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The new motherboard I bought has built in gigabit NIC (Nforce 6150). So I guess it's getting to the point where it''s why not get a gigabit switch.


However my question is, will you see a difference for streaming video to go with a gigabit switch & nics? Will you get less buffering time between scene skips etc...?


This is to view ripped dvd movies through my movies plug on another pc and media center extender.


Thanks.
 

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Staying with the same brand does not improve the streaming performance. The NIC and switch combo using same brand becomes important when using the "souped up" version of the wireless kind. As far as wired it does not improve performance.
 

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Anything real-time like DVD playback, media streaming, even HDTV playback is fine on switched 100Mbit ethernet. The time you will see a difference is if you're moving gigabytes of data around like whole ripped DVDs or HDTV files. You can expect a 2x-3x speedup on those large files. At that point you will be saturating the transfer rate of your hard drives and your CPU utilization will be getting high. You will not get anything near a 10x speedup unless you have very high end systems with RAID, etc on both ends of the transfer and your network supports jumbo frames end to end.


- Mike
 

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If you do the math on 1 gigabit per second that converts to 125 megaBYTES per second. Most IDE/SATA hard drives/controllers are rated higher than that but you typically aren't going to see anywhere near that (except for maybe a burst here and there). Also, the rule of thumb with gigabit networking is to have a CPU that is at least 1GHz so that the CPU is not a bottleneck. In general with most ethernet networks you only wind up seeing about half your bandwidth for your raw data anyway due to overhead but this does vary depending on what you are doing. So, assuming your computers are higher end and you have a good quality switch then in theory you might see about 500Mbit for your raw data but in reality you will probably see about 200-400MBit due to hardware limitations. Obviously still better than 100Base-T but not the 10x speed you would expect.
 
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