It actually sounds like you might need 2 new nics. The negotation between 100 Mbps vs. 1 Gbps is solely between the nic and the switch, not the 2 nics. If both are not working at 1 Gbps then that indicates a problem. You are using a gigabit swtich to connect everything together right?
Anyways, with your server going up to 100% cpu utilization like that it's probably a good idea to get new nic for that for sure if performance is at all important to you. You also might want to use a program like iozone to measure actual file transfer performance, not just raw network performance like iperf measures.
No, its xover cable.... its cat5e cable thats not that old and only about 5metres long. If i force them to 1000 Mb/s yet they only actually connect at 100Mb/s I would have thought this would have been reported when it connects, at the moment is say "Connected at 1Gb/s"
Regardless If im getting 100% cpu at less then 100Mb/s then obviously the NIC in Server SUX (Dam cheap trademe equipment). Any recommended brands?.
Currently its fast enough to stream divx but very slow if im transferring files, and no possibility of real time DVD burning, which doing the sums with GigaE was possible, one of the reasons I decided to buy a card for my server
I'm not at all sure that gigabit supports the use of a crossover cable (though it probably does), and secondly you'd need to crossover all pairs, not just green and orange, but blue and brown as well. Make sure your cable is doing this, and get your hands on a switch if you can, even if it's just to test. See if you can get your nics correctly working automatically at 1 Gbps, then start worrying about CPU usage and performance.
Oh and if you do decide to get a nic, get an intel pro 1000 series, really any of them.
MT has been replaced by GT, and these are both for traditional PCI slots, and PT is for PCI-express slots. Any of these are great cards.
Hrrm, I may not be a networking expert but I thought that if you were directly connecting two computers then you were supposed to use a xover cable? Are newer cards smart enough to work out they are connected to another NIC instead of a hub/switch?
Filterer: Are newer cards smart enough to work out they are connected to another NIC instead of a hub/switch?
Nope. They just send out their sending pairs and listen on the receiving pairs, hence the need to make a crossover cable to make it work at all. For gigabit you'd at least have to make a special crossover cable that crosses both sets of pairs. In normal 100 Mbit ethernet only 2 of the 4 pairs are used, so a normal crossover cable that you purchase or make according to standard instructions only crosses these 2 pairs and leaves the others as straight through, so if you try to use one to connect 2 gigabit nics they won't be able to talk on all 4 pairs like gigabit requires, forcing them to drop back to 100 Mbit. Like I said, you at least need to use a "total" crossover cable to get gigabit working without a switch, but it might not work even then.
OK, I did some research and it looks like some cards are smart enough to work fine with straight-through or crossover cables, but not all of them. This feature is called Auto-MDI/MDI-X, so look for it if you can find any documentation on your cards.
I'm going to buy a cat6 straight through cable and give that a go, by the sounds of it i probably can't expect to get much over 100Mb/s anyway but I would like to see it auto negotiate 1000 Mb/s. At least then I know they think they can talk together at that rate.
Don't waste money on CAT6 unless you're doing something like wiring a whole house where changing your mind later would be costly. Yes, CAT6 is electrically better than CAT5, but gigabit is designed to work on CAT5, and definitely wouldn't have any problems on CAT5e.
Cat6 straight through cable fixes the auto-negotioan issue but due to the CPU loading I am still not getting anywhere near 1GB/s. Its not going to happen without buying a better NIC, oh well you get what you pay for
What speeds are you getting now? I'm getting around 700 Mbps and 900 Mbps, depending on which computer is the server. Most of the difference came from moving to jumbo frames though; the intel nic only made a slight improvement over the onboard nvidia ones.
I was talking to one of my very knowledgeable friends, and he said that in his experience a straight-through cable works, and a full crossover cable works, but a half crossover like what you had confuses the heck out of the nics, so that was likely the problem.