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I am build a small server out of a desktop motherboard. It will run Ubuntu 10.04.3 with an iSCSI target. I am trying to decide whether to go with 2 Realtek 8169SC Gigabit NICs or with 1 Intel Pro1000PT Server NIC.

Would a single VMware server max out the Intel NIC? Would the transfer speed be greatly different when comparing the 2 NICs? The Intel NIC is PCIe, the Realtek ones are PCI. The machine will be running with 4GB of RAM and a Intel E6500 CPU.

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If you are going for ESX/i, I doubt you will be able to get it running on Realtek cards, so, I will go for the Intel card.

As for speed, it depends what your utilisation/usage patterns will be. It technically can max out a card, weather it will or not, who knows!

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+1. Yep, from experience, Realtek under ESXi is hit and miss - mostly miss. We tend to use Intel boards or boards with Intel Chipsets - although the availability of our HP favourite is now up for question. Mind you, the setup implies Ubuntu with VMWare player? – Linker3000 Aug 23 '11 at 12:08
@Linker3000 - Hmm, not entirely sure... based on other question, I assumed this, but yeah, I may be wrong. – William Hilsum Aug 23 '11 at 12:51
I would not be running ESXi on the realtek, the realtek cards would be used in the iSCSI target server. – ianc1215 Aug 23 '11 at 13:28
I have an HP DL360 G5 running my ESXi software. – ianc1215 Aug 23 '11 at 13:28

In theory, the Intel NIC would work better because it's PCIe, and in theory as well VMWare can max out any NIC.

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My thought was the same. PCIe > PCI. – ianc1215 Aug 23 '11 at 13:29

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