View Full Version : what is the differance?
12-12-2002, 09:19 AM
This is probably an easy one to answer but i cant find the answer anywhere...
What is the differance between a Network interface card (NIC) and an Ethernet card? I see there is a big price differance between the two but which do i need for connecting 3 PC's together for gaming?
12-12-2002, 10:24 AM
I am afraid I may not know what I am talking about, but I believe they are 2 ways of referring to the same thing. I think most price differences are just based on what is on sale and what some companies believe they can charge. Networkers - is this not correct????
Close. Budfred, very close.......
NIC (Network Interface Card) is a generic term for an add in (or built in) network interface device.
Ethernet is a specific type of Network (there use to be things like token ring cards, etc).
12-12-2002, 12:53 PM
so ....does that mean I can just use the cheaper ethernet cards in my pc's with no noticeable differance?
12-12-2002, 01:59 PM
I believe that is what it means, as long as you are not trying to use it to plug into a network with an incompatible format. I think most networks available these days are ethernet, especially for home use.
12-13-2002, 10:48 AM
While MJC is correct, for all intents and purposes when you see an advertisment, a NIC is an ethernet card.
Think back to grade school all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are square. The same applies here all ethernet cards are NIC's but all NIC's are ethernet.
It depend's on what you are doing with your network. You can get a really good 3-COM or intel card for $30.00 or you can get a pretty good d-link card for around $10.00 or you can get a generic cheapo card for around $5.00....
There is a time and a place for all three
12-13-2002, 02:19 PM
thanks for all the replies guys :)
Classicsoftware...I have a netgear FA311 in my PC could I just use the generic cheap ones in the other 2 PC's (it would just be for playing games like Return to castle wolfenstein with my kids)
12-13-2002, 07:57 PM
You can certainly use the generic ones. There shouldn't be any difference in connecting different brands, but using the same model in each just makes troubleshooting a lot easier.
Bear in mind that a 10T/100TX card (a normal Ethernet NIC) is fairly cheap, but for about £30-40 you can now get a gigabit NIC (10 times faster) - they prefer better quality cabling, but may prove worthwhile for high-speed games. You may want to look at this later, but what you've got now should be fine.
Perhaps someone else here can correct me on this - I don't know the full bandwidth that 3D games require.
12-14-2002, 07:44 AM
If you can aford it, go with the 3com. For what you are doing, you will have a pretty active little network. It;s just my opinion, but you get better performance form this and you MAY notice gaming while you wouldn't hust sharing printers&files in small home LAN.
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