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10/100 vs 1000 for home network



Hi all,

I currently have a 3 PC home network @ 10/100 through a 10/100 Linksys router. I'm considering adding a fourth machine as basically a file sharing/central repository unit. Let's not get into 'real' server, linux, Xeon processors, Win2000, etc. debate/advice because the truth is that's beyond my abilities and even my desires. My first thought is simply to add a 10/100 card to that machine as well. Then I got to thinking about the new gigabyte lan mobos.

I do understand that replacing all the cards in all the machines and the router with a gigabyte setup would speed up transfer speeds. That is not my question.

What I'm wondering is if the new PC (central repository) would benefit at all if it contained a 1000 capability. Since the bandwidth from the 1000 machine to the router would be larger, would it give me any benefit and therefore allow more PCs to access simultaneously and seamlessly even if all other network components stayed 10/100?



Honestly 100Mb LAN is probably quick enough, even with 4 computers each one would be sharing basically 25Mb/s each. Unless you are doing ultra intensive file sharing etc over a network then i doubt it be woth it. From what I know Gigabit is very expensive.
If this was for internet downloads to go down into then due to the difference in 10/100 and internet speeds you wouldnt get a vast benefit, you would see a performance increase in file transfers between computers in your 1 GB Lan. So if you are backing up or moving large quanitites of data that would take less time.
You would see more benefits if all of the computers in the LAN were able to do 1GB transfer simply because they would all be able to send and recieve at the same speed.

If you have only the 1GB LAN for the server then yes it could handle transfers from all of the machines, but then it would still be able to do so on 10/100 LAN.


Thanks for your input guys. Actually, the files shared would be ripped DVDs, music, PVR shows (both recording to and sharing from) and some VCR tapes recorded to HD.

Unfortunately, since I'm slow, I don't quite understand the answer.

Let's say computer 1 is watching Gladiator (served from the 'server') and computer 2 is watching Bourne Identity (served from the 'server'). NOTE: both ripped to HD. Would there be any benefit if the 'server' (and the server only) were equipped with 1000 rather than 10/100?

Although at some point the issue must be related to the 'server' itself and not the lan connection. I'm not sure where that point is though. Any comments here would be appreciated as well.


XP-erience Oldie
The answer is yes the performace would be increased yet, it will never be perfect because networks are not designed for streaming that kind of data, but if you have the money then go for it,

the network will be 1 gigabit yet the server mite struggle to provide 2 whole dvd rips to 2 different pc's, i know mine would find it very difficult.

The router would have to be gigabit also, to for the server to work at gigabit, you can buy them with like 1 port that is gigabit and all the others 10/100 which would be perfect instead of sharing 25mbits it could share 250mbits to each of the 4 computers.



Thanks again everybody.

Actually, the reason I'm asking is that I'm about to pull the trigger on a new Asus P4PE mobo. One of my options contains an on-board regular 10/100 lan and the another contains a 10/100/1000 (gigabyte) on-board lan. In this instance, the difference in price is about $10-40 (because the 1000 version also contains other things that I don't really need and a straight A/B price comparison is not possible), so cost is really not an issue. It becomes a matter of benefit. I do understand future-proofing, but that is not part of my thought process/question.

Also, I understand that streaming 2 DVDs simultaneously would probably not be possible - that was just an example. However, performing some sort of simultaneous tasks is a real expectation. Therefore, whether it will or won't enable 2 DVDs streaming at once is really not the requirement.

Also, I understand that if I upgrade the router and/or the other NIC cards to 10/100/1000, I will definately see a throughput advantage. That is also not the question.

The question comes down to this:
If I buy the mobo w/ the 1000 lan (vs just the 10/100 lan mobo), will I experience any sort of throughput increase realizing that nothing else about the network/connections will change?


XP-erience Oldie
There must be a 1000mbit connection at each end for the network to work at that speed, for example you could have 4 machines with 10/100 would be fine the router could be 10/100/1000 and the server would be 10/100/1000 if only the server is 1000 and the router isn't then there is no point because although the pc has capability of 1000 it would only work at 100 because the router only works at that speed.

And you would almost definately see a visual increase in

So the answer in simple black and grey in this case is that if you purchase that mobo you will see no increase in performance, but if you purchase that mobo and a new router cabable of at least 1 10/100/1000 port then you would see a vast improvement when the network would usually reach its bottleneck speed of 100 it could infact use 10 times that which is nice to know.

My network never reaches high peaks of 100 mbits because it only shares the internet over the network.

I have never looked at this on my home 100MB/s net, but at my uni 10MB/s net, when doing a PC to PC transfer I havent really ever gotten above 2 or 3 MB/s


Thanks for the definitive answer, Skazz.

BTW, can anybody recommend a good 10/100/1000 router and who sells it?


XP-erience Oldie
Originally posted by rbmcgee
Thanks for the definitive answer, Skazz.

BTW, can anybody recommend a good 10/100/1000 router and who sells it?
Yea where you from? if your from the UK I can help you find one if not then I can't :p

there is no need to upgrade to a gigabit network, since the 10/100 network, can stream 2 or 3 movies without any hassle

if you look to most divx movies, they are around 700~1000 kbit/sec ( 1 mbps at most ) so theoretically, you could stream 100 movies at the same time

sorry for the short non-explicative post, but i'm coming from a lan party ( yes, no problem to stream 3 divx from my computer ) and im tired, any questions, ill check out tomorrow,


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