written that article which is in the pipe for many years...about PHYs.

What is a PHY (Physical Layer Transeiver)? -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_layer

Assuming you mean that https://soggi.org/motherboards/asus/A7N8X-Deluxe-2.0.htm - the mentioned ICs are just PHYs.

Exactly there is:

  1. MCP-T integrated NVIDIA nForce MCP MAC / Realtek RTL8201BL PHY
  2. MCP-T integrated 3Com 3C905 MAC / Altima (Broadcom) AC101LKQT PHY

Yes, the NVIDIA MCP-T southbridge has two Fast Ethernet controllers integrated and they are not from Realtek and not from Broadcom.

kind regards
soggi

So that's what it really was...... thanks for explaining. 😺

Reply 11 of 12, by soggi

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dormcat wrote on 2021-10-13, 06:03:

So that's what it really was...... thanks for explaining. 😺

No problem, you're welcome! 😉

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...

Reply 12 of 12, by 4dam

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dormcat wrote on 2021-10-12, 20:16:
4dam wrote on 2021-10-11, 18:06:
dionb wrote on 2021-10-11, 17:07:

Which motherboard (relevant because of PCI version and voltage)?

2003 Socket-A

Any specific MB make / model? Or if you are still looking for candidates?

Many Socket A MB in 2003 had built-in Ethernet socket(s); my (ex-)Asus A7N8X Deluxe had two, driven by BroadCom AC101L and Realtek 8201BL, respectively.

Asus A7N8X without deluxe, and realized it has ethernet connection so I don't need any PCI card I guess.

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