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What is the fastest connection between PC and File Server?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by bud951, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    I am currently building an old gaming rig (DFI NF4) with an Areca RAID 6 card and 4x 2tb WD drives as a file server and DL machine. What is the best and fastest way to connect my main rig to it? My RAID card does not have an external port. Should I invest in one that does? Is gigabit LAN my fastest option since it will be hooked into my router? Should I look into an esata expansion card? Is it possible to connect the two computers that way? The file server does not have built in esata but my new pc does. Info appreciated.
  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    the only methods to connect the PC's is via ethernet.

    you cant use e-sata or anything like that to link PC's.



    Yes, gigabit is your best choice... but if you insist on connecting via your router, you're gunna need a router with gigabit ports. few have that.
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  3. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    Which router should I get? Would it be faster to connect the two pc's directly and then connect the file server to the internet?
  4. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Why would you want to connect to PCs on your internal network via the internet?

    Your router already has a DHCP server to hand out IP addresses, so simply put a gigabit switch in and connect everything to that.
  5. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    get a gige switch, connect your router, pc, fileserver to it, done
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  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    This. That way you don't need a Gigabit router.
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  7. bud951

    bud951 New Member

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    So using the gigabit switch, the two pc's will transfer files faster between each other and both pc's will be connected to the internet through the router my cable company gave me? If this is correct, what is a good gigabit switch for the money? Thanks for the info.
  8. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yeah, all the internal traffic will go over the Gigabit switch, only the traffic going to the internet will go to the router.

    I've used a few of these in customer's networks and they are great for the money: ASUS GX-D1081 10/100/1000Mbps Power-Saving Gigabit...

    Whatever you get, make sure it supports Jumbo Frames.
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  9. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I use a Netgear 8-port gigabit switch and it works fine. I don't know what model number it is, but it's one of their blue industrial looking ones.

    EDIT: It's the GS108.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
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  10. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    I would buy this. You can get the 8 port for $59, but you're only connecting 3 pc's.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
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  11. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    erm no you would get a worse connetion with a hub. any gige switch with jumbo packets will do you just fine.



    connect both pc's to the switch and the switch to the router. DHCP will allocate the IPs to the PCs, thats all you need to do :D
  12. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Really Really Fast

    I'm surprised no one has brought this up.

    As far as simple solutions are concerned, Gigabit ethernet is going to be the fastest.


    If you're just looking for outright fastest that won't get saturated you'll need to team a few ethernet ports. (uses multiple ports to achieve higher speeds). This requires some pretty specific hardware/software at each point of the network.

    This is the switch I use: NETGEAR GS608 10/100/1000Mbps Switch with Jumbo Fr...

    I do not currently run teamed network ports. I'm not sure if any switch will handle teamed ports but the ability is technically part of the standard 802.3x spec. (so it should work on any standards compliant post-2008 switch).

    The easiest NICS to use are Intel's. (from what I hear). They have made some pretty good drivers to handle the port teaming as the capability is not part of a standard windows package.

    These are the two cards I would consider:
    Dual Port card - Intel E1G42ETBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express x16...
    Quad port card - Intel E1G44ET2BLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Gi...

    You would need a card on the NAS and computer end.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  13. catnipkiller

    catnipkiller

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    im looking to do the same sorta thing with my amd a79a-s foxconn mobo that has 2 ports. what does having 2 enthernet ports on my pc let me do speed wize.
  14. theeldest

    theeldest

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    @catnipkiller

    Depending on software, you can "team" the ports. Teaming would take two 1 Gig ports and make them act like a single 2 Gig port. But you need the same thing on the NAS and PC end of the connection otherwise it's not doing anything.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_aggregation
  15. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Also, just to be sure it's explicitly mentioned:

    You need fast drives on both ends as well. Right now I have 5 drives in RAID5 in my server. They can push data at 450MB/s (3.6 Gbit). This initially sounds like a perfect reason to get a couple dual port NICs for teaming but on the PC end I've got a single drive. I can write--at most--80MB/s (Less than 1Gbit).

    Before I spend any money on NICs, I need to upgrade my PC hard drive(s).
  16. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    WHY ARE YOU GUYS going on about Jumbo Frames? Do you have any idea what this is? It makes fractional differences, requires compatible hardware all round, and requires setting up the network cards on the PCs too. Why this unnecessary complexity for a guy who is clearly a beginner for performance gain that will be less than 5%?

    Keep the advice simple.

    1x Gigabit switch needed
    3x CAT6 ethernet cable
    Plug it all together
    Full stop
  17. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Actually, it makes a rather substantial difference. If he doesn't have the network cards that support it, he should still get a switch that does for future expansion. And there really isn't any configuration or complexity, if everything supports it then it works, if not then he has a switch that will work if the NICs are every upgraded in the future.
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  18. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    Rubbish. Take two PCs, with no contention (ie nothing else, just the 2 PCs) and the same switch and same NICs, and configure Jumbo on or Jumbo off, you will not see more than 5% difference.

    ANYONE who says there is a bigger difference than that is not comparing the same switch, or the same NICs, or is confusing Jumbo Frames with full-duplex.

    It is known that *sometimes* a person has observed a bigger speedbump but that is due to a peculiarity in the network stack drivers and there is no physical or logical reason for this. This has been the case with some early linux drivers and low-powered ARM based NAS boxes where the CPU utilisation couldnt handle the transfer. But it is a specialist case. You won't find this on windows or with the CPU horsepower of a DFI NF4 based system.

    >> Well, that's my experience at least, and I would never advise an average PC user to play with JF
    >> nt, if you have other evidence, I'd be happy to see it...

    *edit* just googled - something recent and uptodate - and found this: http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php...mparison-testing-with-ip-storage-and-vmotion/
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    it makes none. its not for speed boosts.


    even if you set up teaming, its still two seperate connections - it cant make one transfer faster.
  20. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I've been wondering what teaming is for. So it's not SLI for networks then, shame lol.

    Is it to enhance reliability then?
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yes. Mainly to connect to different segments of a network in case one goes down.


    you can also use it for ICS, but mostly its worthless.
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  22. theeldest

    theeldest

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    In my experience, in real-world environments, nic teaming is most often used with virtual environments where the performance aspects is the primary goal and redundancy/FT being secondary.


    A bit more clarification: NIC teaming gives you a "wider" pipe, not a faster one. It allows more connections to the system, but the max speed of a single connection is still limited by the single-port performance. There is only a performance increase of the application is 'multi-threaded' (this is an oversimplification but you should get the point).

    If you are only connecting a single computer to a NAS, I'm not 100% sure how file transfers are handled, but I'm pretty sure none of the standard sharing protocols are 'multithreaded'. If you have multiple systems simultaneously connecting to a NAS, then teamed NICs will give a performance benefit (obviously, certain assumptions exist).
    qubit says thanks.
  23. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    @theeldest

    Nice, answer, thanks. :toast:

    So, it's really a capacity boost, if I understand correctly. I think to draw an analogy with batteries:

    You have a 10Ah battery and a 20Ah battery. They are both 12V, but the 20Ah will give out more power before running flat.

    Similarly, they can be "teamed up" (connected in parallel) to make a virtual 30Ah superbattery and the output is still 12V.
  24. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    [​IMG]

    Yup, between two servers, each with four teamed gigabit ports the maximum sustained transfer was 115MB/s - same as when it wasn't teamed. I could however set up transfers on multiple machines to the server to utilize more of the link.
  25. catnipkiller

    catnipkiller

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    [​IMG]

    is there a speed test for moving files? from one pc to the next?

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